The Best Motion Control Running Shoes Reviewed
Searching for the best Motion Control Shoes? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them!
There are so many different types of footwear which are produced to meet the specific requirements of, not only certain activities, but also the requirements of different types of users. There are some that provide a lot of cushioning, and some that don’t. There are shoes which are intended for use on the road and pavement, and others that work best over the trails and through the mud. The list goes on and on. There are even shoes which provide a certain amount of motion control for those who prefer or require it.
In this review, we are going to take a good look at the top ten best motion control shoes that you will currently find on the market today. A few of the points that we will be paying attention to are things like stability, construction quality, functionality of design, key performance and comfort features as well as overall durability.
The Top Rated Picks For Motion Control
Brooks Beast 16
The BioMoGo midsole, paired with Brooks’ DNA cushioning is able to effectively adapt to the user’s foot, offering a more custom fit. The interior has a built in saddle which incorporates stretch TPU, allowing the foot to lock into place for increased stability during use. The upper is constructed of sparse mesh with a finer mesh liner. Both help the shoe maintain breathability, keeping your feet cool and comfortable. For additional support, as well as durability, the upper also has no-sew overlays which are not stitched in to keep from adding rub points that could cause irritation during a run. Now down to the outsole. There is quite a bit of tread here, but the road is still the most suitable terrain for the Beast. Besides some light paths, You probably wouldn’t want to go too far off-road with these.
As far as user reviews go, these rate really high. In all these seem to be a quality made model, however you will find some complaints out there of the midsole not lasting as long as the rest of the shoe. Even though this isn’t a majority, it is still something to keep in mind. Although these are certainly not the most expensive option, they are also not the cheapest. However, If you look, you can usually find them for a reasonable price, especially if you consider all that you really get with the Beast 16.
- Breathable upper
- Interior saddle helps to lock in foot
- Brooks’ DNA cushioning allows adaptable fit
- Will sufficiently support heavier runners
- Diagonal Rollbar for additional stability
- The '16' fit a little bit smaller than the previous versions
- Fairly higher priced
ASICS GEL Foundation 12
Moving inside, ASICS has added their ComforDry sockliner. This provides some moisture wicking and odor control properties, and even adds a little more cushion.
This version has a lot going on under the foot. In the midsole you will find features such as their Guidance Trusstic System, Dynamic DuoMax Support as well as SpEVA which provides effective energy return post impact. And of course, These wouldn’t be complete without ASICS’ GEL system under the forefoot and heel.
These really do have everything required for the proper support and care for overpronation. According to general opinions of users who offered reviews, These are received enthusiastically positive by the majority. With that said, these are claimed to be very flexible despite the amount of cushion, however there are some complaints that the movement is a bit stiff. There are also some who state that this version runs about a half size larger. It is probably a good idea to go to a store and try a pair on before ordering online, if that is how you plan on purchasing them.
Like most quality footwear, these aren’t the cheapest option around, but they are still pretty affordable when compared to some others. You will probably find the best savings on sites like Amazon.
- GEL cushioning system
- Guidance line and Flex Grooves on outsole for added flexibility
- Ideal for those with overpronation
- Seemless upper construction for less chance of irritation
- May not be as flexible as intended
- possible sizing issues
Brooks Addiction 12
The mesh upper provides plenty breathability and moisture management. It is supported by stitched overlays that connect to the lacing system to maintain a proper fit. Additionally, these have an extended rollbar for even more reliable control. Along with the decent tread and flex grooves on the outsole, there is also a segmented crash pad in the heel. This allows softer landings when pushing yourself out on the road. One more plus is that these work pretty well for wider feet, as there is a little more room in the toe box.
We know that these are most likely going to be a quality made product, just based on the manufacturer, but it is always good to see what other runners think as well.
Although most comments are positive, one of the things that got a bit of criticism was that the mesh material in the upper seemed to wear out pretty quickly. That could depend on the particular work you put your shoes through. Another point that some were critical of was the weight. Some thought the Addiction was a little on the heavier side. However, generally, the positive reviews outnumber the negative ones enough for these to rate at the top.
- work for wider feet
- Ideal support for overpronation
- High breathability
- Plenty of cushion and support where needed the most
- Fairly expensive
- Too heavy for some
Mizuno Wave Legend
The Dynamotion Fit upper is put together with a ported mesh material with the more sparsely woven AirMesh on top. There are also stitched overlays and toe cap to add to the supportive fit, as well as increased durability.
Another plus that these offer is their ability to be worn comfortable by runners with wider feet, mostly due to the roomier toe box.
