Runners with flat arches tend to overpronate, meaning the foot rolls inward too much each time it hits the ground. Overpronation that isn't corrected can lead to running injuries, so these runners should look for highly stable trail running shoes that prevent excessive pronation. Most trail shoes are inherently stable, and experts agree that mild overpronators will do fine in most trail running shoes. Runners with serious overpronation should look for a trail shoe with additional stability features. Since most of them are so stable to begin with, manufacturers don't make many motion-control trail shoes. The following shoes aren't specifically designed for overpronators, but tests and reviews show that they offer more stability than most.
One of the most touted crossover road-to-trail shoes is the previously discussed Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral (*Est. $130) . Interestingly, the company also offers a motion-control version, the Salomon XR Crossmax Guidance (*Est. $130) . It features many of the same elements as the Neutral but adds pronation control along the midsole. There are few reviews of the Guidance, but the user-reviews we did find are positive, saying this shoe is ideal for those who run mixed terrain and need additional stability control. One reviewer at RoadRunnerSports.com says the Guidance has the stability of the popular (and incredibly stable) Brooks Beast (*Est. $130) -- our top road running motion-control shoe -- but with trail traction. Reviewers note that the shoe is still quite firm, so while it's okay as a road shoe, be prepared for a hard ride.
The North Face Double-Track (*Est. $110) earns far more attention than the XR Crossmax Guidance. This shoe takes the general idea behind the impressive The North Face Single-Track (*Est. $100) and adds stability. It earned praise in both Women's Adventure Magazine and Men's Health, and garnered a healthy review from Runner's World. Outside magazine also names the shoe as a top buy of 2011, saying the subtle medial post helps with stability. Every expert review hails the Double-Track's ability to gently correct overpronation, and Women's Adventure Magazine appreciates the cradle support system and shock-absorbing midsole. Unfortunately, none of these reviews do a particularly good job of highlighting the shoe's drawbacks. User-reviews are generally more balanced, but very few exist for the Double-Track. One reviewer at REI.com offers a less flattering review, saying the heel is "excessively built up" and the shoes are poorly vented, making for hot feet.
The New Balance 876 (*Est. $100) is another super-stable option for trail runners that avoids the heavy and bulky feel of some trail shoes. Editors at Explore, a Canadian outdoor magazine, say the 876 has good traction and a highly breathable mesh upper. They also like that it doesn't have a traditional tongue; instead, it sports a large piece of neoprene built into the upper material. This tongue extends farther up the foot than most, but testers say it resists bunching and keeps dirt and small rocks from getting into the shoe. Brian Metzler at Running Times recommends the 876 for overpronators, calling it "a solid, substantial trainer for the runner who wants/needs motion control and trail-crushing cushioning underfoot." However, some testers find the heel too firm; Runner's World has the same complaint. The New Balance 876, which is available for men and women, weighs 12.3 ounces.
If your feet overpronate only slightly, reviews recommend the Adidas Supernova Riot 3. It pairs a durable, multidirectional lug-laden outsole with a stabilizing midsole to correct mild pronation. Runner's World says this shoe handles slush and mud particularly well. It's heavy at 13.1 ounces, but experts say it makes a good pick for heavier runners looking for a stability shoe that goes from trail to road with ease.