Runners with high arches can experience a great deal of pain and discomfort when they don’t have the right pair of shoes. Problems like shin splints and plantar fasciitis can arise if high arches are left untreated and unmanaged.
Thankfully, some of the leading running and athletic shoe brands have developed splendid running shoe options just for people with high arches. These shoes have increased arch support, padding, and stability features to give high-arched runners the perfect solution.
Top 8 Best Running Shoes for High Arches in 2019
|Brooks Women's Ghost 11|
Best for Running on Different Surfaces
|Hoka One One Clifton 5|
Best for Long Distance Runners
|Synthetic and Leather|
|ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20|
|Mizuno Wave Sky 2|
Best for Mimic Normal Arches
|ASICS Gel Venture 6|
Best for Beginners
|Salomon XR Mission|
Best for Serious Runners
|New Balance Hierro|
Best for Trail Running
|Textile and Synthetic|
|Brooks Glycerin 16|
Best Shoe for Supination
1. Brooks Ghost 11 – Best for Running on Different Surfaces
Brooks is a popular brand for runners with flat feet as well as for runners with high arches. These shoes are specifically designed with these types of runners in mind, and they provide the necessary support and stability to help athletes feel and perform their best.
The Brooks Ghost 11 comes equipped with a removable sole that has a lot of padding, perfect for the runner with high arches. The sole is easy to remove if you decide you want to use your own insoles specifically designed for your feet.
For the midsole, the BioMoGo midsole provide ample cushioning to support the runner’s arches. This midsole is responsive and comfortable in addition to being made from environmentally friendly materials.
The tongue, and collar of the Brooks Ghost 11 also come with extra padding for extra comfort. Meanwhile, the forefoot of the shoe is made from a soft rubber material that provides extra grip while simultaneously adding yet another layer of cushioning.
As a bonus, the Brooks Ghost 11 is especially unique in that it comes with a “crash pad” along the entire bottom of the shoe that helps runners maintain a natural, healthy heel-to-toe transition during their workouts.
- Lots of cushioning
- Full-length crash pad
- Synthetic sole
- Mesh material is breathable
- Removable insoles
- Flexible shoe with natural feel
- Not as durable as other models
- Shoe size runs small
- Inside heel collar may show wear quickly
2. Hoka One One Clifton 5 – Best for Long Distance Runners
This shoe is perfect for people who want a shoe with a snug, comfortable fit and a lot of cushioning. The Hoka One One Clifton 5 has improved on its last iteration in numerous ways by adding new features that further help high-arched runners manage their situation.
A wide, rounded toe box in this shoe is perfect for comfort and stability. For runners with high arches, a roomy toe box allows them to make tiny adjustments to the placement of their toes during running in order to improve posture and gait.
The Clifton 5 shoe is lightweight and responsive while still having a lot of padding and support to create a soft landing for high-arched runners. This shoe has a high-stack height, which some runners may find to look a little strange, but the comfort aspects of the shoe are well worth it.
This Hoka One One shoe is a bit stiffer than some other shoes on this list, which is perfect for runners who need some additional ankle support. However, despite the shoes’ tight fit and stiff feel, they are extremely responsive and breathable during workouts.
This version of the Hoka One One Clifton shoe is more durable than previous versions, and customers say that it stand up well against all different kinds of running and running surfaces.
- Lightweight and responsive
- Lots of padding
- Snug fit
- Breathable materials
- Wide, rounded toe box
- Extra ankle support
- Some runners might not like the aesthetic of the shoe
- Sizes sometimes run small
- For heavy runners, this shoe may wear out more quickly
3. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20 – Maximum Comfort
These shoes from ASICS are designed to have extra cushioning and breathability for optimal levels of comfort. But don’t let all the padding fool you: this shoe is still extraordinarily lightweight!
Unlike some other shoes for runners with high arches, these shoes have gel padding both at the heel and forefoot. This gel padding helps high-arched runners have that extra “bounce back” on every step that facilitates proper heel-to-toe movement.
The upper shoe of the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20 is designed with a bootie fit that provides ankle support for runners with weak arches. The upper shoe portion is also designed to be seamless, meaning that durability is increased with this shoe.
- Bootie fit
- Seamless upper shoe
- Gel padding along the entire insole
- Helps with proper posture
- This version had many changes from the last version; some runners may not necessarily like these changes
4. Mizuno Wave Sky 2 – Best for Mimic Normal Arches
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 running shoe provides runners with high arches with the sensation of running with regular arches. The specialized design is made to simulate running with normal arches, making this an excellent choice for high-arched runners.
