Supination, also known as under-pronation, is a relatively rare stride pattern in which a runner lands predominantly on the outside of their feet. It often coincides with very high arches, and might become more apparent, and perhaps problematic, when you start running.
With high arches, feet need a bit more cushioning than average to compensate for the foot’s lower flexibility. This is where choosing your shoes well comes in. Good running shoes for supination often have stiff walls for support and, with the extra cushioning, sit a bit higher from the ground than other shoes.
Owning a proper set of running shoes can prevent ankle and foot injuries, and coax your feet toward better running form. In the case of supinators, this would mean helping your feet not roll quite so much to the outside. Supination can be caused by several factors. It can be caused by an excessively high arch, previous ankle or foot injuries, or either overly tight or weak muscles in the calf and foot.
While supination is not necessarily a problem in and of itself, it can cause foot and leg issues, and especially stress fractures, as a result of stressful, repetitive activities such as running, jumping, and hiking.
This is why finding the right running shoes is so important. By finding the right balance of cushioning and support, your running shoes can improve both your running time and your foot’s overall health.
Do you under-pronate? Slip into a pair of one of these running shoes designed for supination and see what a difference the right pair can make.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
1. Brooks Ghost 12
The Brooks Ghost 12 is a shoe that focuses on the arch of the foot. Since supination is often controlled by the interaction between the midsole and the ankle, this makes it one of the best running shoes for supination. That being said, it does lack features for the forefoot in place of midsole support.
The extra padding in the middle of the Ghost 12 helps to reduce heel striking and reduce muscle stiffness in the back of the leg. If the pain you feel while running comes from the middle or back of your foot, the Ghost 12 is probably the right shoe for you. The reduced stress on the arch also reduces knee pain and lower leg pain caused by a poor walking stride.
Brooks Ghost 12s have a lot of internal room. They are also lightweight, making them an ideal distance shoe. The weight of the Ghost 12 is distributed toward the back end of the shoe, partly because of how much padding the heel has.
- Above average support for your arch and heel
- Extra padding to reduce forces going up into your ankle and knee
- Extra space inside for those who want to give their feet some breathing room
- Designed for daily activities and regular running routines
- Offers very little support to the toes and forefoot
- The mesh isn’t as sturdy as mesh on other shoes
2. Hoka One One Clifton 6
Runners with severe supination often prefer shoes with maximum cushioning, and if that is you, The Hoka One One Clifton 6 is the shoe for you. With its towering stack height and luxuriously plush midsoles, the Clifton 6 is one of the best running shoes for supination if you care more about softness than a stiff, responsive platform.
The sole and the cushion under it are so soft that even heavier runners have said their feet hurt less after a hard workout using the Clifton 6. This is not to say that the shoe is mushy or floppy. On the contrary, the sides and tongue of the shoe are quite stiff. The result is a super-comfortable, durable shoe with great performance.
It can be argued that so much cushioning reduces your running power. But the tradeoff might be worth it: a big-time reduction to foot and ankle strain. This means it’s a better option for training and exercise running, but less effective if you run competitively. Its mesh is light enough to make it one of the most breathable running shoes, as well.
- Puts more emphasis on comfort than most of its competitors
- The mesh is lighter and prevents sweat better than most
- Enough cushion for every runner
- It is one of the more durable and long-lasting shoes we’ve seen
- Less spring in your step due to the thick cushioning
- If your ankle bumps the stiff upper half too much, it can cause chafing
3. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22
The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22 is an plush, soft shoe. Although it has a thinner midsole than most, the cushion underneath is soft enough to make up for it. The Gel-Nimbus 22 is designed for running on many different surfaces, and the extra responsiveness gives you as much grip control as you could want, even on dirt or turf.
The Gel-Nimbus’ sleek profile means it is lighter than many other similar running shoes. Its compact size offers not as much support to the arch and toes, though. On the other hand, it has one of the most flexible top ends of running shoes designed to help with supination. You should feel less chafing on your ankle as a result.
