In this guide, we’ll help you choose the ideal shoes for a high arch, and get you running pain-free!
There are lots of options out there, and it can be hard to know where to start looking. That’s where we come in! We’ve looked at the best shoes for high arches available online, and found some great options for runners with high arches. They span a range of styles and have different types of support built in.
Take a quick look at our current most popular recommendations
Nike Air Pegasus 33
What makes a running shoe good for high arches?
High-arched feet are best served by neutral cushioning footwear. As opposed to stability shoes, these don’t have stability devices or a medial post. They’ll have a softer midsole and more flexibility. This helps to allow natural pronation (side to side movement) without creating a wobbling sensation.
You’ll also need a prominent, firm arch mound that compliments the natural profile of your foot. Low to medium arch mounds won’t provide proper support for your foot muscles, which can lead to strains and pains in the middle of the foot. So, make sure the support is both prominent and firm!
Remember, every foot and every arch is different. Some pairs might have too strong an arch support for your feet, and some might be too flat. Make sure you find the right fit for your own profile.
Best Running Shoes for High Arches Reviews
1. Brooks Pure Cadence 4
Available in men’s and women’s sizes, these Brooks are lightweight but fully supportive. With a sculpted mid-foot and arch support, they’re perfect for high-arched runners who want low-profile sneakers designed for speed! Previous buyers found that these were absolutely ideal for high arches which hadn’t gotten support previously in other models. They’re a great choice for people who race track and field, as well as longer-range runners who like a low profile!
- They’re very light. The Pure Cadence is one of Brooks’ special line of lightweight footwear. The lightness is due to the specially airy foam cushioning used. We love it because it’s airy, but not flimsy.
- They have a sock-fit upper, just like any other good racer. Reviewers said they fit like a glove, but still felt roomy and comfortable in the sole.
- These have a special rounded heel which is intended to produce perfect “strike” form. This means your feet will follow a natural gait as they hit the ground and experience less wear and tear. This is ideal for reducing heel wobble and making sure you hit your high arches properly with each step. That solves a common side effect of high arches–a side-to-side pronation.
- They’re long-lasting. Previous buyers said that they’d been running on these for well over a year, and all the stitching and sole materials were pretty much intact! You can run in these for a long, long time without having to worry about them wearing out. That durability has made them a favorite for team runners in high school and college.
- For high arch runners, there’s a sculpted mid-foot. This is designed to fit into the upper, to make sure your foot stays aligned throughout your run. While these have prominent arches, they’ll hit your foot perfectly, without shifting and aggravating any P.F. or other pain symptoms. Previous buyers said they really made a difference in P.F symptoms in their arches. They said that the support massaged their arches throughout a run without being too stiff or intrusive.
- It’s not a heavily cushioned option. While most reviewers said it provided enough support for them, it’s not on the heavy end of the spectrum. These are only for those who like low-profile runners to begin with.
- Some reviewers said they ran a bit tight, and recommended ordering half a size up. Brooks do run a bit small, on the whole.
2. Nike Air Pegasus 33
These Nikes are also lightweight, and more heavily cushioned than the Pure Cadence. They’re a customer favorite, and are very long lasting. We like them because there’s no break in period. As you’ll see in buyer reviews, people who try the Pegasus usually end up coming back every time they need a new pair! Find them for men and women, in lots of different color options!
- Reviewers said these were extremely durable, just like the Brooks we’ve just looked at. The longevity and relatively low cost kept customers coming back every time they wore out. These have some of the best legacy loyalty on the market!
- Unlike a lot of other updated shoes like these that have been around for a while, buyers who have run in this latest version of the Pegasus said these are the best yet without a doubt!
- Reviewers also said there’s little to no break in period. These will be comfortable from day one.
- These are supported by full-length cushion foam, which is sculpted to suit your foot. Plus, Nike has specifically included a higher arch support in these. Overall, they’re a lot softer and more pillowy than the Brooks’.
- Reviewers said that the extra cushioning, as well as the arch support, made a big difference for longer runs. These are a good choice for high-arched runners with 5K aspirations! They’re also a very popular all-day option for people who work on their feet.
- We particularly like Nike’s new foam cushioning material because it’s extremely flexible. While many cushion-centric styles are stiff or clunky, these are much more agile, and less restrictive than, say, Asics. The forefoot stays flexible, while the shoe grips around the insole. That keeps things aligned while allowing you maximum range of movement.
- They fit small. Reviewers recommended ordering a half-size to a size up.
- Because of the extra cushioning, these don’t provide as natural a road sensation as the Brooks’. They definitely mask more of the road texture under your foot. That makes them a bit less ideal for the track.
The Supernova Sequence runs closer to a stability pair than our other choices. It is designed to keep your feet running straight and level, and is perfect for over or under pronation–a common symptom of high arches. It’s available in Men’s and Women’s sizes. We like them over other stability shoes because they’re airier and a bit less restrictive-feeling on the road, while still providing the corrections you need. Like the Pegasus’s, they last for years, and have a very loyal contingent of buyers!
- The sole is built around an EVA Stable Frame. This is made from sculpted, compressed foam, and works to provide structure and alignment. It’ll also mold to your foot as you use it. The effect is to maintain strong arch support exactly as your foot needs it. We like this molding feature, because depending on your specific arch shape, many shoes with stricter arch support might be too strong or too weak, and won’t adapt.