In general, Mizuno’s products rarely receive much negativity. That continues to be true with this one as well. A majority of the customer feedback is positive, however there are a few who had some critical points. Believe it or not, there are some who felt that these weren’t as breathable as they expected. Also, there were some reviews that expressed concerns over the lasting durability. In all, these offer exactly what we are looking for in terms of support and control, making them a prime choice for our list.
- AirMesh breathable upper
- Increased padding under forefoot
- Wave Technology for effortless midfoot transition
- Some durability issues, according to a few customer reviews
Skechers GOrun Forza
Looking at what customers had to say, most comments are really positive. However, there are always some critical one as well. It is important to look at both in order to make an informed decision. Some mentioned that the thin rubber over the outsole did not adhere well to the bottom, coming apart fairly quickly. Others were concerned about that same outsole rubber, mentioning that it seemed like there should be a bit more protection there. In all these do have the necessary properties to put them right where they are in the review.
- A good choice for over-pronators
- Lightweight properties
- Interior support strap provides secure fit
- Customer concerns over outsole durability
- Higher cost for Skechers
One of Newton’s unique patented technologies that this shoe also has is their Active/Reactive system. The purpose of this is to give a trampoline-like effect that efficiently reduces energy loss.
Since most who purchased these tend to be aware of Newton’s Lug design, most of the reviews are positive. There are some who weren’t crazy about the lugs, but there really aren’t many major complaints regarding durability or fit.
- Lightweight and decent breathability
- Reduced energy loss with the Active/Reactive technology
- Increased durability on the outsole with the S.H.A.R.C. material
- Additional support from the Metatarsal Sensor Plate
- Direction of P.O.P. 3 lugs seemed to decrease traction for some.
- The 5 lug design doesn’t appeal to everyone
New Balance 1260
Moving down, these have a full length ABZORB midsole paired with their T-Beam support. The 1260v6 provide quite a bit of shock absorption as well as torsional stability. Additionally, the ABZORB crashpad in the heel also allow even more stability and control.
The general consensus of buyers have responded positively to this newest version of the 1260 model, although there were several complaints of sizing issues for both male and female customers. There weren’t any major concerns with their overall durability or quality in build.
- More than adequate stability with dual density post and T-Beam support
- Optimal breathability
- Excellent choice for over-pronators
- Fit a bit larger in length for men, and smaller for women
ASICS GEL Fortitude 7
In addition to ASICS’ proprietary GEL cushioning in the heel and forefoot, this version also has a SpEVA Foam platform for energy return. The Fortitude provides good mobile stability, partly owed to its Guidance Trusstic system as well as the vertical flex groove along the outsole.
Searching through what customers had to say we found that most of it is quite positive, especially with regards to the overall design, However, there are a few that are critical of the weight. Some state that these are still quite heavy, like others of this type, even despite the reduction in height. But, really the shoe is in fact quite similar to the rest in this lineup. The only major design difference is the lower collar. These are still a great option, especially if you want a less bulky appearance.
- Great mobility control
- Lower height than most other comparable footwear
- Surprisingly flexible
- Fairly priced
- Still pretty heavy, even despite the shorter profile
- Probably not ideal for long distances
New Balance 1340v2
The blown rubber outsole is thick, and also has a more durable rubber covering the higher wear areas of the bottom.
These do have a pretty bulky build, but that is something that usually, with few exceptions, most have come to accept with this specific type of footwear.
- Good amount of cushion.
- Stable platform for running or simply everyday wear
- Wider toe box
- Slightly expensive
- Sizing issues with this version, according to some customer reviews
The North Face Ultra 109 GTX
Since this is more of an off-road option, we’ll start from the bottom up. Aside from the slightly aggressive tread, The outsole has the UltrATAC high abrasion material in high wear area for increased durability. Moving up, there is a TPU Snake Plate I the forefoot for added protection from rougher terrain.
In the midsole there is a full length molded EVA foam unit which offers plush comfort. Additionally, the 109 gets an extra bit of balance and stability from the ESS shank that is found in the midfoot.
The outer covering of the upper consists of a well ventilated mesh material. This is lined by Gore-Tex membrane which provides exceptional waterproofing capabilities. And finally, for added protection there is a TPU toe cap. This comes in handy when encountering rough trails with loose rocks and other debris.
According to the reviews from customers, these rate well with the majority. But, there are some out there who have claimed to have minor durability issues that they did not expect from something with this kind of construction.
