Having high arches can be a struggle, especially when it comes to finding the perfect running shoes. Wearing running shoes that don’t offer proper support can be a mistake that leads to pain, and even injury. Shin splints, stress fractures, and even ligament rupture are just a few examples of the very real consequences from having high arches and being an athlete without the proper footwear. Not only does wearing the correct shoes prevent injury, but also extends your mileage and comfort. High arches are the least-common type of feet, so it’s important to find the right type of shoe. For high arches, a neutral running shoe is best. The focus in mainly on midsole cushioning, as opposed to others with medial supports. We’ve compiled a guide of the best running shoes for high arches, so the only work you have to do is out on the pavement or track!
Best Athletic Shoes for Arch Support (Comparison)
Refer to this table below, to compare and contrast the differences between each shoe. Each offer supreme comfort, as well as exceptional shock absorption in the mid-sole. Here are the current best running shoes for high arches in March 2018!
|Brooks Glycerin 14||Mesh/Synthetic Upper, Rubber Sole||Super DNA midsole, protective cushioning , Cush Pod heel-to-toe transition|
|Puma Ignite||Fabric/Synthetic Upper, Rubber Sole||Three-layer mesh upper, Silicone print to prevent heel slippage, Molded EVA sockliner, IGNITE foam cushioning|
|Nike Air Pegasus 33||Mesh Upper, Rubber Sole||Excellent Midsole Cushioning, Zoom Air units enhance deflection impact, Heel crash pad,|
|ASICS GEL Kinsei 6||Synthetic Upper, Rubber Sole||FluidRide bounceback cushioning, Hidden heel unit, Forefoot Guidance Line, Rearfoot GEL cushioning|
|Saucony Ride 9||Mesh Upper, Rubber Sole||FLEXFILM no-sew overlays, Tri-Flex improved flexibility, RunDry anti-chafe lining, Dual-Density pronation control|
|Nike Flyknit Lunar 3||Mesh Upper, Rubber Sole||Breathable and stretchy upper, Plush collar and contoured sockliner, LunarIon foam midsole, Pressure-mapped outsole|
Now that you’ve seen the best athletic shoes for arch support, let’s take a more in-depth look into each option and find the right one for you! If you’re not sure if you have high arches or not, it’s best to take The Wet Test and find out. It’s important to get the right shoe, as not doing so can cause strains, tears, and more.
Brooks Glycerin 14 - Best Technology
The Brooks Glycerin 14 is undoubtedly one of the best running shoes for high arches. They’re made for neutral pronators, but ideal for high arches. The midsole is made from Super DNA material, providing amazing cushion, while also shaping to the natural shape of your foot. This is essential for preventing the plantar fascia from being strained or damage, as well as providing protection for your heels and balls of your feet. The Cush Pod is a great addition to the shoe, giving a slight but smooth transition, additionally protecting the plantar fascia and adding exceptional flexibility in the sole.
For those with Plantar Fasciitis, these shoes are a great selection, because you can comfortably fit your orthotics inside, with ample room and flexibility.
- Great flexibility
- Conform to foot shape and weight
- Protects plantar fascia while providing foot protection and cushion
- Not as soft as other selections
Puma Ignite - Most Versatile Shoe
The Puma Ignite is definitely a shoe that stands out. From its wide selection of colors, to the style, to the technology of the shoe, it’s definitely had a lot of thought put into it. Puma is a brand that consistently fuses fashion with the athletic experience, and this model is no exception. A three-layer mesh upper not only provides comfortability, but breathability and lightness. The silicone print at the heel ensures feet stay in-place and provides added stability.
The IGNITE Foam at the insole has energy-returning qualities, not only making you faster, but providing arch support and comfort at the same time. The flex grooves both on the insole and outsole provide exceptional flexibility, moving with your foot, rather than your foot moving with the shoe. While these are undoubtedly some of the best athletic shoes for arch support, some users have reported the soles scuffing easily and the shoes running about half a size big. Keep this in mind when buying!
