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Best Walking Shoes For Underpronation in 2021

 

Overpronation happens fairly often. Having a neutral foot is even more common. But underpronation isn’t often seen. It’s when the foot rolls outwards (on the outer edge) when you run or walk.

Underpronation is more common with people who have high arches. The problem is that when you walk, you push off using the outer toes rather than the big toes, and land almost on the bone, which offers much less shock absorption.

That’s why choosing the best walking shoes for underpronation is essential. They need to support your foot in the right way, so you’re less prone to pain or injury.

The Brooks Ghost 13 is our first choice. It’s very well-cushioned, has impressive padding in the heel especially, and has a spacious forefoot to protect your outer toes as much as possible.

Let’s go through the whole list to find the perfect shoe for you!

Top 3 Best and Favorite

 

Brooks Ghost 13

 

  • Dual foam midsole
  • Firmer heel adds stability
  • Spacious forefoot
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Hoka One One Bondi 7

 

  • Meta-rocker in the midsole
  • Full EVA midsoles
  • Beveled heel
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Brooks Launch 8

 

  • Thin Air Mesh upper
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
  • Midfoot Transition Zone
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Best Overall

1. Brooks Ghost 13

The Brooks Ghost 13 is one of Brooks’ most comfortable shoes, making it perfect for absorbing shock from underpronators’ feet while walking.

Heel strikers in particular will love the amount of cushion in the heel, which extends to offer ample padding in the mid and forefoot too.

The plushness of this shoe is thanks to DNA LOFT foam, all the way from front to back. It’s complemented by a layer of BioMoGo foam, to offer some responsiveness as well as comfort.

Because the shoe is more on the plush side, it’s not built for speed. But you’re unlikely to need extreme responsiveness if you’re doing more walking than running.

A roomy forefoot helps prevent aching outer toes from rolling onto them as you go through the gait cycle.

Soft blown rubber on the forefoot of the outsole has good grip and prevents the ankle from turning over by accident on uneven or slippery surfaces. Flex grooves in the sole also allow the foot to move through its natural range of motion.

It’s an exceptionally comfortable shoe, especially for underpronators. Some may feel that the non-gusseted tongue gets in their way as it moves too freely, or that the shoe is somewhat heavy (at around 10 ounces).

But if cushioning is what you’re after, then the Brooks Ghost 13 would be an excellent choice!

PROS:

  • Dual foam midsole
  • Firmer heel adds stability
  • Spacious forefoot
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions

CONS:

  • Non-gusseted tongue may move when walking
 

Most Cushioned

2. Hoka One One Bondi 7

Despite its plushness, the Brooks Ghost isn’t the most cushioned shoe on this list. That honor goes to the Hoka One One Bondi 7, which is pretty much the most cushioned shoe you’ll find on the market at the moment.

The Bondi 7 wins most cushioned because it doesn’t just limit its padding to underneath your feet. Everything from the ankle collar to the tongue is designed for comfort and plushness.

The ankle collar is crafted from memory foam that wraps around your heel and keeps it in place without chafing or leading to heel slippage. A padded tongue eases the pressure of the laces on the bridge of your foot.

The chunk of EVA foam underfoot provides more than adequate cushion that reduces vibration on the outside of the foot when underpronators strike the ground. It’s a super soft cushion, which offers a little bit of rebound.

To add to the rebound, an early-stage meta-rocker has been placed in the midsole. There’s also a beveled heel, which will help with a smoother and faster heel-to-toe transition.

Although walkers with an average-width foot will most likely find that their toes have more than enough space, walkers with wide feet may find that the Bondi 7 feels a little narrow in the forefoot.

It also may take a couple of walks to get used to the large chunk of cushion underneath your feet!

PROS:

  • Meta-rocker in the midsole
  • Full EVA midsoles
  • Beveled heel
  • Memory foam ankle collar

CONS:

  • Runs slightly narrow in the midfoot and forefoot
 

Best Value

3. Brooks Launch 8

For its price and its features, you can’t beat the Brooks Launch 8. It’s less plush than the first two shoes on this list, but it’s light, comfortable, and quite responsive.

The Launch 8 features BioMoGo foam in the midsole. This is an eco-friendly choice, as it breaks down 50 times faster than other types of foam. If you’re environmentally conscious, this shoe would be a superb choice.

As well as being eco-friendly, the BioMoGo foam is light and provides a good energy return. It’s geared more to speed than the previous two shoes, paired with blown rubber on the forefoot for quick push-offs.

Another feature that helps smooth transitions is the Midfoot Transition Zone, a uniquely shaped rubber section on the outsole that’s designed to move your foot from heel to toe quickly.

The air mesh upper conforms to the foot and offers extreme breathability, so every walk will be cool and comfortable.

