Quality shoes for over-pronation
September 8, 2016 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for personal recommendations or even research that advises a certain kind/brand of shoe for those folks with significant over-pronation of the foot (arch collapses too much and the foot rolls inward excessively, distributing weight unevenly.)

It doesn't seem to matter what kind of shoe I buy, or how much money I spend (usually about $50), but the shoes fall apart at what seems to be a very rapid rate. I'm wondering if it's because of my gait or the foot rolling in, and would like to find some that won't fall apart so fast. I have had 6-8 pairs of shoes/boots in the last year or so that have completely disintegrated in 3-6 mos. Previous questions focused on running shoes -- I just need some shoes I can wear to work and in my life. Any ideas or recommendations would be great! Thanks.
posted by fairlynearlyready to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Have you had orthotics?

What brands have you tried? How much do you walk?
posted by Ftsqg at 11:56 AM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

I have never tried orthotics. I've tried brands from Target-whatever, to Blowfish, to Teva (those are slightly better but still not sure what to get.) I also had gotten a very nice pair of rainboots and in 4 months they were coming apart.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2016

Spend more. A lot more. I have special snowflake feet and require aggressive support. My least expensive shoes cost $100 at best. On the bright side, they last a really long time.

Can personally recommend Birkenstock (on the mild side for support as far as I'm concerned), and Chacos.

I'm looking to try Vionic, but need to find a place that sells them so that I can try them on.
posted by monopas at 11:59 AM on September 8, 2016

Extra thoughts: Cushiony shoes wear out faster, and I've found them to be inadequately supportive for everyday wear.

If you can't buy a lot of more expensive shoes, you might do ok with spending big once to have custom orthotics made and then buying not so pricey shoes with removable insoles and just move the one set of orthotics around to whatever shoes you're wearing that day.
posted by monopas at 12:06 PM on September 8, 2016

I have "extremely flat feet" and wear Fitflops. I find them extremely comfortable and they last about a year wearing every day.
posted by intensitymultiply at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2016

My son has flat feet. Our family doctor said that orthotics are a complete scam and waste of money, and that there's nothing wrong with flat feet—it's not a condition that can be easily rectified. He said instead to pay attention to the kind of shoes we buy for him, specifically shoes with little heel padding (e.g., running shoes are out, but some skate shoes, which have firm and quite low soles, are fine).
posted by My Dad at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm also a pronator, though not to an extreme degree. I like Vionic shoes. I've only worn their booties. In my experience, they run large. Very good quality -- try to buy on sale because they're expensive. ($159, for example.)
posted by wryly at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Pronation is one of the conditions you can sort shoes and other products by at Footsmart. I've had pretty good luck with their off-the-shelf orthotics with my under-pronation and plantar fasciitis.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

This Spring I ordered some over-pronation sandals from Zappos: these Aetrex Jillian Quarter Strap sandals. (No, I did NOT buy them just because of the name. I don't think...) I've gone on 2 mile walks during my lunch break at work 4 times a week wearing these for the last 4 months. Very comfortable and sturdy (as long as you don't get them wet). I like them well enough to recommend them to you and for myself to see if there are other styles I'll like for the upcoming Autumn/Winter.
posted by jillithd at 12:27 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

So I have high arches that are also terrible at being arches and need tons of support (very different from flat feet, at least to my knowledge), and I have been using Superfeet Green the past few years with a lot of success. They'll fit in any shoe that's reasonably roomy with a removable insole - personally I wear mostly Sauconys which seem to work pretty well with the insoles.
posted by augustimagination at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2016

The key term you are looking for is "motion control." These shoes control overpronation by inducing your foot to move in a rocking motion from heel to toe when taking a step. Most motion control shoes are running shoes, but there are some that are not quite so gaudy. Brooks has the Addiction Walker, for example, which isn't what I'd call fashionable, but at least it doesn't look like a running shoe.
posted by kindall at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Drew shoes are not super attractive but they are sturdy, long-lasting, and do a good job of helping prevent pronation. If you are in the US, try checking out the shoes in the Footsmart catalog.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:43 PM on September 8, 2016

Chacos for sure! Also Vionic with the orthaheel technology, and certain types of Asics sneakers (usually the ones with the APMA (podiatric society) approval. Also, Superfeet for inserts, though I recommend going to a good running store because I never would have known my size by myself (the support comes from a sort of cantilevered position to the arch. My attempt to self-size with ones purchased on Amazon was a failure. I tried again at a running store and they were able to pick the right ones for me.
posted by NikitaNikita at 3:01 PM on September 8, 2016

My wife worked for a podiatrist, so l have heard about a thing or two.

On orthotics. They are somewhat controversial. There are three classes. The ones you buy at the drug store $10-15. OTC ones you get from a podiatrist $50-100. Custom ones the the podiatrist has made for you $500+. Most of the controversy is some people think that podiatrists try to sell the expensive ones because they make money on them (which they do). The observation in the office where my wife works is that they fit the patient with orthotics and he doesn't come back until they are worn out and he needs a new set.

Whether they are right thing for fairlynearlyready, I have no idea.

Podiatrists also sell shoes. Mostly these are cheap shoes made for diabetics to wear for one year if they last that long. There may be other shoes sold by specialists in custom, medically-required shoes, and they may be covered by insurance if a doctor provides a prescription. I don't think this is done frequently in the office where my wife worked.

In the world of shoe stores, most just sell anything they can to anyone who will buy. There are a few that fit shoes to people with problem feet and coordinate with doctors. The shoes they provide will probably not be the cheapest, but there is a somewhat higher chance they will be better.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:03 PM on September 8, 2016

What size shoe do you wear? My friend works at Vionic -- I can ask if they have samples in your size for you to try on. They are AMAZING.
posted by ananci at 12:20 AM on September 9, 2016

Ananci, I usually wear a size 8 or 8.5. Thanks!!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 7:38 AM on September 9, 2016

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