Not so long ago, stability in a running shoe meant a maximalist construction that corrected an overpronator’s stride and often unnaturally muscled around the runner’s form. Now stability shoes take a less aggressive approach, thanks to some fine-tuning, new technology, and evolving biomechanical research. Instead of “fixing” your gait, shoes these days are designed to improve your comfort on runs and reduce injury risk, whatever your unique running style may be.
Our Top Picks for Best Stability Shoes for Running
Stabilizing Midsole Tech
Overpronation occurs when you push off from the big toe and second toe, which causes the foot to roll inward. This is perfectly normal; however, ankle or shin pain are common ailments when your gait exaggerates these mechanics—which is where stability shoes can help. “Bars,” “rails,” and “medial posts” are buzzwords for the tech brands build into shoes’ midsoles to aid in alignment and relieve your feet from that constant rolling-inward motion. Brooks and Altra use guide rails to help steer your feet and encourage a smoother heel-to-toe transition.
How We Test
You don’t need to be familiar with all the technical ins and outs of how brands build stability and support into a shoe. All you need to know is that a stable experience feels as though the shoe perfectly braces your foot, while guarding against extra motion that can cause injury. Runner’s World editors or our team of wear testers have run in every shoe here, and we’ve also evaluated them all in our Shoe Lab. We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and engineers, and use our own experience to determine the best options. Based on value, our test impressions, and how the shoes meet overpronators’ motion control and support needs, the 10 stability running shoes below are our top picks for feeling secure.
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BEST FOR RECOVERY RUNS
Hoka One One Arahi 6
The Arahi lends overpronators support with a dense EVA J-Frame, so called because it wraps around the heel and medial side of the shoe in a J shape. A padded tongue and heel collar lock in your ankle without causing friction, and a new pull-tab (reminiscent of the spoiler on a sports car) allows you to slide into the trainer without creasing the back. The shoe’s slightly curved rocker sole transitions quickly and rides light and smooth, which let test editor Amanda Furrer cruise comfortably at easy pace with enough get-up for the unplanned fartlek. “I used to save cushioned stability trainers for recovery runs following a marathon,” Furrer said. “Lately, however, I’ve been reaching for Hoka’s Arahi as an everyday trainer, even on fast days, now that the 5 has a more textured tread for tackier grip on slick surfaces.”
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BEST LOW-DROP OPTION
Altra Provision 6
Stability has taken on a new look in the Provision 6, the best version we’ve tested. Gone are the stabilipods, three-point stabilizers of firm foam on both sides of the forefoot and the lateral side of the heel. And the guide rail that wrapped around the border of the midfoot and heel is now virtually hidden and reinforced into the Ego midsole. In this way, the Provision, a stability shoe, looks like a neutral trainer. It also has a two-fingered medial strap, which connects the lacing to the footbed for a more secure hold. Some testers found the construction gave them a better sense of how and where their footfalls landed. Even if you don’t require such a level of control, your foot stays secure.
BEST FOR SEVERE OVERPRONATION
New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v12
Like its v11 predecessor, the 860v12 has two layers of Fresh Foam in its midsole—the top is soft, the bottom is speedy. New Balance tweaked the formula of the lower layer (an EVA-based material), slightly lowering the durometer—a measure of hardness. So in this version of the shoe, it feels a smidge more forgiving. That much is all good. But on the run, the new-school foams clashed with old-school stability tech, a dense medial post. It does the job to slow down pronation forces, but the extra weight slows the shoe’s ride, too.
Asics Gel-Kayano Lite 2
The Kayano is a titan, lasting through 27 iterations. So you don’t mess with that name (or shoe) without some serious forethought. It delivers boatloads of cushioning and stability, but not every runner needs that level of protection. For those who want something lighter, there’s the “Lite.” Unlike its namesake, the Lite uses just a single piece of midsole foam to provide cushioning and stability; the standard model has a dual-density post on the medial side plus a hard plastic Trusstic bridge in the midfoot. To help guide a pronating foot, Asics scallops the Lite’s lateral (outer) edge while bolstering the foam’s medial side. The design helps the sole compress on landing, and then provides extra resistance as you roll to midstance. Wear-testers how the Lite 2 felt “light as feather” while still providing support and cushioning on their runs. A hangup was how the wider platform resulted in a looser fit around the midfoot, causing some testers to slide or scrunch their feet for a stabler hold on the footbed midrun.
BEST FOR LONG RUNS
Saucony Guide 15
A more stable version of Saucony’s Ride, the Guide pairs a lightweight TPU medial post and sturdy heel counter. In the 14, Saucony reformulated Pwrrun—making the lion’s share of the cushioning even softer and more responsive. A Pwrrun+ sockliner provides an additional layer for shock absorption. The 15 has a revamped upper with bungee lacing for a more secure fit. “The firmer sole felt supportive to my stride,” said a tester. “I also liked the lacing system including the laces themselves; they.had a slight elastic quality, held firmly, and were the perfect length.”
