Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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The Monday Shakeout: Shoe Rotations for Different Runners (Flat feet, Stability, Budget, etc)
By DOR Editorial Team

In a special edition of the Monday Shakeout, we offer some unique shoe rotations for different runners using our favorite picks from both 2022-2024. Have a shoe rotation you'd like to see? Send us an email to for a fresh recommendation.

A Guided Rotation for Mild to Moderate Stability Needs
Trainer: ASICS GT-2000 12
Brooks Hyperion GTS
Long Run: Adidas Prime X Strung 2
Race: Saucony Endorphin Elite / Hoka Rocket X2

Chief Editor, Matt Klein: Not only have stability shoes been improving, but there are also more stable racing options available. Those with mild stability needs can often do fine in neutral shoes, but may find some fatigue/difficulty into longer efforts. The ASICS GT-2000 12 has been a favorite of mine this year for its ability to provide solid medial stability while feeling nimble for a daily trainer. The new foam feels bouncy underfoot, giving it the versatility for easy miles, long runs and even some uptempo work. The lighter weight makes it easy on the legs and a go-to option for those with medial stability needs at a variety of levels. The Hyperion GTS has been a favorite as a non-super, rare mild stability workout shoe. The wider forefoot allows for adequate toe splay while the snappy ride makes picking up the pace easy. The Guiderails feel plenty stable without getting in the way, allowing this to be a great option especially over shorter distances. For long runs, the Adidas Prime X Strung 2 has been my continued choice. Surprisingly, it provides mild medial stability due to several factors including a large posterior lateral heel bevel, an extra medial outsole strip and a wider sole. While a bit heavy to be a super shoe, it does a great job being a super trainer/ long-run shoe that keeps you going consistently and comfortably.

Finally, the Saucony Endorphin Elite and Hoka Rocket X 2 have been the shoes I continue to reach for on race day. Both feature super foams and carbon plates (finally), making them both true super shoes. The Saucony Endorphin Elite has been a favorite of the team due to the incredible PWRRUN HG foam. The slightly wider fit also makes it incredibly comfortable for longer efforts, while almost full-length sidewalls on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe keep you centered. The Hoka Rocket X2 was a surprise favorite, partially due to large sidewalls and a well-designed outsole that keeps the foot centered. The fit is more snug/low volume with a late forefoot rocker that makes for an aggressive, lower-drop ride. It actually worked better for me as a shorter-distance shoe until the forefoot broke in. Now the large sidewalls and stiff ride have kept my feet centered even on longer distances, making it an excellent option for those who want a lower-drop super racing shoe with midfoot sidewall guidance. 

Other Options: Saucony Tempus (lighter stability trainer with super foam that can also double for workouts and races for some runners), Hoka Gaviota 5 (maximally cushioned stability training shoe), Brooks Launch 10 GTS (mild stability lightweight training shoe), Hoka Stinson 7 (road/trail maximal training shoe with unique stability design similar to Gaviota 5)

Shoe Rotation 101

Check out David Salas' video on shoe rotations. You can also listen on the run here.

A Guided Rotation for Flat Feet Stability Runners
Trainer: Brooks Launch GTS 10
Workout: Brooks Hyperion GTS
Long Run: Saucony Guide 17

Race (Optional): Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Content Manager, Bach Pham: There have been a lot of enjoyable options this year for flat feet runners. With things shifting away from post and more to guidance, the stability realm has become a lot friendly to flat feet runners. This rotation I have focuses on providing a good amount of variance through stack height, which is one of the few ways stability shoes differ as more and more options are falling towards the max stack category. The Brooks Launch GTS 10 is a quiet trainer of the year for me in its simplicity, solid ride, and versatility in a very affordable package. It's not a high stacked trainer like the crowded market now, but the lower to ground feeling adds additional support on top of the GuideRails that leaves me feeling plenty stable for just about any run I want. The Hyperion GTS offers a similar formula in an even faster package.

