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
The ASICS revamped its Gel-Kayano series for the 29th iteration. The Gel-Kayano 29 features a lightweight design, an engineered stretch-knit upper for more breathability, and the FF BLAST PLUS cushioning for a more responsive running experience.
Thanks to the LITETRUSS construction, the Gel-Kayano 29 also offers more stability than before, making the shoes the perfect option for runners with overpronation. This system is said to 'guide the foot through the gait for a more efficient toe-off', and based on our tests; it does just that!
The shoes pack a lot of tech – like most ASICS shoes – that includes rearfoot GEL for shock absorption, Ortholite X-55 sockliner/insole for comfort, and '3D Space Construction' for improved compression at footstrike.
Read our full ASICS Gel-Kayano 29 review
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.
The latest iteration of Saucony Guide is a genuinely comfortable support running shoe. It's lighter than its predecessor thanks to the softer PWRRUN foam and the new HOLLOW-TECH that guides your stride "without added bulk", Saucony explains.
The Guide 15 also features a new midsole geometry, improved flexibility in the forefoot and more underfoot contouring that lets you sit deeper into the footbed. Saucony tweaked the FORMFIT design, too, which now addresses every point of contact with your foot, going "well beyond lacing to ensure a personalised fit and feel, top to bottom."
The result of all this tinkering is a support shoe that's not obtrusive yet provides arch support and feels comfortable on foot. For more support, you should try the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, but for everyday comfort, you shouldn't look further than the Saucony Guide 15.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.