Evaluating the stability of a running shoe

The 3 essential criteria for evaluating stability in a running shoe are: heel counter rigidity, forefoot flexion stability and torsional rigidity. 
In many cases, you can correlate a flaw in the current running shoe that may have contributed to your current injury or condition.
For example, plantar heel pain syndrome is commonly associated with shoes that have poor torsional rigidity.


Heel Counter Rigidity

The heel counter is designed to help support the rearfoot during walking and running. A stiff heel counter will provide a greater amount of support and is an important feature of the shoe to prevent foot pronation. The stiffness of the heel counter can be evaluated by placing the shoe in the palm of one hand and with the thumb and finger of the opposite try to squeeze the heel counter


Forefoot Flexion Stability

This test is performed by holding the shoe at opposite ends and bending. The shoe should only bend at the ball of the foot. If the shoe bends in the middle it will provide less stability.


Torsional Rigidity

The torsional rigidity will help to limit the amount your foot will twist or turn while running. Torsional instability can be evaluated by hold the toe of the shoe in one hand and twist the heel with the other hand. Twisting the shoe should be quite difficult. A flexible shoe will offer less stability.