BEST FOR SPEEDWORK
Brooks Launch GTS 9
You’re not wrong if you thought “GTS” stood for “Go-To Shoe.” Brooks simplified its naming convention by pairing stability shoes to its neutral siblings and tacking on GTS—now redefined as “Go-To Support.” The Transcend and Bedlam, for example, have been renamed the Glycerin GTS and Levitate GTS. And, in the case of the Ravenna, it’s now being called the Launch GTS—a light stability shoe that’s speedy like the neutral Launch. Testers appreciated how the flexibility and responsive midsole provided high rebound during hard tempos. Brooks’s holistic guide rail system (firm foam along the medial and lateral sides of the heel serve as bumpers to align the knee and ankle) offered moderate, non-encroaching support. One critique was the thin tongue, which required some extra care in lacing to prevent hotspots.
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BEST FOR MILD OVERPRONATION
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3
The Infinity Run isn’t explicitly a “stability shoe” in the classic sense, given its stability features that feel a bit more intuitive than the traditional approach. Eschewing a medial post, Nike went with a high arch and installed a horseshoe-shape guide rail on the rear of the shoe. The rails, similar to what we’ve seen on models like the Brooks Launch GTS above, are designed to stymy overpronation while not encumbering neutral runners. That, combined with the flared-out forefoot and wide base, led our testers to say that the Infinity Run had a very secure and planted feeling. Bouncy React foam underfoot still provides plush cushioning and shock absorption, while more soft collar padding boosts comfort around the ankle, where some testers experienced rubbing in the first version. The 3 was praised for its surrounding comfort, serving well as a recovery trainer. “Nothing is perfect but these are darn close when it comes to a daily trainer.” said a tester whose legs were shot for the testing period, having previously completed a marathon. “They treated my sore legs well.”
Brooks Glycerin GTS 19
At just a few tenths of an ounce heavier than the standard Glycerin, the Glycerin GTS 19 provides stability with Brooks’s holistic guide rails system. (Denser foam on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe act as bumpers to lessen erratic knee movement brought on by overpronation.) This extra foam makes the shoe slightly stiffer than its neutral counterpart, but there’s still plenty of “give” that allows your foot to flex during push off. Like the Glycerin 19, the GTS has a DNA Loft midsole, which provides responsive cushioning and makes the shoe easy on the joints for recovery runs and dependable when you go farther than that turnaround point on your usual trek—though it isn’t our first choice for speed sessions. “I’ve been running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS for 10 years,” one tester said. “This new Glycerin GTS has all the support and stability I love in the Adrenaline, but with more heel cushioning and a slightly softer feel.”
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BEST DAILY TRAINER
Mizuno Wave Inspire 18
The Inspire continues to be Mizuno’s trusted stability model, providing a soft experience much like the popular Wave Rider but with a more supportive midsole for overpronators. Like the 17th version, the 18th uses a reshaped zig-zagging TPU wave plate to stabilize the underarch; it won’t stop your foot from rolling inward, but it helps curb those pronation forces to keep you steady. That plate sits between a fresh wedge of Mizuno’s new Enerzy foam in the heel and a full-length top layer of U4ic. (Both foams are EVA-based, but Enerzy is the more premium of the two materials and feels significantly softer underfoot.) “There was a bit too much cushioning in the heel—made me feel like I was running on my toes,” said a tester. “Definitely had a fair amount of bounce which was okay for road running, but made me feel a bit slow.”
BEST FOR TRAILS
Asics GT-2000 9 Trail
The GT-2000 makes a good pick for runners who don’t need a ton of support but still want something with a bit more stability than a neutral shoe for days on the trail. FlyteFoam and Gel units at the heel and forefoot deliver reliable cushioning (and a more forgiving ride than earlier versions we’ve tested), while a dual-density midsole and guidance truss help control excessive pronation. The ninth trail-ready version comes with a redesigned one-piece mesh that’s reinforced around the arches for extra support and a more aggressive lugged outsole. “The best features of this shoe are the fit and comfort of the engineered mesh upper—particularly in the toe box—and the shoe’s overall ride,” said one tester. “I’ve run in several iterations of the GT-2000, and I truly believe that it continues to improve. Transitions from heel strike through toe-off are seamless, with a springy feel as you leave the ground.”
Jeff is Runner-in-Chief for Runner's World, guiding the brand's shoes and gear coverage. A true shoe dog, he's spent more than a decade testing and reviewing shoes. In 2017, he ran in 285 different pairs of shoes, including a streak of 257 days wearing a different model.
Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World who has run the Boston Marathon every year since 2013; she's a former professional baker with a master’s in gastronomy and she carb-loads on snickerdoodles.