Best Stability Running Shoes 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
The best stability running shoes combine comfort and support for a reliable ride.
Most major brands make stability running shoes, and they get better each year. The technology they use is different, but they all have the same purpose: create a more stable feeling for runners.
These are the best stability running shoes on the market today:
- New Balance 860v11
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
- HOKA Arahi 4
- Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
- ASICS GEL-Kayano 27
- Saucony Guide 14
- Mizuno Wave Horizon 5
- On Cloudstratus
- Diadora Mythos Blueshield 6
[Updated June 15, 2021. This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Best New Balance Stability Running Shoes
New Balance 860v11
The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 is a classic and dependable stability running shoe that gets a boost this year from New Balance's top training foam.
Designers added Fresh Foam to the 860v11's midsole for an even smoother ride. Fresh Foam already powers popular New Balance shoes, like the 1080v10 and 880v10, so you can count on it to perform in the new 860.
But the addition of Fresh Foam doesn't change the shoe's standout stability. New Balance's medial post mitigates the effects of overpronation, so the 860v11 will remain stable over its entire life.
Fleet Feet runners said the accommodating fit and stellar ride make the 860v11 one of the best stability running shoes on the market today.
Read more in our New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 review.
Best Brooks Stability Running Shoes
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
With another year under its laces, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 remains one of the best stability running shoes on the road today.
Brooks creates stability with its unique GuideRails technology. Rather than using a traditional medial post, the holistic support system uses bumper-like rails to shift the focus to your knees and keep excess motion in check as you run.
New this year is a bigger bed of Brooks' softest foam. Designers extended the DNA Loft foam from the heel all the way through the forefoot to create a softer ride and smoother transition.
Draped in a new engineered mesh upper for a comfortable and secure fit, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 maintains its stable ride with a softer-than-ever feel.
Best HOKA Stability Running Shoes
HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 4
The HOKA Arahi 4 is a smooth-riding stability running shoe thanks to HOKA’s J-Frame technology.
HOKA developed the J-Frame as a lightweight way to add stability to its shoes. Like the name suggests, the J-Frame is a firmer hook of foam formed roughly into the shape of a J. Using foam instead of a piece of plastic keeps the weight of the shoe down and maintains flexibility, so it still feels fast.
It works similarly to a medial post: The firmer piece of foam wraps from the heel of the Arahi 4 all the way up the medial side of the shoe, and it compresses less than the surrounding foam to create a more durable surface.
Fleet Feet testers said they liked the smooth ride provided by the J-Frame. Plus, it’s a HOKA running shoe, so it’s packed with cushioning to soak up the repeated pounding of running.
Read more in our HOKA Arahi 4 review.
Best Nike Stability Running Shoes
Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
To create the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22, Nike combined two technologies: Air and Dynamic Support. The pairing resulted in a stable platform with a snappy response.
Stability comes from the Dynamic Support system tucked into the midsole. Nike used a two-foam system to stabilize the shoe, comprised of a softer foam set inside a firmer foam bed. The softer foam is molded into a wedge in the rearfoot, which puts less foam beneath the medial side of the shoe and more on the lateral edge.
Due to the way it’s made, the support system acts differently for each runner. It provides more support to runners who need it and less to those who don’t.
A Zoom Air unit in the forefoot gives the shoe its quick response, and the engineered mesh upper is comfortable and airy. The Air Zoom Structure 22 is a well-rounded stability running shoe built for as many miles as you’re up for.
Best ASICS Stability Running Shoes
ASICS GEL-Kayano 27
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 maintains its status as one of the best stability running shoes thanks to a few updated components.
ASICS took its popular Kayano and tweaked the parts to make the shoes unique to each gender. There are three differences between the men's and women's models:
- Tailored Trusstic systems. The women's Trusstic system provides improve support for forward motion, and the men's model provides additional arch support.
- Midsole feel. The foam midsole in the women's Kayano 27 is slightly softer than the men's.
- Amount of foam. The women's shoe isn't just softer, it also has 3 mm more foam underfoot than the men's Kayano 27.
What didn't change about the venerable Kayano, though, is its support for overpronation. The burly Dynamic Duomax system helps keep the shoe stable over time, and the Trusstic system helps prevent twisting for a consistent ride.
Testers said the newest Kayano is comfortable and accommodating, making it ideal for long runs, recovery days or for slipping on at your standing desk.
Read more in our ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 review.
