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Do Flat Feet Cause Overpronation? How and Why?

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When you are dealing with your feet and trying to give them the best care and attention possible, you may worry that you are developing a foot condition. This is most noticeable when the feet start to hurt more than normal or you have problems with alignment and pain in other areas of the body as well.

Two conditions that you may notice with your feet are overpronation and flat feet. Many times the symptoms of both of these conditions will appear to be the same, and many patients will assume that they are dealing with the same condition with both of them. But are there some differences between overpronation and flat feet, and if so, what are they?

What are Flat Feet?

To start, we are going to take a look at flat feet and what is causing them in the first place. A flat foot is one that will not have an arch on the inside of it. This means that the entire bottom of the foot, or the sole, is touching the ground.

In most cases, the flat foot is going to refer back to the non-moving shape of the arch. Of course, there are times when the arch may not be all the way flat, but will not be as pronounced as it should be.

This is usually given the name of a fallen arch. The flat arch only happens when the foot has lost all of the arch support and it will have complete contact with the ground at this time.

It is possible to have a foot that is flat, without the issue of overpronation. However, it is common for the two of these issues to go hand in hand, so you may see problems with flat feet tied together with problems of overpronation.

What is Overpronation?

Now that we know a bit more about flat feet and what they have to do with the amount of arch you have in your foot, it is time to dive into the idea of overpronation a little bit. Overpronation is more about the movement found in the foot.

Healthy pronation is going to be the inward roll of the foot and the natural lowering of the arch that happens when you put weight on the foot. Everyone is going to pronate a little bit when they move around walking or running.

Pronation is going to be part of the system that absorbs the shock of the ground and protects the rest of the body, which means that it is natural for this to happen. The problem will occur when we look at the “over” part of the pronation.

When we have overpronation, it means that your foot is pronating more than it should. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that occurs when you walk or run. It's when your ankle and arch roll inward slightly to absorb shock when your foot hits the ground. It can be a vague medical term because it is hard to measure how much of the pronation is normal or optimal and how much is too much on the foot.

The reason this can be a problem is that it will affect the direction and timing of forces of the leg and foot and can lead to injury. In many cases, having flat feet can lead us to over-pronate because we are not getting the support in the foot that we need and it can cause the foot to turn inward and not work as well as it should.

In some cases, a cause of overpronation can wear down the arches and cause problems as well, though both conditions can happen on their own.

How Do Flat Feet Cause Overpronation?

Most people who have flat feet will have flexible flat feet. This means that they will have an arch that appears in the foot when they lift it off the ground, or they are able to form an arch with the foot, but when they are standing or walking, the arch is going to collapse.

When this is true for you, overpronation and flat feet can be closely related. You may not have an arch when you are walking because the foot will pronate too much when you put some weight on it. That is why when you talk about correcting the problem with flat feet, there are two things that you will most likely focus on including:

  • Increasing the height of your arch when you are standing and moving around.
  • Control the amount of pronation that occurs when you walk around or run.

It is important to remember that the two conditions are not actually related. It is possible to have over-pronation and flat feet at the same time, but it is also possible to have either flat feet or overpronation, without the other one. Both are conditions that you should consider seeking out treatment for to keep the feet safe.

Flat Feet Cause Overpronation

Treatment for Overpronation and Flat Feet

For both the overpronation and the flat foot problem, it is important to find good treatments that will protect the feet and keep them safe from harm. Your doctor may recommend a few exercises that you can try out at home or other treatment options, especially if you are experiencing pain and discomfort.

One option that you can try is a pair of custom orthotics. These are designed to match your feet well and can fit into any shoe that you would like to wear.

You can pick out a pair that will fix either of these two issues or both at the same time, giving you the best results in the process. It is also suggested to ensure that you choose one that has comfortable arch support.

This will focus on the issue of flat feet, giving the foot some support and preventing the shock from traveling through the body and causing issues to the knees, ankles, and legs. A custom orthotic can employ the right amount of arch support to protect your feet without it being too high.

