Brooks Ariel 12 vs. Saucony Stabil CS3 review

What is the difference between the Brooks Ariel 12 and the Saucony Stabil CS3? Read this review to find out which running shoe for overpronators is best for you.

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Brooks is known to produce some of the best motion control running shoes, and the Brooks Ariel 12 does not disappoint in this regard.


But the Saucony Stabil CS3 is not that far behind the Brooks Ariel 12 when it comes to providing plenty of pronation control.

The uppers of both running shoes consist of a combination of breathable mesh with overlays. The main difference lies in how the two shoes hug your midfoot.

The Saucony Stabil CS3 has Sauc-Fit on the medial side of the shoe, while the Brooks Ariel 12 has 4 overlays under the Brooks logo that uniformly pull towards the front and back of the shoe.

Whether one is better than the other is difficult to say, but if you prefer a more uniform pull over your midfoot rather an asymmetrical pull, then the Brooks Ariel 12 would be the one to go with. But whichever you choose, they should both provide good wrapping around your midfoot to keep your foot stable on the running platform.

The Brooks Ariel 12 also provides a larger bunion window than the Saucony Stabil CS3, so if you want more freedom in the toe area, again the Brooks would be the one that would give you this.

The midsole of the Saucony Stabil CS3 consists of PowerGrid lightweight cushioning along its entire length, which should provide you with a softer and smoother ride with more rebound.

In the Brooks Ariel 12, Brooks DNA runs along the entire length of the midsole to provide you with adaptable cushioning, so where you need it most based on your foot and the amount of impact during your workout.

While both running shoes should provide you with soft landings, the Brooks Ariel 12 might feel a bit softer than the Saucony Stabil CS3.

Both the Saucony Stabil CS3 and the Brooks Ariel 12, are suitable for runners who land on the outsides of their heel. Both running shoes are similar in structure in the heel-strike zone. However, the Saucony Stabil CS3 has a specific impact zone on the lateral side to absorb shock.

In the Brooks Ariel 12, this zone is not specifically called out as an impact zone, but the varying degrees of foam density, along with the caterpillar-like segmentation, and the Brooks DNA, work together to provide you with enough shock absorption in that area.

On the medial side of both running shoes, there is a post to control pronation, so there aren't big differences to be noted, other than the technology used to achieve similar results. The posts are placed similarly and their length is also similar, so the amount of pronation control delivered by both shoes should not differ that much.

The outsole of the Saucony Stabil CS3 is broad and flat, yet pretty well segmented to provide flexibility, especially in the forefoot area.

The amount of flex grooves and the fan-like structure on the lateral side of the outsole in both the forefoot and the rearfoot should provide a good amount of flexibility on the lateral side of the foot when you land and as you push off.

The outsole of the Brooks Ariel 12 is also broad and flat, but less flat than the Saucony Stabil CS3 in the rearfoot area. It is also more segmented than the Saucony in the forefoot area. The Brooks Ariel 12 has a pretty traditional outsole with good forefoot and rearfoot separation, which is missing from the Saucony Stabil CS3.

All in all, the Saucony Stabil CS 3 provides a more stable but rigid platform with flexibility on the lateral side and pronation control on the medial side, while the Brooks Ariel 12 has a more traditional outsole that provides stability, forefoot and rearfoot independence, good flexibility in the forefoot, and good shock absorption in the rearfoot.

The women's version of the Saucony Stabil CS3 weighs approximately 9.9 oz (281 grams), which is 2.4 oz (68 grams) lighter than the Brooks Ariel 12.

If you are looking for a relatively light motion control running shoe that provides a wide stable platform with lateral flexibility and shock absorption, then the Saucony Stabil CS3 might fit the bill.

However, if you do not mind the weight of a running shoe that can provide you with a soft, comfortable, yet very stable ride, then the Brooks Ariel 12 might be the one for you.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to where you can read more about the running shoes.

This review falls under: Brooks | Saucony

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