Best running shoes for supination or underpronation

by Solereview editors
Published: Last Updated on

The Saucony Ride 15 on the boardwalk.

This article has been updated for March 2023. The asics Nimbus 24 and adidas Solarglide 6 have been replaced with their newest versions.

Shoe brands make a killing selling products for runners who were supposed to be ‘over’ and ‘under’ pronators.

There is no scientific evidence to support the theory that runners should be matched with shoes based on how their foot pronates. Even today, many running shoe stores and brands will ‘analyze’ your gait and suggest a ‘suitable’ running shoe – all based on how your foot rolls during a run. This is such a flawed process.

Running shoes for supination.

The Asics Nimbus 24 in action during a road race.

For example, if the ‘gait analysis’ indicates that the extent of inward foot roll was minimal (supination/under-pronation), then a neutral running shoe is likely to be recommended.

Conversely, a person with excessive foot roll (over-pronation) would be paired with stability running shoes.

We’ve been saying for years that all this is hogwash. If you want proof, just look around. Brands are replacing traditional stability shoes with supportive neutral shoes.

The inner Guiderail of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.

The ‘Guiderails’ of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.

Be the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 or the Nike Structure 24, the switch to supportive neutral shoes has been swift. In short, old-school stability shoes have been a lie all along.

The same logic applies to supinator-friendly running shoes.

Conventional wisdom states that a person with a supinating foot (with a limited inwards roll) should be matched with a soft, neutral shoe. In industry parlance, a neutral shoe lacks ‘stability’ features like a medial post.

Does this approach work? If the shoe is cushioned, supportive, and fits well, then most runners should have no problem. Having said that, a running shoe is not going to have a significant effect on your gait – unless the shoe is extremely soft or/and doesn’t fit the way it should.

If you want to head down this rabbit hole, let us help you. Our guides for the best neutral shoes and runners with high arches are based on a similar class of shoes.

High arches and supination are often used interchangeably, so why do two different buyer’s guides exist? Well, even high-arched runners can over-pronate, so both circumstances shouldn’t be conflated.

Based on our experience, all supportive neutral running shoes are a safe bet. This is regardless of whether you classify yourself as someone with supination or over-pronation.

We’ve divided this guide into four groups. The first has soft running shoes; no explanation is necessary.

The second category contains shoes with a medium-soft ride – the kind that delivers cushioning without excessive softness. That’s followed by running shoes that are tinged with firmness. Lastly, we’ve recommended the Saucony Kinvara 13 as the low-profile, low heel offset option.

So what you pick depends on your cushioning preference and use case.

Category 1: Soft running shoes for underpronation

1) Asics Gel-Nimbus 25

This Nimbus is unlike any other Nimbus before it. Sure, at its core, the ride is soft and neutral – just the kind of running shoe that works for supinators. There are no prescriptive devices or plates that could potentially interfere with the gait cycle.

At the same time, there’s so much newness to unpack here. The redesigned midsole is wider, has a high toe-spring, and gets rid of the external ‘Gel’ window.

From a performance standpoint, the cushioning is softer yet more engaging to run in – there’s a bit of that ‘roll forward’ quality from the newly-acquired rocker midsole.

With its high levels of ride comfort, the Nimbus is perfect for long-distance training runs. The outsole grip is mediocre, and that’s the only thing we don’t like about the new model.

The soft upper fits true-to-size and has accommodating interiors.

2) Asics Gel-Cumulus 24

For many runners, the Cumulus is often the first entry into the Asics brand. Of course, there are other models like GT-2000 and Kayano, but if one were looking for a cushioned neutral trainer to do it all, it’s hard to go astray with the Cumulus 24.

The Cumulus is an enduring classic that has stood the test of time. The midsole uses Flytefoam Blast (an EVA blend) under a foam lasting and molded insole to deliver its cushioned ride and step-in comfort. Our in-depth review covers all that you need to know about the 2022 Cumulus.

The Asics Cumulus 24 in a park.

The Asics Cumulus 24 is a please-all daily trainer.

The Flytefoam Blast midsole of the Asics Cumulus 24.

The Asics Cumulus 24 gets a Flytefoam Blast stack for improved responsiveness.

In other words, this is the kind of ride that allows the foot to work through the gait cycle naturally. The upper is smooth-fitting, true-to-size, and is available in various widths.

The Cumulus has kept up with the times, so the mesh looks and feels premium, and so do the rest of the trim levels.

3) adidas Solarglide 6

Our review of the Solarglide 5 explained how the new model had nothing in common with the older (namesake) version. The shoe was heavy, much slower than the past versions, and somewhat odd – as it struggled to find its place in the running shoe universe.

The Solarglide 6 is nearly identical to the Solarglide 5, so if you didn’t fancy the last model, just sit this one out.

This adidas shoe is best used as an everyday cruiser, as it struggles at higher speeds. Read our in-depth review for more on this unconventional running shoe.

At the same time, the midsole stability is an improvement – thanks to the wide midsole and midfoot shank (LEP) that creates a supportive wing over the Boost core.

The molded and flared insole of the adidas Solarglide 5.

The Boost foam midsole of the adidas Solarglide 5.

That being said, the Solarglide 6 continues to be a supportive-neutral running shoe that works for most gait and footstrike patterns.

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself an over or underpronator – the adidas SG6 delivers a cushioned and stable ride experience.

Category 2: Medium-soft running shoes for supination

1) adidas Supernova 2

Not only is the adidas Supernova V2 is great value for its $100 price, but it’s also an improvement over the Supernova V1.

The increased volume of Boost foam under the heel makes the ride more comfortable, and the upper has been redesigned with plusher interiors. The heel and tongue are softer with a higher level of padding. As with most adidas shoes, the Supernova 2 has a narrow fit.

