Best stability running shoes 2022 for reducing knee pain and improving comfort

The best stability running shoes can support your unique running style and allow you to train and perform at your best every day

Runner holding their ankle
(Image credit: Getty)

The best stability running shoes aim to provide support to promote a more neutral alignment if your feet roll inwards when you run. Pronation, as this condition is often referred to, can cause knee pain and general discomfort, but a stability shoe can reduce this inward roll of the foot, relieving pain in not just your knees but your ankles, shins and hips too.

Stability running shoes use several different approaches to correct running form. They may use guide rails, posts or bars to build up the inside of the midsole in each shoe to steer your feet into a more efficient position.

Traditionally, support shoes relied on maximum cushioning, but new technology has evolved to be more holistic and adapt to your unique gait. Saying this, cushioning itself is not bad for your knees. If you suffer from knee pain, it’s worth looking at several factors.

Do your current footwear, even if they are the best running shoes for neutral runners, have enough cushioning? Is the heel to toe drop (offset) the best for your gait? Do you have any weaknesses in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, or calves that lead to putting more stress through your knees...or an imbalance in the strength of your legs compared to one another?

The best way to answer all these questions is to get your running gait checked at a local specialist running shop, then try on a couple of different types of shoes to narrow down which model is suitable for you the most. The wrong running shoes may lead to pain. Each runner has its unique build and style of movement, meaning that what works for your running buddy may not work for your motion path.

For even more running shoe goodness, check out our thematic guides, including the best running shoes for women, best trail running shoes, best Nike running shoes and best Brooks running shoes roundups. We also have a brand new guide dedicated to the best waterproof running shoes.

Best stability running shoes to buy right now

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 on white backgroundT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Brooks)

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Best stability running shoes overall

Specifications

Midsole drop: 12 mm
Best for: Softer landings, every day and long runs
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Good value for money
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Protection for your joints
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Encourages confidence

Reasons to avoid

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As with many Brooks models, can feel narrow/small
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Short laces are a pet hate for many runners

Brooks’ GuideRails are a genius invention and really set these shoes apart from all the others in this category. The GuideRails aim to keep excessive movement in the ankle in check, providing added support and contribute to what feels like a made-for-you experience. You’re getting the support you need without realising it.

Everything about this shoe is well designed though, the upper is snug, allows your foot to breathe and retains that plush fit that you expect from Brooks. This all contributes to making your longer runs feel easy; you can even look down as you run and see how well the inside of your ankle is being held in place on ground contact.

These felt like the most ‘intuitive’ shoe and win the prize for feeling the most stable on wet paths when you’re running around a corner.

Detail shots of the Adidas Ultraboost 22T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Jo Ebsworth)
Best stability running shoes for women

Specifications

Midsole drop: 10 mm
Best for: All runners for every day, long runs
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Recycled material content including Parley Ocean Plastic
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Continental rubber outsoles offer superior traction
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Comfortable upper  

Reasons to avoid

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Feels a bit bulky
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Fits small, size up half a size at least

The main area of development of the UB22 is on the outsole where there are holes in the rubber on the rear foot area to allow the boost midsole to move. These holes are flexible; as your foot lands, they can open, allowing the Boost to expand and stretch into them. This makes your landing softer and allows the Boost to move and support your feet.

Also, in the midfoot area on the outsole, to counter pronation, and your ankle collapsing causing your foot to roll inwards, Adidas has developed how the Boost harmonizes with the rubber. The holes in the rubber on this medial area have been closed to better support your midfoot. This means when you land and experience forces going into your midfoot, your foot won’t collapse.

The Boost literally wraps around your feet, so your heels are completely embedded in an ultimate comfort zone, and Linea Energy Push works with the Boost to give a responsive ride. Having run in the women’s specific version, I’ve opted for these shoes on longer trainer runs to protect my ankles as much as possible.

These were the heaviest shoes on test, though they’re the ones most suited for those who spend hours on their feet such as healthcare workers and walkers.

Read our full Adidas Ultraboost 22 review today.

Hoka Arahi 6 review T3T3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hoka One One )
Best stability running shoes for cushioning

Specifications

Midsole drop: 5 mm
Best for: Runners with wide feet, long runs, recovery runs
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight for stability shoes
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Balanced cushioning profile
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Very comfortable 
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Built for long distances

Reasons to avoid

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Energy return is average
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Not the most flexible shoe

By getting the Hoka Arahi 6, you get natural-feeling support from the J-Frame technology, cushioning from the EVA foam midsole and a smooth heel-to-toe transition from the Meta-Rocker. For a lightweight stability shoe, that’s not to be sniffed at.