The Saucony Guide 17 is a new go-to for me in 2024. The shoe provides a good mix of comfort and runs mild as far as stability goes. It's combination of lightness and cushion make for a great long run effort.

Finally, the Endorphin Speed 4 is my pick for race day. The nylon plate is a lot more friendly to my flat arch than carbon plated shoes I've tried while still allowing me to turn over fast and efficiently. I'm by no means a fast runner, but these do a good job of making me feel faster without making me nervous, which is much more important to me over a longer run or mid-distance race than feeling as fast as possible. The new Speed 4 definitely adds aggression for those shorter distance races from 5k-to-10k, which are definitely the distances I'm spending more time on now.

Other options to consider: Brooks Ghost Max (if you want a stable neutral trainer with a lot more stack than the Launch), Saucony Triumph RFG (another stable neutral-ish option for long runs), Salomon Sense Ride 5 (a lower stacked trail option that feels very secure on foot), Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 (in the carbon plated realm, one of the few options that does not irritate my feet)

A Guided Rotation for Midfoot Strikers
Trainer: Topo Phantom 3
Workout: Topo Cyclone 2
Long Run: Brooks Hyperion Max
Race: On Cloudboom Echo 3

Senior Contributor, Andrea Myers: The vast majority of runners are rearfoot strikers, which can leave those of us who land further forward with fewer options that are geared towards our biomechanics. For midfoot strikers, high drop shoes can often feel like the rearfoot of the shoe gets in the way of our preferred movement pathway, making the shoe less comfortable and likely making us less efficient. For me, the cutoff for drop is 8mm, although there are some shoes with a drop >8mm that have worked well for me, including the On Cloudboom Echo 3 (9.5mm) and the Asics Nimbus Lite 3 (13mm for women, 10mm for men). I would recommend that midfoot or forefoot strikers not judge a shoe based on its stated drop alone, as a shoe's specific geometry (particularly a heel bevel) and midsole qualities will determine whether a shoe will work well with a midfoot landing. That being said, the sweet spot for drop for me is in the 4-8mm range. Topo is a brand that is known for its lower drop shoes, with all of its offerings between 0-5mm drop. I love the Topo Phantom 3 as my daily trainer because it is relatively lightweight for a trainer (9.2oz for a men's size 9 and 7.2oz for a women's size 8), has moderate stack (33mm heel/28mm forefoot) which provides ample protection from the ground without being soft, and has Topo's classic wide toebox and late toe spring that meshes well with my preferred movement pathway. Similarly, the Topo Cyclone 2 is my favorite non-plated workout shoe thanks to its its full Pebax midsole, lower stack (28mm heel/23mm forefoot), wide toebox, light weight (6.9oz men's 9/5.5oz women's 7) and late toe spring. I have used the Cyclone 2 for workouts at paces from hill sprints to marathon pace, as well as a 17 mile long run. It is a true jack of all trades and I am already on my second pair for the year because of all the miles I've put on it.

My favorite long run shoe is the Brooks Hyperion Max, which is such a comfortable shoe for me that I would not hesitate to use it in a marathon if super shoes did not exist. Even though it is an 8mm drop shoe, its rocker geometry, including a significant heel bevel, results in the shoe working perfectly with my biomechanics. I have done many 12-18 mile runs in this shoe with zero foot discomfort. Thanks to the extensive rubber coverage in the outsole, I have put 300+ miles on two pairs this year before the midsole starting feeling a little flat.

The On Cloudboom Echo 3 is my racing pick for midfoot strikers because out of all of the super shoes I have tested and raced in, the Cloudboom Echo 3 feels most natural for midfoot landings. The heel bevel, firm forefoot, and aggressive forefoot rocker make for extremely fast transitions from a midfoot landing. While I would not run a marathon in the shoe due to its firm forefoot, it is definitely my top pick for my next 5k or 10k. 

