The Differences Between Ankle Pronation and Supination

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2021 Jan 18th

When you walk, no one’s posture, gait or step is precisely aligned. When it comes to the movement of the foot, most of us have a natural roll in or out with each step. In normal pronation, your foot, ankle, and knees line up to support your weight evenly through your joints and help you move smoothly and efficiently.

Pronation or excess pronation (overpronation) is where your ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step. Supination (or underpronation) is where your ankle rolls too far to the outer edge of your foot. The amount of pronation (or lack of it) can lead to pressure on the foot. Having one or both of these conditions also means an increased risk of injury.

In this post, we’ll discuss the differences between pronation and supination and take a look at how custom orthotics can help align your step.

What is Normal Pronation?

With normal pronation, your weight is evenly balanced on your foot and supported by all of your toes when you push off. The first and second toe provide the main thrust, and the other toes help with balance.

When you push off, the sole of your foot faces straight back and does not face inward or outward. Your heel lands first, and then the arch of your foot works to cushion the shock as it straightens. The foot has a slight outward roll as the weight shifts. It moves slightly from the outside of your foot and then back in towards your big toe.

Pronation (or Overpronation)

If your feet or ankle rolls in excessively when you walk, it is a problem called overpronation. More weight lands on the first and second toe, which can cause your arches to flatten over time. Most people can tell they have overpronation because there is uneven wear on the inside of their shoes’ soles.

Pronation can cause instability in the foot and an increased risk for:


Supination is the opposite problem to overpronation. It happens when your ankle roll outwards when you walk. This misalignment places more weight and pressure on the outside of your foot and onto your smaller toes. It can lead to hip and knee alignment problems and also typically causes ankle pain, calluses and bunions on the outside of the foot and an increased risk of twisted ankles and injuries when running.

How To Correct Pronation and Supination

The most effective way to treat ankle pronation or supination is with custom orthotics and supportive, comfortable shoes.

Supportive insoles and comfortable shoes will give you the range of motion you need along with the proper support. Custom orthotic ankle pronation insoles that fit inside your shoes are created specifically for your foot and help with motion control and alignment issues.

For most people, custom orthotics can correct the effects of ankle pronation and supination.

It is essential, however, that you have customized insoles designed to support your foot and issue. Talk to your physical therapist, podiatrist or physiotherapist for a foot scan. This scan will determine your weight distribution in your feet and establish the type of insoles you need. Once the scan is complete, simply place an order and have your custom insoles sent right to your door.

If you are looking for a new pair of custom orthotics, explore the vast array of fashionable footwear at Orthotics Direct. We carry quality, stylish footwear that pairs with your custom orthotics and ship them right to you. From running shoes to those who just want to walk and run again with relief, orthotics help reduce your pain and discomfort from pronation or supination and experience immediate relief.

Get in touch with us today!