Anybody who suffers from this problem should invest in a pair of the best running shoes for high arches. Nowadays, running and jogging are gaining popularity due to the simplicity and accessibility of this physical activity. Running is intrinsic to humans, but some people have issues with it, mainly in the form of some kind of arch problem. Running (and sports activities in general) can be more than painful for people with high arches. Getting around this issue can be exhausting, and by investing in a good pair of running shoes, you are taking a step (pun intended) in the right direction.
We strongly suggest you read our guide and reviews to ultimately make your own checklist of features you want in a fresh pair of running shoes. There is plenty of choices out there, so let’s get right into it!
Do High Arches Affect Running?
The condition we call high arches, aka pes cavus, is not that common as, for example, flat feet. But unfortunately, it is more stressful, and overall, more painful. People with high arches are prone to chronic pain as well, due to the constant stress caused by simple tasks like walking. Some people even require surgical intervention to prevent further arches deterioration, but those examples are rare, and not untreatable. Even people who undergo strict medical procedures to help their high arches need to return to their daily activities, which often include sports like – running.
Being that high arches never really go away, and are rarely fully treated, the best thing you can do is to help your feet out by getting a pair of comfortable shoes to accompany you throughout those daily activities. But, do high arches affect running directly, and are running shoes for high arches needed at all?
The short answer to both of these questions is – yes and yes. If you have high arches or even supinate to a lesser degree, you know how painful jogging can be if it’s longer than even 5 minutes. Almost every type of biomechanical issue caused by running can be traced back to the feet. Irregular running gait and the imbalanced heel-to-toe transition is all it takes for some long-term ankle, knee, or even back problems. All in all, this condition must not be ignored, and the least you can do is make your feet more comfortable while you are using them. Oh, and avoid super-high heels, because those will only worsen the condition.
Benefits Of Running Shoes for High Arches
Almost every running shoe out there will have some sort of cushioning to help the runner with the stress that this activity exerts on the feet. Running is a healthy activity, it’s true, but the fact that our feet need recovery after is also true. The thing is – if the issue is not addressed adequately, people with high arches can feel virtually every kind and pebble on the road. This is why running shoes for high arches utilize several different technologies to combat the condition while promoting a better running gait. Now, let’s talk about the most important solutions that can be found in running shoes for high arches.
1. Critical Cushioning
The most important issue to cover when it comes to high arches is the cushioning. No, this does not mean that people who suffer from this condition need to look for the softest material out there. Instead, the cushioning in running shoes for high arches needs to cover the strategical spots using the cushioning in a smart way, rather than putting it everywhere. People with high arches known that the two most important critical spots to cover are:
- The heel – specifically the outer part of the heel that suffers the most stress due to the tendency to supinate while running. The whole heel is can also be cushioned.
- The ball of the foot – with the uneven spread of force across the feet, the ball of the foot needs as much cushioning as possible.
The longitudinal lateral arch also needs some cushioning, but not too much because the force is usually transferred to the forefoot (the ball of the foot) and the backfoot (the heel). So, if regular running shoes have some sort of cushioning, you can expect a lot more cushioning form running shoes for high arches.
2. Arch Support and Supination Inhibition
As opposed to flat-footed pronation, which is one of the most common feet condition of a running man, people with high arches to supinate a lot more. Running with feet in a supinated position is dangerous because it increases the chance of ankle sprains, and makes the runner generally less stable. That is why running shoes for high arches need to have some sort of support that will help with the supination issue. If you are experiencing issues with supination only, we invite you to hop on to our running shoes for supination reviews.
The support you can expect from running shoes for high arches comes mainly from the sole shape of the shoe, also known as the shoe last. To keep the lateral arches from supinating, the last (outsole shape) of these shoes is curved inwards. This will not only prevent the feet supination but also point the finger in the right direction – towards the cushioned zones.
