Stability Running Shoe Technology

What do you look for in a running shoe? Feel? Fit? Style? (hopefully not the sole factor anyway) Ever consider the technology of a running shoe? If you haven’t, give it some thought the next time you’re in the market for a new pair.

If you’re regular Amplify reader, you know I’m always interested in technology, but not just all things digital. For me, technology permeates into all aspects of our lives. It’s not always an app, device, or gadget. That’s what I love about running. Technology has made it’s way into running shoes and I think that’s great thing.

Running shoe technology has been on the rise for some time. I think the increased popularity of running has pushed companies to come up with better shoes with innovation that sets them apart for the competition.

Stability Running Shoe Technology Breakdown

For this post, I’ll examine stability running shoe technology. This is something I’ve come to learn more about as I overpronate and need as much support as possible.

So here’s what you need to know about a few popular brands of stability running shoe technology. The brands I’m discussing were not picked arbitrarily. A couple of them I’ve used and others I know of are from friends.

Stability-Running-Shoe-Technology-mizuno

I’ve been running in Mizuno Wave Inspire shoes for a couple of years now, and they provide the best support for me. The Wave technology is pretty fascinating:

  • The concept is based on what a wave really is. Think about an ocean wave. It glides as it moves displacing impact not just in one area.

  • This technology moves the impact around and redirects it.

  • The shoes are lightweight so you’re not paying for a heavy shoe with this wave distinction

Stability-Running-Shoe-Technology-Brooks

Brooks’ Midsole Technology takes a shock displacement approach as well and leverages biomechanic innovation to address overpronation:

  • Brooks DNA leverages cushioning material for the most comfort possible

  • The Hydroflow is fluid unit positioned in the heel and forefoot really attacks shock when running

  • A progressive roll bar helps with the transition from midsole strike to pushing forward. This keeps the pronation in check.

Stability-Running-Shoe-Technology-asics

This was my shoe before switching to Mizuno. I wasn’t unhappy with Asics but after a number of running injuries I felt a brand change was in order. Nonetheless, Asics are a very popular and respected brand and they have the technology to back it up. Here are the highlights of Asics’ technology:

  • Shock absorbing gels are used in the front, mid, and rear of the shoe.

  • SpEVA is a material that improves bounce back and limits midsole breakdown

  • Asics technology are engineered to shift your body mass forward and as result limit impact on joints

Stability-Running-Shoe-Technology-under-armour

Under Armour’s Spine Technology is light and responsive when it comes to stability. This is probably a shoe I’d like to try for the following reasons:

  • Lightweight design so that it maintains comfort because of its Micro G foam

  • Supportive cage design to cancel out weight that is not necessary

Knowing your stability running shoe technology doesn’t just make you a savvy shopper, but lets you understand what’s important when you’re running.

Are you using any of these stability shoes? I know I left others out so leave a comment with your brand and why it works.

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Comments

  1. says

    I have used 3 of the 4 brands listed and still do on occasion but after years with nagging injuries, I did the unthinkable…I switched to minimal shoes, Brooks Pure Flow 2’s and I worked on improving my running form instead. I still use my Mizuno Wave Sayonara’s and Asics Gel Cumulus for some of my longer runs (20+Miles) because when I’m tired my form tends to suffer, but otherwise, I am now a minimalist . Most of the specialty running stores offer a free gait analysis which I highly recommend. I cannot stress enough how important this is, and it will help you find the shoe that is right for you.

    • Chris says

      Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t tried a minimalist shoe yet but see a future post in to breakdown how that shoe works.

      Definitely agree on the free gait analysis – takes the mystery out of shopping for running shoes.

  2. Haoran Shi says

    Dear Mr. Narbone,

    I respect the love and interest you have towards shoe technology, and although I am not currently using any stability running shoes I do, however, own many pairs of Nike basketball shoes. I, too, am enthusiastic about shoe technology and believe that it is important for people to know how they work and what kind of wonders they have done for sports like track and basketball. The careers of NBA players have increased in the past six decades but injuries are also going up. So how are players suffering from more injuries yet proceeding to have a long career? Like Mars Blackmon asked, “is it the shoes”? NBA player Blake Griffin believes it, and I do too. If it is the shoes, then we must advance shoe technologies even further to cut down the amount injuries.

    Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with the technologies involved with running shoes but I am sure there are many overlaps with those used in basketball shoes. Basketball shoes have come a long way since Dr. J was rocking rubber sole Converse shoes in the 70s. The first major break through was the introduction of the carbon fiber plate by Nike in 95. Plastic mid-sole plates were replaced by carbon fiber plates. What the scientists at Nike realized was that the carbon fiber was much stronger, more durable and lighter than the old plastic material. This is because the fiber contains the chemical property of aromaticity, having a 6 carbon ring structure, which provides great stability. Next was the introduction of mesh and fuse in 2010. Synthetic leather used to build the upper of a basketball shoe was replaced by mesh, a polyester material that is resistant to wear and tear. The fuse used for the top layer is made of three different materials, one of which is thermoplastic polyurethane, heat pressed together. These new materials provide better breathability, fit, and durability than any shoe before. A new technology introduced this year by Jordan brand called the Flight Plate has since then replaced the carbon fiber plate and is changing the shoe game in terms of stability and durability once again by replacing thermoplastic polyurethane with a thermoplastic elastomer called Pedax. This new material deflects force in a process that unlocks the Zoom Air unit and increases stability and responsiveness.

    Technology in athletic shoes like running and basketball shoes has made great strides but it is far from perfect. Injuries on the professional level are still increasing. Recreational injuries from excising is also a major problem. I believe there are ways we can learn from what we know and improve upon it. Carbon fiber is light and strong, but as I learned in my biology lab, wood fiber can be even stronger even lighter. It is a material in which not even the strong acids in our stomachs can dissolve. If we can somehow incorporate wood based materials into shoe design, who knows what kind of good results we can achieve. Where do you think we can take shoe technology to? Is it more of a nature based material? Or do you think a whole new material like the ones in sci-fi movies is going to be next?

    • Chris says

      Hi Haoran. First, thanks for checking out and Amplify and leaving great, detailed comment!

      The short history you gave on basketball shoes is really interesting but also not a surprise on its evolution. While the material used today does increase the life of a shoe, I believe it does have a negative affect on joints and ultimately cause injuries.

      I’ll check out the new Flight Plate technology as it looks similar to the Wave technology used by running shoes to deflect shock on impact.

      I’d like to think that shoe technology will go nature based, but I don’t think that’s sustainable or cost effective in the long run. Right now, Brooks uses some nature based material but it’s more for after the shoe is in a landfill to break down. The future (like you mentioned) is leaning towards sci-fi movies. Wearable technology, I believe, will have an impact as well as new materials to increase the longevity of the shoe and its support again leading to more possible injuries.

      Here’s the interesting thing and my next post on running shoe technology is the minimalist shoe. I’m using it today but I’m curious to learning more. It’s a movement that’s been building momentum for a while now. The shoes aren’t as engineered as the stability ones I wrote about. It goes against most of what’s on the market today.

      So, Haoran, what is your background in shoes? What kind of work do you do in your lab? You seem to know a lot and any resources you can share are appreciated.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      Regards,
      Chris

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