We talk you through all things support and share our pick of the best
Those of us who know that we pronate (feet rolling inward after impact with the ground) will already know about support shoes: their design helps to reduce that excess rolling, saving us from pain and potential injury.
Some of us pronate all the time, and so need support shoes as our regular running trainers. Others of us might experience pronation at specific times – such as when our legs are tired from increased training or a recent race – and so need a pair to pull on when required. Whatever your support specifications, we’ve shared our pick of the best in stability, comfort and performance.
If you’re still not quite sure what you’re looking for in your trainers, let us help you learn how to choose the best shoe for you. And if you’re looking for something more neutral, our pick of the best running shoes will point you in the right direction.
BROOKS Adrenaline GTS 21 | £120
Wow. I’m new to Brooks. To be honest, I’m new to most trainers as my love affair with running is still in that gooey-eyed phase. These shoes are designed for runners who want extra support – with particular focus on precious knees – and they provide real comfort without compromising on the all-important stability factor. I felt like I was walking (er, running) on air from the moment I put them on and even though I’ve got a fairly neutral runner’s gait, the Brooks Adrenaline GuideRails holistic support system will keep any excess movement in check. I’ve got the white pair (with black trim) which probably isn’t the most practical colour for this time of year but that aside they’re a hit. Brooks products come with the Run Happy Promise, which means you get 90 days to return them, no questions asked.
HOKA Arahi 4 | £120
First of all, what a zesty colour! This shoe is all ready to banish those winter blues. Though the soles look big, they are incredibly lightweight and they make your feet feel supported and stable. The initial feeling you get on your first outing is freedom in the toe box – HOKA has really addressed the issues with that classic narrow fit that has been a feature of previous models, and there is plenty of space in there for your toes to wiggle. Meanwhile the soles feel stable and the traction is impressive. You can literally feel the breeze through the upper as you run, and the coolness on your feet is refreshing. The laces do need to be nice and tight to ensure a snug fit on this model, but the versatility is a big bonus, as they also feel ideal for walking and the gym, too.
SAUCONY Guide 13 | £120
Saucony have created the Guide 13 to suit those who require support on the trails due to over-pronation. This midsole hugs the arch, thanks to the EVA cushioning, which also offers excellent energy return on every strike. The upper is breathable and durable with added protection across the toes to repel stones and debris. They are relatively comfortable and are quite conservative-looking, but this is a trusted brand that knows how to get you the results. A solid trail shoe for summer running.
BROOKS Transcend 7 | £140
These have quickly become our go-to support shoe on long training runs. They feel luxuriously cushioned for a support shoe, with a nice chunk of DNA Loft underfoot, and they have been designed to give you optimum comfort with every stride. Meanwhile the OrthoLite lining means that they fit like a glove (or, perhaps more appropriately, a sock), with a great, snug fit around the mid-section. Brooks’ GuideRails system provides a stability that will prove crucial if you’re prone to knee or ankle instability or pronation, and the 3D-print technology ensures a secure fit. We found these especially comfortable with a high instep – the interior was roomy enough but also snug – and the foot stead on long distance runs. An assured update from Brooks.
SKECHERS Max Cushioning Elite | £85
You probably won’t find a better value trainer on the market at the moment, according to Hannah. “Really soft and comfortable, like a memory foam mattress for your feet. I loved the colours. Great price and I’d definitely recommend these to a newer runner who needs a supportive shoe, but doesn’t want to spend more than £100.”
ON Cloudflyer Waterproof | £155
These are your winter work boots; they’ll look after you whatever the conditions. They are wind and waterproof, and have been amazing in wet and wintry weather. For anyone who is an everyday, any conditions type of runner, these are reliable, comfortable and durable. The clouds are bigger than other ON shoes, so you get lots of comfort and cushioning, and the bounce is lovely (especially under the heel). For me, it was the incredible support they give around the ankles (a 3D moulded heel) that was the standout feature, and noticeable from the very first run. The treat is far superior to normal ONs, especially when you’re going round corners on wet pavements. They do look spectacular when the high-vis details light up if ON offered alternative colour options, I would have given them a top score.