Put your best foot forward! The difference between stability and neutral footwear

What is a stability shoe? What is a neutral shoe?

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel 


A common question people ask is, “do i need a stability or neutral shoe?” Today, I am here to help you figure out what do those words even mean and to give you some guidance on how to choose the right shoe. 



I would recommend this shoe for 80-90% of my patients. A neutral shoe means that the same foam carbon plate, or other sole technology, is placed throughout the shoe. They have no motion control, allowing the foot to move freely, using more muscles in the foot. This can increase strength in the foot, instead of allowing it to become lazy and weak.


Saucony Kinvara 10



This has been a great marketing scheme for years. Just because you need a shoe that is stable does not mean you need a stability shoe. Neutral shoes can be stable due to their rigidity and a better fit for most people.

A true stability shoe contains a post in the middle of the shoe, under the arch of your foot.  This post is generally made of a stiff, rigid sole material in order to hold the arch of your foot up. I would only recommend this to 5-10% of my patients, so unless you have a chronic condition, anatomical deformity, or a surgeon has specifically recommended a medial post in your shoe, I would not recommend a stability shoe.

The post inside of this shoe controls the motion of the foot, which ultimately makes your foot do less work. Over time, the foot will become dependant on the motion control properties, and if you run on the lateral side of your foot (the outside of your foot) this can over correct your foot, putting you at risk of ankle sprain and muscle strains on the lateral side of the foot and shin.


Asics DS Trainer



In conclusion

If you are looking to get new running/walking shoes and you do not have any major problems or pains in your feet, a comfortable neutral shoe would be advised. If you are unsure, go see a running physio such as myself, a podiatrist or a professional shoe fitting shop. Feel free to ring us up at 8599 9811 and book in an appointment for an assessment.