3. Heel-to-toe Stabilization
The third thing to keep in mind is the stabilization of the heel-to-toe movement. A healthy and safe heel-to-toe cycle is achieved through practice, of course. But the best way to practice is to have a trustworthy shoe that will promote the movement over and over again. This is achieved through two features of running shoes for high arches:
- Ankle stability support – the ankle is best supported by a padded collar that is flexible and can adapt to the shape of your ankles
- Bigger toe box – being that people with flat feet can develop hammer toes, a bigger toe box can provide the extra space for the toes to roll out in a better and safer manner
Best Running Shoes For High Arches Comparison Chart
Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe
|View On Amazon|
ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 6 Running Shoes
|View On Amazon|
ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes
|View On Amazon|
Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
|View On Amazon|
Mizuno Men’s Wave Sky 2 Running Shoe
|View On Amazon|
New Balance Women’s 1080v10 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
|View On Amazon|
Running Shoes for High Arches Reviews
1. Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe
Brooks is in the game of making quality running shoes for some time now. They have even invented some of the more popular materials and engineering solutions when it comes to sports footwear. This pair of running shoes will support your high arches, and make you look great while at it. The overall design is made to match a wide variety of colors – a total of 17 different designs to choose from.
Starting from the upper, we can see that the main technology used to cover your foot is the famous mesh material. This means that your foot will be able to breathe better while and after you are done running. It also means that the overall risk of fungal infections is lower and that the shoes dry faster, at the expense of not being waterproof. The insole and the midsole are designed for maximum cushioning, thus allowing your feet to have a more natural, padded heel-to-toe transition.
- This pair of running shoes for high arches is lightweight and you can find extra cushioning inside
- The breathable mesh on the upper will allow your feet to breathe better and retain less sweat inside the shoe
- The BioMoGo, combined with the segmented crash pad, will absorb a large chunk of the shock produced by running
- These running shoes are not waterproof, so be careful not to get your feet wet in humid weather
2. ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 6 Running Shoes
If you are looking for a running shoe that can follow you on long runs, as well as support your high arches while sprinting, this pair of ASICS can be the right way to go. Besides the technology used to make them extra comfy, you also get to choose from a wide arrange of designs and color finishes – a total of 16 designs in all colors and gradients.
The Excite 6 utilizes GEL technology to deliver better cushioning of the high-impact zones, like the ball of the foot or the heel. The AmpliFoam midsole will also help with shock absorption, which is incredibly important during longer runs. And, if sweaty feet are a concern of yours, you will be happy to hear that the upper side of these running shoes is made of mesh (held by synthetics) that allows full feet breathability. The outsole is made of rubber that is lightweight but doesn’t lose on shock-absorption.
- A pair of stylish running shoes with a lot of color choices (a total of 16 so far)
- The AmpliFoam midsole, combined with the GEL technology, creates additional cushioning
- These running shoes for high arches deliver great breathability and moisture management for sweaty feet
- If you have a severe case of high arches, these running shoes may not be enough for you
3. ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes
The running man often aims for a lighter shoe. However, some models out there provide all the cushioning needed without being super-lightweight necessarily. Such is the case of these ASICS for men. They are sturdy enough to keep your feet in a stable position and cushioned enough to provide the comfort you need. You will also be happy to know that they come in 13 different styles and colors.
The stability in this pair of running shoes comes from the outsole. It is made of rubber, with plastic support on the lateral longitudinal arch that prevents supination. The upper is designed with a combination of manmade leather and synthetics, with the OrthoLite sock lining that plays an active role in keeping your feet dry. Additionally, the midsoles are made of EVA foam, diminishing the stress of shock exerted on your feet during a running session.
- A pair of running shoes for men that can withstand a bit of extra weight
- The shoes have both the shape and the technology that prevents supination
- The midsoles of these running shoes provide additional cushioning with the utilized EVA technology
- While they will provide the stability and cushioning needed, these running shoes are not designed for extra long runs
4. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
The Glycerin from Brooks is a lightweight running shoe that has a lot to offer, besides the appealing aesthetics, of course. At first glance, you can notice that these running shoes have a somewhat stranger looking midsole. Do not be alarmed, this part of the design plays both a role in cushioning and looks. Speaking of looks, these Brooks for women can be found in 11 different designs so far, with a color choice that can be matched with various exercising gear and tracksuits.
