Stability vs motion control

MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
Went into my local Sweatshop today and asked for a pair of motion control shoes. Tried several, liked Saucony Grid Hurricane best and bought them.

I now read that these are stability rather than motion control shoes.

Anyone know to what extent the two categories overlap, and if I'm asking for trouble by running in stability shoes instead of motion control? I went out for about an hour in them straight afterwards and they felt fine.


  • I'm as confused as you are on that one Muttley me old furry chum.

    I had 2 pairs of NB 854s (excellent shoes)and they came under motion control (I'm an overpronator), however on this site they're listed as stability.

    Just got some Asics Gel Kayanos having asked for motion control shoes and found them listed as stability afterwards. They seem fine although haven't had a long run in them yet.

    There does seem to be some overlap, for example when you search this site for a specific shoe and it links to similar shoes of other brands, I have noticed that these can jump the motion control/stability categories.

    I'll wait for someone with more experience to jump in and clarify hopefully.

    Best wishes to Dick (drat!)
  • It is indeed confusing, especially to a simple canine like me who can't even catch a pigeon.

    I mean, until I joined this forum I thought motion control meant Immodium.
  • And you'd need motion control you naughty little doggy. I bet you get more than your fair share of the runner's trots
  • Ok
    The biggest problem in the retail /supplier/ magazine review market is that everyone doesn't use the terms. Some companies list thier shoes as stability and then the mags review them in another catagory. With regard to the shoes you guys are refering to:-
    The Saucony Hurricane is Moderate support/stability with maximum cushioning. The Saucony 'Motion Control' is called the Stabil. Mutley, If MC is what you want, take them back as the Hurricane is not a MC shoe. It is a very good shoe with plenty of support, but if the store said they were MC that is very wrong!
    JP - The NB 854 is again a moderate stability shoes but is one of those on the market that provides so much support it is 'almost' a MC shoe, but not quite. The NB MC shoe is 1120 ( or 1121 in Jan 03). The Kayano is the asics version of the Hurricane, again a moderate support with Max cushioning, but not an MC. The asics Koji or Foundation are the models for Motion Control, again if the store/mail order said they are MC and your not happy take them back.

    Having said all this... Motion Control is reasonably extreme, and most over-pronators won't require that level of support. Have a gait analysis (a decent running store should offer this service). The shoes that you have ended up with are excellent shoes (Hurricane & Kayano)for Moderate Support and big mileage, if you are happy with them go for it, but in both case take 'em back as they are not what they said they are.
  • Cheers Barry.

    I have had my running gait looked at by professionals in the past. The verdict in both cases was that I'm a chronic overpronator and definitely need MC. I've done about 8 miles in the Hurricanes and slightly splattered them in mud, but as you say, if I asked for MC and they showed me these, then they got it wrong. I'll take 'em back.
  • If you've been told you need MCs and the Hurricanes really are 'only' stability shoes then you're probably gonna get problems sooner or later :-(

    I am light but *severe* overpronator who bought Asics2060s thinking "ooooh they'll be okay just for a bit, have lost a bit of weight, they'll be FINE" blah blah... they weren't. Am now back with sexy-as-hell Brooks Lady Ariel (aka da BEAST) and relatively pain free (touch wood!!!!)
  • Barry B, thanks for your input. Very helpful.

    It's a tricky subject when you consider that the 854s, as you say, are near-as-damn-it a MC shoe, and now I'm with the Kayano which is definitely a stability shoe. The Kayano seems fine, however, I kind of wish I'd stuck with what I know. The NBs have been excellent. I decided to try something different for the sake of it really! That'll teach me to deviate from what I know.
  • Don't know if this helps at all but I had my feet analysed at Sweatshop and they said I was a flat footed over pronator (how attractive does that sound?!) and put me in a pair of Saucony Stabils. Have been running 20 to 30 miles a week in them for the last 4 or 5 months with no problems at all.
  • Dear all

    Please define "stability" I think you'll be hard pushed, it is a near useless term, banded around but basically means all things to all men and women.

    If one takes it as being shoes that to some extent limit motion (eg pronation) are they not "motion controlling" ? and one may ask does that give "stability"??

    I think one could argue this either way and to suggest that an individual take shoes back on this hair-splitting would make Trading Standards laugh out loud, particularly as the individual who 1st posted said something like "I liked the Hurricane best so I chose them" - please take some responsibility!!

    If the shoes have not caused any harm then I cant see any problems - plus the Hurricanes are usually a darn sight cheaper than the so-called "motion control shoes".


  • Sorry mate, but I don't agree.