Best Saucony Stability Running Shoes
Saucony Guide 14
The Saucony Guide 14 turns up the stability with a lightweight TPU insert, and it packs enough cushion to carry you through even your longest runs.
Saucony updated the Guide this year to swap in a new fit system. Designers replaced the outgoing ISOFIT technology with FORMFIT. The new system uses three layers of cushioning to give you a fit that adapts to your unique stride and weight.
Fleet Feet testers gave the shoe high marks ifor materials, fit and performance. They said it delivered a secure fit and felt nimble, thanks to the PWRRUN midsole, but it was also light enough to shift into a higher gear when necessary.
Read more in our Saucony Guide 14 review.
Best Mizuno Stability Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Horizon 5
The Wave Horizon 4 is an ambitious update to Mizuno’s stability shoe, but it paid off.
Mizuno dropped its signature Wave Plate from the Horizon in favor of a new Foam Wave. The Foam Wave creates stability by using different wave shapes on each side of the shoe—flat, rectangular waves on the medial side for stability and rounded waves on the lateral side of cushion.
The update also included a sheet of Mizuno’s XPOP foam. Set inside a ring of Mizuno’s standard cushioning, the XPOP lends the shoe a much bouncier feeling.
In the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 review, testers said the shoe isn’t going to break course records, but it is a well-cushioned and comfortable stability shoe that’s ideal for anyone who needs a little extra support.
Best On Stability Running Shoes
The On Cloudstratus promotes stability and cushion with its wild-looking midsole.
On is known for its minimalist looks and CloudTec midsoles, but the Cloudstratus doubles up on the cushioning. The two layers of on Cloud elements soften the ride, and the wide midsole and firm feel give the shoe inherent stability.
Designers also fused the forefoot Cloud elements together to give you a solid platform to push off from. Fleet Feet testers said in the On Cloudstratus review the shoe feels stable in all situations, and it provides excellent midfoot and heel structure.
Best Diadora Stability Shoes
Diadora Mythos Blushield 6
Diadora makes some of the most comfortable shoes on the market, and their stability is hard to beat. The Mythos Blushield 6 boasts Diadora's most innovative design and technology to keep you supported and comfortable on the run.
Diadora's Blushield technology optimizes the stability of your shoes based on your foot shape and gait pattern to minimize asymmetrical foot placement for a more balanced run. This means support for overpronators and flat arches.
The lightweight EVA midsole foam uses unique stabilizing pillars to provide premium arch support and shock absorption. A breathable mesh upper is lightweight and flexible, yet offers enough support to keep your foot engaged over the midsole. Not to mention, the two-toned colorways add instant cool to any run kit.
The Mythos Blushield 6 transitions easily between long runs and nights out, making it a do-it-all shoe for those looking for a more stabilized feel.
Stability Running Shoes Terms
To understand how stability running shoes works, it’s important to know a few basic shoe terms.
- Medial side. The medial side of a shoe is the inside edge. Starting at your big toe, trace a line back to your heel, and that’s the medial side.
- Lateral side. Opposite the medial side, the lateral side is the outside of your foot. Starting at your small toe, trace the outside of your foot back to your heel, and that’s the lateral side.
- Medial post. The firmer piece of foam or rigid plastic insert that improves durability on the medial side of the shoe.
- Overpronation. Pronation is the natural inward roll of your foot when you transition through the gait cycle. Overpronation happens when your foot spends too much time on the instep as you transition from heel to toe.
How Stability Running Shoes Work
For a long time, the running industry marketed stability running shoes as a way to correct overpronation. Most typical stability shoes used a medial post—a firmer piece of foam or plastic under the arch—to create the stable feeling.
But times have changed.
While some modern stability running shoes still use a medial post, others now employ different technologies to create the stable ride you’re after. Even the way we think about stability shoes is different now: Rather than trying to correct overpronation, running shoes built for stability create a stable platform over the life of the shoe.
Runners who overpronate spend more time on the instep of their shoe, also called the medial side. As their feet roll naturally inward, they compress the foam more under the instep and less on the outside (also called the lateral side).
The uneven compression leads to uneven shoes over time. If you set a pair of old running shoes on a table in front of you and look at them from behind, you would eventually see the shoes sloping inward toward each other.
Stability running shoes work to prevent that from happening. Firmer foams or plastic inserts compress less than their softer counterparts, so adding them to the spot that wears out the fastest can help the shoe wear evenly and last longer.
How We Picked the Best Stability Running Shoes
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best stability running shoes for most runs and the most runners.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.