Walking Shoes for Supination
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If you have a high arch or notice that you frequently have shin splints, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, or foot pain, then you might need to find a pair of walking shoes for supination. These shoes are designed to provide better arch support and comfort, allowing individuals predisposed to oversupination to walk and take on a variety of other activities without unnecessary pain or injury. While there is no magic bullet to cure this problem, the most effective way to treat it is to find a supportive shoe that offers durability, comfort, and exceptional arch support.
Many brands make walking shoes with these features and choosing the right pair will allow you to walk longer and faster without harming yourself.
To decide if a pair of walking shoes that offer supination support are right for you, we are going to discuss what supination and oversupination are, as well as how to best correct this condition.
What is Supination?
Supination is the foot’s natural movement as it rolls outwards during your stride. This rolling action is a natural mechanic that happens when the subtalar joint in your foot makes three distinct movements: inversion, plantar flexion, and abduction. For the foot to roll outwards, the joint needs to perform all three of these actions. Inversion occurs when the sole of the foot turns inwards. Plantar flexion happens when the toes and foot point down. And abduction occurs when the toes point across the body’s axis.
While these actions sound quite complicated, they are perfectly natural and all three need to happen for supination. This movement is essential when walking or running since it allows you to place the majority of your weight on the outside of the foot, raising your arch in order to form a sturdy propulsion base. This action also absorbs impact shock, preventing unnecessary damage to the upper limbs like the ankle, shins, and knees.
While supination is perfectly normal and this outward rolling of the foot allows for injury-free movement, anything in excess is never any good. And in the case of supination, this rule is also true. If a foot supinates too much, the tendons and ligaments of the ankle and feet are under excessive strain and can suffer from pain, sprains, and tears. This excessive supination is called oversupination or hyper-supination. While there are a number of physical reasons for this condition, one of the most common causes is high-arched feet.
These cavus feet have an unusually high arch between the front of the foot and the heel, causing the foot to roll outwards too far. Whatever the cause, oversupination prevents the foot from absorbing the impact of movements like running or walking, leaving people with this condition open to shin splints, ankle sprains, fractures of the metatarsals and tibia, plantar fasciitis, and damage to the tendons and ligaments in the lower legs. Luckily, there are several ways to correct oversupination including special insoles and supportive walking shoes for men.
Supination insoles are a great option for people who have considerable oversupination. These insoles are orthotic devices that can be placed in your shoe and, thanks to a high arch support, will help your foot maintain optimal stability, motion, and pronation with every step. These high-arched insoles allow you to distribute weight and impact pressure more evenly across your entire foot, reducing pain, fatigue, and the likelihood of injury. There are basically two options when it comes to purchasing supination insoles.
The first method is the easiest and, normally, the most affordable. For most problem feet, you can purchase a pair of high-arched insoles that are pre-molded right off the shelves. The main thing to consider if going the store-bought route is that the insole is designed to control the movement of your foot from side-to-side and that is has a good arch height of around 2.5 cm.
For people with more serious hyper-supination issues, the other option is to have an orthotic insole casted by your podiatrist or sports therapist. This is often the more expensive option, but it will allow for the custom fit that might be necessary in the most serious cases.
How to Correct Excess Supination?
While some supination, or the outward “rolling” motion of the foot, is natural for some people during their normal running or walking gait, excess supination, or oversupination, is a problem. By placing too much stress on the outer edge of the feet, the feet fails to absorb pressure, weight, and impact, causing unnecessary strain on the ankles, shins, knees, and hips. At a minimum, people with oversupination have a tendency to roll their ankles or get shin splints.
Over the long term, hyper-supination increases the likelihood of stress fractures and ligament tears throughout the lower legs. But there are a few ways to correct your gait if you are experiencing excess supination. The first way to correct oversupination is to purchase a quality pair of supination support walking shoes. Manufacturers offer some great shoes that reduce pain and provide optimal support while walking or running.
These walking shoes tend to have improved cushioning around the mid-sole and better support for high arches. While there are some terrific brands out there, some of the most well-known manufacturers of anti-supination walking shoes are Asics, New Balance, Saucony, and Brooks. Also, keep in mind that worn-out shoes need to be replaced.
If your walking shoe is beginning to have too much give on the sides and top, then it’s no longer offering you the support that you need. With the right shoes in place, you can now begin to work on your body’s natural tendency to oversupinate by strengthening and stretching your leg muscles. An added benefit of this is that these movements can also help soothe any discomfort your lower limbs are already feeling.
Perform stretches for the calves, quads, and hamstrings to alleviate tightness and promote a more level foot pattern and allow them to take on a better range of motion while running and walking. For your quads, balance yourself and then grab one foot from behind your buttocks and pull up on the leg gently until you feel a stretch in your thigh.
Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and then repeat it on your other leg. Stretch your hamstrings by lying on your side and doing one-legged leg lifts. And stretch your calves by leaning, face-first, into a sturdy object and placing one leg back. Bend your other knee and then stretch into the bent knee. Hold this stretch for around 20 seconds and then switch sides. Pull up on the leg and feel the stretching on the front of your thigh.
Hold for 20 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg. Give your calves a good stretch by leaning against a wall or sturdy object and placing one leg back. Bend the other knee and lean into the bent knee. Hold for 20 seconds and switch legs. You should also stretch your plantar ligament to ease any pain from plantar fasciitis. To do this, simply sit down on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Reach out and grab your toes and pull them gently back and upward. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds, then release it and do it one to two more times.
While excess supination can be painful and lead to injuries, it doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying activities like fitness walking or running. By purchasing a good pair of supination walking shoes that offer extra support and a high arch, investing in high-arched insoles for flat shoes that you might already have, and adding a few simple stretches to your daily routine, you can eliminate the risk of injuries and pain that oversupination can cause.