Now, when it comes to the specifications that these running shoes for high arches brig along, you can expect a lot of super-soft cushioning. The DNA LOFT cushioning from Brooks is there to absorb a large amount of shock and stress exerted on your feet during a run. People with high arches benefit from extra cushioning the most, so you can expect a super-comfy experience when it comes to the ball of your foot and the heel. The upper is designed with breathability in mind, so people with sweaty feet can enjoy running freely again as well.
- A large variety of styles and designs
- The DNA Loft transition zone delivers a lot of comfort, absorbing a large amount of shock
- The OrthoLite sock lining will help your feet breathe and stay dry during and after a run
- Some users have reported that the width of these running shoes is not standard, so please double-check the size charts before you make the final decision
5. Mizuno Men’s Wave Sky 2 Running Shoe
The Wave Sky 2 running shoe model From Mizuno looks modern and a bit nostalgic at the same time. This look comes from the synthetics and mesh combo used for the upper, and the chunky rubber outsole that is clearly visible from every angle. But if you want to match the shoes with your exercising attire, you get to choose from 6 different designs with their own color combinations.
The upper on this Mizuno for men running shoes is made of a mesh-synthetic combination that allows for regular transpiration and feet breathing. The mesh is lighter on the forefoot, while the synthetics also play a role in heel support on the back of the shoe. Another support system comes from the AeroHug technology implemented in the midsole – it will cushion the critical spots like the ball of your foot and the heel, which are affected the most if you have high arches. Lastly, this pair of running shoes for high arches is one of the most affordable out there.
- A great price-to-performance ration with multiple design and color options
- The AeroHug tech from Mizuno provides cushioning of the critical spots on the feet
- The upper side of these running shoes is made of breathable mesh (with the focus on the forefoot)
- Being that these are one of the most affordable running shoes on the market, you shouldn’t expect marathon level endurance from them
6. New Balance Women’s 1080v10 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
If feet comfort is what you are prioritizing in a shoe, this pair of New Balance running shoes will amaze you with the amount of cushioning they provide. Firstly, it is important to note that the upper is made of knit mesh that provides breathability and comfort without sacrificing the stability of the foot. Additionally, you can find these shoes in 5 different designs, so matching with your sports gear should not come off as a problem.
Next to the lightweight knit mesh upper, the outsole is in the lightweight category as well. The outsole is mainly made of rubber, but it fits very well with the midsole made of foam. The Fresh Foam from New Balance is designed for the ultimate cushioning experience, which is more than needed by people with high arches. Lastly, the shock absorption of these shoes comes from the foam midsole that neutralizes most of the shock coming from running and sports in general.
- A super-soft pair of running shoes
- The shoes are lightweight and provide enough cushioning for both long-distance and short-distance running
- The upper is made of knit mesh that helps with keeping your feet dry from sweat
- While cushioning is desirable for high arches, keep in mind that these running shoes are extra-soft, which some runners do not like
7. ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 22 Running Shoes
The Nimbus model deserved its status by providing additional comfort and cushioning to the people that need it the most. This pair of running shoes delivers quite a lot with the combined technologies used to provide comfort without losing stability. Also, you will be happy to know that this model of running shoes can be found in 17 different designs and colors (so far).
So, what makes these ASICS a good choice for you? The overall design of the upper focuses on breathability in the forefoot, and stability at the heel. The mesh allows your feet to breathe freely, while the synthetics at the back provide extra stability for the heel. The GEL technology can be found both in the heel, and (more importantly) under the forefoot. These critical spots provide cushioning that people with high arches need to run carefree. Lastly, the heel-to-toe movement is enhanced with the shape of the foam sole, line with gripping rubber.
- The breathable mesh in the forefoot will allow your feet to breathe, while the synthetics in the back provide heel support
- The combination of GEL and EVA cushion the critical spots and alleviate the stress of running
- The outsole has a strong grip (rubber) and promotes a healthy running gait
- These running shoes come with a heftier price, but the comfort they provide is worth it if you have feet arch issues
8. Brooks Women’s Dyad 10
The Brooks Dyads for women are great both for beginner runners and for more experienced track enthusiasts. They look slightly futuristic, and you can find them in three different colors, so matching them up with your exercising gear will not be that of a problem. The overall feel of these running shoes is hitting that middle spot between cushioning and stability. Let’s see what they have to offer to help you with high-arch pains.
