Motion Control Vs. Stability in Running Shoes

Written by karen koch
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Motion Control Vs. Stability in Running Shoes
(Ting Hoo/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If everyone had perfect biomechanics, there would be no need for speciality running shoes. Most of us aren't so lucky, so shoe manufacturers have developed shoes to help correct the problems in gait (the manner of moving on foot) that many of us have. Stability and motion control are two types of running shoes.

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Both stability and motion control shoes are helpful for the overpronater. Overpronation is when the foot rolls inward past the point that is healthy for your ankles, lower legs, knees and lower back. Which shoe you choose depends on your arch and how much you pronate.

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are for the mild to moderate overpronater who has a normal-sized arch. The stability shoe reduces pronation and provides firm support to the arch.

Motion Control Shoes

A severe overpronater with low arches (flat feet) would probably be better served by a motion control shoe. These shoes, in addition to reducing pronation, have a very wide base for support. Motion control shoes provide rigid support to the arch.


If you wear prescription orthotics, these inserts probably add motion control to your shoes already. So, you may be able to choose a stability shoe or even a neutral shoe instead of a motion control shoe--even if you have low arches and severe overpronation. Motion control shoes can also contribute to the deterioration of the inside knee joint. So, if you have knee arthritis or are bow-legged, you may want to avoid motion control shoes.

Choosing the Best Shoe

A speciality running store should be able to analyse your gait and help you find the shoe that is best for you. When you purchase your shoes, know the return policy so that if the shoes are uncomfortable or cause pain, you can return them.

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