The other running shoes on this list tend to be equipped with insoles made of foam and/or gel that runs the length of each shoe. This Mizuno shoe does things differently by using a segmented foam technology where each “pod” compresses separately on every step.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 also supplies high-arched runners with additional flexibility in the shoe, especially at the forefoot and heel. This makes for an easier, more comfortable toe off and a more natural stride.
However, despite the unique cushioning system used in this shoe, it is a heavier running shoe than most others on this list. For runners who prefer a lightweight shoe, this Mizuno model may not be the best choice.
- Facilitates a natural stride and gait
- Comfortable, uniquely engineered cushioning system
- Responsive and flexible
- Simulates running with normal arches
- Heavier weight than other shoes
- More expensive
- Shoe size runs small
5. ASICS Gel Venture 6 – Best for Beginners and Casual Runners
Yet another ASICS Gel shoe, the Venture 6 has a seemingly endless pile of excellent reviews from satisfied customers. This shoe is ideal for runners with high arches and/or plantar fasciitis.
The ASICS Gel Venture 6 provides runners with extra cushioning in the heel along with a stable and comfortable midsole that gives additional arch support. The special gel cushioning used in this shoe supplies runners with a smooth and comfortable running experience.
This shoe has been specifically designed to allow high-arched runners to run comfortably on all different kinds of terrain. Reversed lugs allow runners to do uphill and downhill running with ease and plenty of traction without having to worry about pain or discomfort.
The outsole of the Venture 6 shoe is made from the AHAR outsole material from ASICS, which stands for “ASICS High Abrasion Rubber”. This is ideal for runners who want some extra stability and traction when running.
- Removable sockliner
- Lots of traction
- Utilizes AHAR outsole material
- Gel cushioning for extra comfort
- Not ideal for runners who log a lot of miles each week
- Insole may be narrow for some individuals
- May take time to break in
6. Salomon XR Mission – Best for Serious Runners with High Arches
The Salomon XR Mission shoes have a unique aesthetic design among running shoes made specifically for runners with high arches. These shoes are able to take a beating, and thus they’re perfect for serious runners and people who like to run on trails.
These running shoes are highly adaptive and responsive. No matter whether you’re running on a trail, on pavement, or on a treadmill, these shoes can move and adjust to suit any condition. The Salomon Quicklace system makes it easy to slip on the shoes and go at any time.
The Salomon XR Mission running shoes utilize the Contragrip Outsole material to give runners the ultimate traction during workouts. This outsole works perfectly on any surface, indoors and outdoors, and gives high-arched runners just the right amount of stability.
Padding in the Salomon XR Mission shoes includes EVA in the heel to reduce impact along with cushioning on the forefoot, heel, and midsole to further support and stabilize high-arched runners’ feet.
- Extreme stability
- Excellent traction and grip
- EVA foam midsole
- Quicklace system
- Breathable mesh in upper shoe
- Sizes may be different (they may run large or small, make sure to try these shoes on)
- Some customers experienced rubbing on the tops of their feet
7. New Balance Hierro – Best for Trail Running
The New Balance Hierro shoe is ideal for runners with particularly high arches. These running shoes are designed to support even the highest of arches with their specialized FreshFoam technology.
New Balance has incorporated in FreshFoam to the heels of their Hierro shoes to give high-arched runners extra padding. This is absolutely essential, since runners with high arches tend to land harder on their heels, and the impact can be damaging if not managed properly.
This running shoe was developed to give runners with high arches a shoe that can go with them on trails and difficult terrain. The AT Tread Outsole is made from rubber and uses an asymmetrical design to give runners the most traction possible during their run.
The New Balance Hierro shoes are flexible and breathable in addition to being supportive and strong. The no-sew upper shoe ensures maximum durability and longevity, while the rubber soles move with you as you run.
- Removable Ortholite insert
- Bootie fit
- AT Tread Outsole
- FreshFoam Midsole
- Shoes may be too narrow for some runners
- Tongue of shoe has poor construction
8. Brooks Glycerin 16 – Best Shoe for Supination (Underpronation)
Another Brooks running shoe, the Glycerin 16 is an excellent shoe for correcting underpronation (also known as supination) and preventing shin splints. Carefully constructed technology gives runners with high arches optimal support, stability, and comfort all in one shoe.