The mesh is more form-fitting than in other running shoes. The way it wraps around your toes can help to support your forefoot in ways the stiff outside of the shoe does not. The Gel-Nimbus 22 is also a narrower shoe (less internal room), but that also makes it ideal for those who want a shoe that perfectly wraps around their foot.
- A form-fitting shoe for those who don’t want their feet sliding around
- Thin sole gives extremely good feedback while you run
- Redesigned cushion under the sole makes it comfortable despite the smaller sole
- Form-fitting toe mesh helps to support your forefoot
- A flexible and responsive top end of the shoe reduces ankle strain
- May be too snug for some runners
- Design and color choices aren’t great
4. New Balance 1080v9
The New Balance 1080v9 is a tough shoe that can endure long or intense use. Its extra size and thickness make it last longer than other shoes built to deal with supination. It also has a wide forefoot section and tall sides–a balance between roominess to let your toes splay and support for your ankle.
The New Balance 1080v9 has a wide mesh in the toe box that can support your foot. The mesh can expand to adjust to your forefoot, but places enough pressure inward to encourage proper walking form. Since the toes control where your ankle rolls, this helps to combat ankle rolling.
The 1080v9 has a thick midsole, making it one of the softest shoes you’ll ever wear. All of the extra paddings can make it a bit heavy, though. While that makes it comfy, it doesn’t mean there is any extra support to the arch. The 1080v9 provides even cushion across the foot, though, and can assist in problems afflicting your foot as a whole.
- Very good padding throughout the shoe
- Toe mesh gives the forefoot more control over your stride than a normal shoe
- Multiple width designs for any foot size
- Sole is designed to be very soft
- Doesn’t provide extra support to the arch of the foot or the midsole
5. Brooks Glycerin 18
The Brooks Glycerin 18 is cushioned with DNA loft. This material trades responsiveness for comfort. Your foot sinks into the cushion of the shoe immediately, which reduces the time it takes to break it in. The extra padding also makes it great for continuous long-distance running.
The top end of the Brooks Glycerin 18 has been designed for style. It has a mesh upper is stretchy and breathable. The top end of the Glycerin 18 also comes in different colors and designs, so it’s one of the more stylish running shoes on our list.
Designed to offer neutral arch support, the Glycerin 18 is not the best option for someone with severe under-pronation. But for those who supinate just slightly, this is a great shoe. It places even emphasis on the heel, midsole, and toes, so you’ll receive the same amount of feedback from every part of your stride. Because the upper end is flexible as well, no part of this shoe is particularly stiff or likely to cause chafing.
A lot of people who suffer from supination want a stiff tongue and top end, which the Glycerin 18 lacks. But because of its neutral design, it’s a good shoe for teaching you proper stride and running form if you unconsciously put too much emphasis on the front or back of your foot.
- Good neutral-arch running shoe
- Many designs for the stylish runner
- Upper is flexible and less likely to chafe your ankle
- Soft and cushioning shoe designed for long runs
- Less responsive than other running shoes
- Flexible upper makes it easier to roll your ankle
6. Saucony Ride ISO 2
The Saucony Ride ISO 2 is a good pick for those who suffer from supination due to problems in their heel or the back of their leg. The back of its upper is stiff and supportive. There is extra padding under the heel and midsole to offer underfoot support as well.
The Ride ISO 2 is a very roomy yet lightweight shoe. The midsole is designed to accommodate wide feet. The forefoot is also spacious and leaves wiggle room for the toes. The extra space means the front end is lighter and more responsive, but less padded.
What this ultimately means is the Saucony Ride ISO 2 is a good shoe for those with tendon or muscle strain. If you put more weight on your heel or arch, the extra padding will help. Its overall comfort can vary based on your running gait, and whether you put more weight on your forefoot, arch, or heel.
