Best Stability Running Shoes for Men & Women
Running is an activity that millions of people participate in daily for health and weight loss benefits. Most people have no idea they could potentially be wearing the incorrect shoes for their running pattern and needs. Further, most have no inclination that they could possibly have an offset gait. The gait is described as the pattern to which our feet step, or our stride. It also includes the area of the foot where much of the impact occurs with each step and spring.
There are three wear patterns that determine the wear mechanics of each individual person. They are neutral pronation, overpronation, and supination (under-pronation). Pronation has to do with the natural roll through from heel to toe. When you have a neutral pronation you are described as having a basic and proper gait, with minimal risk from non-proper absorption of shock to knees and joints. Supination is described as having an outward roll of the foot causing not enough impact reduction at the landing of each step. It can be seen by improper and uneven wearing along the outer edge of the soul of a shoe. This is not a common problem amongst runners, it is rare. Finally, there is overpronation which is characteristically shown by heavy and uneven wear patterns along the inside sole of the shoe. Furthermore, it means a natural inward roll of the foot upon impact.
- New Balance M990v3
- Reflective detailing
- Stable cushioning
- Salomon Speedcross 4
- Anti-debris mesh
- Excellent traction
- Saucony Cohesion 11
- Supportive overlays
- Breathable upper
Overpronation is a common problem amongst runners leaving them more prone to injury and knee pain. This is where having a proper stability shoe can benefit the runner. Overpronators need to have a stability shoe which has been perfectly designed to lessen the effects of mild to moderate overpronation. These shoes will often have a firm “post” to reinforce the midsole arch. This area is highly sensitive to problems from overpronation.
When shopping for the correct stability shoe, is it important to find a shoe that will firmly hold the foot in place to prevent too much exertion and incorrect roll on impact. Shoes in this category need to have a stiff upper (the part of the shoe that surrounds the feet; all of it excluding the sole). It does not need to have much flexibility. The downside to this, with the shoe being very rigid it will make the shoe heavier as lightweight materials such as mesh are not as easily used for the design. It will have a stronger arch which will give more support to the foot as well.
10 Best Stability Running Shoes
1. New Balance M990v3
Shoes that are designed with stability features often equal heavy. New Balance has lightened the weight of this shoe by providing a blown-rubber forefoot that cushions the front of the feet and toes without adding too much weight. Padding in the tongue and extra padding in the collar also secures the ankle area and overall fit for stability.
If like me, you are a very early morning runner, you understand how important your safety can be in the dim light of a breaking dawn, on heavily overcast mornings and on winter mornings. The reflective detailing on this shoe is very visible and will ensure you are seen by any traffic in the area.
Cost and Value
The most expensive shoe in our list is also rated the best. It is a durable shoe that has all the stability most runners need without the heavyweight. It will fit well, last well, and remain breathable and dry.
2. Salomon SpeedCross 4
There is nothing worse when running on trails than having your shoes fill with dirt and debris or even worse, water. The upper on this shoe is built with an anti-debris mesh to keep grit out and the material is also water-resistant to keep water away from your feet. This provides you with a dry, comfortable and clean ride.
This shoe offers exceptional grip on all kinds of terrain. It looks a little like a cleat and offers as much traction on soft ground as most cleats do. Mud, soft soil, and loose sand won’t stop your run.
Cost and Value
These shoes fall into the middle of the price range relative to the list. For the price though, they are a durable, stable shoe for trail running. They will keep unwanted dirt and water out while holding your foot stable and sure with every strike.
- Anti-debris mesh
- Water resistant
- Rubber sole
- Great traction
- Lightweight cushion
- Stable ride
- Inner seams may irritate
3. Saucony Cohesion 11
The Cohesion 11 offers a supportive level of cushioning – not too much or too little – so that your feet feel well secured inside the shoe while remaining comfortable. Whether you use the shoes for running or you wear them for work all day, your feet will end the day comfortable.
The rubber sole offers good grip on the road for your runs or on most other surfaces for work or casual wear. Rubber is a very durable material and so the sole in this shoe will last you a very long time.
Cost and Value
This is the least expensive shoe on our list, which represents an excellent value. You could have two pairs – one for running and one for casual or comfortable work wear. They will also last a long time, which makes them an even greater value for the money.
- Breathable textile upper
- Good traction
- Supportive cushioning
- Durable sole
- Supportive overlays
- Not for narrow feet
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
Usually, a shoe in this category is not made of mesh but Brooks has found a way to make the shoe still very supportive and made of mesh to allow for great airflow and breathability in this shoe. Better breathability keeps the foot more dry and comfortable also.
