There are two main types of running shoes that are on the market, stability and neutral. Stability running shoes are ones that have a firm medial post, while neutral running shoes tend not to have one. A medial post is made from EVA (foam made from ethylene and vinyl acetate) and is situated within the midsole of your shoes. Its purpose is to stabilise the midsole while you run, and therefore stabilise the shoes fully. Not everyone needs stability, they are mostly designed for people who overpronate while running. If you have a neutral running gait then you would probably be better suited to a more cushioned shoe.
But most runners will be able to wear either a cushioned or stability shoe without noticing too much difference. In which case, finding a stability shoe that is durable, a decent price, and stylish will be of more concern. In this review we will be taking a close look at five of the best stability running shoes that are currently on the market. We will review them on their durability, their ability to stabilise the foot while running, their price, and how stylish they are.
At a very basic level, the current assortment of running shoes can be divided into two halves – one with a firmer medial post, and another without it. This categorization is commonly known and marketed as ‘stability’ (with a medial post) and ‘neutral’ (without a medial post).
But when you begin to wade through the vast selection of stability shoes, you quickly realize that you cannot paint each model with the same brush. Some stability shoes have a small medial wedge while others have a gigantic post which extends from the heel to the forefoot. Then there are countless other variations, such as the difference in the shoe weight, midsole softness, or the outsole footprint.
Due to the sheer breadth of available features and models, stability shoes can be further divided into sub-categories. Some stability shoes exhibit a noticeable ‘motion-control’ behavior, which means that the outer midsole is easier to compress than the inner side. Then there are other stability shoes which feel like neutral shoes or lightweight trainers. They lack the prominent sensation of hardness which comes from the medial post.
So why do ‘stability’ shoes exist? All brands which promote stability running shoes claim that the latter minimizes inward foot roll, and how only ‘over-pronators’ should wear the said category of running shoes. We’ve spent enough time discussing this subject in the past, so we’ll skip that today.
Whether a runner likes a stability shoe or not is purely a matter of personal preference. Some like the sensation of a firmer medial post under the foot, and that’s reason enough to buy them. In the same vein, not all stability shoes are the same, so an extremely subjective decision-making process will apply in each case. What solereview can do to help is to sort popular stability running shoes into three different sub-categories, a step we hope will make your search less arduous.
The first category is what we view as the most popular assortment of stability shoes. These shoes are your daily trainers with mild support features. The medial post isn’t very intrusive, and in most cases, you don’t feel it at all. The second category is max support. Here, weight and dimensional considerations go out of the window, and brands build the most stable running shoe with no holds barred.
Design features like an over-sized medial post, an ultra wide outsole footprint, and a high shoe weight are what commonly constitute such a shoe. Lastly, there are lightweight trainers with a mild stability treatment. These shoes are fast trainers, but with a difference; the midsoles (except for Mizuno) are fitted with a tiny medial-post.
Best Stability Running Shoes #1 New Balance 860 V7
New Balance is an American running shoe company that is well known for high quality shoes. They often place a lot of emphasis on cutting edge technology, which has led to some of their shoes being the best on the market. The New Balance 860 v7 shoe is an upgrade to one of the best stability shoes on the market.
The shoes offer a dual density medial post in the midsole, and T-BEAM technology which is used to improve stability. As you can imagine, these shoes will really help people who overpronate. There are two types of foam present in the shoes, ACTEVA and ABZORB foams provide excellent cushioning and will also help to support your feet during a run.
The shoes have a synthetic mesh upper, which will help improve breathability and prevent your feet from overheating and perspiring during a run. Aesthetically these shoes are bright, and use interesting colour combinations. One downside is the lack of variety, with only three colour combinations available, another downside is that they are quite bulky. This doesn’t affect the aesthetics, but may reduce your speed slightly during shorter races.
Overall the New Balance 860 v7s are a great set of stability running shoes. They are durable, are perfect for overpronators, are comfortable, and look quite nice too. They are slightly on the expensive side, but are good value for money considering how excellently they perform, and how long they will last.
Best Stability Running Shoes #2 Adidas Adistar Boost ESM
Adidas are a German shoe company that are well known for their incredibly stylish, high performance footwear. Their Adistar range has been no exception. The Adidas Adistar Boost ESM is a fantastic stability running shoe that looks incredible, provides amazing stability, and is also one of the most comfortable shoes on this list (only rivalled by the Hoka One One Arahi).
