Last updated on February 16th, 2024
Stability or support shoes, commonly referred to as overpronation running shoes, cater to the unique needs of runners whose feet make a specific landing pattern during their runs.
Each individual has their own unique way of running, which can be classified into three distinct categories based on pronation patterns.
- Supination: foot rolls to the outer edge upon landing
- Overpronation: involves the inward rolling of the foot
- Neutral running style: characterized by a lack of significant rolling
Various pronation types are taken into consideration when designing different models of running shoes. The aim is to enhance support and shock absorption, while also reducing the chances of injury. Certain brands may label these shoes as stability running shoes.
Around half of all runners experience overpronation, which means that many running shoes are designed to provide stability and support. These shoes feature special technology in the midsole, specifically on the inner side known as the 'medial post' or 'rail'. This innovative feature helps guide the foot and reduce the chances of injury caused by excessive inward rolling.
Stability shoes typically incorporate a denser foam within the midsole to enhance stability, while also offering reinforcement for the big toe, ball of the foot, and inner heel.
According to Emily Codd, a validation sport scientist and product analyst at INCUS Performance, trainers designed to provide support for overpronation are best suited for runners who have a tendency to excessively roll their feet inward and push off with their big toe. While a certain degree of natural pronation is considered normal, an angle of more than 15 degrees is generally associated with excessive pronation.
Do you need overpronation shoes?
For runners, it is crucial to find the perfect pair of sneakers, as our legs endure significant impact during every stride.
"Research suggests the most important part of shopping for the right trainer comes down to comfort more than anything else, but I would say finding out how you land is also very important." - Codd
According to recent findings from Asics, more than 33% of runners in the UK are unaware of their running style, even though they run a minimum of 2km every week. Surprisingly, out of 5000 participants, a staggering 68% have never undergone a gait analysis.
Seeking the assistance of a running expert to obtain a gait analysis is a straightforward procedure. All you need to do is run on a treadmill while being recorded, allowing the footage to be examined in slow motion, enabling a comprehensive analysis of your footfall and its connection with the ground.
The signs of overpronation in runners commonly manifest as wear on the sole at the front of the foot and on the inner side of the foot close to the toes.
What're the conclusions for these kinds of footwear?
The initial discovery of various pronation types led to the belief that these distinctions were the primary culprits behind running-related injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, a prominent study conducted in 2013 said that "Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe".
Additionally, a separate study conducted in 2010 argued that "the effect of three different levels of footwear stability on pain outcomes in women runners: a randomised control trial".
Newer studies continue to present conflicting findings. In 2016, the British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a study which suggested that overpronators who wore motion control shoes had a reduced risk of injury.
However, during the same year, a separate research published in Sports Orthopaedics and Traumatology concluded that cushioning does not offer protective benefits against running-related injuries.
Best Running Shoes for Overpronation Runner
Asics Gel-Kayano 30
- Price: $160
- Style: 1011B548.001 (Asics)
- Heel-drop: 10mm
- Weight: 303 g/10.7 oz
- Cushion: maximum
- Reflective accents to improve visibility
- upper: made with over 75% recycled meterials
Asics' Gel-Kayano is a time-honored running shoe that has recently undergone noteworthy technological enhancements. These modifications aim to offer runners adaptive stability and an elevated level of comfort. Termed the '4D guidance system' by Asics, it encompasses four crucial aspects: width, length, depth, and now time. The inclusion of time aids runners in minimizing the duration of overpronation.
With an additional 20% of FF Blast Plus cushioning integrated into the midsole, Gel-Kayano 30 now offers heightened comfort, resulting in a 4mm increase in stack height. Asics has also incorporated their latest PureGel technology, previously seen in the Gel-Nimbus 25, to deliver a lighter shoe and ensure softer landings.
The knitted upper, made from recycled materials, not only allows for breathability but also offers a snug fit to prevent any slipping. We can just describe it as a gentle embrace for the foot. Along with the cushioned heel collar, this shoe ensures a secure fit around the achilles.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v13
- Price: $140
- Style: W860B13 (New Balance)
- Midsole Foam: 3% bio-based content
- Dual density midsole: use two different foams for the ideal combination of comfort and performance
- Medial post helps control pronation
- Reflective accents to improve visibility
- Structured and breathable engineered mesh upper
- Received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v13 received unanimous praise for its exceptional comfort as a stability shoe despite its weightiness compared to other shoes. It excels in enduring the demands of long and leisurely runs while providing sustained comfort throughout.
Runners were delighted by its impressive cushioning, responsiveness, and immediate comfort, even without breaking it in. It is worth noting that the fit is slightly larger than the 880 model. With options available in narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide fits, this shoe is a versatile choice suitable for runners of varying weights.
Nike Structure 25
- Price: $140
- Style: DJ7884-100 (Nike)
- Weight: 9.3 oz/263 g (Women's size 8)
- Heel-drop: 10 mm
- soft materials on the inside of the heel, collar and tongue
- single-layer mesh to provide breathability and durability
- ruber sole with grooves for further flexibility and stability
For individuals seeking a sense of organization and reliability, this trainer caters precisely to those needs. Its most recent update seamlessly fulfills those requirements, boasting an abundance of comfortable cushioning and an impressive level of stability.
The midsole of the shoe utilizes Nike's standard Cushion 3.0 instead of the high-end ZoomX foam, which means that while you'll still experience comfort, you won't have that same energetic sensation.
However, it's important to note that the Structure isn't meant for speed; it's specifically designed for long and leisurely runs, catering to individuals who require additional arch support, a sturdy heel counter, and a snug fit.
In fact, this new version offers even more cushioning in the midsole compared to its predecessor. On the other hand, if you do decide to increase your pace, the Zoom Air unit in the forefoot provides both energy return and propulsion.
Featuring a sturdy build and a traction-enhancing sole, this shoe is built to last and will effortlessly accompany you on countless journeys.
Last but not least, if you are a regular runner, don't forget to rotate your running shoes. Because it can help to reduces the risk of injury.