While there were only a few minor tweaks from its Arahi 5 predecessor, the changes made, including the lightweight upper, plush padded tongue, and the overall fit, make this new model that much more comfortable to wear for an easy and smooth ride.

It may not be the shoe for speed or tempo running workouts due to its low energy return, but it’s a reliable one that provides just enough comfort and support one can expect from a trusted stability shoe.

Read our full Hoka Arahi 6 review today.

On Cloudflyer on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: On Running)

4. On Cloudflyer

Best stability running shoes for lightweight comfort

Specifications

Midsole drop: 9 mm
Best for: Intervals, tempo runs, recovery runs, short runs to marathons, heavier runners
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Lightest construction
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Versatility for different paced sessions
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Firm ride

Reasons to avoid

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Runs a bit short (go half size up)
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Stones get stuck in between clouds

On the first run, the On Cloudflyer was noticeably lighter than all the other shoes on test. The design is also different, with a wider upper, especially in the toe box. A standard 5 did feel a little too small on the toes though, so size up at least half a size again from your normal running size. You feel the support and stability most around and underneath your heel.

The large Clouds boost your feet, and you can feel them cushioning/responding to each step as you hit the ground. Overall, they are very a comfortable feel, however, they still didn’t quite match the Brooks Adrenaline GTS in providing that intuitive long-term comfort when going further, perhaps due to the more solid design (which some will prefer).

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: New Balance)

5. New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12

Best stability running shoes for style

Specifications

Midsole drop: 10 mm
Best for: Your daily miles and easy, long runs
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Stylish so cross-over to casual wear
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Reliable for longer runs

Reasons to avoid

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Die-hard runners might be put off by the sneaker look

With two layers of Fresh Foam, the 12th iteration of the 860s feel both smooth and comfortable. A dual-density medial post provides your support, with a firm heel counter to enhance this. The upper felt roomy initially, but you can adjust laces to get a better lockdown feel and stop slippage.

This model really stands out in design, so you’re happy to wear them all day. The white with blue chill option is downright beautiful! These shoes are the best for providing extra support in the medial midsole and offer good value for money. You can enjoy an even better price on your order using one of our New Balance discount codes, so make sure you check them out before you buy.

Saucony Guide 14 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Saucony)

6. Saucony Guide 14

Best cheap stability running shoes

Specifications

Midsole drop: 8 mm
Best for: Pronators who want stability as well as performance
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

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Springier than the Guide 13
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PWRRUN foam has quite a unique feel – it’s not too squishy
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Promotes forefoot propulsion

The Ride 14s have a very distinctive style that stands out from other more boring offerings on the market. The PWRRUN midsole gives that perfect blend of softness with spring, and the TPU guidance frame gives stability. The midsole feels stiffer than the other models on test, though I personally liked how it pushes you forward; I found these encouraged you to naturally pick up speed.

The mesh upper allows air to flow into the shoe and over the foot, and it’s flexible and stretchy over the toes. There’s plenty of structure around the heel and back of your foot for excellent support. The outsole is also high performance, making these feel more secure in poor conditions. Sizing is spot on. These were the best for longer runs.

ASICS Gel-Kayano 28 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: ASICS)

7. ASICS Gel Kayano 28

Best stability running shoes for versatility

Specifications

Midsole drop: 13 mm
Best for: Short runs, long runs, recovery runs, mixed terrain
Running level: All levels

Reasons to buy

+
Strong grip around the heel

Reasons to avoid

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Not suited for speed work
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Snug around the toes

This shoe looks heavier than it is, has a good lacing system and great grip around the heel. However, it felt too snug around the toes, with my usual sizing of a 5 feeling too tight. This model needed upsizing, which I haven’t had to do before with ASICS.

It’s perfect for long distance due to the FlyteFoam, felt comfortable (lots of plush features in the upper) over all distances and encourages you to run on your forefoot. I was also impressed at how it felt as good on gravel as on road.

These were best for low arches and felt like the most versatile shoe on test.

What are the best stability running shoes for speed work?

The only thing we haven’t talked about is a stability shoe for speed work. If you’re keen to invest in a pair of these, or for your upcoming 5K and 10K races, the Brooks Launch GTS 9 provides extra support with its guide rails while remaining fast due to its impressive lightweight cushioning. 

Tina is fitness editor for Women’s Running magazine and published two books in 2020, The Little Book of Zen and Reflexology: Your Personal Guide. She is a UKA running coach, England Athletics Mental Health Champion and has her own running group, #runTLC. Follow her on Instagram @runtlc.uk