Neutral vs. Stability Running Shoes: The Ultimate Comparison

Choosing what type of running shoes is an overwhelming task most runners have difficulty doing. They are faced with the dilemma of picking either stability or a natural running shoe.

If you are new to running, chances are, you don’t know what these shoes are, right?

So, to help you with this, we’ve gathered and piled plenty of information on which running shoes are best for you.

Here’s a detailed comparison between neutral vs. stability running shoes. Come and have a look!

Neutral Running Shoe Overview

A neutral shoe is for people who have the right running style. It’s where their feet come in contact with the ground in all parts and the right places and bounce off accordingly.

Having a neutral running shoe means you are running at a more comfortable and easier pace. It’s like a shoe clicking on all cylinders of your feet.

To know whether you are running in the proper form, you must first know about your pronation rate. Your pronation rate can be determined within your local shoe store.

Around 50 to 60 percent of runners have normal pronation, whereas the others may require a stability shoe.

So, if you belong to the percentage of runners with normal pronation, having neutral running shoes goes a long way since a zero-drop shoe is only great for people with correct running form.

But if you’re a runner who either under or over-pronates, you will greatly benefit from a running shoe with plenty of cushioning as it can provide better support when running.

In addition, if you are way over 180 pounds, it is recommended to have a running shoe with higher levels of cushioning to provide better shock absorption, comfort, and arch support.


  • Best for runners with high arched foot
  • Best for neutral runners
  • Lighter than most stability running shoes
  • Better comfort at the heel section
  • It gives appropriate and more support to the feet
  • Extremely feel, great for runners with a stiffer heel


  • Runners might not feel its lightness
  • Don’t have motion control features

Choosing what type of running shoes is an overwhelming task most runners have difficulty doing. They are faced with the dilemma of picking either stability or a natural running shoe.

If you are new to running, chances are, you don’t know what these shoes are, right?

So, to help you with this, we’ve gathered and piled plenty of information on which running shoes are best for you.

Here’s a detailed comparison between neutral vs. stability running shoes. Come and have a look!

Running Shoe Stability Overview

Running Shoe Stability

On the other hand, stability running shoes are specially designed for runners who overpronate to help them run naturally or like a neutral pronator.

Most stability running shoes have different cushioning called a medial post, a feature that supports the inwards sides of the running shoes.

Also, these paddings are placed in areas where it helps a runner’s feet back in place or their neutral form.

In addition, a stability shoe is not for everyone like neutral shoes are. You don’t need stability shoes if you’re already running in the proper form with no pronation and good strides.

Pronation happens when your foot rolls at the moment of impact during running or walking. When this happens, it greatly affects how your body absorbs the shock.

Signs you need a stability shoe:

  • One of the common signs if you need this type of shoe is if you have low arches.
  • If you recorded yourself running and noticed your knees rub at each other, you might consider using a stability shoe.
  • If your entire foot is imprinted into the wet test, it may signify that you need stability shoes.

If you find that your feet roll inwards when running or simply by waking, don’t worry.

Almost 15% of runners roll their feet inward, but if your foot is arching way more than it should, it may cause injuries.

People with extreme pronation are highly advised to use maximum support.

These are different shoes from natural or stability shoes as they are more inclined to help your foot adhere to shock.


  • Helps the foot maintain its neutral alignment
  • Runners with low arches
  • Provides extra support
  • Great for runners with flat arch
  • Plenty of stability features


  • It tends to be less comfortable for many runners
  • Causes stress to the joints because of excessive pronation
  • Likely heavy, giving too much weight when running
  • Not many shoes are designed this way

Neutral vs. Stability Running Shoes: Comparison of Features

Here’s a detailed comparison between stability and neutral running shoes for each runner with a specific condition.

Neutral vs Stability Running Shoes


In terms of comfort, both types of running shoes are packed with materials that provide added comfort to your everyday running.

Stability shoes are packed with different supporting features for a more comfortable run.

On the other hand, neutral running shoes tend to be lighter, and you might feel something more when your shoes are touching the ground.

As a result, they aren’t as comfortable as stability shoes are. Still, it’s all up to the runner whether one is more comfortable than the other.

But, we’ll declare that the stability shoe is more comfortable to wear as it packs many features for maximum comfort and stability.

WINNER: Stability Shoes

Runners With High Arch Foot

Runners with high arches experience difficulties with their running form and gait. They aren’t flexible enough to absorb contact when running.

As a result, people with high arching feet need neutral shoes to provide comfort, and runners whose feet aren’t extremely flexible.

A neutral shoe design benefits a neutral runner by supporting movement and speed while reducing the risk of running-related injuries.

Neutral runners usually make their strides on the outer edge of their feet.

And a neutral shoe reduces the inward motion most neutral runners experience as the cushioning helps support the foot arch.

WINNER: Neutral Running Shoes

Runners Who Overpronate

The right running shoes for people who overpronate are motion control shoes.

They are made with features that provide support along the medial and heel regions of the foot.

It helps correct overpronation. These shoes are intended to modify a runner’s feet into a neutral position.