The midsole and its full-length Boost core produces a very neutral ride experience. A firmer EVA frame covers the Boost foam on the sides and top for stability.

2) Brooks Glycerin 20

The Brooks Glycerin 20 hits the sweet spot of running shoes. With a ride that blends cushioning comfort and ride smoothness, the Glycerin’s road manners are polite enough to please most runners. As a bonus, it’s very neutral too. Our in-depth review of the Glycerin 20 is here.

The brand new DNA Loft V3 cushioning (which is the same as the Hyperion Tempo’s DNA Flash, don’t ask why) is comfortable enough for all-day comfort while being smooth and supportive enough to let the foot do its thing.

The wide midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 20.

The molded ‘bumps’ on the midsole contributes to the overall ride stability. Make no mistake; this is a firm shoe.

The Brooks Glycerin 20 in a park.

Just like the Nimbus Lite 3, it works as a reliable daily workhorse for most distances. The new midsole material is firmer (disregard Brooks’s ‘super soft’ claims) and more versatile than the softer Glycerin 19.

We share a similar opinion of the upper. The knit mesh exterior combines rearfoot plushness with a smooth, seam-free interior. However, we’re puzzled by the omission of an inner sleeve on this year’s model.

3) Reebok Floatride Energy 4

Reebok had a hit on their hands with the first edition of the Forever Floatride Energy.

The 4th update retains most of what was good in the first shoe, and that’s the reason why it’s here. The similar midsole design produces a familiar ride character. And even though the Floatride Energy 4 is now a $110 shoe, it’s excellent value for money.

The expanded Polyurethane midsole is cushioned, but not overly soft. It’s also dense enough to be supportive while being reasonably flexible.

These design elements combine to create a neutral ride experience that works with the foot during the transitions. There are no ‘support’ features that restrict the movement. On this guide, that’s a good quality to have.

The upper is pretty straightforward. The mesh exterior uses embroidered lines for structural support and aesthetic detail, and the padded areas grip the foot in secure comfort. The V4 drops the asymmetrical lacing that we saw on the last three versions.

4) Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

In the previous edition of this product guide, we substituted the Pegasus 38 with Nike Structure 24. The Pegasus 37 and 38 had a soft rearfoot and a much firmer rearfoot due to the missing heel Zoom Air unit.

Well, that’s changed now. The Pegasus 39 is like a fine-tuned version of the Pegasus 34.

Like the latter, the two Zoom Air bags inside a comfortable React midsole makes it a true neutral running shoe with a balanced cushioning delivery. Our in-depth review explains what makes the Pegasus 39 such a versatile everyday trainer.

The Zoom Air on the Nike Pegasus 39.

There’s a Zoom Air bag under the heel and forefoot for a balanced cushioning feel.

The beveled heel of the Nike Pegasus 39.

The React foam midsole is softer than the 38, and delivers a higher level of neutral ride comfort.

In other words, the forefoot and rearfoot do not feel like separate parts of a midsole as the Pegasus 38 did.

The supportive midsole with its just-right softness makes the Pegasus 39 comfortable and versatile enough for most gait types.

The Pegasus 39 is an excellent shoe to do it all – be it everyday runs or slightly spirited workouts. Its versatility for various foot-strike and gait patterns is the reason why it deserves a mention.

5) Saucony Ride 15

Despite the transformative redesign, the Saucony Ride hasn’t lost sight of what made the series successful.

In other words, the Ride 15’s midsole has a firm undertone. At the same time, it’s also neutral, comfortable, and supportive – we covered the finer aspects of the Ride 15 in our in-depth review.

The flush forefoot outsole of the Saucony Ride 15.

The removable Pwrrun+ footbed of the Saucony Ride 15.

Not everything is firm; there’s a removable insole made of expanded PU foam (Pwrrun+) that adds a cushy layer of step-in comfort.

This unique blend of cushioning attributes adds a lot of versatility. The do-everything nature doesn’t just apply to different run types. This supportive and cushioned midsole also works with most gait patterns, supinating or otherwise.

The interior toe-box of the Saucony Ride 15.

The Ride 15’s upper is more spacious than some of the earlier models we’ve reviewed. The upper mesh and laces are soft; the inner sleeve and padded tongue/heel create a plush interior. The ventilation is excellent too, owing to the lightweight and perforated mesh.

Category 4: Lightweight running shoe for supination

1) Saucony Kinvara 13

So far, most shoes on this guide are mid-weight trainers. But what if you wanted a lightweight and efficient running shoe for fast-paced runs? One that is also comfortable for up to half-marathon distances?

The Saucony Kinvara 13 is the answer.

The Pwrrun+ topsole of the Saucony Kinvara 13.

A Pwrrun+ topsole adds a layer of step-in softness. Unlike the Ride 15, the insole is still made of EVA foam.

The midsole has a wide flare for support, whereas the firm midsole adds a protective layer of underfoot cushioning. Along with the removable insole, Saucony uses a Pwrrun+ topsole (an e-TPU foam) over the midsole for added comfort.

The heel view of the Saucony Kinvara 13.

The flared midsole is neutral and supportive.

The balanced midsole sidewalls produce a neutral ride without any bias, and the inherent firmness of the Pwrrun foam (EVA blend) adds stability. This neutral-supportive character makes the Kinvara 13 suitable for most gait types and footstrikes.

The design sticks to the basics, so the single-piece upper is smooth, secure-fitting, and breathes well. The Kinvara 13 is more spacious and breathable than the 12 due to its use of a partial gusset (The Kinvara 12 had a full sleeve).

Our detailed review of the Kinvara 13 can be found here.

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