Other Options to Consider: Altra Escalante 3 (for those who prefer a 0 drop daily trainer), Brooks Hyperion Tempo or Hyperion (workout shoe), Topo Specter (firmer long run shoe), Nike Vaporfly 3 (racing)

A Guided Rotation for Neutral Shoes with Stiffer Forefoots
Trainer: HOKA Stinson 7
Workout: Adidas Boston 12
Racing: Saucony Endorphin Elite

Senior Contributor, David Salas: Some people struggle with flexibility and mobility through their forefoot and toes. This is one of the big reasons why rocker profiled shoes have gotten so popular in the last few years. The shoes above provide a platform that gives a rockered experience and keeps your transitions "rolling". I know, bad joke. The HOKA Stinson 7 covers the high stack rockered shoe that you can pound mileage into without worrying about pace and weight. The Adidas Boston 12 gives you an option that is relatively lightweight, but durable enough to handle warm ups, workouts, cooldowns, tempos, and long runs. That shoe will serve nicely as a training companion for a shoe like the Endorphin Elite from Saucony.

The Saucony Endorphin Elite has a slightly firmer midsole compared to other super shoes and does have a stiffer plate in the forefoot that creates a larger toe spring. Similar to the other models listed, this gives you a constant rolling sensation. Many times we say that rockered shoes tend to shift the load away from the ankle and more towards the hips and knees. This is because much of the deceleration and levering off of the forefoot is due to either calf and lower leg stability and ankle and toe mobility. For those who struggle with flatter and more flexible profile shoes, the rotation above will help you. 

A Guided Rotation to Maximize Durability for the Recreational Runner
Trainer 1: Saucony Triumph 21
Trainer 2: Mizuno Wave Rider 27

Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor: A lot of emphasis is often placed on the top-of-the-line racing shoes. However, a majority of runners are simply looking to run on a consistent basis without ever toeing the line for a race. This rotation is an option for those wanting the most durability from their shoes while also reaping the benefits of a shoe rotation. The first shoe is the Saucony Triumph 21. It has utilized PWRRUN+ as a midsole for the last several renditions, which has been tested in the lab at Saucony and has the highest durability of any foam they create. The construction of the foam includes an 8mm drop, a nice heel bevel, and a mild forefoot rocker that is moderately flexible. To give a bit of variability with similar durability, a runner could also pick up the Mizuno Wave Rider 27. The outsole on the Wave Rider series is really what sets it apart in terms of durability. It is quite thick and has been proven to last in our years of testing this shoe. In comparison to the Triumph 21, there is a higher drop (12mm), a firmer ride, and a bit more forefoot flexibility. These differences are enough to give your body the variability it benefits from with a shoe rotation while choosing shoes that last as long as possible. 


About the 1st MTP and its Role in Running
What is Drop and Why It Doesn't Always Matter
The Science of Sole Width
Challenges with Large Toe Spring
Phases of the Swing Gait
Can Running Shoes Reduce Injuries?
The Best Shoes of 2023 for Highly Specific Reasons
Andrea's Favorite Shoes of 2023
David's Favorite Shoes of 2023
Matt's Favorite Shoes of 2023
My Favorite Flat Feet Shoes of 2023
ChatGPT Reviews a Shoe, Volume 2
How Forefoot Rockers Help Toe Mobility
Running with Backpacks
How Much Does Doctors of Running Make?
Changes We're Excited to See
Why Heel Bevels are Natural
Do Heavier Runners Need Different Shoes?
Shoe Rotations for Different Runners
Strength Training to Prevent Injury - A Case Study
On the Impacts of Different Stacked Shoes
The Importance of Heel Bevels in Shoe Design
Low vs. High Drop Shoes
Why is Proprioception Important to Runners?
Best Running Movie Scenes of All-Time, Part 2
Best Running Movie Scenes of All-Time, Part 1
What a Week at DOR is Like
Reflections on Saucony's Running Economy Study
Sustainable is Only Going to Work if It's Good
A Simple Guide to Footwear and Foot Health
Best Flat Feet Shoes by a Flat Feet Runner
How Long Do Shoes Last?


*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


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About the 1st MTP and its Role in Running

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