The Brooks Glycerin 16 is one of few shoes on this list that utilizes a “crash pad” (segmented cushioning) to evenly distribute weight and pressure throughout the shoe with every step. This makes for a more natural and gliding gait during your run.
The upper shoe of the Glycerin 16 is made from a combination of synthetic materials and mesh. This combination creates a durable and breathable upper shoe that is flexible yet snug to provide support and comfort.
- Neutral but cushioned DNA Loft midsole
- Utilizes “crash pad” technology
- Extremely lightweight
- Seamless, breathable upper shoe
- Some runners may dislike the colors and aesthetic of these shoes
- Sizes for this shoe run small
- Not as durable as some other shoes
- Has a high heel
How to Choose Running Shoes for High Arches
Comfort is an integral part of choosing any running shoe for any runner, regardless of special conditions like high arches. However, the features that increase the comfort of a shoe may be even more important and specific for runners with high arches.
Padding is extremely important when choosing a running shoe to accommodate high arches. Proper support and cushioning for the arches is something that can add a significant amount of comfort for the runner.
A large toe box can also increase comfort because this gives the toes space to move around and help the runner balance and make tiny adjustments to minimize discomfort and to make postural corrections as the need arises.
Breathability of the shoe is another important comfort-related aspect of buying a good running shoe. This applies to all running shoes for all runners, as a shoe that can’t “breathe” creates risk of bacterial infection for the runner and also makes workouts more hot and uncomfortable.
Runners with high arches need shoes that provide them with extra stability features. Some runners with high arches can feel “wobbly” when they wear shoes that don’t have proper stability. Choosing shoes with good support is absolutely necessary.
Some features to take into consideration include:
- Stabilizing heel
Shoes with a well-designed heel counter will help stabilize the foot better and minimize the chance that your heels will slip from side-to-side during a workout. A good heel counter will also assist people with ankle injuries from further aggravating the situation.
- A strong yet flexible sole
The soles of the shoe are often looked over when runners are picking out a shoe. Having a flexible sole is important to helping the runner have a natural stride. Flexible soles also make it so the runner is able to comfortably make adjustments to their stride as they run.
However, a strong, firm sole is still important too. A firm sole will help the runner with stability and support during their run. Choose a shoe that combines the benefits of having a firm sole with those of having a flexible sole.
- A well-fitted upper shoe
When trying on shoes, pay special attention to how the top of the shoe feels against your foot. The fit should be comfortably snug. A tight upper shoe can cause pinching and pain, and can also hinder mobility.
An upper shoe that is well-fitted can provide just the right amount of extra stability necessary for runners with high arches. This feature also contributes to the comfort factor of the running shoes.
Finding a pair of running shoes that fits well can be a daunting task. The process usually involves putting on and taking off a lot of different shoes to find a pair that fits perfectly. This can be even more true for individuals with high arches because of their unique foot shape.
Some shoes might have to be broken in before they’ll be true to fit. Read some reviews online for the shoes you’re considering to get a better idea of how the fit of the shoes changes over time to make sure you’re getting a good pair.
Before settling on a pair of running shoes, consider the durability of the shoe. Some factors to take into consideration include:
- Rubber soles
A good, durable pair of running shoes should have rubber soles made from high quality material. In addition to being durable, rubber soles increase traction making for a better, safer running experience.
Rubber soles that have been hardened or carbonized are best, since this type of rubber will be the most resistant to abrasion and will last the longest in comparison with other types of rubber and materials.
- Synthetic upper-shoe
Some running shoes have uppers made from canvas, but the best and longest-lasting types of upper shoes are synthetic. Synthetic upper-shoes also tend to be the most breathable, thus adding to comfort and longevity of the shoe.
Read online reviews to learn about the potential weak spots in the shoe, and analyze each potential shoe choice carefully before purchasing.
- Strong midsole
The midsole of a good running shoe for runners with high arches will have a strong midsole that is built for longevity. But, be careful to make sure the midsole is still soft and compressible in addition to being strong so that it provides both support and comfort simultaneously.
- The small parts
Look at the eyelets for the laces, the stitching on the different areas of the shoe, the rubber coverings and decorative pieces, and at any other small pieces of the shoe that may be affected over time. Online reviews can provide insight into what parts of the shoe might suffer wear.
5. Try the Shoes First
Trying on the running shoes before making the final purchase is perhaps one of the most important things to do when choosing a running shoe. Sometimes a shoe seems perfect based off of its online description, but in real life a different shoe is better suited to your feet.
