This is the traditional stability design familiar to most runners and they do a great job as such. For the runner looking to get into a pair of shoes without fussing too much over the details, the GT-2000 5 will get you out on the road, supported and stabilized. Its internal stability structures ensure that runners will find their feet landing in the right spot as the spongy FluidRide™ midsole dampens the landing impact.
ASICS GT-2000 5 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Very stable, cushioned, light in terms of stability shoes, supportive
Cons: Tongue is thin and uncomfortable, lacks breathability, cushion too squishy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
These stability shoes will be recognizable as the traditional design of recent decades with their noticeable heel counter cupping the back of the foot, thick midsole for the heel-plant, and composite stability structures along the arch and midfoot. These are the new version of your classic, dependable running shoe with all necessary padding, counters, and trussic structures. We take a look at this classic design and see how it stacks up to a field of fancy new designs like the On Cloud with its open cloud pods and the Arahi with its maximalist padding.
These are certainly stability shoes, with their multitude of support structures, including, but not limited to the FluidRide® midsole, Guidance Line® to help gait progression, Trusstic System® for gait support, Impact Guidance System (I.G.S.®) to transition from heel to toe, and the DuoMax® Support System to give a better landing platform. Despite all of this, the midsole seems to have a little too much cushion and not enough firm return. That can happen sometimes with shoes designed to be pounders, particular for heel-planters and that might be a welcome reprieve.
The other two high performance stability models did better in this category. The Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 are closer to the traditional design and did modestly better, but the HOKA Arahi took the Top Pick for Stability and topped out the chart.
Such features as the Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel® cushioning system, DuoMax® dual-density FluidRide® midsole helped make these stable landers, but the profusion of stabilizing structures seem to interfere with a natural or comfortable landing. A great alternative can be found in the Hurricane ISO 3 and HOKA Arahi, both of which fall into the stability category. The top scoring models in this measure were the Best Buy winning Pegasus 34 and Editor's Choice Brooks PureFlow 6. Both models exhibit the right mix of natural feel and padding, but we suggest taking a look at the HOKAs.
So far as stability shoes go, these didn't do too badly. They come in at 24.4 ounces for men's 11, appreciably heavier than racing flats like the On Cloud, but lighter than high performance competitors like the Hurricane ISO 3. This might be attributable to their FluidRide® midsole, which they claim has increased durability and reduced weight, but give no point of reference against which that stands. If weight is a huge factor in your stability choice, the Arahi come in at just 21.7 ounces, making them competitive with the racing flats. And if weight alone is what drives you, check out the lightest shoes in our bunch, the On Cloud racing flat or even the minimalist Minimus 10v1.
The GT-2000 5 excelled in this measure, along with the rest of the stability lines. Tough threading, heavy mesh, and well placed AHAR® (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) and DuraSponge® combine to make a long-lasting shoe that will take a beating. We would have ranked them even higher - above the rest of the cohort - but there were user reviews that noted small degradations like lace eyelets coming off. Despite that, we don't think there is a better high-performance stability alternative in this measure, though the New Balance 1540v2 came out with the same score.
Stability shoes tend to spend a lot of resources on making the shoes comfortable as well as stable. This model seemed to skimp a little on those frivolities. The padding around the heel collar was fairly standard and the tongue was about average. It wasn't a bad ride, though you could feel the hard or coarse internal structures after a few miles. There are more comfortable stability shoes out there, including the nontraditional HOKA Arahi and the traditional Hurricane ISO 3, which was the most comfortable stability shoe and perhaps the best choice for a stability runner looking for complete comfort. The most comfortable shoes in our lineup irrespective of style were the Pegasus 34 and PureFlow 6, both of which are racing flats but might also suit stability runners.
Comfortable stability shoes tend to have the downside of lacking breathability. That's the case with these. Their combination of thick padding, heavy sockliner, and impermeable support features like heel counters and multiple layers of mesh with impermeable overlays. They do use a ComforDry™ sockliner, but it seems to add to the heat retention and general insulation of the upper. On the plus side, these will be much warmer in winter than more breathable shoes.
Because stability shoes tend to lack in this category, the most proximate alternative with a noticeably better ranking in this measure is the On Cloud, which topped this measure and also won our Top Pick for Lightweight Racing Flat award, and therefore might not suit the stability runner as well. Our Top Pick for Stability, the Arahi did score higher in breathability, but only by one decile.
These are best suited to overpronators out on the road, but will also do well on light trails.
Stability shoes tend to be more expensive because they last a little longer and serve more of a niche, but $120 is a bit of a premium for this classic design, particularly given its middling performance. If you can find it at a discount then you should be happy, but for that price, we suggest paying a bit more and considering the Arahi.
This is the shoe you're thinking of when you think of traditional stability shoes. We really liked them, but undeniably they are outclassed and outperformed when stood up against the newer models in our review. Even so, they hit a good price point and are the dependable, familiar model beloved by so many runners and they will not disappoint that demographic. For those looking to branch out into something more unique, try the Arahi or even the On Cloud.
— Ryan Baham