By Noel Paine
Welcome to our Top Running Shoes for Overpronation review.
“Want a strong, solid relationship that is willing to go the distance? Get to know your running shoes.” – American ultramarathoner and author Dean Karnazes
Ever see that person walking in front of you who’s foot feet are just rolling in over the shoe as they walk along? They are overpronating and are in the wrong shoe! I have been running for the age of many of the people reading this article (a long time), have worked in specialty running shops, worked helping people with their feet, shoes and orthotics and gained a lot of knowledge and expertise that I want to use to help you.
Running Shoes for Overpronation
The Pedorthic Association of Canada (Pedorthists make orthotics and help treat foot problems) defines overpronation as a condition in which the foot rolls excessively down and inward. The arch may elongate, and collapse (or fall) and the heel will lean inward.
Your foot is like the foundation of a house, and when there is something off at the bottom, there can be problems created throughout the house. Overpronation can contribute to running injuries such as iliotibial band syndrome and plantar fasciitis.
So, can a shoe help with overpronation? Yes.
The right type of running shoe can help many people avoid injury. It is the first thing to try before looking at other options such as insoles, orthotics or other preventive options or treatments. I have personally seen how much difference a good shoe that fits well and provides the right support can make.
Your feet are often so neglected and do so much work for you. Treat them well and keep them and you happy and moving!
What Shoe Will Work Best For Me?
The foot is the most complex boney structure in our body with 26 bones in each foot. Everyone has a different foot and different needs. The shoe that works best for you will depend on your foot type, the width of your foot, your weight, how you run, what you run on and other factors. What works and feels good for one person may not work for another person.
Friends, other runners or family will talk about their experiences with a certain shoe or brand. Listen, but realize that unless you have the same feet as them, weigh the same, run the same etc. – you may have a different experience!
How Do I Figure Out What Shoe to Buy?
Most shoe brands make a shoe for people that overpronate. These shoes are usually called stability or motion control shoes. Motion control shoes are one step up from the stability category of running shoes and provide the maximum amount of support when a lot of help is needed to stop the foot from overpronating.
These shoes are built with denser foam or other devices built into the midsole (cushioning part of the shoe) or near the arch area which makes it more difficult for the foot to roll over. The denser foam or varying degrees of extra support in the shoe provides the foot help and may be all that some people need to run injury free.
Do your research online, get help from staff at a local specialty running shop or a Pedorthist (makes orthotics) or Podiatrist (foot specialist) so you get to know what your foot and what it needs! Some running store websites such as the Running Room have information online that can also guide you.
How Do I Know if it’s the Shoes For Me?
Make sure the shoe is the right length for you (get your foot measured) (Stores have a device called a Brannock) and that your toe is not right at the end when you stand in the shoe. Made sure the shoe is snug but not tight and not sloppy.
Make sure there is room around your ankle bone so that the collar of the shoe does not rub you. Walk or run in the shoe in the store if you do not buy online. If at a running store, have someone who knows shoes and feet to watch you walk or run in the shoe.
A great independent Running shop in Canada (Aerobics First) I worked at has great online advice and information on how a shoe should fit!
I have been running for a long time and know my shoes, BUT I still take the time to do my research and if I can try shoes on before buying them. Matching up a foot to a shoe is part science and part going with a feeling. They have to feel good and work for you!
Top Running Shoes Designed to Help with Overpronation
1. New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13
This shoe is in the stability category. It has been around long enough in the New Balance line-up to be on the 13th version.
I have started with New Balance as I used to love this brand as they were a brand where multiple widths for most of their shoes were available [B, D (regular), 2E, 4E for men and 2A, B (regular) 2E and 4E for women]. They have great customer service, a return policy and really focus on making shoes for different feet.
This shoe has the Fresh-Foam X which is New Balance’s top cushioning and to help the foot that overpronates, they add a supportive medial post to provide essential stability.
The shoes comes in two widths, eight color options (depending on what each store carries) and 3% of the shoes is made from bio-based content. This shoe is a reliable, cushioned but stable training shoe.
For American readers, this is a US company and I believe a small selection of some of their shoes are still made in the US!
2. ASICS GT-2000 12
The Asics GT-2000 is from a long line of stability shoes that have worked for many people. This moderate stability shoe is relatively light for the type of shoe but quite stable. The Asics GT-2000 12 is a update from the last version but slightly lighter (by 5 grams).
FLYTEFOAM is replaced by full length FF Blast Plau midsole cushioning that is a bit higher (stack) than before. There is still gel to add extra cushioning and Asics has a new 3D Guidance system that is comprised of an increased heel bevel, more forefoot flare and a change in the outsole configuration, that they say makes the shoe more stable.
The shoe basically looks the same and there are some material changes but its still meant to be a moderate stability shoe for those that overpronate. For really bad pronation, look to Asics’s GT 4000 that also comes in wide.
At least 50% of the shoe's main upper material is made with recycled content and is considered vegan.
I have always liked shoes from Asics, I find some of their shoes can be lighter than others in their category and still provide comparable support. If you want some support but less than GT-2000, take a look at the GT-1000.
Like other companies Asics is trying to go green and 50% of the upper is made from recycled content.
3. Saucony Guide 16
Like many stability shoes that brands bring out and work, if they work, they stick around, and this is the case with the Guide. Saucony call this a structured cushioning shoe, meaning its still a cushioned shoe with a Saucony PWRRUN foam midsole but it meant to be a bit more stable.
I have tried this shoe on and it’s a firm cushion (firmer than those who are familiar with the Saucony Kinvara) and is stable but may not be enough support if you overpronate a lot. For shoe geeks, this would be like the old Saucony Shadow from the 1990s compared to the Jazz.
This shoe is also said to be vegan and contains recycled materials and comes in two widths.
