In terms of popularity in the running industry, the stability category is tops. Since these are the models that will provide your feet with a bit of guidance and support, it’s no wonder.
While there certainly isn’t a “normal” when it comes to feet and biomechanics, many of us have a few quirks and inefficiencies in our gait that could benefit from a stability shoe.
The most common reason to gravitate towards a stability model is if you overponate when you run. Overpronation describes when a foot strikes the ground and rolls inward. Conversely, supination is when a runner generally stays on the outside of their feet from strike to toe off.
To be sure, some degree of pronation is normal. However, collapsing arches and an excessive inward roll can lead to a whole host of issues thanks to the constant torque that travels from foot strike up the kinetic chain.
This is where stability running shoes come in. Thanks to extra-dense foam in the arches and other components that provide support, the foot is more effectively guided forward, thereby reducing the inward roll. Because there are different levels of need when it comes to support, moderate and high stability shoes are available.
It is important to keep in mind that just because you overpronate or have flat feet, doesn’t necessarily mean that a stability shoe will be the silver bullet to solving all of your injury woes. Indeed, there are many flat-footed harriers who do just fine in neutral shoes with little or no added support.
For many, however, even the slight amount of extra guidance a moderate stability shoe offers can make all the difference when it comes to issues like patellofemoral pain syndrome and shin splints.
If you think you could use a little support, check out these picks for the best stability shoes on store shelves in 2014. To make our selections, we canvassed customer reviews, researched the latest technologies, and wear-tested models to offer first-hand reviews.
When you stop in at your local running specialty store for your next pair of kicks, be sure to try on several models to compare and contrast. While there are many options in the stability category, they all offer a unique fit.