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The Best Shoes for Pronation, Supination, and High Insteps


Feet, like tennis strokes, are all a little bit different. High insteps, pronation, and supination are just some of the factors that can and should affect your choice in footwear. So what exactly do those terms mean? We’re going to give you a quick podiatric tutorial to show you which tennis shoes are best for your particular foot construction.

Pronation - According to, pronation is the natural side-to-side movement of your foot as you walk or run. And you’ll be happy to know that some pronation is a good thing. In a normal stride, your foot should rotate inward (pronate) approximately 15 percent to facilitate the correct amount of shock absorption.

Overpronation means your foot/ankle has an extreme inward tilt as you propel yourself forward. This movement impedes the body’s natural stabilization process and can cause a disproportional amount of weight to be placed on your first two toes. Over time, this can result in severe foot pain if not corrected by shoes, orthotics, etc.


New Balance 1187

Famous for its comfort and therapeutic benefits, it should be no surprise that the New Balance brand has created some of the best shoes for dealing with overpronating feet. The classic-looking New Balance 804’s (in men's and women's) feature patented ROLLBAR technology that provides a stability device “placed medially in the heel of the midsole to minimize rearfoot movement” (i.e. lessen pronation). The NB 1187 (men’s and women’s pictured) and 1005 (men's and women's) are newer models with eye-catching aethetics. They also happen to pack the S-Curve system, which – you guessed it – provides optimal forefoot, midfoot, and medial heel support.

The Babolat Propulse 3 (men's and women's) has Foot Belt technology that, like the NB 804, also includes posts at the heel to allow even distribution of foot pressure. The Prince Scream 3 (men's and women's) is another good option if you sense your foot is over-rotating.

Supination - While overpronation is the extreme inward rotation of the foot during stride, supination is the opposite - when the outward portion of the foot makes initial contact with the ground and the foot/ankle rolls in less than four percent (11 percent less than normal). As overpronation puts undue stress on the big toe and second toe, supination puts too much pressure on the smaller muscles (and toes) on the outside of the foot.

High Instep - Often those with supinating feet also have a high instep, which is the top, “bony” part of your foot between your toes and your ankle. And as you might imagine, people with high arches also often have high insteps (and supination issues). This particular foot characteristic can be problematic if your shoe isn’t spacious or stable enough. Once you’ve identified yourself as a player packing a high instep or supinating feet, you should choose shoes with plenty of room and support.

Asics Gel Resolution 4

The adidas Barricade 7.0 (men's and women's) is a staple of the adidas brand, and rightly so. Stability Claws in the midfoot enhance the – wait for it – stability, while the adidas Torsion System supports the arch. The Asics Gel Resolution 4’s (men's and women's pictured) are flying off the shelves thanks to IGS technology that maximizes the foot’s natural gait. Plus, they are super comfortable and colorful! The K-Swiss Ultrascendor II’s (men's and women's) feature a skeletalized two-piece outsole with exposed “EVA” to provide added support for unstable heels and ankles. The Prince T24's (men's and women's) and the stylish Yonex 308's (men's and women's) are two more great options for people experiencing the negative effects of supination and/or a high instep.

You’re now well-equipped to self-diagnose overpronation, supination, and a high instep! Even better, you’re prepared to buy shoes that will help ease the discomfort associated with these podiatric issues. The greater your ease of movement, the better you'll be on the court!

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