Of the stability models we evaluated, reviewers say the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 (Est. $110) offers the best blend of comfort, responsiveness and support. Its progressively firm medial foam, plastic stability shank and wide base correct mild to moderate overpronation without feeling awkward. The Adrenaline GTS 13 is also more flexible than its immediate predecessor.
Fit is another high point for this shoe, thanks to elasticized eyelets and a tongue that runners say actually stays put. The Adrenaline GTS 13 has a 12 mm offset between heel and toe heights -- typical for conventional running shoes -- and weighs 11.3 ounces for a men's pair, 9.4 ounces for women's.
If you're a midfoot or forefoot striker but still need some extra stability in your running shoes, you might prefer the Saucony Hurricane 14 (Est. $140) , which weighs 11.2 ounces for a men's pair, 9.7 ounces for women's. Its 8 mm offset encourages a midfoot strike, but reviewers say the shoe is cushioned to accommodate heel and forefoot strikers as well and is supportive without being intrusive. However, we did find some definite concerns about durability. One commenter at Runner's World U.K. says he's owned three pairs and that in each case the toebox ripped after 250 kilometers, or about 155 miles.
The Nike LunarEclipse+ 2 (Est. $135) also draws concern about its durability; some runners say the heels wear quickly, and one reports the seams ripped after just a couple hundred miles -- although he still likes the shoe enough to buy three pairs. When it comes to stability, reviewers say the LunarEclipse+ 2 is well suited for correctly mild to moderate overpronation. At just 10.8 ounces for a men's pair, they tend toward the lighter side of the stability-shoe spectrum.
A snug fit with a soft, flexible upper is already a high point for the LunarEclipse+2. The updated LunarEclipse+ 3, scheduled for release in Spring 2013, will have Nike's Flywire system -- cables that run directly from the upper to the midsole, allowing an even more customized fit. Nike doesn't typically disclose its shoes' heel-to-toe-drop, but Running Warehouse measures this model at a 12 mm offset.
The Brooks Ravenna 3 (Est. $100) is the fastest-feeling of the stability shoes we look at; the manufacturer refers to it as a guidance model best suited for correcting mild overpronation. The Ravenna 3's standout flexibility, which is scaled according to both gender and size for the best combination of flex and responsiveness, is a big hit with reviewers.
Reviewers say the Ravenna 3 has a fantastic fit and a fast feel on your feet, and the Brooks DNA gel in the soles offers "great impact absorption" for heel strikes encouraged by its 10 mm drop. That said, we did find a few complaints about the arch shape.
Both of the motion-control shoes we evaluate, the Asics Gel Kayano 19 (Est. $150) and the Brooks Beast '12 (Brooks Ariel '12 for women) (*Est. $130) , are recent updates to shoe lines with long-standing records of excellence. User and expert feedback is still relatively scant for both models, but by examining reviews of their immediate predecessors and early reports on the new updates, you gain a pretty good picture of what to expect.
Although both shoes are built for motion control and offer excellent cushioning, reviewers generally turn to the Brooks Beast if true motion control is really the priority. Accordingly, we've selected the Brooks Beast (and Ariel) '12 as the best shoe for severe overpronators who need real structure to support their feet. The Beast also excels at supporting heavier runners, who say the shoes are cushioned and sturdy enough to take a pounding and help reduce or eliminate knee, shin and foot pain. Like most Brooks models, the Brooks Beast and Ariel run a half-size small.
The Kayano 19, on the other hand, stands out if you're a moderate overpronator who needs more support than you'd get with a regular stability shoe, but still wants the most cushioned run possible. Early reviews indicate that, like the Kayano 18, the Kayano 19 is not quite as cushy as previous versions, but reviewers are quick to add it still feels like "running on clouds." One such user explains, "The extra squishy ride I've experienced on prior versions just isn't there." As one Running Warehouse tester points out, the trade-off for the increased firmness is better responsiveness.
The Kayano 19 also wins out if a light shoe is your priority. The Kayano 19 weighs 10.9 ounces for a men's pair or 8.9 ounces for a women's pair with a 10 mm offset, compared to the Beast's 14.0 ounces or the Ariel's 12.3 ounces and 12 mm offset. Both have reasonably durable soles. You can expect 300 to 400 miles of use before you notice a difference in cushioning, but users express some concerns about the durability of the Kayano's upper. The Beast and Ariel, by comparison, have a rock-solid reputation for durability.
Reviewers rave about how comfortable both the Asics Kayano and Brooks Beast/Ariel line are. Of the two, the Kayano 18 and Kayano 19 have undergone a fairly radical redesign of the upper, while the fit for the Beast '12 and Ariel '12 remains largely unchanged. A few users complain the Kayano 18's redesigned upper rubs against their feet in the bunion area, but the Kayano 19 introduces seamless overlays that may solve this problem.