A reader asks:
Greetings! I am a supinator with high arches. I am female, 5’10” and 190 pounds. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 30 years, and it is well managed with a biological drug. My right ankle bones are naturally fused after irrigation surgery due to an infection. There is little motion left to right.
I am still active and focus on what I can do rather than worry about what I can no longer do. I walk 2 miles with my dogs each day either on easy flatter dirt forest trails or in town on pavement. I also do a range of motion and light aerobic exercises. I don’t run, but I love the lightweight feel of running shoes.
Once I find comfortable shoes, I literally live in them until they wear out. I usually buy several identical pairs of shoes. In earlier years, my podiatrist guided me to stiff New Balance walking shoes with a roller bar. They no longer work for me — too constraining, and soles raise me too high, and I am vulnerable to twisting my ankle. Rocker bottoms don’t seem to work either — too much motion in the right ankle.
My feet first strike in the heel. I have worn out my five-year-old Ryka’s K1822WBSP. They are relatively flat, a curve in at mud-sole, and rise at the toe. Surprisingly they don’t have an out of cushioning, and I feel connected with the ground, which I love. They are very lightweight running shoes, which I strongly prefer.
What shoes do you suggest that I try when I go to my full-service shoe store? Thanks, Barb.
Hi Barb. Try Asics Gel-Venture 6, a trail running shoe for neutral to underpronation (or supination). You’ll also find it comfortable walking on the pavement (or asphalt). This particular trail shoe has many positive reviews from people with problem feet, especially its predecessor, the Gel-Venture 5, which was ranked #1 Asics shoe by some experts. Another trail running shoe to consider is Asics Gel-Sonoma 3.
If you prefer running shoes designed for pavement, the shoes to consider are Brooks Ghost 10, Brooks Glycerin 15, Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, Asics Gel-Cumulus 19, and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34.
You can continue using Ryka shoes for your aerobic exercises. We recommend Ryka Influence and Ryka Grafik for your dance moves. These shoes are particularly designed for women and can give great support for lateral movement in the gym. Most Ryka shoes are neutral cushioned shoes which are great for supinators.
Regarding roller bar (or rollbar technology), you’re right in saying that it no longer works for you because this type of technology is recommended for overpronation and won’t give the right support for supination with a high arch. We hope this technology will reduce the inversion and eversion of the sole in the future.