7 Best Stability Running Shoes For 2021
Which do you think offers more choices, the Cheesecake Factory menu or a fully-stocked closet of running shoes? If you can’t decide, don’t worry, because neither can we. No matter what your needs are, there’s bound to be a running shoe out there for you. This time, we just so happen to be focusing on the best stability running shoes you can buy.
You might be here for one of a few reasons – maybe you’re new to the stability scene (if so, welcome). Or maybe you’ve got a serious case of SAS (shoe acquisition syndrome). Either way, we have you covered. We’ll spare you the usual dictionary of fancy terms this time, but here’s a quick primer on stability shoes for you rookies.
Many runners turn to neutral running shoes for their everyday miles, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Neutral shoes allow your foot to flex and move naturally without any extra guidance. As you might have guessed, stability shoes do the opposite.
Typically, stability running shoes are worn to combat excessive pronation, which is the inward rolling of your feet after impact. We all pronate to some degree, but some do so more than others which can lead to injury.
At one point, stability shoes took their jobs incredibly seriously. They would limit how your foot moves to a serious degree, which swung the pendulum a bit too far in the opposite direction. Now, we’ve moved to a point where stability shoes are more of a gentle guide than a rigid drill sergeant, and that’s good for everyone.
Many of our picks come from our stability running shoe wizard, Aldren, so let’s get down to business.
Use: Stable miles without the drop| Drop: 0mm | Price: $130
The key to the light stability in the Provision 4 is the new InnovArch system, which actually works like a set of fingers attached to the bottom of your laces. You can tighten it for your perfect fit, and it’s a great complement to the guide rail in the heel.
Robbe actually rolled with the Altra Provision 4 for a while as a way to combat a lingering injury. He ran into issues in higher drop shoes, and the zero-drop platform really seemed to lighten the load. The weight is certainly in the normal range for a stability shoe (10.7 oz for a US Men’s 10.5), and the upper is brilliantly comfortable with a funky bumpy insole that all three reviewers enjoyed.Shop Altra Provision 4
Use: Classic cruising in a comfortable upper | Drop: 10 mm | Price: $160
We’ve already proclaimed Aldren as our stability ace, but our first pick has been kicking around since before he was born. ASICS’ stability classic, the GEL-Kayano is now on its 28th iteration, and it has one of the most stable heels in the entire game. It blends DynamicDuomax, an external heel clutch, and a gender-specific Trusstic system (TPU piece visible on the outsole) that probably could have kept the Titanic level.
While the heel is one solid beast, the FlyteFoam Blast forefoot is where the magic happens. The most bouncy foam ASICS has ever produced, it gives this reliable stability shoe a fresh, soft, and flexible ride. Fair warning, however, as the GEL-Kayano 28 is no lightweight. Aldren’s US men’s 9 weighs in at 10.9 oz. (309 grams). But if you’re a stability runner, you’re probably used to that.
If you want a refined formula that’s been around the block a time or twenty, the GEL-Kayano 28 is tough to top.Shop Kayano 28 – Men Shop Kayano 28 – Women
Use: Environmentally conscious cruising | Drop: 10 mm for men, 13 mm for women| Price: $160
We already touched on the GEL-Kayano 28 as a great stability running shoe, but we couldn’t entirely roll with the heavyweight. That’s where its sibling comes in, it keeps things Lite. Both Thomas and Aldren proclaimed the Kayano Lite a step in the right direction for ASICS. The shoe looks a bit more streamlined overall, but ASICS kept the cushion cranked up to the max.
Unfortunately, the Lite name stops at the price tag. This shoe retails for $160, which outweighs plenty of the others on our list. We do have to applaud the use of up to 80% recycled materials, as we’re not quite ready to start running on Mars in the near future. Jarrett may not be ready to give the Kayano Lite his wide foot stamp of approval, but we can see this model sticking around a good long while.Shop Kayano Lite – Men Shop Kayano Lite – Women
Use: Taking on HOKA at its own game | Drop: 10 mm | Price: $150
ASICS may have the oldest line in our list of stability running shoes, but the Brooks Glycerin GTS isn’t far behind, having just turned 19. GTS used to stand for Go-To Shoe, but now it’s a signifier for all their stability options after Brooks streamlined the model names. It’s a little confusing, but that’s where we’re at. Adrienne went so far as to give it her Most Improved award, and The Bad section of our review is almost nonexistent. Of course, there’s a non-GTS version of the Glycerin 19 for those of you who don’t need quite as much stability.
