Foot Pronation -Why Do I Have Weak Ankles Part 1 | Cardin & Miller

On January 1, 2024, Cardin & Miller Physical Therapy will be rebranding to "ACCESS PT"!

We built this practice by creating relationships with clients like you, & our commitment to serving our clients remains our top priority. As ACCESS PT, we have joined together with other family-owned PT businesses to be able to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

We are proud and excited to partner with people who share our vision, values & passion for creating great client experiences in physical therapy.

Covid-19 Update: We're still open and here for you!
We are busier than ever, so please call right away to schedule your appointment. We can't wait to help you!

Dr. Steve Miller Health Tips

"How Do You Get Back To Doing The Things You Need, Want, and Love to Do? Just Ask YOUR Physical Therapist!"

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

Foot Pronation -Why do I have Weak Ankles Part 1

Do you ever feel that you still have foot pronation issues, no matter how often you work out?

You’re not alone. Foot pronation – the inward rolling of the foot when walking and running, is a major issue for many exercisers and athletes. But the good news is that you can take steps to reduce or even eliminate this issue. This blog has five simple but effective steps to fix pronation and keep you safe while exercising or playing sports. So, if you’ve been struggling with pronation problems for a while—or want to learn how to manage them proactively—please keep reading.


In short, pronation is natural when the foot strikes the ground and rolls inward. However, excessive pronation can lead to various problems, from knee pain to shin splints. It can also seriously impact your ability to exercise and compete. So, understanding what causes foot pronation is critical to avoiding these issues and performing at your best – regardless of whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out.

More Blogs From Cardin & Miller:

How To Fix My Flat Feet

When Sport Bites Back: Common Sporting Injuries

What Exactly Are Foot Orthotics? And How Can It Help Me?

What Is Pronation And What Causes It?

The word “pronation” is frequently thrown around in the running and athletic community, but what does it mean?

Pronation refers to the inward rolling motion your foot undergoes when it hits the ground when you run or walk. It plays a crucial role in efficient running. 

It’s a common term in the world of foot and ankle health, but what exactly does it mean? What does pronation mean for runners, and why should you focus on understanding and controlling this natural part of movement? And how can proper foot mechanics improve your performance as a runner?

Essentially, pronation is the foot’s natural rolling motion from heel to toe as you take a step. It might not seem like a big deal, but how your foot “pronates” can impact the health of your joints and muscles. If you over-pronate, meaning your foot rolls too far inward, it can cause issues like ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, and even knee and back pain. On the other hand, under pronation, or not enough rolling of the foot, can lead to stress fractures and instability in the foot and ankle. Therefore, understanding your pronation style and finding the right shoes and orthotics to support it can be crucial in maintaining healthy, pain-free feet and lower limbs.


How To Keep Pronation In Check

(And Make Sure You Don’t Overdo It)

Pronation is important in how you walk, as it helps absorb shock and maintain balance. However, excessive pronation can lead to problems with the feet, legs, and back. If you want to keep pronation in check, there are several strategies you can employ. For starters, regularly stretching out your calf and foot muscles can relieve tension and loosen uptightness. Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample support is also vital. If you’re an athlete, make sure you’re using the right gear for your specific sport and consider orthotics if needed. Additionally, taking breaks from standing or sitting for long periods and incorporating low-impact exercises like swimming or yoga can help reduce stress on your feet. 

foot pronation diagram

What Type Of Pronation Do You Have?

Why is it Important? When it comes to keeping your feet healthy and strong, proper pronation support is key. Without proper support, excessive pronation can lead to various foot complaints, such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, and Shin Splints. By providing adequate support to the arch and heel during weight-bearing activities, pronation support helps distribute your body’s weight more evenly across the foot, reducing your risk of injuries and improving overall foot function.

Understanding your unique pronation type is key to finding the right pair of shoes. There are three primary types of pronating feet: neutral, overpronation, and underpronation. By identifying your pronation type with the help of a physical therapist and foot specialist, you can select shoes that provide adequate support and help prevent injuries while keeping you comfortable.

  • “Neutral pronation” is ideal, where your foot rolls inward slightly to absorb shock and distribute weight evenly.
  • Overpronation” occurs when your foot rolls inwards too much, putting excess pressure on the big toe and inside the foot.
  • “Underpronation,” on the other hand, is when your foot doesn’t roll inward enough, leading to insufficient shock absorption and more pressure on the outside of the foot.