You won’t find fancy technologies in this shoe. But for its price, it contains all the good stuff and an environmentally-friendly bonus too!

PROS:

  • Thin Air Mesh upper
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
  • Midfoot Transition Zone
  • Blown rubber in the forefoot

CONS:

  • Slightly slippery on some surfaces
 

Top Plush Ride

4. Saucony Triumph 18

If you’re looking for a luxury shoe but the Bondi 7 doesn’t do it for you, the Saucony Triumph 18 is another super plush choice.

The brand’s PWRRUN+ cushioning runs through the entire shoe, a premium-quality foam that’s soft underfoot, flexible enough to not restrict your movement, and just bouncy enough to spur you on.

There’s a generous slab of it, and the cushion extends to the tongue and heel collar for all-around comfort.

Newly-engineered midsole geometry gives you more spring on every step. TRIFLEX technology in the sole allows for a completely natural movement of the foot, enabling faster heel-to-toe transitions.

A FORMFIT upper hugs the foot and provides some extra stability. One of the greatest things about Saucony shoes is their wide toe box, which prevents sore, bruised outer toes when underpronators push off.

The rubber outsole is also hailed as one of the most durable around, extending the life of your shoes by quite a bit. Be aware that this shoe seems to be less breathable than others, so if your feet tend to overheat, they may not be totally suitable.

PROS:

  • Soft, springy PWRRUN+ cushioning
  • Foot-hugging FORMFIT upper
  • TRIFLEX technology creates quick transitions
  • Durable rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Less breathable than others
 

Best Lightweight

5. Mizuno Wave Rider 24

Looking for a shoe that you can barely feel on your feet? The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 is one of the lightest shoes around, coming in at 9.5 ounces for the men’s and just over 8 ounces for the women’s.

Despite being quite lightweight, the Wave Rider has some useful technologies in it. Most notably, the renowned Mizuno Wave Plate, which is a shaped plastic plate running from the heel to the forefoot to deliver a nice spring in your step.

The plate, in addition to the dual-layered midsole, mitigates shock that underpronators often feel on the foot strike. A combination of lightweight U4ic foam and Mizumo Enerzy foam creates a super light but effective dual cushion.

Heel strikers will benefit from the extra X10 carbon rubber in the heel, which absorbs more shock and offers good traction. In the forefoot, blown rubber provides a soft but grippy push-off.

An interesting and helpful feature on the outsole is the addition of Flex Controllers to work with your flex grooves. Flex grooves are designed to allow for a full range of natural movements. Flex controllers (small, miniature wave plates) are placed on high-flex areas of the outsole for improved control.

The design of the shoe is aimed much more at heel strikers than at forefoot strikers. Those who strike with the mid- or forefoot may find the transition to be uncomfortable.

PROS:

  • Dual-layered midsole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Thermal plastic wave plate
  • Flex Controllers

CONS:

  • Forefoot strikers may feel that there’s no enough padding in the forefoot
 

Top For Long Walks

6. ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 23

If you like to take long, meandering walks, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 would be a good choice of footwear.

It’s a neutral shoe with plenty of padding. Underpronators will appreciate the bouncy gel cushion in this shoe. A full-length FlyteFoam cushion provides a good bit of plushness on its own. But where this shoe shines is in the addition of a Gel cushioning unit in the heel.

This Gel unit, sandwiched in between the FlyteFoam midsole/FluteFoam Propel outsole layer, offers impressive impact absorption, especially for underpronators.

The Gel-Nimbus 23 also includes some gender-specific features that offer extra stability for the feet. They’re designed to cater specifically to a man or woman’s foot.

Firstly, gender-specific pillars in the forefoot offer support in the front of the foot, as well as extra cushioning under the toes. A gender-specific TRUSSTIC device is a resin reinforcement in the midsole, designed to prevent the shoe from twisting.

All of these features provide a good mix of support and comfort that makes them an ideal choice for long walks.

PROS:

  • Lightweight cushioning
  • Gender-specific pillars in the forefoot
  • Gel cushioning unit in the heel
  • Gender-specific TRUSSTIC device

CONS:

  • Slightly heavy, at almost 11 ounces for men and 9 ounces for women
 

Best For Wide Feet

7. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

If you have wide feet, it can be difficult to find shoes that are comfortable and don’t feel too tight. New Balance are known for being suitable for wide feet, and the Fresh Foam 1080v11 is suitably well-padded and comfortable for underpronators.

Underfoot, a slab of Fresh Foam reduces vibration on every step. It’s also engineered to be nice and light, so you can walk comfortably without feeling weighed down.

The upper has been redesigned to be soft and stretchy in all the right places, providing an effective fit on almost any foot. Ultra Heel technology makes the swoop collar super comfortable, and easy to get off with the high elf-ear tab.