First of all, the upper is made of breathable mesh that will keep your feet dry from sweat. The mesh is not waterproof, but it provides a sense of weightlessness. And, let’s be honest, who goes for a run in the middle of a deluge? The midsole is crafted using the BioMoGo – a biodegradable material that has both cushioning and stabilizing effects. Additionally, the tongue and the collar of these running shoes for high arches are padded, meaning that they can help you adapt the pressure and tightness around the ankles. The outsole is made of rubber, and it is shaped to promote healthy foot gait.
- An excellent pair of running shoes for people that have just started running as a part of their routine
- The mesh design of the upper will help your feet stay dry from sweat
- The midsole is made of biodegradable BioMoGo material that provides both cushioning and support
- The shoes are not waterproof for the sake of being super-breathable
9. HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Clifton 6 Running Shoe
If you are looking for a pair of running shoes that look great and provide the comfort your high arches need, these HOKA ONE for men might be the ones for you. They have some interesting design approaches to modern feet problems, and you will be happy to hear that these running shoes can handle the extra weight. Also, if the color design is a concern, you get to pick from a pool of 10 different styles.
Of course, the flashy design isn’t the only thing these running shoes have to deliver. The lightweight upper is made of breathable mesh, and the tongue is padded just enough to let you control the pressure of the lacing without sacrificing comfort. The bottom side of the outsole grips the ground firmly, thanks to the rubber quality and the complex patterns across the whole footprint. Midsoles are made of soft foam that cushions the pressure exerted while running, with the critical spots like the ball of the foot and heel being covered as well.
- One of the most aesthetically pleasing running shoes out there with a lot of color choices
- The outsole has extra grip thanks to the complex pattern
- The midsoles cover critical spots with extra cushioning that is needed to accommodate high-arched feet
- This pair of running shoes is a bit pricy, but it makes it up with performance and looks
10. Saucony Women’s Triumph 17 Running Shoe
The Saucony Triumph is a running shoe model that prioritizes comfort. This can be seen right away just by glancing at these shoes. Not to mention the fact that they are pretty lightweight. You get to choose from 4 different models, with both darker and lighter designs, so you can match the shoes with the rest of your gear, aesthetically. Now, to see the performance these running shoes bring to the table.
First of all, the upper is divided into two parts – the mesh forefoot with extra breathing space if your feet get sweaty, and a synthetic backfoot with a padded collar for more stability. The midsole and the outsole both have added cushioning made of foam, with the outsole having an extra rubber layer dedicated to absorbing contact shock. The soles create a super-flexible combination that promotes a healthy running gait and prevents the tendency to over-supinate.
- A lightweight pair of running that lets your feet breathe through the mesh upper
- Super-soft midsole and outsole absorb a large chunk of shock
- The whole shoe is flexible enough to cushion your feet without sacrificing stability
- Keep in mind that these running shoes are not waterproof in the slightest for the sake of normal feet perspiration
11. Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D GTX Trail Running Shoes
Here we have a pair of running shoes that comes with a unique feature. Salomon Xa Pro running shoes are waterproof. This type of shoe is designed towards people who like trail running, but do not like wearing hiking boots. You can find this particular pair in only two colors, which let’s be honest, doesn’t matter all that much out there, on the wild tracks. Both models are dark, blue and black, with the blue one having some lighter accents.
The upper of these running shoes is heavier due to all the material used to make the shoes water-resistant. However, your feet will not be completely shut off when it comes to fresh air – the upper still has some, though limited, breathability. The midsole is the softest part of the shoe, and it plays a crucial role in foot stability, and above all – cushioning. The shoe shape is designed in a way that promotes stability and healthy gait while keeping your feet safe as well. When it comes to the outsole, the rubber used is extra-durable, enough to follow you on your adventures.