- Wide midsole and arch
- Extra padding under the heel and a stiff upper support the back of the leg
- Roomy forefoot offers wiggle room for your toes
- Several sizes and designs for different foot shapes
- Wide midsole makes it appear bulkier than it is
- Uneven cushioning has led some to say it’s too soft, while others say it’s too stiff
- Bad fit for those who evenly distribute the impact while running across their entire foot
7. Brooks Levitate 3
The Brooks Levitate 3 is a shoe for those who like a snugger fit. It is designed to be form-fitting to maximize responsiveness. It has a larger, more padded tongue than other Brooks shoes, and the top half of the shoe is a flexible mesh that minimizes chafing.
The Levitate 3 has extra padding in the underfoot, sole, and walls of the shoe. All that extra padding makes it feel great, but breathability suffers.
The Levitate 3 has a Fit Knit heel collar wrap to provide extra ankle support. The Achilles Guard is a soft foam wrap that protects your Achilles tendon. Between the guard, the heel wrap, and the thick tongue, the Levitate 3 does an excellent job of protecting you against ankle and lower leg injuries.
- Very thick and comfortable padding in all parts of the shoe
- Heel wrap and Brooks’ Achilles Guard are both features designed to prevent ankle injuries
- Gets hot quickly
- Minimal wiggle room
8. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 22
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 22 balances all the elements required of a good running shoe. The walls are firm enough to prevent rolling your ankle, but flexible enough to prevent chafing. And the sole is thin enough to increase responsiveness, but cushioned enough for comfort.
The Gel-Cumulus 22 is good for walking, short intervals of running, and long competitions like marathons–a true workhorse of a shoe. The mesh lets in plenty of air to keep your foot cool during extended runs, while the padding in the undersole is designed to absorb high energy impacts from speedwork. ASICS’ Flytefoam Propel technology should receive special mention for making this balance possible.
As the Gel-Cumulus 22’s name implies, the shoe uses a gel layer to absorb a lot of the shock from running before it reaches your foot. The gel is also lighter than normal cushioning substances, so the Gel-Cumulus 22 is a lightweight shoe, which can help you reduce ankle strain.
- Very well-balanced shoe
- Proper aeration keeps your foot dry even during long runs
- Gel insulation is great for both short and intense runs
- Back and sides of the shoe are stiff enough to prevent ankle rolling
- Gel’s shock absorbing properties reduce responsiveness
- Jack of all trades, master of none
9. Hoka One One Bondi 6
The Hoka One One Bondi 6 is a very well-padded, comfortable shoe. It has a thick sole and cushioned walls to help people who suffer from even the most extreme forms of tendon and joint pain. The top of the shoe is thin, and it’s among the most breathable options for running shoes.
It’s definitely a worker’s shoe. It excels in supporting runners doing short, intense workouts but provides the comfort necessary for longer runs as well. The padding under the foot is exceptionally thick, so you might not receive as much feedback from the ground as you like.
The Lycra comfort frame and Meta-Rocker features make this shoe good at distributing force across the entire foot. The Bondi 6 is designed to help transition force from the back of your foot to the front through each stride, improving efficiency.
- Very good cushioning underneath every area of the foot
- Very light top half makes it one of the most breathable shoes
- Tall sides and a stiff back make it good to prevent supination
- Tongue is heavy and can make the top half uncomfortable
10. Mizuno Wave Rider 23
The Mizuno Wave Rider 23 is a little wider than its predecessors. The walls and upper are softer, to cause less chafing.
It’s a running shoe with a high drop, and the increased height and cushioning should specifically help with supination. The entire top half of the shoe is mesh, so it’s very lightweight and breathable.
The Wave Rider 23 is a responsive shoe. But it’s also comfortable, cushioned, and has a snappy ride. It also has additional spring in the toe area, so it’s a good shoe for those who put more weight on the front end of their foot.
- Provides good ankle support
- Ample softness in the sole and underfoot
- Upper end is almost entirely made of mesh, and your foot won’t overheat easily
- Not as cushioned as other running shoes (but still relatively soft)