By designing the saddle asymmetrically instead of even, it cushions the foot and allows for the proper roll through and prevents overpronation by being off kilter. It also reinforces the arch in the correct spots which helps to alleviate the improper gait faced by overpronators.
Cost and Value
The Brooks Adrenaline is not only our top editor pick, the shoe is at a great price point. Brooks also stands on a great reputation for customer satisfaction so shoppers don’t need to worry about spending the money on a highly accoladed shoe and company.
- Mesh upper
- Asymmetrical saddle
- Highly cushioned
- Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
- Reinforced heel structure
- Not a good fit for narrow feet
5. Brooks Ravenna 9
If you are looking for an ultra-padded sole that will absorb even the toughest impacts and stand the distance with every stride, this is the shoe. The revolution behind the foam is that it is quick and responsive to the heel strike and gives appropriate spring-back through the toe.
Forefoot Energy Zone
The energy zone for this shoe is placed in the forefoot. The theory behind this is, the heel takes the strike upon impact and transfers the energy to the forefoot for when the roll through is complete the energy zone springs the ball of the foot back off of the ground with ease.
Cost and Value
Brooks shoes have been catering to runners for many years. They know how to build a shoe that is meant to last. The price is a perfect starting point for anyone looking to get into their first set of shoes for overpronation or the avid runner that has for years trusted Brooks shoes. With a high-quality product, buyers can be sure their investment will last for a long time and many steps on the pavement.
- Mesh uppers
- Rubber sole
- Ultra responsive foam sole
- Moisture-wicking elements
- High breathability
- Not for Major Overpronation
6. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo
To provide runners with the feel of a sock, New Balance designed the sock liner of this shoe to fit like a sock. It makes the shoe seem more lightweight and less cumbersome while wearing; whereas some shoes in this category are big and bulky.
Having no stitches to pop loose on a shoe means the overall construction should last longer. It prevents the shoe from “falling apart at the seams”. Less can tear when the shoe is made from one piece.
Cost and value
New Balance is based on dependability, comfort, and durability. These shoes are made to withstand the longest of runs and many pavement miles. Buyers can be confident in their purchase knowing that New Balance stands behind their shoes and the longevity of them.
- Synthitic materials for breathability
- Removable insole
- Molded sock liner
- Great arch support
- Runs tight
7. Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
With the internal straps being hidden inside the shoe it protects the strength of the straps and the cradle of feet. It helps to reinforce the entire structure of the shoe and provide a shoe that does not allow the foot to move. It will help to align perfect heel strike and roll through.
Most shoes consist of a more pointy toe area which can result in the runner having their toe crammed into a small space just to assure the foot is secure in the rest of the shoe. A rounded toe area allows for more of the toes to spread out and thereby creating a more comfortable run without causing trauma to the toe or nail bed (ingrown toenails being a major problem with too tight of a shoe.
Cost and Value
While these shoes are in the higher range of the middle price point for shoes, Mizuno has been making shoes for over 100 years. They have a great track record of producing shoes that are dependable and quality that can be relied on. Even though the price is higher than other shoes in this category, runners will be confident in their purchase of these shoes based on the reputation that Mizuno has built.
- Synthetic lightweight sole
- Round toe area
- Fan wave design
- Higher price than others
- Not good for wide feet
8. Asics GT-2000 6
Impact Guidance System otherwise known as I.G.S. is a trademark of Asics. It helps overpronators with the gait of each step from heel-strike to toe-launch by supporting the proper roll-through from heel to toe.
Heel-Clutching System Technology
Asics strives to “lock” the heel into place to prevent the heel and foot from slipping around while running, thereby improving the gait of the runner. This shoe is made with an exoskeletal heel counter to provide support and cushion.
Cost and Value
Asics is a very reputable brand and has been around for many decades. They have a reputation for upstanding quality shoes. One will not have to be concerned with these shoes wearing out too soon. There are many miles to run in these shoes. The shoes are at a great lower price point so buyers can feel confident with their purchase and the durability of it.
- Supportive for all-day wear
- Great for “flatter” feet
- Very supportive
- Not good for wide feet
- Insoles wear out easy
9. Nike LunarGlide 9
Nike developed a thread generally made of nylon that is used in the upper of the shoes. It was designed to alleviate some weight of the shoe and reinforce the support structure at the same time. It also adds to the breathability of the shoe since it is not made of as heavy materials as other shoes made for overpronators.