- Plenty of protection from the elements
- Gore-Tex lining
- The general build offers good stability and correction for pronators
- On the more expensive side
- Not lightweight footwear
Motion control shoes are those that are intended to provide a more effective amount of stability, support and and even cushioning. These are some of the attributes that give a bit more control to issues such as overpronation, which if ignored and not properly supported, can lead to much more serious problems down the road. Furthermore, the correct support and stability will allow you to have a much better overall running experience with regards to comfort, as well as a reduction in foot fatigue.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of The Best Motion Control Running Shoes
In order to determine which shoe to include on our list we compared the breathability, flexibility, fit, comfort and several other criteria uniquely important to motion control running shoes in order to determine if they were worthy of the runner click seal of approval. As always it is important to consider that everyone has different needs from their shoes and our number one pick wont be the best choice for everyone. For some runners style is an important consideration and for others comfort is the only factor in their decision to buy a certain shoe. Because motion control shoes are designed to be particularly supportive and even corrective we have emphasized the importance of the shoes effectiveness at correcting over-pronation as we have created this list. If you are looking for a more general shoe then check out our list of the Best Overall Running Shoes.
Are they breathable enough?
It is important to find a show that uses an upper that is both breathable and comfortable. This is one reason the Brooks Beast has earned our number one spot. Its extremely breathable upper will keep your foot cool and dry on hotter days. The Newton Aha isn’t quite as breathable as the Beast but it is pretty good in this regard. The New Balance offerings on this list as well as the North Face GTX 109 are probably the least breathable options on our list but they excel in other areas. If this is the most important criteria for you then stick with the Beast or the Newton Aha. If you are in a colder climate or aren’t concerned about breath ability then you may be satisfied with another option.
Do the shoes provide enough Protection?
Why did humans ever decide to start wearing shoes in the first place? A key function of any shoe is to protect your feet and if they don’t do that well then they are pretty useless. The amount of protection that you need from your shoes will depend a lot on your intended use for them and how susceptible you are to stubbing your toe. Trail runners will need a burlier design that may include a rock plate or generous toe cap such as the North Face GTX on our list. However for most of us pavement stompers a lighter well cushioned shoe will be enough to keep us from damaging our feet and limit how many toenails you will lose as you train for your next marathon. The design features designed to help over pronators can add a bit of weight to running shoes so we would recommend that you are careful not to get a shoe that is so protective that it loses its flexibility or agility.
Do they provide enough flexibility?
There is no reason that you should have to sacrifice flexibility in order to find a great pair of motion control running shoes that is right for you. There are many options on our list that are just as flexible as anything else on the market.
Are the shoes too high, or too low of a profile?
Many of the Motion Control shoes that you will find will have a relatively high amount of cushioning. This is because the structure in the sole that corrects your gait needs a minimal amount of sole in order to do its trick. So unfortunately there are really no minimal running shoe designs that exist for runners in need of motion control shoes. How ever in comparison to other options on this list the Brooks Beast seems to hit the goldilocks zone of providing adequate cushioning while still remaining lightweight enough to let you power through your next race.
Is the sole too thick, too thin, or just right?
A running shoe’s sole is usually the first thing to wear out. If the sole of a running shoe doesn’t meet your needs then you are in trouble. As important as breathability and flexibility are it is essential that you find a shoe that has just the right amount of foam to keep your knees and joints happy. There are many different preferences in the running world on sole thickness. Whether you prefer either of the extremes, maximalist shoes or minimalist shoes, try to find what works best for you. However every once in a while you can find a shoe that can meet has all the cushioning you need and is still light and fast. Once again the Brooks Beast is worthy of mention because it hits the sweet spot between cushioning and weight. However the innovative design of the Newton Aha will have you running on your toes and allow you to use the natural spring of your foot and if you are able to adjust to this form of running you will never go back to the bulky traditional running shoes you used to wear.
Room for the toes to move…
Not every shoe will fit every person the same. It is essential that you consider if you have a wide or narrow foot. If your feet are wide and you often find your toes squeezing in the toe-box of your shoes, try out the New Balance or brooks offerings. The North Face GTX will fit runners with a narrower foot. Mizuno and Asics shoes will fit the rest of you normal people without splayed duck feet or narrow pencil feet. It is important to allow your toes room to spread out because it allows blood to flow like it should and you will be able to stay comfortable on your longer runs. Keep in mind that your foot will swell during your run so if it feels even a little constrictive you will start to really feel the squeeze near the end of your run.
How durable are they?