    I asked specifically for "heavy-duty motion control shoes". The Grid Hurricanes were among the shoes I was offered. I know the names of many MC shoes, but haven't committed them all to memory. I DO expect the assistant in a specialist running shop to know which are what. And not having specialist knowledge myself, I can't tell if the medial doodah and midsole doobyhickie are up to par for my biomechanics.

    It ain't hair-splitting.

    Define the Hurricanes as you want, but they're not motion control. And by the way, at £90 they're more expensive than many MC shoes.

  • Mutley

    Sorry about the price comment (referring to an older model no doubt)

    My comments were along the lines of the various categories overlap a lot - not because of choice of words but because they do different things for different people. What provides "stability" for one person could provide "motion control" for you.

    No offense intended
  • None taken!

    Your answer brings us back to the question - the categories overlap so much that they might be losing their meaning.

    This'll teach me to let my head be turned by the latest flash ads for shoes. I think I'll stick with what I know.
  • I happened on this old discussion.

    Can anybody briefly describe what the difference between motion control and stability is?
  • I think basically motion control shoes have a bigger medial post (often the grey bit on the inside of outer part of the sole. They also tend to be firmer as well and sometimes have thicker soles.
  • I have VERY flat feet and when not wearing orthoses I pronate (I suffered pain behind my knee caps in the past). Additionally, I have ruptured ligaments on one ankle and wear a brace.

    I wear 'stability' shoes (Saucony Omni) and orthotic in-soles to provide an arch and some spring in my foot.

    I don't suffer with shin/knee pain, but would Motion Control be more suitable?
  • If the orthotic with the omnis are woking I would stick with that.
  • Saucony describe both their Omnis and hurricanes as stability - is it just a personal choice over which you like best?
  • The Hurricane is a wee bit more supportive than the omni - its aimed at more moderate overpronators.
  • I'm here because I noticed a lot of sites are advertising shoes either under 'motion control' or 'stability' without explain either. here's what I found :

    This was found at I've reprinted without the adverts that appeared every other line....

    Both stability and motion control shoes are helpful for the over pronator. Over pronation 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 are for the mild to moderate over pronator who has a normal-sized arch. The stability shoe reduces pronation and provides firm support to the arch.

    Motion Control
    A severe over pronator 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.

    Thing to Consider
    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 over pronation.

    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.
    Personally, I just walked indoors in bare feet and watched what happened to my foot and ankle as I walked. as it hits the floor and while your body moves over the foot to the point when it lifts off, you should be able to see if your ankle collapses, has no arch etc..

  • The terms “stability” and “motion control” are both basically marketing jargon. 

    What it means in practice, is that they are putting a slightly denser material under your arch, to stop it rolling inwards. 

    Motion control is a term used for shoes that offer heavier support, for more serious pronators. 

    Nobody in the industry would be able to give you a clear explanation of when a shoe ceases to be a “stability shoe”, and becomes a “motion control” shoe. 

    Indeed, there would be no consistency between two brands, regarding these two terms.   

    Your best bet is to try the shoes out for the 30 day trial period, and see how they fare!

  • Stability and motion control shoes usually contain medial posts a dense material on medial side of mid sole or firm heel. A running shoe without medial post in mid sole or heel is regarded as a neutral trainer.

    A runner's foot position starts in neutral position in a neutral shoe. In a stability or motion control shoe the foot starting position is placed in a under pronating position. Running shoes are based on the concept that neutral position is good and that inward roll of ankle over pronation must be corrected or prevented by adjusting foot position.

    Over pronation is questionably argued that it leads to more injuries than neutral pronation. Over pronation may not need to be corrected and using neutral trainers may not be as detrimental as claimed by shoe companies, podiatrists and sales assistants.

    The running store sales assistant assesses gait by my standing position and walking across the shop floor. Bombarded with technical sales terms to make them sound like they know what they are talking about and try and scare me that I will become injured if I do not buy the expensive shoes.

  • When I worked at Sweatshop, I encouraged new members of staff not to read what the manufacturers said about their shoes, because it could be more misleading than informative. 

    It was much more constructive to teach them about shoe design, and the materials used in shoe construction, from an outside viewpoint. 

    We always withheld out opinions about a shoes characteristics, until we had seen video footage of a significant number of people running in it. 

    Many shoes that went into the 30 day return box got cut apart, to find out exactly how they were made!

  • It's worth noting that MC shoes have a straighter last than 'support' shoes - it's not just the size/density of the medial post.  I have a pair of NB1012 from when I had knee surgery and when looking at them from underneath, they have almost no curve to them at all.,d.bGE&psig=AFQjCNFPRd4lZZqV9-YxunpbAHqgoZpRRw&ust=1391380786297250


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