Stability vs. Neutral - An Explanation
If you have never bought a good quality pair of running shoes (and sometimes even if you have!) you may not really know what you are looking for in a shoe. And we know that it can be overwhelming! We want to help you. Buying the right kind of shoes is as important as buying a good quality pair of shoes.
There are two main categories of run/walk specialty shoes. They are: neutral and stability.
The main difference between these two types of shoes is that stability shoes have something called a medial post. This is just a fancy way of saying that the interior of the shoe (roughly the area underneath the arch of the foot) has a denser material. This medial post is placed in the shoe for people who overpronate. This is a fancy way of saying that when you walk or run, your feet and ankles collapse inward.
A neutral shoe, on the other hand, has no medial post. It is the same material all around the base of the shoe. Neutral shoes are for people who supinate (collapse outward when they walk or run) or walk or run neutrally (they don't collapse either direction).
If you are not sure what kind of shoe you need, check out our gait analysis page. We are here to help you find the right kind of shoes! But one easy test that doesn't involve coming into the store is looking on the bottom of a pair of shoes that you have worn often. How has the shoe worn? Is the inside (underneath the arch area and the ball of your foot) worn down more than the outside? Then you probably want a stability shoe. Is the outside worn down more? Is it all pretty even? Then you'll want a neutral shoe. This is a pretty quick home test to get a good idea of what your feet are doing when you're moving!