For some reason durability is an especially difficult attribute to find in a pair of motion control running shoes. Perhaps there is extra strain put on the shoe due to the design correcting your over-pronation but unfortunately many of the shoes we reviewed had reports of durability issues. If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of flexibility or breathability then go with the North Face GTX which will outlast most of the other shoes on this list. However the New Balance shoes on our list are both very well rounded designs with comparatively high durability and performance. Unfortunately you will have to decide if the hot rod performance of the lightweight Brooks Beast or the longevity of another shoe is the right match for your needs. But if you are looking for running shoes to wear as an every day pair of shoes then definitely go with either New Balance or North Face.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Pair For You
There are a few very important considerations to make as you select your motion control running shoes that are unique to this category. Motion control running shoes are designed to correct over-pronation. Over-pronation is when your foot is angled inward as you run. This can lead to a more awkward running form and can contribute to injury. in order to avoid injuries or muscular imbalances that can occur as a result of improper form motion control shoes are essential.
The number one Criteria you should consider if you have discovered that these are the running shoes you need to use, find a pair that properly corrects your over-pronation. There will be subtle differences in how extreme of a correction the shoe will make so which option you select will be largely based on what fits your needs.
You may get frustrate and start to feel like Prince Charming trying to find Cinderella as you try to find a shoe that is a perfect match for your foot. It can be hard enough to find a well fitting shoe without even considering the overpronation design element. However Newton calls their motion control entry the “Aha” for a reason. Once you find the shoe that fits you will open up a new world of comfort and it will be worth the effort.
There were some interesting sizing issues that we came across a we assembled our list of the best motion control running shoes. The New Balance 1340 in particular seemed to fit bigger then it should which is unfortunate because it is an excellent option if it fits your foot. The New Balance 1260 has a similar sizing situation. This is certainly not any sort of construction problem and it is typical for New Balance shoes to fit a bit larger so consider that as you decide what size to buy. Allthough it can be nerve wracking ordering a pair of running shoes you have never worn online you can often return shoes that don’t fit and find deals that are impossible to find in running stores. Allthough all of our feet are going to fit different shoes differently once you have found a brand that uses a last that agrees with your foot size you can be confident that they will probably be true to size within the brand.
Everyone’s feet are different
Not everyone will be able to use the same motion control running shoe obviously. Everyone’s feet are different so lets consider exactly what over-pronation is. Over pronation is when your foot places undue pressure on the medial side of your foot. This can cause discomfort and overtime it can contribute to injuries. Everyone will over pronate to varying degrees so that is why it can be such a headache trying to find a pair of shoes that fits just right.
Dont be dissuaded if you see a review written by someone who said a shoe you are interested in didn’t fit them because your feet are not their feet! Find the shoe that you love and that satisfies your needs and with a little luck it will be the right fit.
A few of the design differences in motion control shoes can be found in the sole. The medial end of the sole will typically be modified to support the increase in pressure and it will be shaped tom minimize the strain caused by the pronation.
Style is great, but…
While it is fine to buy a pair of running shoes that you find attractive, some things are more important then appearances. You need a shoe that is a good fit that provides the propper support for your foot type. You might like the bright red shoes with a flashy name that make you feel like you could run turbo fast but they might not be the right shoe for your needs. First consider your price range and what features are essential, then you can worry about color schemes and design preferences.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that you may have had as you are researching which shoes are the right choice for you.
Q: Can motion control shoes be used if I don’t Overpronate?
A: No! If you do not need them then you should never run in a pair even if you are given them for free. It could have the reverse effect and cause injury and there would be no benefit to you anyway.
Q: Is over-pronation just something a running shoe salesman made up to get me to buy a new pair of shoes?
A: Overpronation is a very real situation that van impede your performance and lead to injury. It is essential to get the proper fitting shoe if you are in need of one.
Q: How do I know If I over pronate?
A: A treadmill gait analysis at your local running store is a great way to determine if you are an over pronator. The experts there can quickly assess if you are in need of motion control shoes and help you find a pair that meets your needs. If this isn’t available to you there is always the option of recording yourself running and seeing for yourself where your foot is landing.
Q: Is there any alternative to using Motion Control running shoes?
A: If you love the pair of shoes you have and don’t want to gie them up you could always purhase an orthotic that will perfectly correct your pronation problem. This could be especially beneficial if it is an exaggerated pronation that a motion control shoe wont fix.
Q: Am I gonna spend more for Motion control running shoes?
A: not at all! Over pronating is a common trait shared by many runners and ther are many shoes being made at competitive prices.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
We utilize many different resources while trying to provide the best information to our readers. Some are clinical sources, some are brand specs provided by manufacturers, and some sources are even other sites which may specialize in particular information which is relative to our subject.
- Pronation, Orthotics source, ,
- Pronation Explained, Running enthusiast publication, Feb 23, 2005 ,
- What Is Overpronation, Online sports injury information, ,
- Overpronation: Why it Happens and What You Should Do About It, Health & fitness website, ,