- A pair of sturdy running shoes that can support your flat arches and gait disbalances
- These shoes are waterproof and can endure harsh weather
- The 3D chassis play a crucial role in foot stabilization without sacrificing a lot of comfort
- Considering that this is a pair of shoes made for rougher tracks, keep in mind that it is heavier than average, and a bit more rigid
12. Brooks Men’s Glycerin 17 Cushioned Road Running Shoe
Brooks has a lot of competitive running shoe models out there, and this one certainly has a lot to offer. At first glance, you can see that the designers took a minimalistic approach, with the accent on the midsole and the outsole. If you are looking for a way to aesthetically match the shoes with the rest of your exercise gear, you can choose between 8 different styles and colors.
On the upper, we can see that these shoes deliver high breathability – the upper is made almost entirely out of mesh, which is known for excellent perspiration features. Inside the shoe, you can find the super-soft DNA Loft cushioning that will accommodate the pressure caused by higher arches. This technology also promotes a healthier gait and the foot-to-toe transition is more natural as well. The heaviest part of these running shoes is the outsole, which is made of rubber that grips the surface very well, allowing for more comfortable sprints as well.
- A lightweight pair of running shoes that has optimal foot breathability
- The midsole has additional cushioning that will lower the chance of tendon inflammation
- The shape of the shoe promotes healthier running gait
- These running shoes are not waterproof and should be dried out after each running session
Running Shoes for High Arches Buying Guide
In the sections above, we have seen the main characteristics and the general picture regarding running shoes for high arches. Now, it is time to dig deeper into the details and all the features you should keep your eye on while looking for a pair for yourself.
1. Upper Build
No matter what type of running shoe we are talking about, the upper build is something that should not be overlooked. The upper will determine two things:
- The overall weight of the shoe. Going with the lighter materials will significantly reduce the total weight of the running shoes which is important to people with high arches
- The breathability and transpiration of the shoe. Again, lighter materials will provide more air circulation, which is essential to people that use socks for sweaty feet.
Now, there are several mainstream materials used out there, but one stands out, and that is – mesh. Mesh is lightweight and it allows air circulation, thus keeping your feet dry from sweat. The mesh material is also softer, and it promotes doesn’t irritate the skin, nor does it cause chafing.
On the other hand, if you are a track runner, or like to get dirty running down wilder paths, the mesh is not the way to go. In this case, you should be on the lookout for manmade leather and waterproof synthetics. These materials will, however, add some weight to the total weight of the shoe, but it will also keep your feet dry from rain and humidity. There aren’t many models of running shoes for high arches like these, but the ones that got popular are sturdy and durable.
2. The Midsole
The midsole of a running shoe is where the magic happens, for the most part. Every midsole is designed to fulfill several roles, and with shoes for high arches, shoemakers sometimes split the midsoles into two or more parts.
2.1. Shock absorption
Running and high-impact sports exert a lot of pressure on the bottom of our feet. The outsole deals with direct contact while the midsole absorbs and evenly spreads the force exerted. One of the best ways to do this is to install soft, but not weak, materials into the midsole. EVA and GEL technology have proved over and over again as the best candidates for this job.
After the shock is absorbed and spread out, the foot needs to fall onto a cushioned zone. It might seem logical to put a lot of soft material into the midsole and be done with it, but that would be far from the truth. Cushioning is done through the utilization of mentioned soft materials like EVA and GEL, but the density varies depending on the position. For example, the midsole will be harder under the heel compared to the midsole under the ball of the foot. People with high arches tend to exert the most pressure onto the ball of their foot while they run. Some of the top-rated tennis shoes for high arches follow a similar trend with the cushioning.
2.3. Heel-to-toe movement
Lastly, the vertical design of the midsole is shaped to promote a healthier, more even heel-to-toe cycle. By cupping around the heel to brace it for impact, and by cushioning the ball of the foot, a runner with high arches will be slightly pushed towards making and maintain the proper gait cycle. Combined with the other technologies used in running shoes for high arches, the gait cycle will start looking and feeling batter soon enough.
3. Measures and Shoe Size
High arches can cause a lot of pain and discomfort if the shoes you are wearing don’t fit properly. Hammer toes are a common side-effect because the toes do not have enough room, so they start deviating from their natural position. This is why we would like to take the matters into your own hands and measure your feet correctly. You would be surprised by how many people do not know, or constantly mismatch, their shoe size. Here’s a quick guide:
- Take off your shoes and socks and let your feet rest for about ten minutes. The blood flow needs to balance out if you’ve had a long day.
