Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctors of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance, bring you cutting edge articles, reviews, and research reports.

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We are continuing our run through our DPT Approved Awards! Our team has tested over 110 shoes and ran over 15,000 miles in 2021 (so far) and we are ready to dish out our picks for numerous categories of shoes.

Today's roundtable focuses on one of our favorite topics, which is stability within running shoe construction. We are dishing out two awards today. First is the "Best Stability Shoe", which is defined as "a shoe that has intentional design to help guide the foot as it moves across the platform by utilizing some formal stability construction". The second award is "Best Stable Neutral Shoe", which we define as "a shoe that was not built with formal stability measures, but its construction lends it to being more stable compared to other shoes within the neutral category." If you're looking for our nitty gritty through on the nuance found in stability footwear design, you won't find it here, but you can get started by checking out our Stability Guide.


PS: Haven't checked out our Plated Performance Trainer Awards? Click here to read.

Best Stability Shoes of 2021 | Podcast



Our team discusses our favorite plated performance trainers of 2021. Listen to the full verison here via Apple Podcast.


Writer's Picks - Best Stability Shoe


ASICS KAYANO 28, CONTRIBUTOR RYAN FLUGAUR
REVIEW | SHOP 


The Kayano 28 is a solid shoe for the runner looking for some guidance during their run. The shoe achieves its stability through the combination of both an internal and external heel counter as well as the duomax post. The post does a good job of blending into the midsole and is not too obstructive like other posts I have used.  The Flytefoam Blast midsole provides a moderate amount of cushion while remaining responsive with an added pop. My only complaint, and why it comes in as runner up, is the weight. Weighing in at 10.9 oz, this shoe is best reserved for high mileage runs and slower recovery days where the extra weight won't matter as much.

SAUCONY HURRICANE 23
, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR DAVID SALAS

If you like this shoe, get ready to double down now because it's NOT coming back in 2022 when it gets replaced by a new offering. The Hurricane is perhaps the greatest of the line and ends on a bang with a well integrated post that goes quite long from rear foot almost to the forefoot. It's one of the best genuine posts I have ever felt - or not felt I should say - in a shoe. Even Nathan, who doesn't get on with stability posting, surprisingly got along with this okay. This shoe is also nearly indestructible in construction which means lots of mileage in every pair.

MIZUNO WAVE HORIZON 5
, CHIEF EDITOR MATT KLEIN

This is a shoe that's really unique in the stability world in that it can accommodate a wide range of runners who typically do not get on with posting or guidance. The stability mechanism here is dual density foams that go throughout the shoe and weave like waves to create it's stable ride. With the new full length topsole of Enerzy, you get a very comfortable landing on the new foam while you have the stable bottom layer of U4iC underneath. It does run a bit heel heavy, but works well as a daily trainer for easy mileage and can pick up the pace once you get used to the shoe over time.

BEST OVERALL STABILITY SHOE
 
 
NEW BALANCE VONGO V5
REVIEW | SHOP


It's not often that "stability" and "cozy" are in the same sentence, but this delivered it in spades. The Vongo just balances everything wonderfully in a sleek package. The hypoknit upper is incredibly comfortable and adapts nicely to your feet. It's not only stable for running but feels incredibly comfortable for daily use from walking to working and anything in between. For Chief Editor Matt Klein, it has been a very regular recommendation this year for people who want a high stability shoe that's versatile.

The implantation of the posting is one of the best we've ever seen. The midsole is made of pellets of foam that get steadily more and more dense on the medial side. Where former posts just swap in a dense slab of foam in the medial area, the gradualness of the transition to the medial posting is very well done. If you are a stability runner who wants a shoe that's built to support your foot medially, this is an incredible option to check out for 2021.


Writer's Picks - Best Stable Neutral Shoe
 

ASICS NIMBUS LITE 2, SOCIAL MEDIA WIZARD
REVIEW | SHOP

If there was a poster child for stable neutral shoe, the Nimbus Lite 2 would certainly be a candidate thanks to its geometry. With a tremendously wide base throughout, it creates a boat-like landing zone that makes it very hard to cave one way or another, helping guide the runner forward through it's rolling motion. It's width is tremendous and may take a couple of runs to get used to, but once dialed in is a very solid trainer that can do most of your running in a week with ease. It runs relatively light and has a very dialed-in midfoot to help keep you connected. Plus, it's their most sustainable shoe model in the Asics line which I suspect we'll only see more of moving forward.

ASICS TRI NOOSA 13, BY CONTRIBUTOR RYAN FLUGAUR

The Tri Noosa is designed as a triathlon shoe with its quick donning and doffing thanks to the bungee laces and heel tab. I found it to be a great daily trainer that can be used for some uptempo runs.  The  transitions are smooth thanks to the toe spring and nicely done heel bevel.  The wider sole as well as the rocker guides the foot forward and improves the stability of the shoe.  This is a shoe that all runners from tri athletes to weekend warriors can enjoy.
 
HOKA RINCON 3, BY SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR NATHAN BROWN

The HOKA Rincon 3 starts off with a traditional HOKA wide platform of ground contact, which provides a rather stable platform. Additionally, there is a wide cutout in the center of the heel that extends to the midfoot, which creates a cradle for the foot which ultimately works to center the foot regardless of the direction you tend to go. Combine those things with a slightly more firm foam and you have quite a stable, neutral, and lightweight option.

ON CLOUDSWIFT 2, BY SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR DAVID SALAS

A lot of time when we talk about stability we talk about posting or pronation, but there's also guidance. With the On shoe there's a deep midline groove that rides from the rear to the forefoot. You also have that classic rocker geometry which isn't dramatic here, but present. You have a firmer base, you have the midline, and then there's the speedboard that runs through the shoe. The upper on the Cloudswift locks you down incredibly well too boot. There's also still flexibility in the forefoot that's pretty nice to have despite all the components. I was surprised that you can actually take off one this shoe really well. I managed to take this through some pretty fast runs, which surprised me. The Cloudswift is a very underrated shoe, and a pretty sweet looking one to boot.

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SHIFT 2, BY CHIEF EDITOR MATT KLEIN

The Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 is mainly an upper update, but does a wonderful job of lockdown tremendously well. There's an external heel counter that locked the foot and the foam is a bit softer which was great for long runs. It's a shoe we recommend for patients often due to the rocker which helps with some guidance forward, to unload the Achilles, or help with first toe stiffness.

BEST OVERALL STABLE NEUTRAL SHOE
 
 
MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 25
REVIEW | SHOP


We talk about this shoe a lot. The wave plate in the rear foot helps do so many things, from providing some rigidity in the rearfoot along with guidance moving forward. This feature alone gives the shoe a solid foundation in the rearfoot. It uniquely blends that with a very flexible forefoot to give the shoe a unique combination that is hard to find in the market today. The Waverider 25 adds full length Mizuno Energy through the entire shoe which softens the ride throughout and gives a modestly plush forefoot. The upper fits more securely and snugly while still providing some room in the forefoot as traditional with Mizuno. Just a great trainer that our team has put a ton of miles in this year despite all of the exciting shoe drops in 2021.


Thanks for reading! Make sure you also visit our Best of 2021 Features:
Best Plated Performance Trainer
Best Non-Plated Performance Trainer
Best Daily Trainer of 2021

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Next: Adidas Terrex Apparel Review
 
 

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