An 8mm drop is also less than some of the other shoes on this list, which means less pressure on the forefoot as you walk. Thanks to the design of the outsole, you’ll also get a light meta-rocker effect as you walk.

PROS:

  • Stretchy knit upper
  • Ultra Heel technology
  • Swoop collar
  • Mild meta-rocker rolling effect

CONS:

  • May be some heel slippage when walking fast
 

Top Slip-On

8. SKECHERS GOwalk Arch Fit

The Skechers GOwalk series consists of a large variety of shoes, including lace-ups, boots, and even smart leather shoes. But their slip-ons win our top spot for their kind.

The Skechers Performance Go Walk Arch Fit Unlimited Time is a comfortable, easy to get on and off, slip-on shoe. If you want the comfort of good cushioning to ease the shock of every step but don’t want to have to deal with laces, these could be the ones for you.

The ULTRA GO cushioned midsole is lightweight and offers a nice bounce and cushy comfort. Skechers’ removable Arch Fit insole provides excellent arch support and can be taken out to make way for an orthotic if necessary.

Comfort Pillar Technology offers good rebound, transferring the energy from your foot landing to your push-off, for a very smooth transition.

It’s easy to slip on and off thanks to the pull-tab on the heel, and features a round, spacious toe box and a light, athletic mesh upper. The outsole is dual-density and highly durable, and as a bonus, the shoe is machine washable!

PROS:

  • ULTRA GO midsole cushion
  • Removable Arch Fit insole
  • Dual-density outsole
  • Comfort Pillar Technology

CONS:

  • Run slightly large in the heel
 

Best Nike

9. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

The Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is Nike’s latest version of their famous Pegasus shoe, designed to be full-up on both comfort and performance.

It features a wider toe box than its predecessor, perfect for underpronators who tend to have sore and bruised little toes. A padded tongue also brings a touch more comfort to the bridge of the foot.

The mesh upper moves with your foot as you go through your gait cycle, creating a custom fit for your foot. Webbing around the midfoot also helps to lock the foot in, providing both comfort and practical support.

Nike React Foam in the midsole is springy and super luxurious underfoot. It’s paired with a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, which is gender-specific – firmer for men, softer for women.

Nike puts a lot of effort into real-world testing with real-life athletes, and their latest shoes are powerhouses that combine the best technology with supreme comfort. The Pegasus 38 is no different, and it’s highly recommended if you want a luxurious-feeling shoe.

PROS:

  • Wider forefoot
  • Midfoot webbing
  • Padded tongue
  • React foam and Zoom Air unit

CONS:

  • Runs slightly small
 

Top Off-Road

10. Salomon SENSE RIDE 4

If you like walking off-road, then you need a pair of shoes that can handle rougher terrain. The Salomon Sense Ride 4 has you covered.

Optivibe foam in the midsole absorbs shock effectively and prevents pain on the outside of the food for underpronators. It also offers some propulsion too, making for an easy ride.

Anti-debris mesh prevents your feet getting dirt, dust, and potentially harmful debris close. The upper makes use of SensiFit technology to hug the foot comfortably, and EndoFit technology inside, which is an internal sleeve designed for a close fit.

Salomon’s traditional Quick Lace system makes getting these shoes on and off very easy, and prevents any movement of the foot inside the shoe, while remaining comfortable.

A Profeel fil underfoot protects your feet from sharp hazards on the trail. Salomon’s Contagrip MA outsole means you’ll always be safe and sturdy, on any terrain.

PROS:

  • Optivibe cushioning
  • Quick-lacing system
  • Profeel film on outsoles
  • EndoFit internal fit sleeve

CONS:

  • Runs half a size large
 

FAQs

Got questions about the best walking shoes for underpronation? Here are the most common ones we get!

What is Underpronation?

Underpronation is a way of walking and running in which the person rolls onto the outer edge of their foot during their step. It’s also known as supination.

People who underpronate often have an unusually high arch, with little flexibility. The heel may lean outward slightly, with the inner side of the foot not touching the ground at all.

Those with high arches often roll their foot inwards about 15%. People who underpronate roll their feet even less than this, walking mostly on the bones on the outside of their feet.

What Shoe Features Do You Need?

If you’re an underpronator, you should wear shoes with plenty of cushioning. Because there’s very little padding on the outer edge of the foot, the shoe will need to be the shock absorber for your foot.

What Else Should Walking Shoes Have?

The walking shoes you choose should also have:

  • The correct arch support for your foot (often for a high arch)
  • A removable insole to make space for an orthotic
  • A lightweight and breathable upper
  • Flexibility so your foot can move through its normal motion
  • A grippy rubber outsole for stability on all surfaces
The Wired Runner