Is there really a big difference between different running shoes?

March 7, 2019

Neutral vs Stability Running Shoes

Have you ever stood in the shoe store looking at the vast wall of shoes wondering which shoe is best for me and what is the big difference anyway?  Because I really like the look of that one!

“As Podiatrist we love to throw around all these different terms when recommending different types of shoes. Neutral and Stability are common terms we use to describe different sorts of running shoes, BUT…what do they actually mean? “

Believe it or not picking the wrong shoe can actually take a completely injury free runner or walker and give them some massive issues. It can also cost you a lot more money in the long run as if they are the wrong shoe for you will actually wear through them faster.

Often we are oblivious to the fact that we have managed to pick the right shoe because like so many things in life when you get it right you do no even give it a second though it just feels good!

“The biggest mistake we see is when a shoe is picked purely on colour or cost or because our friend is wearing them and said they are the best shoe ever”

People’s feet and what they want to do with them differ so greatly that knowing what your feet and you need is very important. So this break down will help you identify which category you fit into so your next trip to the shoe store can be a successful one.

Stability Shoe:

Stability shoes are running shoes that essentially have some sort of ‘arch support’ incorporated inside the shoe. These shoes are specifically designed for those of us who have a flatter arch type or our ankles roll in. A common misconception with stability shoes is that the arch support is in the shoe liner of the shoe (for those of you asking, the shoe liner is the innersole that comes with the shoe and provides a little bit of cushioning for your foot). This is not the case. Most stability shoes incorporate the arch support within the shoe itself.

Within the stability category itself it can range from mild support through to a motion control shoe.  So basically if you are a little bit flat or you roll in a little bit then a shoe with mild  support will work for you. At the other end of the spectrum  if you suffer from  REALLY flat feet or feet that roll in then you will most likely require a motion control shoe. If you aren’t sure on which sort of shoe to buy  or you wear orthotics that already control your feet; then it’s best to go get your feet checked out by the experts and they can give you some guidance.

Some common stability shoes available are:


  • Asics Kayano
  • Brooks Adrenaline
  • Mizuno Inspire
  • Saucony Guide
  • New Balance 860
  • Nike Structure
  • Hoka Arahi
  • Adidas Supernova


Neutral Shoe:

The term neutral shoe is used a lot when it comes to describing footwear and can be easily confused as it is such a broad term. Typically a ‘neutral shoe’ is one that has no arch support and is designed for people who walk towards the outside of their shoes. It is also referred to as a ‘cushioning’ shoe. This does not mean that stability shoes don’t have cushioning, it is just referring to the fact that neutral shoes don’t have the arch support in the shoe. Neutral shoes are commonly used in conjunction with orthotic therapy as they provide a stable base for the orthotic and don’t impact on the support of the orthotic like a stability shoe can.

Like the stability shoes, neutral shoes can range in support. Within this category you’ll find you can range from lightweight racing shoes all the way to the most cushioned of shoes. A lot of this choice will come down to the sort of activities you are doing and the longevity you want out of the shoe.

Some common neutral shoes are:


  • Asics Nimbus
  • Brooks Glycerin
  • Mizuno Rider
  • New Balance 880
  • Saucony Ride
  • Nike Pegasus
  • Adidas UltraBoost
  • Hoka Bondi



So next time you go to the store you will be armed with some more knowledge other than what your favorite colour is. If you are still confused and would like some help for this month only we are offering a GAP FREE Footwear assessment. Usually valued at $200.00 You can get this at ” No out of pocket expense” to you.

No health insurance? Don’t worry we have not forgotten you. For this month only You can get your shoes assessed and any new recommendations made for just $50 that is a saving of $150.00