About 10% of the population is believed to have high arches. For people with high arches, running can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.
So what do you do if you are a runner with this condition? Unfortunately, running can greatly intensify the pain from high arches. But it is possible to get relief by wearing the appropriate footwear.
Several running shoes claim to be the best for high arches, so we took a closer look to see what we could find. After researching and testing some of the top brands on the market, we are confident that we found the top 7 best running shoes for high arches.
And based on our tests, discussions with podiatrists, patients, and consumers, we have chosen the ASICS Gel-Venture 7 as the Best Overall running shoe for high arches in 2020. This shoe is budget-friendly, able to support orthopedic insoles, and incredibly cushioned.
Read on for an overview of our selection criteria and detailed reviews of each of our top 7 picks.Comparison Table
ASICS Gel-Venture 7
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HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Bondi 6
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New Balance 1080 v9 Fresh Foam
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How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for High Arches – Buying Guide
High arches result in increased pressure being placed on the ball and heel of the foot. This can lead to conditions such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints. If you’ve ever experienced those ailments, you know how painful and frustrating they can be!
To properly address your high arches, you’ll want to consider a few important elements when shopping for your running shoes: Keep reading to find out which running shoes will be best for you.
1. Test your arches
To be on the safe side, consider testing your arches before purchasing running shoes for high arches. It would be a colossal waste of time and money to buy running shoes for high arches if you don’t actually have high arches!
The most common at-home way to test your arches is with the water test. Wet the bottom of your feet and step gently onto a dry piece of paper. If you see very little imprint of the middle section of your foot, you have high arches. If, however, you see almost the entire print of your foot, you might not have high arches after all!
2. Lots of Cushion
The best thing for your high-arched feet is cushioning. The arch of your foot is meant to absorb the shock of impact. When your arch is too high, that shock gets absorbed by other, less flexible parts of the foot and can lead to pain.
A running shoe with generous cushioning helps soften the blow and provides better shock absorption for your feet. You should find a shoe that feels like “walking on clouds,” which is a common phrase from wearers of many shoes on our list!
3. Go wide
Since the issue with high arches is an uneven distribution of pressure along the foot, you really don’t want things to be pinched tighter than necessary.
Seek out shoes that provide ample width for your feet to lay flat, especially the toes. A narrow toe box could worsen the situation by preventing your toes from spreading out to increase the impact distribution area.
To make sure you are getting the right size, be sure to measure your foot before purchasing. Manufacturers will usually list the dimensions of shoes on the product descriptions so you know if they will work for you. Measure your feet at the end of the day when they are likely the biggest.
4. Look for thick soles
How much sole do your running shoes have? Bulking up the sole is a great way to add much-needed cushioning to your running shoe. A thick, flexible sole should offer plenty of support and stability for high arches and improve the overall comfort of the shoe.
5. Consider insoles
Extra-cushioned shoes are your best friend when you have high arches. But sometimes, you might find you want the additional benefit of insoles or orthotic inserts. If so, make sure you are buying shoes that can accommodate these insertions without creating an uncomfortable fit.
7 Best Running Shoes for High Arches – Reviews in 2020
Now that you know what to look for when shopping, here are our top 7 picks for best running shoes for high arches:
1. ASICS Gel-Venture 7 – Best Overall
Our choice for Best Overall running shoe for high arches is the ASICS Gel-Venture 7. This shoe was the hands-down winner among consumer reports. It has been an incredibly popular shoe through multiple recent versions and shows no signs of losing steam.
The ASICS Gel-Venture is extremely cushioned, featuring the ASICS GEL technology, EVA midsole, and the ORTHOLITE sock liner. It’s a wonderful shoe for relieving pain from high arches.
What really sets this shoe apart is how well-suited it is for trail running as well. If you enjoy hiking or running outdoors, this is the shoe for you. It has an incredible sole with great traction for all of nature’s obstacles.
Features: High-abrasion rubber sole, AHAR outsole, GEL cushioning system, removable sock liner.
- Removable sock liner helps fit orthotic inserts
- High-traction sole for running on rough terrain
- GEL Cushioning System provides amazing support for arches
- It could have a more modern design, but function trumps fashion with this shoe.
2. Brooks Ghost 12 – Best for Sprinting
Brooks makes some of the best running shoes for people with high arches, and the Ghost is definitely at the top of the list. The 12th iteration of this shoe has gone above and beyond for extra cushion and responsiveness. The BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning create a soft yet durable shoe that will feel great on your achy feet.
What is unique about the Ghost is Brooks’ Segmented Crash Pad. This system of shock absorbers along the sole provides amazing shock absorption across the entire shoe, which is essential for people with high arches.
We just love that the upper overlays are seamless and won’t irritate your foot throughout your run.
Features: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning on the midsole, Segmented Crash Pad, 3D Fit Print feature, seamless upper overlay.
- Great shock-absorption and heel cushioning
- Breathable lining and upper
- Often recommended for diabetic patients as well
- The toe box verges on small, while the heel verges on wide. Check the shape of your foot and your precise measurements to see if this would work for you.
3. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6 – Most Cushioned
The cushioning of the Hoka One One Bondi 6 will astonish you. We call this shoe a maximalist shoe because it pulls out all the stops to give you a running shoe that feels more like a memory foam slipper.
