Shoes have this wear pattern:

enter image description here

Is this a sign that something might be wrong with the gait? and if so what sort of symptoms might be expected or solutions might be worth trying?

  • 1
    My shoes wear like that an I'm a bad over-pronator – rthsyjh Jun 5 '14 at 12:47
  • This is general health and/or medical advice, and as such is off topic. – JohnP Jun 5 '14 at 19:44
  • 1
    @JohnP As long the the symptoms are the various sorts of pronation, I don't think we are too off topic... Or? – Tonny Madsen Jun 5 '14 at 19:57
  • 1
    @TonnyMadsen - Unless it's directly related to exercise and fitness, it's off topic as a general health question. I could be ok with it if it had been some sort of exercise apparel and the question related to an exercise routine of some kind, but these are casual work shoes. – JohnP Jun 5 '14 at 19:59
  • 1
    @JohnP I agree with you on this specific set of shoes, but as the same is seen if you track or run, it can still be relevant. Having said that, I agree this is on the very border... – Tonny Madsen Jun 5 '14 at 20:11

This happens with my shoes too. I believe that this has to do with my habit of lifting and placing my feet rather than any imperfection in my body balance or my 'gait' ...

I know, I walk in an under-pronation gait. As a result the outer heel of all my shoes always wear down much faster than any other part of the sole.

What is under-pronation/supination?

An individual who under-pronates initially strikes the ground on the lateral(outer) side of the heel. As the individual transfers weight from the heel to the metatarsus, the foot will not roll far enough in a medial(inner/central) direction. The weight is distributed unevenly across the metatarsus, with excessive weight borne on the fifth metatarsal, towards the lateral side of the foot. In this stage of the gait, the knee will generally, but not always, track laterally of the hallux.

In simple words, when I walk or run, my knees tend to stay far from each other rather than being in close proximate making a visible gap in between my legs.


  1. Buy a new pair of running shoes that help prevent excessive supination. Get a pair that have a curved last, meaning they curve inward at the insole, and that offer good shock absorption when you run in them.

  2. Make an appointment with a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics, which will offer additional support. A cast will be made of your foot, the orthotic will be designed based off of this.

  3. Stretch the back of your legs to relieve underpronation. One such stretch is a downward-facing dog yoga stretch. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Curl your toes under your feet and push yourself up in the air. Walk your hands back as you lift your hips up in the air and push your weight back toward your heels. Keep your knees straight the whole time. Your body should form a 90-degree angle at this point. Hold the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds, release and repeat three to four times. Do this three times a day.

You can always google it and get furthermore information about underpronation and find remedies yourself.


Extra wear on the heel may suggest overstriding and the edge wear suggests that you may not be rotating your foot enough. Although, are these your running shoes? They look more like leather business casual. If you have a picture of the front, it would let us know whether the wear on the heels is simply emblematic of general wear, although the wears on the back suggest either the overstriding or a tendency to shed your shoes by pushing down on the back with the opposite foot. Either way, it looks like you're essentially a) overstriding such that the heel is taking a lot more of the impact and b) rolling your feet inwards such that it's wearing more at an angle.


Almost everybody wears their shoes like this, your shoes are just more worn than others, possibly because the sole is made out of a softer/less durable material.

This is because most people rotate their feet slightly outwards, it's called your foot progression angle (between 2-17 degrees or so):

(source: bmj.com)

So if you swing your leg forward, the lateral side of your heel is the first thing to hit the ground. Given that the heel of a shoe often has a sharp edge, which while aesthetically pleasing, is not very useful for allowing the foot to "roll" onto the rest of the heel.

So you shave it off, bit by bit, until you're left with something you see on your shoes.

If you experience any problems with your shoes because of it, either replace the heel or buy new shoes if they are generally worn out.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.