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Stability, Control, Cushion Running Shoes from Different Brands Making Sense of it All

Different running shoe manufacturers have very different names for their product range.  Nike, Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, Brooks and all other running shoe manufacturers generally divide their product range into several different categories.

Nike for instance has several criteria for providing you the perfect shoe.  First would be the surface you will run on, your foot arch, and by your stride.  For the purpose of this article, we will only go with the foot arch classification which more often than not is tied to your stride.  That is, high arch equals under pronation; flatfoot equals over pronation.

It is generally accepted that running shoes can either be cushion, stability control, and motion control.  The tendency of the foot to pronate usually is the main criteria in classifying running shoes.  Generally speaking feet with high arches require cushion running shoes.  People with normal feet or arches require stability control running shoes.  And for the flat footed runner a pair with motion control is ideal.

Confusion happens because different manufacturers have different ways of calling their shoes.  For example cushioned running shoes can be called neutral, cushioning, cushion, light-neutral, and even structured cushioning.

Worse there are even new shoes that provide both cushioning and support.  This is the case with the newer Nike models like the Nike Lunarglide+. So it can be really confusing for even the most seasoned running shoe reviewer.

This article aims to make sense of the different brands terms when it calms to classifying their shoes.  Take note that we are only looking at a subset of running shoe classifications namely that which takes only pronation or gait.

mizuno logo

We’ll start with MizunoMizuno running shoes feature the one of most comprehensively segmented product lines. Interestingly, Mizuno does not feature shoes for under pronation.  Instead of the term they use for under pronation is normal pronation.  Their literature for running shoes does not mention under pronation.  Their pronation scale starts from normal pronation, then continues to moderate over pronation and finally stops at severe over pronation.

Mizuno Wave Rider 12

Mizuno Wave Rider 12

For normal pronation Mizuno offers neutral running shoes.  The Wave Creation 10, Wave Rider 12, and Wave Precision 10 all fall into their neutral category.

For moderate over pronation Mizuno offers their support running shoe line.  The Wave Nirvana 5,
Wave inspire 4, Wave Nexus 3 and the Wave Elixir 4 are all part of the Mizuno support running shoes line.

For severe over pronation Mizuno has two models of running shoes.  The Wave Renegade 4 and the Wave Alchemy 9 complete this Mizuno Roundup of running shoes.  Mizuno calls them control running shoes.

asics logo

cushion running shoes women - ASICS GEL-Nimbus 11

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 11

Asics offers three kinds of running shoes for different gaits.  We’ll start off with structured cushioningASICS offers these shoe type for people who slightly over pronate and have a normal arch.  The GEL-Kayano 15, GEL-300 are some of the running shoes ASICS brands as structured cushioning. For people with high arches ASICS provides cushioning running shoes. The most popular of ASISCS Cushion Running Shoes are the GEL-Nimbus 11 and the GEL-Cumulus 11.

Surprisingly the shoes under this category are designed to meet the needs both of under pronators and mild over pronators. Lastly they offer maximum support for runners who overtly pronate. The GEL-Evolution 5 and GEL-Fortitude are among the models that ASICS offer for this type of running shoes.

new balance logomain

Women Cushion Running Shoes New Balance 758

New Balance 758

New Balance offers a more traditional classification for their running shoes.  Cushioning, motion control, and stability meet the needs of under pronators, normal pronators, and over pronators respectively.  The New Balance MR758 is the top model for cushioning new balance running shoes.  For motion control running shoes New Balance has the MR800. Lastly, for stability new balance has to MR905.

adidas logo

Adidas Response Cushion 18

Adidas Response Cushion 18

Adidas has a much simpler classification for their running shoes.  They lumped together cushion running shoes with neutral running shoes.  Probably the most famous cushion running shoes to be Adidas Supernova Cushion family leads what Adidas calls Neutral/Cushion running shoes.  Equally as famous is the Adidas Supernova Sequence Control family represents Adidas Stability/Control running shoes.

nike logo

Nike Running shoes are a bit broader. Their shoes seem to be targeted as all arounders instead of being specific for a certain foot type. This is especially true with the models that are prominently featured everywhere. Another thing that really makes Nike different from everyone else is that they define cushioning literally as the property of a shoe to absorb impact. This is technically correct but most references to cushion running shoes refer to shoes that meet the needs of high arch under pronators (i.e. neutral cushion running shoes).

Nike Lunarglide+

Nike Lunarglide+

When looking at the Nike product catalog they seem to have done away with segmenting the market by gaits ( Under Pronation through Over Pronation ). Instead they have developed shoes that can cater anyone, under pronators or Over pronators alike. These models include the much revered Nike LunarGlide+. The Nike Air Zoom Elite+ 4 also is a jack-of-all-trader. Other shoes like the Nike Vomero+ 4 cater to a broader range of foot types too.

brooks_logo

Brooks Running has a line-up that is comprehensive and somewhat opposite to that of Nike’s. Brooks Running Shoes boasts of finding the perfect ride for your stride. Kind of catchy isn’t it? Brooks divides Pronation into four different levels: None, Mild, Moderate and Severe. For these they offer several types including Neutral, Guidance, Support, and Control.

Brooks’ website states that people who require Neutral Running shoes are biomechanically efficient. This leads me to believe that there is an absence of a Brooks running shoe specifically aimed for Under Pronators. The Brooks Glycerin 7 is an example of Brooks’ Neutral Running Shoes.

Brooks’ Guidance Running shoes are the Ravenna, Infiniti 2 and the Switch 2. These shoes are for those who mildly overpronate. While the Brooks Trance 9 and the Adrenaline GTS 10 are Brooks Running shoes in the Support category (a touch of support with great cushioning ).

Brooks Beast

Brooks Beast

Finally the most FAMOUS of them all is the Brooks Beast Motion Control Running Shoes: Brooks’ flagship motion control running shoes. This may be even the flagship of all Motion Control Running Shoes.
There you have it: A confusing array of terms from different manufacturers. As someone needing a shoe that encourages pronation it is extremely difficult for me to find shoes that are perfect. I’ve always wondered if shoes were actually being designed for under pronating high arch runners at all. It is always as if Cushion Running Shoes are defined by the lack of a mechanism to stop excessive pronation. I hope that the shoe companies design ( or market them properly if they are already here ) shoes that encourage pronation for us under pronating runners.

Doubtful, since there are too few high arch runners but maybe some company out there can fill this niche of ours. The only advise I can get it so research your cushion running shoes first before buying them. And by all means do not trust the online retailers classifications for their products. It is a mess! I’ve been the most supportive of shoes sold under “for Cushion.” This is seriously dangerous and can damage a runner’s biomechanics. Check out this site particularly the Best Cushion Running Shoes article so you can decide which is the best for you. We’ll keep writing our articles and cover among the best motion control running shoes soon too.

Good luck and keep on running!