- Mesh upper provides breathability and comfort
- IGNITE Foam helps increase speed and provides comfort
- Very flexible
- Soles scuff easily
- Run about half a size big
Nike Air Pegasus 33 - Most Trendy Shoe
The Pegasus 33 is without-a-doubt, one of the best Nike running shoes for high arches. The mesh upper ensures breathability, as well as comfortability and overall lightness. The cushioned midsole provides exceptional shock-absorption, while also giving the wearer a cushy, pillowy ride. Not only that, but it protects the plantar fascia from potential strain or injury. Some with Plantar Fasciitis or pain associated with high arches will particularly benefit from the heel crash pad, protecting the heel upon impact. Their premium technology doesn’t stop there! Their Zoom Air units also enhance the deflection impact and give even more cushion!
The downsides? The shoe does tend to run wide, which can either be a good thing or bad thing, depending on the width and shape of your foot. If you do have a wider foot, this is a great shoe with a whole lot of cushioning and stability built into it!
- Extensive cushion
- Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
- Heel crash pad protects heels from impact
- Shoe tends to run wide
ASICS GEL Kinsei 6 - Best Crosstraining Shoes
ASICS is a company that rebels against traditional design, and the Kinsei 6 is an excellent example of that. Right away, you’ll notice the bright colors and unique design, but more importantly, is its construction. While ASICS has a variety of GEL designs, this one is undeniably the best for those with high arches.
The midsole’s FluidRide Technology provides responsive cushioning, so you can not only run faster, but with more comfort. The forefoot’s Guidance Line makes sure your feet stay in a neutral position. This ensures that your Plantar Fascia will stay in a healthy state, and prevent straining and overstretching. The discrete heel unit and Trusstic Technology make sure your foot stays in its proper place while also reducing strain on the foot.
As no shoe is perfect for everyone, we must include the disclaimer that this shoe does tend to run narrow, particularly in the shoebox. This would make these great for those with narrow feet! If you want a lightweight, cushiony ride with excellent gait efficiency, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the Kinsei 6!
- Lightweight design
- Discrete heel unit with Trusstic Technology prevents foot strain
- Guidance Line ensures excellent gait efficiency
- Runs narrow, particularly in toe box
Saucony Ride 9 - Best Shoe for Running in the Cold
If you want a great road shoe that can handle those long, grueling stretches with comfort and grace, then it would behoove you to look into the Saucony Ride 9. As one of the most respected names in running shoes, Saucony consistently takes to the lab to put out the best in running technology. There’s something for everyone, and in this case, these are one of the best running shoes for high arches. From the mesh upper to the SSL EVA midsole, this shoe is one of the lightest on the market today. Back to the SSL EVA, not only is it lightweight, but it provides supreme comfort and rebound with excellent energy transfer. Why is that so important? It prevents excessive strain on the plantar fascia, with each strike of the foot.
The midsole’s Vertical Flex Grooves adds to the prevention of straining by giving the forefoot added flexibility. Not only will your feet be kept in a properly-aligned gait, but more strains and injuries will also be minimized. Since you’ll be taking these on long runs, it’s important to have the chafe-resistant sockliner that the Ride 9 features. A padded tongue and collar with no-sew overlays adds extra comfort while also minimizing the chance of pressure points and blisters. So, with a shoe this high in technology, what are the “cons”? Seemingly, only one: it can get hot in there. Even though the upper is made from a mesh material, it is somewhat thick.
- Lightweight and flexible
- No-sew overlays minimizes pressure points
- Great energy transfer and cushioning
- Can get hot
Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 - Lowest Profile Shoe
Nike is one of the best, if not the best shoe manufacturer in the world, today. This means that they uphold their products to the highest of standards. This easily includes their Flyknit Lunar 3. With that being said, it probably won’t surprise you to know that it won the Runner’s World 2015 “Best Update” award. Just by looking at the shoe, you’ll notice two things: one, that it’s incredibly stylish and attractive, and two, that it’s lightweight and breathable. The Flyknit upper not only looks good, but is breathable, stretchy, and supportive. Add in their Flywire support cables, and these shoes will fit you like a glove.
