Overpronation is usually a poor phrase that is often tossed about in running communities when it comes to runner’s feet and the prescribing of running shoes. Pronation is a natural normal motion that the foot goes through when running and walking. This is the feet rolling medially at the ankle joint and the mid-foot ( arch ) of the foot lowering. The runner needs to do this to help adapt to shock. Overpronation occurs when there is apparently too much of the pronation. There isn't any agreement among specialists just how much is too much and even whether it really is a issue or not. There are many runners who overpronate that don't have any issues.
It is a common understanding that it adds to the risk for injuries in runners and the evidence is that it does, but it is only a small risk factor and lots of variables go into runners having an injury. Due to this believed risk for overuse injury running shoes are usually made for mild, moderate and severe overpronators. The most supportive motion control running shoes are made for the most severe overpronators. Runners that have no or minimal amounts of it are considered to be much better off in neutral or stability instead of motion control running shoes. This model for the selling of running shoes is not based on the evidence and some data disagrees with it.
Overpronation is only considered an issue if the forces associated with it are high enough to damage the tissues. In these cases foot orthoses are in general indicated in the short to medium term and then depending on the cause of the overpronation, gait retraining and muscle rehabilitation can be used in the medium to long term. Where problems also crop up around the use of the name, addititionally there is the issue that there is not just one cause of overpronation. There are various causes and no one size fits all. Foot orthoses will work in some runners long term. Muscle rehabilitation and gait retraining will work in the long term in others. That's the reason it is very important to work out the main cause initially and target the intervention at that.