- With the help of a ruler, measure the length of your foot. Start at the back edge of the heel and end with the longest toe. Sometimes it is the 2nd toe and not the thumb. This is completely normal.
- Write down what you’ve found out and add .2 inch to the number. This will account for a little extra space for your toes, and for the natural swelling that may occur during running.
- Repeat for the other foot and mark down the bigger (longer) foot. It is always smart to go with the longer foot when picking up new shoes
- Compare the measurements with the size charts of the shoe model you picked.
4. The Outsole Texture
This is the hades piece of any running shoe, designed to make contact with the ground, gripping it for better stability and better running performance. So, to enhance the grip of the outsole, a lot of shoemakers imprint these complex patterns into the rubber and shape them to match the type of the running shoe, or in this case – running shoes for high arches. Shoes that support high arches generally have a curved last. The outsole will always follow the curvature of the last, thus enhancing the natural gait promotion.
FAQ About Running Shoes for High Arches
1. Can I Just Buy an Insole to Support My High Arches?
The choice between running shoes for high arches and insoles for high arches is not simple. First of all, if you have an expansive pair of shoes that you do not want to throw out because they are not as comfortable, a pair of insoles for high arches can be a life-saver. On the other hand, doing shoe adaptations like this one is should not be a go-to, unless your podiatrist suggested it after an exam.
If you plan to run often or participate in high-impact sports in general, getting a pair of shoes that are designed to support high arches is a safer option. On the other hand, if the budget is tight, insoles can be more affordable because you can take them out and use them in another pair of shoes that don’t have high arch support. Just remember that some insoles deteriorate faster when taken out frequently.
2. Do Runners with High Arches Need Arch Support?
Absolutely they do! As opposed to flat feet that can even be harmless for a long time, high arches cause all sorts of acute issues, often painful. If these pains are ignored, especially during the recovery period (after a run session) you risk developing more serious conditions. Now, running shoes for high arches alone will not fix the problem, but they will promote healthier gait and a more natural way of running.
The pressure redistribution provided by the specialized soles and cushion zones will prevent severe issues, and make the recovery period less painful. If you combine healthier habits (like exercises for high arches) with a pair of properly fitted running shoes for high arches, you will feel the progress in the first couple of runs. The progress might not be linear, but it must not be undermined.
3. How to Clean Running Shoes?
Cleaning running shoes is not as hard as people think. They cannot be machine washed, but let’s be honest, they do not get dirty as our strolling shoes do. Here are a few tips and tricks on cleaning your running shoes for high arches:
- After a run, make sure to leave your shoes to dry out completely. Never use a heating source to speed up the drying process, because the heat can damage the soft synthetic materials, thus damaging the integrity of the shoes. Natural drying all the way.
- Some lukewarm water and mild soap can go a long way. There is no need for industrial detergent or any extreme chemicals.
- After 100 miles or so, take the insoles out and hand wash them with some soap and water. Make sure they dry out after you wash them.
- If you plan to store the running shoes for the season, or plan to take them on a trip as luggage, always make sure they are entirely dry. We are stressing out the drying process because even the slightest amount of moisture can contribute to mold and fungus development.
- If you get mud on your running shoes, let it dry out and scratch it off the shoes. If you are cleaning a shoe made of mesh, do not use harsh cloths because the mesh is extra-sensitive and soft.
There are a lot of different models and types of shoes you can get to help you with your high arches. But, if sports are a regular part of your daily routine, getting the best running shoes for high arches is the safest way towards a more comfortable life. Combating a condition like this is not easy, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing the things you like. Running, jogging, sprinting, and even track is fair game if you help your feet endure the stress they need to withstand. There is a large number of sportspeople that suffer from high arches, but that doesn’t stop them from doing what they love – so what is stopping you?
If you have anything to ask, or want to add something, feel free to contact us and we will return with the answers asap! Stay safe and stay comfy!
See also: top-rated insoles for high arches