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Foot Supination vs Pronation. What is the difference?

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best custom orthotic insoles inserts orthotics

Everyday

Designed for normal day-to-day use.

Are you familiar with the terms foot supination and pronation? If you've ever wondered what the difference between the two is and why it matters, you've come to the right place. 


In this article, we will delve into the world of foot biomechanics and explain the variations in supination and pronation. We will also discuss how custom orthotic insoles from Bilt Labs will help with each of these conditions. 


Foot supination and pronation are natural movements that occur during walking or running, but they differ in terms of how the foot lands and absorbs shock. Supination refers to an outward rolling motion of the foot, with weight distributed primarily on the outside of the foot. Pronation, on the other hand, involves an inward rolling motion, with weight distributed along the inside of the foot. 


Understanding the difference between foot supination and pronation is crucial for athletes, as it can impact their performance and increase the risk of injuries. Whether you're an athlete or a casual walker, being aware of your foot biomechanics can help you make informed decisions about footwear and orthotics. 


Join us as we explore foot supination and pronation in more detail, and gain insights on how to properly support and align your feet for optimal comfort and performance with the use of custom orthotic insoles and more.

A Basic Breakdown of Foot Supination vs Pronation

Foot supination and pronation are two distinct but complementary movements that occur during the natural gait cycle when walking or running. While they both play important roles in shock absorption and stability, they differ in the direction and degree of the foot's rolling motion:


When it comes to supination vs pronation, different types of pronation require different levels of support. Wearing shoes that are not designed for your pronation type can exacerbate existing problems and lead to new ones. For example, people with overpronation need shoes with good arch support and stability features, while those with underpronation need shoes with more flexibility and cushioning.


Proper foot mechanics are essential for optimal athletic performance. By understanding your pronation type and choosing the right footwear, you can improve your efficiency, balance, and power during physical activity.


Over time, improper foot mechanics can lead to chronic pain, discomfort, and even deformities like bunions and hammertoes. Knowing your pronation type and taking steps to address it can help prevent these issues and maintain healthy feet throughout your life.


Understanding the difference between supination vs pronation empowers you to make informed decisions about your footwear, activities, and overall foot health. By taking proactive measures based on your pronation type, you can prevent injuries, improve your performance, and enjoy a lifetime of healthy feet.

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What is Foot Supination?

Foot supination is a natural movement that occurs during walking or running. It refers to an outward rolling motion of the foot, with weight distributed primarily on the outside of the foot. This motion helps with shock absorption and stability. When the foot supinates, the arch of the foot becomes higher and more rigid, providing a solid base of support.


As the heel strikes the ground, the foot naturally pronates inwards, allowing the arch to flatten and absorb the impact. However, during the midstance phase, the foot gradually rolls outwards, with weight shifting towards the outer edge.


By understanding the mechanics of supination and its potential impact on foot health, individuals can take proactive steps to manage this natural movement and maintain optimal foot function.


Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential for receiving personalized advice and treatment for any supination-related concerns.

Causes and Symptoms of Foot Supination

Several factors can contribute to foot supination. One common cause is an anatomical variation in the foot structure, such as having high arches. Other causes include tight calf muscles, weak ankle muscles, or wearing shoes that do not provide proper support.
 

Individuals with foot supination may experience symptoms such as pain on the outside of the foot, ankle instability, frequent ankle sprains, and shin splints. They may also have difficulty finding comfortable footwear, as many shoes are designed with a focus on foot pronation

Effects of Foot Supination on the Body

Foot supination can have a significant impact on the body. When the foot supinates excessively, it can lead to an uneven distribution of forces throughout the lower extremities. This can result in increased stress on the foot, ankle, knee, and hip joints. Over time, this stress can lead to the development of various overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and iliotibial band syndrome.


Proper support and alignment are essential for individuals with foot supination to prevent these injuries and maintain optimal performance.

How Bilt Labs Custom Orthotic Insoles Help Foot Supination & Alternatives

Custom orthotic insoles are an effective solution for individuals with foot supination. Fortunately, Bilt Labs offers a comprehensive approach to managing supination and helping you regain pain-free movement. 


These orthotics are specially designed to provide support and stability to the arch of the foot, helping to correct the excessive outward rolling motion. They help distribute forces more evenly throughout the foot, reducing the risk of injuries and improving overall comfort.


In addition to custom orthotics, there are alternative options that can help individuals with foot supination. These include wearing supportive footwear with cushioning and shock-absorbing features.


Choosing shoes with a wider base and a firm heel counter can also provide added stability. It is important to avoid shoes with excessive arch support, as this can exacerbate the supination.


Physical therapy exercises can also be beneficial in strengthening the ankle and calf muscles, improving flexibility, and promoting proper foot alignment.

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What is Foot Pronation?

Foot pronation, the counterpart to supination, is another natural movement that occurs during walking or running. However, unlike supination, pronation involves an inward rolling motion of the foot, with weight distributed primarily along the inside of the foot. This motion helps with shock absorption and allows for smooth weight transfer from the heel to the toes.


While pronation is a natural and necessary part of the gait cycle, the extent of this movement can vary, leading to different pronation types:


  • Neutral Pronation: This is considered the ideal foot type, where the foot rolls inwards slightly, providing optimal shock absorption, stability, and propulsion.

  • Overpronation: The foot rolls inwards excessively, causing the arch to flatten significantly. This can lead to pain, fatigue, and increased risk of injuries like tendinitis and shin splints.

  • Underpronation (Supination): The foot barely rolls inwards or even rolls outwards, placing excessive stress on the outer edge of the foot. This can also cause pain and instability, affecting balance and running performance.

Understanding your pronation type is crucial for maintaining optimal foot health and preventing potential injuries. Consulting a podiatrist or healthcare professional can help identify your pronation type and recommend appropriate interventions, such as custom orthotics, supportive footwear, or physical therapy exercises.

Causes and Symptoms of Foot Pronation

Various factors can contribute to foot pronation. One common cause is having flat feet, where the arch of the foot collapses excessively. Other causes include weak ankle muscles, tight calf muscles, and wearing shoes with inadequate support.


Individuals with foot pronation may experience symptoms such as pain on the inside of the foot, arch pain, shin splints, and knee or hip pain. They may also have difficulty finding shoes that provide proper arch support.

Effects of Foot Pronation on the Body

Excessive foot pronation can have a significant impact on the body. When the foot overpronates, it disrupts the natural alignment of the lower extremities and can lead to an increased risk of injuries. 


This can cause excessive stress on the foot, ankle, knee, and hip joints, potentially leading to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), and patellofemoral pain syndrome.


Proper support and alignment are crucial for individuals with foot pronation to prevent these injuries and maintain optimal performance.

Conclusion and How to Determine Your Foot Type

In conclusion, understanding the difference between foot supination and pronation is crucial for athletes and individuals who want to maintain optimal foot health. By recognizing your foot type and biomechanics, you can make informed decisions about footwear and orthotics that will support and align your feet properly.
 

Custom orthotic insoles, such as those offered by Bilt Labs, are an excellent solution for individuals with both foot supination and pronation. These orthotics provide customized support, correct alignment, and help prevent injuries. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or podiatrist to determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.
 

Remember, taking care of your feet is not just important for athletes but for everyone. Your feet are the foundation of your body, and proper support and alignment can make a significant difference in your overall comfort and performance. 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.