23 March, 2023
You may have heard terms banded around about running shoes such as motion control or stability. These shoes help control the degree of pronation of the foot. Here we take a look at some of the latest models that fit the bill and are capable for runners of all speeds and abilities.
For more help in finding the best shoe for you check out our guide by clicking here.
A brand-new concept from Puma this model aims to make you think again when it comes to stability shoes.
Incorporating several new design features to stabilise the foot and control pronation, it also provides excellent cushioning thanks to its ultra-smooth, dual-density Nitro foam midsole.
The midsole is made up of dual densities of the brand's nitrogen-injected foam; a softer inner core sits within a slightly firmer and more supportive outer rim. This allows the foot to sink into the cushioning and help keep it stable.
A bevelled heel, segmented crash pad and external heel counter all combine to add stability to the foot. But it doesn’t stop there, a broader footprint in the heel and forefoot along with an outsole that wraps around the medial side of the shoe adds an extra sprinkle of control.
When trying the shoe side by side with other more traditionally constructed support-type models you really wouldn’t suspect it to be a control shoe at all, such is the smooth-riding nature of the ForeeverRun Nitro.
I’d consider the shoe to be suitable for those requiring mild to moderate levels of control yet at the same time wanting a soft, smooth and reasonably responsive ride.
A firm favourite with runners for over 20 years, the Adrenaline (or GTS as it’s often referred to as) is Brooks' best seller in the support category.
Now featuring their ‘guide rail’ technology the shoe is soft and welcoming but manages to provide a good degree of control for a very wide range of athletes and their requirements.
The guide rail system is quite simple in its execution. The midsole cushioning of the shoe is extended up and around the heel of the shoe. This allows the foot to sit within the ‘rails’ and keep it steady. The brand likens the effect to that of the rails at a bowling alley. If the ball goes astray the rails help keep it central in the lane. It’s similar here, if the foot rolls excessively, the guide rails help hold it a little more central.
Otherwise, the shoe is typical of Brooks' high quality. With instant step-in comfort, the light, soft and flexible fit and feel of the shoe make it a very nice place to be.
In its 22nd generation, the Adrenaline is as popular as ever and a good choice for beginners as well as experienced athletes wanting control.
Another very popular and established support shoe, the 860 from New Balance is a shoe that offers moderate to high levels of control.
A more traditional ‘medial post’ (a firmer section of the cushioning sitting under the arch of the foot) provides support here. This type of support is well-used and highly effective. The firmer ‘post’ doesn’t compress when the arch rolls inwards, hence providing control.
The support is embedded within the brand's latest Fresh Foam X cushioning, which offers a smooth ride and a gently responsive toe-off.
The upper features a padded heel collar that turns away from the Achilles to reduce pressure and irritation and an engineered mesh upper. This is light and breathable with clever stitching details in that add shape, structure and support to the foot.
New Balance seems to have reduced the number of support category shoes in their line-up in recent years so it’s nice to see that the 860 remains. With other models generally becoming more stable perhaps and reducing the need for a wider choice it’s also interesting that the 860 sticks to a very much tried-and-tested method of control.
It’s a great allrounder that provides a very nice, stable ride.
Featuring updates to the Wave plate, midsole and upper, the new Inspire manages to remain familiar yet rejuvenated with this update.
Wave plate technology has become a famous part of the brand's shoes for many years. Likened by Mizuno to a wave on the beach, a lower (shallow wave) is soft and gentle whereas a higher wave is stronger and therefore able to provide more support.
The new wave used in the Inspire model is soft and gentle on the lateral (outside) edge to facilitate a soft landing and higher/stronger on the medial side under the arch. This helps control the amount of pronation. We found it highly effective and less intrusive than the previous model, making it a good choice for those requiring some control but in a manner that you hardly even notice.
Updated to now feature a full-length ENERZY midsole, that’s also 2mm thicker, the shoe has a little more ‘spring’ to its, ride giving it a softer, smoother feel that’s still as stable and able to control pronation.
The one-piece engineered mesh upper offers a nice degree of padding around the foot and fits well, the best compliment of this is that you simply don’t notice it, it disappears around the foot.
Overall it’s a good update to a serious work-horse type shoe that’s great for everyday training miles for the runner requiring mild to moderate support.
The brand’s best-known performance model, the Kayano sees its 29th version here and retains the core properties that have made it a highly popular shoe.
The GEL cushioning is still present in the heel of the shoe, now encased in FF Blast Plus foam. This foam is becoming commonplace throughout the brand's range and offers a smooth cushioned landing and a more responsive toe-off. The medial post remains although it now seamlessly blends into the midsole being named the LITETRUSS system. This does as good a job as ever in providing support and does so without being noticeable, leaving you to enjoy the run.
Whilst the Kayano is the brand range-topping shoe, it’s not the most supportive shoe around, instead proving to be a good combination of more ‘structured cushioning’ and control in a well-cushioned package.
The FF Blast helps bring the weight down 10g compared to the previous version but it’s the buttery smooth ride which stands out.
The engineered stretch knit upper provides a luxurious place for the foot to sit and compliments this premium model.
Fans of the shoe will enjoy the new version as much as ever but as this premium price point becomes more and more competitive the shoe could become challenged in the top-end segment.
As a member of the brand's Endorphin range of shoes, the Shift is a fast-riding everyday shoe with added support. The shoe has a high stack, 39mm of cushioning and the Speedroll midsole geometry which encourages a faster gait and toe-off. An external heel counter helps keep the shoe very stable making it capable of dealing with everyday runs. It’s a great, versatile model that feels fast from the word go!
While the Shift isn’t an out-and-out control or support shoe it does do a great job of keeping the foot stable for a shoe of this category. That category is speed and overall the shoe is ideal for faster-paced tempo runs and interval sessions. Some people may even make the Shift their race-day weapon of choice. It’s a light, no-nonsense shoe, there’s no carbon plate here but all that aside the overall geometry of the design still allows the shoe to go fast.
Athletics runs in the Freary family. Paul’s father, Mike held the British 10,000m record in 1969 and Paul himself has been running for over 45 years.
As an athlete Paul has won Northern and Inter-County golds at 5000m as well as British half-marathon and trail running titles.
His claim to fame is beating Steve Cram over the classic mile distance on the road in Bermuda, a distance where Paul’s personal best in 3minutes 56seconds!
Having worked in the running industry for over 25 years he’s worked for Puma, Fila, Nike and adidas as well as now owning his own running store. An expert in video gait analysis, Paul is ideally placed to write authoritative reviews of running footwear, gadgets and gear.
For 2023 Paul has his targets set on improving his 2:39 marathon from Berlin in 2022.
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