The high-technology doesn’t stop there, as we move on to the LunarIon foam midsole, which provides responsive and cushiony ride. With a soft, plush collar, you’ll not only feel a firm hug around your heels, but additional support around the ankles, which is very important for runners with high arches. Last but not least, the pressure-mapped outsole will provide you with the gifts of natural movement, along with flexibility and comfort. While the Lunar 3s are more than just triple-threats, they do run a bit small, so remember to get a size up!
- Flexibility and comfort
- Plush, high collar provides heel and ankle support
- Breathable, stretchy Flyknit upper
- Comfortable and supportive foam midsole
- Shoes run small and tight
Best Shoes with High Arches - Buyer's Guide
As previously mentioned, having high arches is the least-common type of foot arch to have. In turn, this can make it especially difficult to find comfortable and supportive shoes to fit such feet. We’ve created a guide to help you pick the best shoes for you.
What does it mean to have high arches?
When you have high arches, it means that more weight will be on the heels and balls of your feet. Because of this, there is often instability, pain, and straining associated with it. The arch of the foot is what guides from the weight of the heel, from the edge of the foot, onto the balls of the feet. This allows for comfortable, smooth movement. During this process, the arches collapse, which absorbs the shock of impact. A normal arch does this effectively. A high arch will still collapse to the ground like a normal arch. However, because it has so much more flexion happening at a larger angle, it will collapse too far and not sufficiently absorb the shock.
While this doesn’t sound all that serious, it is, because it can cause a variety of physical repercussions. The ligaments within the foot, particularly the plantar fascia, overstretch and strain trying to absorb the shock with the collapse of the arches, each step. Continuing on like this can create micro tears, making walking and running extremely uncomfortable, and even painful.
How to choose the right running shoes for high arches?
Firm Heel Counter
The heel counter is the section in the rear of the shoe which hugs the bone of the heel and also controls how much you can pronate or supinate. This is important, as excessive pronation or supination can contribute to plantar fasciitis. If you squeeze the heel counter and it collapses, then it is not going to provide your feet and ankles the proper support they need.
By holding the shoe with both hands, try to bend the shoe in the center of the sole. If the shoe is flimsy and just collapses in the center, then it is not anything you should be considering. A good sole offers resistance and has a very gradual bend to it. The sole needs to be able to withstand a lot of use, and a flimsy sole will not provide any support.
An elevated heel will help relieve some of the stress placed on them, which are likely sore because of all of the pressure they have to bear. An inch of elevation is ideal.
Adequate cushioning is absolutely essential, but especially important when it comes to the heel and midsole. They come in various forms, from gel to different types of foam. While the type does matter and should be of high quality, the most important part is that it provides sufficient cushioning. Shock absorption is very important when it comes to athletic shoes for high arches.
Having shoes with removable insoles can also be a good thing if you choose to wear orthotics or use an additional arch support in your shoes.
It’s often difficult to find just the right shoe that fits your needs, desires, and foot type. We dug deep, did extensive research, and brought to your our best sneakers for arch support. However, not each shoe is created equally. We had to make a decision, and what it came down to were the ASICS GEL Kinsei 6, and the Brooks Glycerin 14. Deciding between the two proved nearly impossible as they’re such amazingly-engineered shoes that really benefit people with high arches.
The Kinsei 6 features an Impact Guidance System to restore the natural gait process. They have a supreme heel-hugging system that supports and cushions the heel, along with the FluidRide Technology that creates a responsive and cushioning midsole.
The Glycerin 14 features the full-length cushioning of DNA, particularly in the midsole. The Omega flex grooves provide wonderful flexibility, while also maintaining structure and support of the sole. The heel crash pad not only provides great shock absorption, but does so in a way that molds to the shape of your heel and the way you walk or run.
While very similar, they are also different in many ways. If you have a narrow or smaller foot, it’s probably best that you go with the Kinsei 6. However, you do not have to have a wide foot to enjoy the Glycerin 14. They feature a much wider toe box, which is not only great if you have wide feet, but also if you’d like to add in your own orthotics. You really can’t go wrong with either of these, and your feet will be thanking you! These are absolutely the best running shoes for high arches!