Brooks crafted this as a running option for anyone, and the DNA Loft midsole lends to that philosophy. It’s soft yet responsive, and the GuideRails help to keep every step as smooth as butter. Austin was even ready to compare it to HOKA’s famed platform, while Adrienne thought it reminded her of a Mercedes G-Wagon, but Brooks is definitely more generous with its color options than Mercedes. I mean, what’s better than a G-Wagon with HOKA wheels? Not much, we’d guess.Shop Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 – Men Shop Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 – Women
Use: Everyday training, general dad shoe-ness | Drop: 10 mm | Price: $130
New Balance’s 860 line is another fan favorite that’s back with a serious boost. This time, it comes in the shape of some sweet, sweet Fresh Foam in the midsole. A layer of Fresh Foam X is icing on top, and both Jarrett and Taylor found it to be a more-than-worthy successor to the v10. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still as dad shoe as you can get, but it’s a peak dad shoe that will last you hundreds of miles.
The midsole technology is the most obvious change here, but you might also notice that the upper is a bit closer to that of the 1080 v11. The stretchy heel on the Fresh Foam 860v11 hides a solid Ultra Heel for some solid lockdown, and the elf ear shape is pretty par for the course in a 2020-21 stability shoe. Overall, the stability tech is excellent and it’s a shoe that wide-footed runners can enjoy. It won’t win any colorway awards, but as we said, dad shoe.Shop New Balance 860v11 – Men Shop New Balance 860v11 – Women
Use: Miles as reliable as your grandma’s cast iron skillet | Drop: 8 mm | Price: $160
Nike introduced us to the React Infinity Flyknit last year with some lofty promises. It emphasized high miles and reduced injuries and came at the cost of the Epic React line (we’re still bitter). Now, we’re onto the second generation, and the revisions take a solid stability shoe and make it even better. Nike didn’t reinvent the wheel, but Thomas’s extended steak and Hawaiian Punch metaphor can give you a better idea of the changes.
He truly enjoyed the first iteration of the React Infinity Flyknit, and the improved upper makes all the difference on the React Infinity Flyknit 2. You still get the same plush bed of React foam with a plastic heel clip to keep you locked in. The clip may be blissfully invisible at a cruising pace, but is a little more noticeable when walking around.
Aldren ran over 500 miles in the original version. Ben is convinced you could run infinity miles with this shoe. You should probably replace them by then, though.Shop Nike React Infinity 2 – Men Shop Nike React Infinity 2 – Women
Use: Appreciating Molly Seidel while you run | Drop: 7 mm | Price: $140
Aldren is our man when it comes to stability kicks, especially those that innovate. The Puma Eternity Nitro isn’t the sports car of the new lineup, but boy is it a reliable cruiser.
The upper is streamlined, and the OptiFit straps pull us back to the days of the Saucony Zealot ISO 3. However, we’re really here to dig into the NITRO midsole. It blends a bottom layer of Puma’s new Super Critical NITRO foam, which brings a nitrogen-infused squish, and a top layer of RUNGUIDE, which helps to keep that stability profile. Aldren wrote his review at just over 50 miles of testing but had yet to notice any wear. He also compared the Puma Eternity NITRO to a bouncy castle. This is a fun one for the #StabilitySquad.
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You missed the Saucony Fastwitch 9, the immortal racing flat. It’s hands down the fastest shoe with stability features and it’s pretty durable. The traditional foam is appreciated, but it could do with a top layer of newer bouncier stuff. It’s lightweight and not very tall, keeping it speedy and grounded.
Why is the Arahi 5 not on this list?
She didn’t make the cut