Stability, Motion control, Neutral, What?
How do you know which shoes are right for your feet? There are definitely a ton of options out there. Just about every brand of shoe has every type of shoe. More and more types of shoes come out all the time too, making the decision all the more difficult. Most new runners go into a running store and get recommendations from the staff. This is what I recommend for new runners. So let’s go over some basic shoe terminology and information.
I’m going to start with the most straight forward, the neutral shoe. A neutral shoe means exactly what it says, neutral. It doesn’t guild or force your foot to behave in a particular way. It lets your foot do whatever it does naturally for you. There’s nothing more to it. Most people are going to fall into this category. In fact, most research says this type of shoe carries the least amount of injury risk for all types of feet.
Stability shoes control the movement of your foot. It provides added support to the inside of the forefoot to prevent it from rolling inward (pronating) too much. Pronation can be cause by your arches collapsing. Collapsing arches can cause aches and pains up in your ankles and lower leg. Stability shoes are recommended for runners who need a little bit of correction to their foot movement. The shoes do this by having extra stuff (the technical term is EVO) in the arch of the foot. These shoes are going to have less flexibility than other shoes. People with flat feet and low arches are typically steered toward stability or motion control shoes.
Motion Control shoes are the more intense version of a stability shoe. These shoes do the same thing as a stability shoe only they do more of it. These are more stiff than the above two types of shoes. They are also more expensive.
Of course, there are more aspects to consider when choosing a shoe such as toe box width, weight, stiffness, inside seams, and how your heel fits into the heel cup. Basically find shoes that fit your feet well. You should love your running shoes and want to wear them all the time.
If you are a new runner and choose to wear stability or motion control shoes, have your feet re-evaluated at a running store after six months. Your feet get stronger the more you run and you may not need the clunky shoes.