You also need a rigid orthotic to deal with over pronation. This will allow you to walk around without problems and can keep the foot in proper alignment so it is no longer to move around or twist in the wrong direction. You will want to do this in a gentle manner though, so a custom orthotic that is designed by a medical professional will ensure that your foot stays safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

Flat feet, where the arches lack their natural curve, can lead to overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of your foot with each step. This can cause a cascade of pain and discomfort. Here's a two-pronged approach to caring for your feet and managing overpronation:

1. Invest in Supportive Footwear and Insoles:

The right footwear can make a world of difference. Look for shoes with built-in arch support and a firm, stable midsole. Motion control shoes are specifically designed to address overpronation, offering features like medial arch posts and wider forefoot areas. Additionally, consider incorporating insoles specifically designed for overpronation. These insoles typically have a firm arch support and stability features to help realign your foot and prevent excessive inward rolling. Remember, consulting a podiatrist for a professional evaluation and personalized recommendations is ideal.

2. Strengthen and Stretch Your Feet:

Regular exercises can significantly improve foot health and manage overpronation. Focus on strengthening exercises that target the muscles in your feet and ankles, promoting better stability and support. Short foot raises, toe scrunches, and calf raises are great options. Stretching is equally important. Tight calf muscles can contribute to overpronation, so regularly stretching your calves and plantar fascia can improve flexibility and allow for a more natural foot strike during walking.

By combining these strategies - addressing footwear and incorporating exercises - you can effectively take care of your flat feet and manage overpronation. Remember, consistency is key. Regularly wearing supportive shoes, using appropriate insoles, and performing strengthening and stretching exercises can significantly improve your foot health and allow you to move with greater comfort and confidence.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Do flat feet and overpronation leave you battling foot pain and discomfort? You're not alone. Flat feet can cause the arches of your feet to collapse inwards with each step, leading to overpronation and a cascade of issues. But there's good news! Bilt Labs custom orthotics can be your powerful allies in combating these challenges and reclaiming pain-free mobility.

Precision Crafted for Your Unique Flat Feet:

Unlike generic insoles, Bilt Labs takes a personalized approach. Their at-home impression kit captures the exact contours and pressure points of your feet, including the specific way your flat feet affect your gait. This meticulous process ensures your custom orthotics are designed to address your unique overpronation pattern caused by flat feet.

Features Tailored to Combat Overpronation:

Bilt Labs custom orthotics go beyond just basic arch support. They incorporate key features specifically engineered to combat overpronation due to flat feet:

  • Targeted Arch Support: Bilt Labs tailors the arch support level to your specific needs. This targeted lift helps counteract the inward collapse of your flat arches during walking or running, promoting a more neutral gait and reducing stress on your ankles, knees, and shins.

  • Enhanced Stability: Rigid shanks and other stability features are incorporated into the orthotics to provide crucial control. This prevents your feet from twisting excessively and helps maintain proper alignment despite your flat feet.

  • Customizable Features: Bilt Labs allows for customization options like medial posting. This strategically placed wedge can further realign your foot and ankle for a more optimal position, promoting a more efficient and pain-free walking pattern.

Beyond Pain Relief: Long-Term Benefits for Flat Feet:

Bilt Labs custom orthotics offer more than immediate relief from overpronation pain caused by flat feet. By addressing the root cause of the problem, they can:

  • Improve Gait Efficiency: Proper support and alignment lead to a more efficient gait, reducing stress on your joints and muscles and preventing future injuries.

  • Enhanced Biomechanics: Bilt Labs orthotics help restore proper biomechanics in your feet and ankles, minimizing pain and discomfort while walking, running, or exercising.

  • Preventative Care for Flat Feet: Addressing overpronation caused by flat feet helps prevent future foot and ankle problems, allowing you to stay active and pain-free for years to come.

Bilt Labs custom orthotics are an investment in your long-term foot health and pain-free mobility. While consulting a podiatrist for diagnosis is always recommended, Bilt Labs can be a powerful tool for those with flat feet struggling with overpronation. Their personalized approach and features specifically address the challenges of flat feet, allowing you to move with confidence and comfort.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics


While flat feet don't always guarantee overpronation, they certainly increase the risk. The good news is that with proper management strategies like supportive footwear, targeted exercises, and potentially custom orthotics, you can effectively address both flat feet and overpronation. Don't let these conditions sideline you! By taking a proactive approach to foot health, you can conquer discomfort and move with greater confidence and ease. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.