Laser cut outsole
With precision cut laser grooves and smooth outsole grooves, Nike has delivered a seamless transition from heel strike to toe takeoff. This contributes to the sock-like fit of the shoe as it gives added flexibility by allowing the shoe to bend in many spots to not constrict the foot.
Cost and Value
With the Nike name comes a sometimes higher price tag. These shoes can easily fall within most budgets. The strong point for Nike is that they are a well-known and reputable shoe brand and buyers can trust that the shoes they are buying will be backed by the Nike name and standards. Go ahead and give this one a check for quality.
- Mesh uppers
- Rubber sole
- Seamless construction
- Laser cut sole
- Appropriate for mild to moderate overpronators
- Sole holds small rocks and pebbles
- Runs narrow
10. Asics Gel Kayano 23
By making the entire upper portion of a breathable and stretchy mesh, Asics has taken the hot and sweaty running shoe and given it a facelift. By making it of a cross-directional mesh fabric it truly causes the shoe to adhere to the foot and give it a glove-like fitting for highest comfort.
Ortholite X-40 Sockliner
This sock liner does dual duty by allowing for extraordinary moisture management and ensuring a high level of breathability. The Ortholite liner has a high rebound rate which assists the runner with shock absorption and springs off.
Cost and Value
The Asics shoe is a great value. It ranks high on our list and does not have much more of a price difference than the other brands in the category. Also, Asics have built a strong reputation for durability and dependability in their products. The shoes are well-designed and will last runners with overpronation for many miles of pavement.
- Impact Guidance System Technology
- Fluid ride midsole
- Fluid fit uppers
- Rear and Forefoot GEL cushioning system
- Redistribution of shock
- Narrow toe
- Sole comes unglued
These top 10 shoes were thoroughly researched and evaluated by rigorous standards to ensure they met the needs of runners with overpronation. Overpronation not only affects a runner in the short-term during the exercise, but it can have serious long-term effects on not just the feet. Eventually, if not properly supported, runners with overpronation had an increased risk of knee injury, ankle injury, collapsed arches, and more. It is best to purchase a high-quality shoe and support the feet and other body parts properly to ensure a long life of running.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Stability Running Shoes
For overpronators, it is important to select a running shoe that not only feels good but helps to correct the overpronation with each step. Overpronation is the incorrect step pattern and incorrect step cycle faced by up to 40% of runners. This occurs when the heel strike to the toe off process is affected by the running having more impact on the inside of the foot instead of the blunt force being spread across the entire foot. This can cause multiple injuries such as knee pain and ankle issues. Choosing a secure and stable shoe can help runners in the short-term with pain and the long-term by hopefully preventing injury. Proper running shoes that we looked at were evaluated on the criteria below.
For overpronators, it is important to select a shoe that is rigid and stiff. While that may seem like a bit of a hassle and possibly uncomfortable, these types of runners need the extra stiffness to prevent the foot from sliding around inside the shoe, especially with active movements such as running. The foot needs to be held securely in place to assist the runner with the proper striking of the heel and then the take off again. From this, one also needs to take into account the heel construction and the reinforcement the shoe company has taken to make sure the heel of the shoe grips the heel of the foot. These runners need stability and stability can only be provided by a rigid shoe. Also, look for an upper that is made of a tightly woven mesh or other material as a mesh that is loosely woven tends to have too much give in it and does not stabilize the foot.
Sole support construction
It is important for runners to analyze the wear pattern of the running shoe that he is or she is currently using. From diagnosing the wear patterns on the tread after much use, runners can see if the shoe was helping their overpronation. If the tread looks like it is being worn around the entire sole in a uniform manner then, the shoe is doing its job to correct the misstep. However, if the shoe is still being worn in a pattern that is not consistent, the runner needs to reevaluate the shoe he or she is using.
For the sole construction, runners should search for a sole that is reinforced and has a firm arch area. The sole can be made of different materials but it is important for it to have a good flexibility while maintaining its strength. The sole should provide a strong arch support so that it prevents the arch trying to overcompensate for the foot when there is not enough cushion and support.
It is also important for runners to search for a sole that has been proven to have an energy distribution consideration. Meaning, the sole of the shoe should absorb the impact and then redistribute the energy out evenly along the sole. If the sole is not redistributing the energy out and absorbing it over the entire surface of the foot, it can cause injury to the runner as well as aggravating the overpronation affects that are ongoing.
Shoes for overpronators must be constructed with some sort of heel system in place that firmly cradles and supports the heel. In doing so, it prevents the heel from moving around inside the shoe while the running is taking their steps. It locks the heel into place and helps to facilitate more of a proper and correct step to alleviate some, if not all, of the overpronation.