4. Asics Kayano 30
This is the Cadillac of cushioning and support for Asics and has been for many years. The price is at the upper end for this shoe but you get what you pay for.
The Kayano 30 is a mild update (look-wise) from the 29 version and weighs 3 grams (due to 4mm more cushion) more but has changes in technology and structure.
As with other current Asics shoes, there is new gel for extra cushioning and the LITETRUSS™ technology for medial support and midfoot integrity has been replaced with what is being called 4D Guidance system (increased heel bevel, a newly sculpted midsole to help guide foot and other changes to create a more stable platform). This shoe is still the Cadillac of the Asics line but a slightly softer one.
So this running shoe has a lot of cushion and a good deal of stability for the right foot. I have always found however the cushion in this shoe still quite soft and may not be great for the bigger runner who may need something firmer (more stable platform).
At least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
5. Mizuno Wave Horizon 6
This shoe from Mizuno is a great choice for someone who wants a very solid, stabile platform with support and width. The shoe comes in two widths, has support for overpronation with asymmetrical foam wave and rubber wall and their ENERZY Foam for great cushioning.
The shoe is also very straight-lasted (straighter looking and not curved) which is better for feet that need support and has a durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear.
I have found Mizuno shoes have a different feel than some other brands due to the plastic wave they incorporate into their cushioning. I have found they feel a bit firmer than some other shoes, test them out and see if they work for you!
The MIZUNO WAVE® plate which is part of many of their shoes and is added to the shoe names disperses energy from an impact to a broader area providing a stable platform and superior cushioning.
This shoe also incorporates eco-friendly materials.
6. Adidas SolarControl
This rather heavy shoe in the Adidas lineup, may have a few extra ounces or grams of weight but it looks solid. The “Control” in the name implies it will help control excessive motion.
Adidas describes the shoe as providing extra stability and has dual density EVA (type of cushioning). The dual density usually indicates its placed on the medial (inner) side of the shoe to slow a pronating foot from rolling over and compressing it.
I have run in Adidas shoes before (way back in an Adidas Response) and found they can be a bit shallow compared to some and those with orthotics or insoles may want to try on before buying. This shoe may be an exception as its made for those with stability issues.
The shoe uses its patented BOOST cushioning (which has a unique feel) and says it has a rubber outsole (very durable) with an upper contains a minimum of 50% recycled content.
7. HOKA Gaviotia 5
If you want to try something different, try HOKA. In all my years of running this shoe brand has been the one that really surprised me. While many brands were going light and minimal weight with just enough cushion, HOKA went chunky but light!
The HOKA Gaviota 5 is their stability shoe that contains their H-Frame(TM) technology designed to prevent excessive inward roll, or overpronation, without overcorrecting gait. Compared to other HOKA shoes, it features a higher bed of cushion, designed to provide a forgiving impact and ride. The shoe also comes in a regular width and wide.
The 5th version is 0.5 ounces heavier and has 1mm more drop and the stability frame in the shoe has changed slightly (from J to H frame). As with many shoes it seems this season – shoes are adding more cushion and height while trying to keep the weight the same or lighter.
I like the look of this shoe with width options, a broad stable platform designed to provide support. For those who have not tried HOKA you will want to put them on your feet before buying.
I loved some of their shoes and use their CarbonX model as one of my regular running shoes. Oh, and the pull tab at the back of their shoes works really well and was a great thought by their designers!
8. Brooks Beast GTS 23
The new GTS 23 version of one of my favourite motion control shoes (maximum stability) has just gotten more stable! I used to fit people with the Brooks Beast with many moons ago as a college student at my favourite running shop (where I also ran from). The shoe is wide, solid and comes in three widths and has a decent amount of volume. I would even classify this shoe as a motion control shoe (maximum stability) and the name says it all! Grrrr. They used to call the women’s version the same, but it did not go over well and is now called the Ariel. The shoe also sort of cups the foot in support (Brooks guiderail system) that I really like.
The new 23 is mildly heavier than the version 20 (11.7 ounces to 11.9). It has the latest DNA Loft 3 cushioning and the new addition is the GuideRails system that sort of wraps around the rear of the foot to add more stability. This is a shoe for someone who needs maximum help because of a foot that really overpronates (arch collapses in).
If you have a wide foot that needs a lot (max) of support, you may want try this staple that has existed in the Brooks line for a good number of years.
If you need a little less support, their moderate stability shoe that has for years also been in their line, the Addiction, which also comes in a number of widths is another option. These for me were always a go to for moderate to maximum control shoes for problematic feet!
Many shoe brands will sell their shoes in widths online, not every shoe store will carry widths or all widths but may be able to order for you. Always ask questions!
When do you Need New Shoes?
Your running shoes are like the tires on your car (which is your body in this analogy). Choose the right shoes/tires for your needs and regularly replace them when they are worn out! If you track your mileage, every 300-500miles (500-800km) is a good time to start thinking about new shoes.
How often you replace your shoes will depend on how often you use them and how hard you are on the shoes and how durable your shoe is. You impact with 3-4 times your body weight each time your foot hits the ground (ouch)! Even Kenyans usually grab a running shoe when they can to help them run. Take care of your feet!
When the stability or motion control shoe does not work!
The stability and motion control shoes try and provide a stable platform for feet that need help but because there are many types of feet and shoes do not have support for underneath the foot (arch support. Sometimes a temporary or permanent insole or orthotic may be need to help the foot.
The type of shoe to go with an insole or orthotic will depend on the person, weight, the foot, how much help the supportive device needs and sometimes how much extra depth in the shoe is required to accommodate the insole. Go to your Podiatrist or Pedorthist for help and when you go to find a shoe, go to a store with knowledgeable staff who can help and who have experience with orthotics.