Recommend me boots or shoes for an over-pronator?
September 11, 2018 6:40 AM   Subscribe

I am very hard on footwear. I am a special snowflake. Would you consider recommending me something for my feet?

Details: I'm a smidge overweight, say, maybe 20lbs. Maybe 30, but I'm still super active and outdoorsy and go all day without problems. I'm also pigeon toed and I over-pronate badly especially on my right foot (from the pigeon-toed-weird gait). I don't have particularly wide feet, I wear between a 9.5 and a 10.5 depending on the item. I prefer to wear wool socks although only thick ones in the winter.

I'm looking for every day, walking around boots. I have heavy snow boots. So far, since the spring, I've somehow destroyed a brand new pair of UnderArmour's, my 5.11 zip-ups that I usually use on the motorcycle, and a pair of boring Merrell's. The soles are just disconnecting from the boot in most cases.

I don't LOVE the look of blocky leather boots like, say, a Blundstone or something. I don't need steel-toe or heavy or whatever, I want to be able to wear them into the woods or wandering around a convention center looking at boats and fishing rods. I've been considering some of the Ultralight Solomon's for a year or more but have been put off by stories of their durability.

Can you recommend me something? I have no good options to try on here...we have a foot locker, a Dick's, a Hibbett, and the Shoe Department. I'm happy to order from zappos or amazon or whatever.
posted by TomMelee to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ah snap. I forgot to say that I'd like to keep it under $200 if possible, please, and I don't mind "loud" footwear. Colors are just fine by me.
posted by TomMelee at 6:42 AM on September 11, 2018

Can you provide the specific UA, 5.11 and Merrell styles that failed you? We sell boots of those brands (and many more) where I work, so I might be able to assist. Having the failing style info might help.
posted by Jacob G at 8:29 AM on September 11, 2018

Whichever shoes you choose, get some Superfeet insoles. My wife over-pronates and those insoles made a huge improvement for her.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:08 AM on September 11, 2018

Jacob- The UA's...I'm not sure of the model number. They're gray/green and synthetic with gore-tex. They're super comfy but with maybe 100 miles on them they're just done. Here's pics:

The merrells I recently junked, they're green leather a little more shoe-like, and they came apart on the inside of the heel in the same place. Historically I've had great success with Merrell and I still have two winter pairs I like very much. The 5.11's were the sand/khaki colored combat style with the outside ankle zip. They held together OK but the toe died quickly on my motorcycle shifter---which isn't uncommon and I don't hold against them. I had them a few seasons and this year they just fell apart fast. The other two pairs were new this spring.

humboldt32--funny you mention that. At Field and Stream the other day they had ALL their Superfeet marked down to $14. I grabbed a pair of the 4 season gray merino's that I plan to put inside whatever I pick up, assuming they'll fit.

I found a pair of Vasque Talus on sale for a very nice price, I think I may grab them just because it seems silly to not.
posted by TomMelee at 10:11 AM on September 11, 2018

Salomon is a very good brand for this, as recommended by my physical therapist. You just need to look for the ones that say “stability” in the description. For example, Sense Ride trail runner would be appropriate. These are a better shoe than the Vasque (hiking in those is what caused me to end up at the PT in the first place). You won’t need Superfeet with the Salomons but they are ok to help with less supportive shoes as long as you replace them every 6 months (again, per my PT).
posted by karbonokapi at 10:16 AM on September 11, 2018

Karbonkapi- Thanks! That is a sexy shoe...although I'm really looking for more of a boot. Digging through zappos I'm not seeing any boots listed specifically for over pronating but I don't reallllly know what I'm looking for, that may not be a thing.
posted by TomMelee at 10:24 AM on September 11, 2018

Do you have the resources to get custom orthotics? They make a huuuge difference, far more than store bought, though those will help some for sure.

If not, check out Vionic boots -- I have a pair and they are super comfy. They might be a bit less hiking / outdoorsy than you'd like tho.
posted by ananci at 11:52 AM on September 11, 2018

I've had some decent luck with Birkenstock's boots - I have complicated feet (overpronation and high arches, plantar fasciitis - pain last year so bad that I went to a podiatrist to make sure I didn't have a stress fracture). He recommended orthotics, which I used, but continued to use my birkenstocks because they were the only shoes I owned that didn't kill my feet by the end of the day. They have the bonus of being very repairable and rehab-able.
posted by honeybee413 at 12:15 PM on September 11, 2018

Like Karbonkapi says, "stability" is the key word.

You might try something like a Justin work boot. They're super durable and are constructed with a stability platform to help with things like pronation.

This is a workboot in a hiker style that has a footbed with a memory foam layer for a more custom, molded fit.

Lastly, everyone in my family loves their Keens. Comfortable, durable and stable.
posted by Jacob G at 12:24 PM on September 11, 2018

My whole family is hard on shoes, I feel your pain. I myself just wore out a pair of Doc Martens this past winter.

I can't recommend anything from my own feet's personal experience, but I can tell you that I buy my son shoes from Lowa and they are amazing. He's just a little guy, but he goes to a forest school where they're out every day climbing trees and rocks and jumping in lakes and walking a LOT. Plus, he drags his feet to brake when he rides his bike (also an every day occurrence). Altogether you'd think he'd be hell on shoes, but the soles have just a little wear, and the uppers have held together well. The only reason why I have to buy him new ones is because his feet are still growing.

When I'm next in the market for hiking shoes, I'm definitely buying myself a pair. They are quite expensive, but I wait until they're on sale and get them then.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:24 AM on September 12, 2018

Anti-recommendation for Keens. They're certainly comfortable, they're the most comfortable shoes ever, which is how I know they're not the shoe for you. I wear them. I have never had a durable pair of Keens in my life. These shoes are the poster child for designed obsolescence. The soles come unglued. The soles wear through. The upper material falls apart. Try something else.
posted by aniola at 5:03 AM on September 12, 2018

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