By securing the heel, it overall protects the runner and helps to prevent injury to not just the heel but the ankles and legs as well. Most injuries occur when there is a misstep. Sometimes the injuries can be minimal such as just twisting the ankle. Other times it can result in severe injuries such as a broken ankle or leg if such force is applied behind a misstep due to the foot not striking the ground properly.
Shock absorbing capability
The shock absorption ability of a shoe is a very important consideration when picking new shoes, whether overpronation is a concern or not. The shock and impact absorbing ability of a shoe is what allows runners to go the distance. If a shoe is not properly absorbing the impact of the ground, runners can face injury, shin splints, or low-tolerance for running which could make a person stop running. All of these complaints plus much more can be completely eradicated if a person is wearing the proper running shoe that has the best cushioning for the run.
A strong cushion from the outer sole and inner sole is hugely important in the shock absorbing impact a shoe will make. The constant jolt from each ground strike has to be absorbed by something, so just make sure it is the soul and not the body taking the blunt force in. Studies have shown that the impact runners face can cause many long-term problems to the body such as aches and pains, arthritis, osteoarthritis, cartilage loss, and more. By providing the body and foot with the correct absorbing power, it can prevent such drastic health problems.
Ability to straighten the roll through to properly align the foot
What the actual problem is that an overpronator face is, the incorrect alignment through the foot when it strikes the ground and then takes off again. The main goal of a stability shoe is to facilitate the correct sequence of the heel strike, roll through, and toe off. If the shoe does not hold the foot in place and does not have the best energy diversifying sole, it cannot succeed in its job to correct the overpronation.
It is important for a runner to pick a shoe that corrects their individual level of overpronation, whether it is mild, moderate, or severe. Different shoes will be tailored to different levels of pronation. If you are a sufferer of severe levels do not buy a shoe that is made for mild to neutral as it will not properly align the foot enough to prevent the side effects that pronators face. Conversely, purchasing a shoe that is made for moderate to severe pronation is just as unhealthy for someone with a slight gait offset. It could overcorrect the problem and the ensuing result could be a whole different set of injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a stability shoe?
A: A stability shoe is a shoe that is specifically designed for runners that do not strike the ground properly when they are running. Moreover, the shoes help to align the foot from the heel completely through the toe. It has special design features that typical running shoes do not have such as a very rigid heel, internal straps to secure the foot and special energy footbeds in the sole that disperse energy throughout the foot upon each step impact.
Q: Who needs a stability shoe?
A: A stability shoe is needed by any such runner that has been diagnosed with overpronation. This can be done by a foot specialist for the most accuracy. However, runners can examine an old pair of running to shoes to see where the most wear has occurred on the tread of the sole. If the interior portions of the sole are the most worn in relation to other parts, then it is a good chance you suffer from overpronation. These shoes are scientifically designed to properly assist the foot of the runner with correct foot placement upon striking the ground. They also are made to protect the joints of runners with overpronation because they are more likely to suffer from injury than those that rin with a neutral gait.
Q: How does a stability shoe work?
A: Stability shoes are made to work so that when the foot of a runner hits the ground with high impact, the heel of the sole is designed to take the brunt force of the impact and disperse the energy through the footbed. Some of the shoes have higher arches for more support and some have tighter heels on the interior to hold the heel in place. The energy from each pound is sent throughout the shoe while assisting in the roll through from heel to toe. Then upon toe off the energy shoots back through the toes to make the toes come off of the ground at the same time instead of one side of the toes coming off first.
Q: Are stability shoes good for flat feet?
A: Stability shoes can be a good option for those with flat feet. Just because someone has flat feet does not guarantee that they will have the proper strike pattern when running. It is a wise choice to pick a shoe with either removable arch supports/insole or ones that have a small arch in them. Otherwise, a too high arch support will result in overcorrecting the pronation and can lead to other injuries.
Q: Are stability shoes good for plantar fasciitis?
A: Actually stability shoes are a great option for people with plantar fasciitis. Those runners need to avoid a low or no arch support and choose a shoe with high arch support. Most stability shoes have a very high arch support and therefore will be a good choice for someone suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Q: Which stability shoe is the best?
A: That is going to come to a matter of needs such as mild correction or severe correction, very tight heel or moderately tight heel support, etc. It is hard to recommend which is the best for a specific condition of a runner. Individual preferences will also come into play when deciding which is the best for your particular situation.