How to Tell if You Supinate

The best way to determine your pronation style is to come to our office and get a gait analysis. A professional evaluation will give you better information about not only whether you supinate, but also the degree to which you supinate, what’s causing it, and how to treat it.

That being said, you can definitely look for some clues at home if you suspect that you supinate. Here are five of the biggest giveaways: 

Your Shoe Leans Noticeably to One Side

Place a well-worn shoe on a flat surface. If it tilts outward, you are most likely supinating. If the shoe is noticeably broken down on its outer side, continued wear is likely to make underpronation pain even worse, as the shoe will provide less shock absorption on the worn side.

If you don’t have an especially well worn shoe right now, you can still check the tread patterns. If the tread is noticeably more worn down on the outside than on the inside, supination is likely.

You’re Having Foot and/or Ankle Problems

The extra pressure on the outside of the foot caused by underpronation can also decrease the stability of your ankle and increase the likelihood that you will roll or sprain it. In addition, stress fractures can occur in the fourth and/or fifth metatarsal bones that are connected to your fourth and pinky toes.

Less commonly, supinators may also experience stress fractures in the fibula, the outside bone (thigh bone) on the lower leg.

You’re Getting Shin Pain

Because a supinated foot is generally less able to absorb impact shocks than one with neutral pronation, over time a type of lower leg pain known as shin splints may result. Shin splints happen on the front part of the leg below the knee either on the outside (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints). Supinators place most of their weight on the outer part of the foot, so they are more likely to suffer from anterior shin splints.

You Have a Super Tight Calf and Achilles

This is somewhat of a “chicken and egg” issue. Individuals with tight Achilles tendons and calf muscles tend to be supinators because the extra stress placed on the outside of the foot can radiate upward and contract tendons and muscles. Conversely, tight Achilles tendons and calf muscles may cause supination or make it worse.

You Have Stabbing Pain on the Underside of Your Foot

Underpronation can create extra strain on your plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel and toes. This strain can lead to a painful condition called plantar fasciitis, which is characterized by a deep ache or stabbing pain in the heel and/or along the arch of the foot. 

That said, it’s important to remember that plantar fasciitis is a very common condition and can be caused by factors other than supination.

We Can Help You Eliminate Pain From Underpronation

An average person will not know whether underpronation is the underlying cause of their specific foot-related issues. One of our trained podiatrists will study your foot alignment and perform tests to diagnose whether you are indeed suffering from supination and, if so, how severe your supination is. 

Once we know more about your pronation style, we may recommend treatment measures such as:

Strength training

Hip and glute strengthening exercises can help improve the stability of your ankles and feet, reducing underpronation strain.


Regular stretching of your calves, Achilles, shins, and ankles before and after exercises such as running is especially important for supinators.

Better footwear choices

Supinators need shoes with extra cushioning that allow their feet to pronate more. Stores that specialize in athletic footwear can advise you on the best shoes for underpronation. Also, don’t forget to replace your shoes before they become too worn down to support your feet anymore—this typically happens after about 250-400 miles logged.


In general, orthotics are somewhat trickier to design for underpronators vs. overpronators. However, a custom-built orthotic could give some measure of correction and also provide cushioning and a comfortable surface area for your foot. Because of the challenges of choosing orthotics for supinators, we highly recommend you come to us first, rather than trying to pick something yourself at the pharmacy.

The bottom line, though, is that you don’t have to keep suffering from supination, and it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle! You just need to find a solution that works for your unique situation.

Are You Suffering From Cavus Foot or High Arches In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're suffering from cavus foot or high arches you owe it to yourself to speak with our experienced podiatrists as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.