Narrow down your top picks from an online search, and then visit a shoe store to test out some of the top contenders. When you’ve reached a decision, take note of the shoe size and model so that you can go home to make the purchase online (if desired).
Running Tips for People with High Arches
Stretching is important for all runners, but especially so for people with high arches. In particular, make sure to stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, and leg muscles, but don’t forget to also stretch the arches of your feet! Arch flexibility can make all the difference.
Here is one stretching technique that you can use to stretch the arches of your feet:
- Lay a dish towel on the floor in front of you while you sit on a chair with your feet resting flat on top of the towel.
- Try to grab the towel with your toes by curling your toes under your feet.
- When you’ve successfully grabbed the towel with your toes, flex your foot and point your toes toward the sky (this will result in the towel lifting off the ground ever so slightly).
- Repeat this process 20 times to experience the best results.
2. Run Barefoot
It’s not recommended that individuals with high arches run barefoot all of the time, but doing a brief 5-10 minutes of barefoot running before every running workout can dramatically and positively alter your running experience and overall physical health.
If you want to try running barefoot without actually being barefoot, consider investing in a pair of special barefoot shoes (like Vibrams). Humans used to run and walk barefoot regularly, so this is a perfectly safe and healthy practice to incorporate into your routine.
3. Maintain Proper Posture
Keeping good posture during a workout is crucial to maintaining good foot health. Some rules of thumb for good running posture include keeping your shoulders relaxed and loose, staying upright (don’t slouch or lean backward), and to stay looking straight ahead.
Other postural adjustments may be necessary as well, such as paying special attention to how your foot lands when you run (forefoot, midfoot, or heel first). A qualified physical therapist can advise you on these specific adjustments after they have analyzed your individual situation.
4. Run on Stable, Flat Surfaces
For runners with high arches, running on surfaces like treadmills, tracks, and fields that have been leveled. Running on a level surface will minimize pain and discomfort, and will reduce the chance of arch-related injuries.
Runners with high arches should generally avoid running on uneven surfaces like grass or dirt, since this can aggravate the possibility of pain or injury. However, there are some shoes that manage this situation effectively, so don’t despair if you love to do trail running.
5. Choose a Good Pair of Shoes
Making sure to choose a pair of shoes that has the proper features that suit your individual needs is a vital aspect of learning to run and live with high arches. Running shoes for people with high arches come with different features, so consider the options carefully.
Assess your personal situation before going shoe shopping, and consider getting a professional opinion. It’s also important to always try on shoes in person at a store to ensure a good fit. Purchasing online is fine if you know exactly what you want.
Q: Do you need to have arch support if you are a runner with high arches?
Most runners with high arches will need to have some extra support and stability features in their shoes in order to be able to run comfortably and safely. Many shoes designed for this condition are built to have some extra arch support.
Like always, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical professional to get insight into your unique situation and figure out the best course of action.
Q: How do you know if you have high arches?
A test called the “wet test” can be done at home to determine whether or not you have high arches. To perform this test, follow these steps:
- Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of a 13” x 9” pan or some other kind of shallow container.
- Get a piece of heavy-weight paper and set it next to the pan.
- Wet the sole of one foot in the water of the pan, then carefully transfer your foot to the piece of paper and step down.
- Remove your foot from the paper and examine the shape on the paper. High arches will appear to have very little midfoot.
If you think that you may have high arches, locate and consult with a specialist. They can then help you determine which shoes will be best for you and what running techniques you can follow to treat your unique condition most effectively.
Q: What is overpronation and supination?
These are terms that get used quite frequently when discussing running shoes, especially those for flat-footed runners and runners with high arches. For individuals with high arches, either one of these conditions can emerge and require treatment.
Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward too far when an individual is walking or running. This can cause damage to a person’s posture and overall physical health. Luckily, overpronation can be corrected with the right pair of shoes or insoles.
Supination is the opposite of overpronation: it occurs when the foot rolls too far outward. Again, this condition can also cause damage if left untreated. Consult with your physician or physical therapist to find the best pair of shoes or insoles to help you overcome supination.
Runners with high arches must carefully consider the numerous options before making their final decision. With many choices on the market, there are plenty of varied options for these runners to make a decision that works best for them.
If you’re ever in doubt about what pair of shoes to get, don’t hesitate to ask a professional! A physical therapist, doctor, or even a highly knowledgeable shoe store employee can guide you to the best fit for your personal situation.