Not only does it have the EVA midsole, breathable upper, and extra high heel, it adds a slight rocking via the Meta-Rocker technology. This means that as you walk, you roll slightly across the foot.
While this may sound strange, in practice it means that you can hardly feel the layers upon layers of extra cushion and padding crammed into this shoe. It’s genius, really!
And on top of it all, it’s hard to compete with the style of the Bondi 6. There are lots of different colors to choose from, each one more vibrant from the next. Of course, there’s always the solid black option if you’re trying to stay under the radar.
Features: Compression-molded EVA midsole, Lycra comfort frame heel, engineered mesh construction, internal heel counter, beveled heel design, 43.5mm high in the heel.
- Great for short or long runs
- Feels light despite the extra padding
- Fits wide to accommodate inserts if needed
- This shoe is the priciest shoe on our list. Hoka shoes tend to be expensive. With the incredible features of the Bondi 6 might be out of budget for some shoppers.
4. UNDER ARMOUR Micro G Pursuit – Best on a Budget
As an alternative to the expensive Bondi 6, Under Armour’s Micro G Pursuit should fit anyone’s budget needs.
This is a neutral shoe for runners with high arches. If you need a straightforward running shoe that provides enough cushion to alleviate your pain, enough flexibility to distribute shock, and the breathability to run in all weather, the Micro G Pursuit is the shoe for you.
Features: Lightweight mesh upper, EVA sock liner, one-piece Micro G foam midsole, 8mm offset, 7oz weight.
- Lightweight for a speedy feel during runs
- Comfortable for all manner of running
- Very affordable
- Classic design
- The Micro G Pursuit could be more durable. It’s designed as a neutral shoe that provides substantial comfort and stability for pain relief during runs. Recommended for casual use or light jogging.
5. Brooks Glycerin 17 – Best for Long-Distance Runs
Do you need to ask why we included another Brooks shoe on our list. The Glycerin 17 is a testament to the Glycerin line of shoes. And the fact that they have continued to make and refine this shoe through 17 models should tell you how popular and effective it is.
The Glycerin 17 incorporates the DNA LOFT cushioning and transition zone to give you soft impacts and easy heel-toe transitions. The fit molds to your foot via the engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology.
Features: DNA LOFT cushioning and transition zone, OrthoLite sock liner, engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology for enhanced fit, high heel height (36.1mm) .
- High heel height and extra soft heel cushioning
- Custom-fit technology
- Seamless upper fabric for reduced skin irritation
- The Glycerin has always run a bit small and this version is no exception. Know your measurements and size up a bit if you are unsure.
6. Saucony Triumph ISO 5 – Most Traction
Looking for a running shoe that will see you through wet or slippery runs? The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is our pick for the running shoe with the most traction thanks to its textured crystal rubber outsole.
In addition to the fantastic grip on the sole, the Triumph ISO 5 has all the other desired features for high arch support, including a form-fit contoured footbed with the ISOFit lacing system and extra-thick EVERUN midsole.
Saucony does market this as a high-cushion shoe, but we found it to be on the firm side compared to some others on this list. So if you don’t tend to like the extra soft feel of a Bondi 6, for example, we think you’ll absolutely love this shoe instead.
Features: Full-length EVERUN midsole, Form-fit performance contoured footbed, ISOFit lacing system, engineered mesh upper, textured crystal rubber outsole.
- Great customized fit
- Firm outer sole
- One of the thickest midsoles on the market
- Amazing traction
- This shoe is definitely one of the heaviest on our list at 11 ounces. The extra weight is because of the cushioning, which makes some runners feel more stable. But if you don’t want a shoe that feels its weight, you might try the Micro G Pursuit or Glycerin 17 instead.
7. New Balance 1080 v9 Fresh Foam – Most Flexible Fit
New Balance is a company that prides itself on making shoes to feel comfortable and stable. They have a long history of working to address all manners of foot aches, including high arches.
The 1080 v9 Fresh Foam is a fantastic running shoe for high arches thanks to the Fresh Foam midsole. This technology gives the sole wonderful softness and flexibility. Some even call it “plush.”
We like how this softness combines with the bootie construction and engineered upper to provide a truly moldable and customized fit. In fact, our research supports this claim as very few people had a hard time getting comfortable in this shoe.
Features: Fresh Foam midsole cushioning technology, Ortholite sock liner
engineered mesh, bootie construction, no-sew fabric upper, 8 mm drop, 10 oz weight.
- “Plush” midsole provides incredible softness and flexibility
Breathable mesh upper
- Low heel drop (8mm)
- Adaptable and flexible fit technology
- New Balance is known for making its shoes wide. This is to alleviate any pain from cramped feet, but also to accommodate inserts. They really do cater to the painful feet market!
What are the Best Running Shoe for High Arches in 2020
At the end of the day, we really stand by all 7 of these shoes. They are each made specifically to provide extra cushion and flexibility for runners with high arches and go to great length to make sure you are comfortable on the course.
Seeing as how we need different sneakers for different activities, we tried to present options for different types of runs as well: trail running with the ASICS Gel-Venture 7 or Saucony Triumph ISO 5 , long-distance runs with the Brooks Glycerin 17 , and short sprints with the Brooks Ghost 12 .
IF you’re just looking for one running shoe that checks all the boxes though, go with the ASICS Gel-Venture 7 . It has everything you need in running shoes for high arches from a well-respected and reliable company and at a reasonable price.
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