Which one do you have? If you need clarification, we can help. 

motion control shoes for foot pronation

5 Ways To Fix Foot Pronation 

    1. Analyze your gait and posture to determine your foot pronation level: When it comes to determining your pronation level, analyzing your gait and posture is key. Pronation refers to how your foot rolls in when you take a step, and it’s important to understand this to choose the right footwear. To analyze your gait, you can have someone (ideally a physical therapist specializing in foot and ankle issues) observe you walking from behind or take a video of you walking on a treadmill. As for posture, focus on whether you stand straight with your weight evenly distributed across both feet. Knowing your level of pronation can help you find shoes with the proper support and cushioning to keep you comfortable and injury-free. 
    2. Invest in supportive footwear that helps with foot pronation: Pronation, or the inward rolling motion of one or both feet while walking or running, can lead to various foot and ankle problems. That’s why it’s important to invest in supportive footwear that can help counteract this issue. Supportive shoes can help align your feet and ankles correctly, reducing the risk of strains, sprains, and injuries. They also improve your posture and overall balance. Many stylish and functional options are available these days, so you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. Whether you’re a casual walker or a serious runner, choosing the right footwear can make a world of difference in how your feet feel at the end of the day. So, it would help if you had shoes that support you every step of the way.
    3. Strengthen Your Feet and Ankles with Simple Home Exercises: If you want to give your feet and ankles a little extra love, you don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment. With just a few easy exercise movements, you can strengthen these often-overlooked areas without leaving the comfort of your home. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or simply hoping to prevent one, incorporating foot and ankle exercises into your day can help improve your balance, stability, and over or under-pronation. 
    4. Stretch regularly to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury: Stretching is essential to any fitness routine. It helps to improve flexibility and reduces the risk of injury. When muscles are tight, they are more prone to strains and other injuries. Regular stretching can increase flexibility, improve your range of motion, and reduce foot pronation. Stretching should always be a part of your routine. Not only does it have physical benefits, but adding a stretch routine into your daily life can also reduce stress and improve your well-being. 
    5. Try using corrective inserts or orthotics to address any imbalance in your feet. Did you know that the alignment of your feet can significantly impact your posture and how you move? When it comes to taking care of our feet, many of us tend to focus only on buying the right shoes. If you have any imbalances or abnormalities in your feet, they can throw off your body’s alignment and negatively affect your joints and muscles. This misalignment can lead to a wide range of issues, from foot to lower back pain. Corrective inserts or orthotics can help address these imbalances and provide you with the support that your feet need. Regularly wearing these inserts improves foot alignment, reduces pain, and improves mobility. Various options are available to support your footwear, from cushioned insoles for added comfort to orthotic insoles specifically designed to correct foot and posture issues. So, it’s worth trying. If you’re struggling with pronation or other foot-related issues, it’s worth investing in this extra level of support. 

In summary, fixing your foot pronation is essential to keeping your feet and ankles healthy, strong, and supported. Take control of your health by noting how you move every day. Pay attention to how you walk and pick out shoes unique to your gait. Switch up insoles or add on some extra support if needed. Lastly, beef up your feet and ankles with a few home exercises for added strength and stability. After all, the steps you take today can ensure that your steps stay steady for years to come – so make each one count. Invest in yourself and secure the future of your feet. Start working on proper pronation now – book a free consultation.

Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Steve has been practicing Outpatient, Orthopedic Physical Therapy in the Central Pennsylvania region since 1994. His academic history includes undergraduate work at Central Pennsylvania College and Lock Haven University, graduate studies at the University of Findlay, and pedorthic certification from Temple University. By combining his education and years of experience, Steve has been able to provide individual physical therapy and pedorthic services to his patients for over 15 years. Steve has been to more that 20 continuing education courses during that span, with the focus being on orthopedics, pedorthic implementation, and foot/ankle injuries. He utilizes a combination of McKenzie, manual therapies, and functional exercise in the treatment of clients with all types orthopedic maladies.
Steve Miller

Latest posts by Steve Miller (see all)

Google Rating
Based on 161 reviews