WINNER: Neither neutral nor stability shoe

Runners With Low to Medium Arch Foot

For runners with low to medium arching feet, the best shoe, for this reason, is the stability shoe.

It helps stabilize the inward bend of the feet; most stability shoes are equipped with middle sole technology and support in the arch region.

WINNER: Stability Shoe

How to Know What Running Shoes You Need

Before choosing the right running shoes for you, we highly recommend getting your gait analyzed.

This way, you get a better idea of which shoes are preferred according to your running style.

What Running Shoes You Need

Check Wear Pattern

Checking the wear pattern from your old shoes tells a lot about how you walk, run, or jog.

A neutral runner should have even imprints on its wear pattern. Under and overpronators have uneven imprints from the inside or outside of the sole.

In some cases, when wearing is evident on the outer part of the heel and in the forefoot inner part, that is still overpronation because heel strike happens on the outer section of the heel.

Also, when the wear pattern is more evident on the shoe’s inner part, it indicates that the foot under pronates as the feet roll inward.

Analyze Your Gait

Try analyzing your gait by using a treadmill.

Place a camera from the front and back to do this. Next, slowly run while the camera is recording.

You are a neutral runner if your feet, knees, and ankles don’t run off each other.

However, if your knees and ankles cave in when you run, it is a tell-tale sign that you overpronate.

Check the Position of Your Foot When Standing

This technique is pretty simple.

The first thing you do is walk at least 10 steps forward and bring yourself to a stop.

Head held high, feet apart, and in your normal standing position. If your feet are pointing in an outward or straight direction, then you are a neutral runner.

But if you see a V-shaped form, you likely overpronate and will need a stability shoe.

Foot Arch Analysis

It would be best if you had a big mirror for this analysis. You will first look in front of the mirror and watch the arch your foot creates.

A wet test can also help you analyze whether you have low, neutral, or high arch feet.

Normal runners have normal arches, whereas overpronators have high arches and under pronators have low arches.

Runners may need support shoes for better support at the arch region.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have further questions regarding neutral vs. stability running shoes, you might find them below.

Can a Neutral Runner Use a Stability Shoe?

Absolutely, especially those who aren’t affected by neutral pronation or foot pronation can wear a stability shoe.

However, those who experience too much foot pronation are not advised to wear them.

If it’s too hard to maintain your balance when wearing stability shoes, you might consider visiting your doctor to know which running best-running shoe to choose.

Can Anyone Run in Neutral Shoes?

Of course! But it depends on the wearer.

If they feel they are more comfortable when using neutral shoes, then no one is stopping them.

Remember that neutral shoes have more padding on the heel section to provide comfort and shock absorption.

So, it may take some getting used to if you prefer running with neutral shoes on.

What Is Running Gait?

A running gait is a cycle where a runner’s leg cycles through one step after they start running.

The gait cycle involves two things, the stance and the swing. The first running gait is the stance.

The stance is when your foot touches the ground until your body is over your foot. This phase is known as the period of impact and absorption.

When your foot leaves off the ground, and your body travels ahead of your foot, this is the second phase of the running gait, which we call the swing phase.

Essentially, a running gait is the manner wherein your foot leaves and touches the ground.

During the swing phase, there’s a time when your feet and body aren’t touching the ground, which means this is time you are floating off the ground.

This phase is called the floating stage, which is the difference between walking and running gait.

What Are Motion Control Shoes?

Motion control shoes are designed for overweight runners with severe overpronation or flat feet.

It is intended for people whose feet overpronate, and the design allows the feet to have a more limited movement.

Most motion control running shoes are designed to help reduce how much the feet pronate and improve stability as it provides proper support along the medial post of the shoe.

Why Should You Wear the Right Running Shoe

Whether you over or under-pronate, it is important to have the right shoe to provide the best support for your feet regardless of the shoe brand.

When your feet come in contact with the ground, known as a foot strike, the impact is three times your body weight.

It is one of the reasons why you should have the right shoe for you. It can prevent common injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and many more.

There may be many shoe brands out there, but if the one you’re wearing isn’t intended for your need, then all the toes in your feet may suffer.

Final Verdict: Which Should You Get

If you’re still confused about whether you need a neutral or stability shoe, here is our verdict on which new running shoes you should get.

Wear Neutral Shoes If:

  • Your feet don’t overpronate
  • You have flat feet or high arches
  • Your knees don’t rub against each other when walking or running
  • Your running form is correct

Wear Stability Shoes If:

  • Your foot rolls inward as you need more support on uneven parts of the feet.
  • You have low arch feet due to excessive wearing
  • You have a mild to moderate overpronation
  • Your entire feet don’t come into contact with the ground, as this is quite apparent for overpronators.
  • Your knees rub while walking or running.

Conclusion/Final Words

Whether you need neutral or stability shoes, remember that a new pair of shoes help your feet to move and flex naturally without discomfort.

In addition, always ask your local shoe store to check what type of pronation you have to have the right shoes for your feet.

The best shoes should provide stability and comfort and reduce the risk of injuries.

Lastly, a neutral shoe is best for runners with excessive force on the forefoot and heel section.

In contrast, stability shoes are great for runners who overpronate as the shoes help bring the foot into its natural alignment.