Perfect for neutral runners of for those who overpronate, the Adistar Boost ESM has been made to a very high standard. The upper has been made to be very flexible, this allows it to stretch and adapt to your foot size which is fantastic for anyone running long distances. The outsole is incredible, using a foam boost outsole to really improve cushioning and comfort.
The Boost ESMs have welded overlays which will massively improve the structure and the stability in people who tend to overpronate. Aesthetically the shoes are really impressive, looking absolutely beautiful. The black and white combination, and the red, black, silver combination are particularly nice to look at.
The only real downside to these shoes is the price, they’re good value for money, but may be out of the budget of some runners. Overall these shoes are excellent, perfectly designed for stability, great looking, durable, excellent for long runs, well cushioned, and comfortable to wear thanks to the stretchable upper.
Best Stability Running Shoes #3: Hoka One One Arahi
Hoka One One is a running shoe company that was founded in 2009 in France. It has since been taken over by an American company. Hoka One One is a Maori phrase which means “Fly Over The Earth” which is a great way to describe the company’s running shoes, they make you feel like you are running on clouds. The Hoka One One shoes that we are looking at today are the Arahi shoes.
There are two factors that make these shoes excellent for stability. The first factor is the use of a 3D Puff Print Frame, and the second factor is a very firm EVA J-Frame. According to the company the shoes also have a flat-waisted geometry that further helps create stability. Great for walking, and truly excellent for running, the Arahi shoe is comfortable, very light, and very stable.
The price is very reasonable, particularly considering how durable the design is. The outsole is very durable, as is the midsole. Style wise the Hoka One One Arahi stands out, it uses several bright and bold colour designs, and uses an intricate pattern around the cushioning. All Hoka One One shoes are distinctive, and you’ll either really like their design or hate it. But in our book it looks stunning.
Best Stability Running Shoes #4 Brooks Transcend 4
Brooks is a running shoe company with a long history, it was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1914 and is now available in 60 different countries. Brooks is known for excellent performance shoes, and is also known for having really effective stability shoes. Their Brooks Transcend 4s are particularly impressive, and these are the shoes that we are looking at today.
Style wise, these shoes are going to split opinion. The guide rails system makes these shoes stand out but they also make the shoes appear bulky, the colour scheme is tasteful particularly the red and black, and electric blue and black variations. They’ll look good enough while out running long distances, but won’t look that impressive while walking about town or wearing them at home.
The first thing that you will notice about these shoes is the price tag, they are definitely on the expensive end of the market. Considering their durability and superior stability though, they are still a bargain if you look at how long they will last you. The stability of the shoes does not impact on their speed work and a lot of runners are surprised by just how fast they can travel while wearing them.
The stability is genuinely impressive, the Transcend 4s have a guide rail system that is situated in the midsole (it spans the entirety of them). This is instead of the usual medial post (which we mentioned earlier). This helps to improve your running technique, increase stability, and help you run faster.
Best Stability Running Shoes #5 Mizuno Wave Inspire 3
Mizuno are a Japanese sports outfitting company that have been around since 1906. They have a great reputation for creating excellent running shoes, and particularly stability shoes. One of their most recent stability running shoes is the Mizuno Wave inspire 3. This shoe is incredibly durable, surprisingly light weight, and reasonably priced.
One criticism that a lot of stability shoes suffer from is a lack of comfort, but this does not affect the Mizuno Wave Inspire 3. The shoes are excellently cushioned, while maintaining a strong stability. These shoes are perfect for longer distance races, and once you have broken them in you can expect to run much faster than you would assume when looking at them.
They may look bulky, but they are light and the added stability in the midsole will really help your technique. The shoes are a great deal when it comes to price, being much more reasonable than the Brooks Transcend 4s most people can fit a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 3s into their budget, particularly when you consider how durable they are.
The style of the shoes is the only let down really, while some colour schemes look okay (the grey clownfish combo in particular) there are many that clash horribly. The shoes look like nice running shoes, but wouldn’t pass for regular streetwear, these are not for the fashion conscious. They are for dedicated runners, with mild overpronation, who want to run fast over longer distances.