- Adidas also says that this model has a “Torsion System” designed to guide the foot’s rotation around the mid-foot for optimum transition from mid-foot stance to forefoot push-off.” While we’re not engineering experts, we’ve found that the result is a shoe that corrects wobble in the push-off without feeling slow or clunky like a traditional motion-control style.
- The mesh upper ventilates and distributes heat, and most reviewers found it kept them cool and stayed odor-free.
- The excellent combination of motion control with flexibility have made these a popular recommendation among running specialists and podiatrists. In fact, we found that many buyers had bought these on the recommendation of their doctor. They’re really professional grade!
- They’re heavy, due to the amount of cushioning. Previous buyers said that, especially if you’re coming from an average running shoes, these can be a bit hard to get used to. They’re some of the heaviest shoes out there, due mostly to the solid heel and midfoot support. However, most buyers found that they wore in after a week or two. Once you get used to them, the weight won’t be noticeable.
These are a great option from New Balance for trail runners with high arches. These have sturdy cushioning, strong traction, and come fully equipped for off-road adventures. Thanks to the durable Vibram sole, serious grippy treads, and toe protection, they’re at the top of our list for the best trail pair!
- They fit like a glove. The upper is made of a breathable mesh material, which is designed to fit closely and securely. Many reviewers also complimented the wide toe box in these. If you’re in a warm climate or your feet tend to overheat, the mesh and the airy toe box will really come in handy.
- There’s also toe protection built over the mesh material. We appreciate that for protecting your toes from rocks and divets in the ground.
- Buyers commented on the comfort level of these, saying that the cushioning was particularly impressive on gravel paths or rougher pavements. They do a very good job distributing weight and giving you an accurate road sensation without being too thin to offer support. “
- The soles are made from Vibram rubber designed for longevity. That’s the same material Merrell and Keen use in their high end hikers. Reviewers found that these shoes stood up remarkably well over time. That’s a big plus over other trail runners, which have lots of fancy features, but city build quality that can’t really handle long miles in the woods.
- They’re prepared for nearly any surface, with tough lugged treads like a hiking boot. Several reviewers remarked that the traction was exceptional. They said the shoes were slip-resistant both going up and down hills. They also provide cushioning over uneven surfaces. These are great shoes if you will be running in hills or mountains.
- They’re stiff at first, and reviewers said there’s a break-in period before these really hit their stride.
5. Saucony Hurricane ISO
These shoes are special because they use Saucony’s patented Power Grid support material in the sole for lightweight stability. They are available for men and women. We like them because the support and structure is all in the sole, which allows for a lighter, sleeker shoe with less of a constrictive feel than other motion control options. We highly recommend them for competitive running, whether you participate in marathons or Iron Man competitions! They’ll give you the support you need without impeding your speed.
- A sock-fit midsole provides stability and arch support. The upper is fully breathable, and is designed to fit securely throughout. This keeps your foot aligned with the supportive footbed.
- In the sole, Power Grid cushioning foam provides lightweight support. It distributes weight and impact away from pressure points. It’s also designed to maintain forward momentum by returning the energy of each step. The best part is that it takes the place of a bulky structured insole, which saves weight and heft. Saucony claim that it provides 20% more spring proportional to mass, compared with other brands.
- Many reviewers said these shoes helped with pronation control and provided relief for several foot maladies, including plantar fasciitis. The Hurricane’s have always been good in the control department, and the new medial post on the ISO version is even better.
- They’re a customer favorite. Many buyers said that they had been running in these shoes for years, and would keep buying them as long as they were made.
- This ISO version features Saucony’s new ISO upper, which has an innovative, flexible fit which keeps the footbed lined up without restricting your stride. It’s a big step forward over the previous Hurricanes. It also adds a support frame around the back of the heel, which makes for a more stable back end.
- The ISO we’re recommending here isn’t actually the latest version. There’s now the ISO 2, which have come out in the past year. While we were excited to check them out, we’ve found that Saucony seem to have taken a step backward with their latest Hurricane’s. The original ISO’s fit better, feel more supportive, and they’re not missing any important new features. And, of course, they’re much less expensive now that the 2’s are on the market. So, we think they’re a winning pair in every department. Skip the 2’s and go old-school with last year’s ISO’s.
- A couple reviews mentioned receiving shoes with manufacturing defects. Like other manufacturers, Saucony have started sourcing their products overseas, where quality control isn’t as strict. However, those buyers had no trouble returning them.
- The tongue has been redesigned along with the ISO upper, and some buyers didn’t like how snugly it meets the front of the ankle.
- One downside of this latest “sock-fit” upper is that it doesn’t provide a lot of room for adjustments. You’ll have to find your ideal fit in the sizing, since you can’t make many of your own tweaks.
6. Brooks Ravenna 7
The Ravenna’s have been some of our favorite running shoes since they were a women’s only model. Now available for men as well, these Brooks shoes are colorful and versatile. They have superior cushioning to the Pure Cadence’s, with a slight, unobtrusive motion control element. We love the caterpillar-design crash pad, which gives you a natural road feel with a more responsive contact than other high-arch options. The Ravenna’s are low-profile with deep cushioning, and the best option for men and women who want the closest thing to a normal runner without aggravating any symptoms.
- The sole uses segmented cushioning for smoother transitions. This unique crash-pad allows your foot to hit the ground gradually, with a natural rolling motion. That means you’ll be creating less joint pressure and running more smoothly. We like this design because it allows the cushioning to be supportive without erring on the side of stiffness. That’s a big advantage over the Pure Cadence, if you like to feel the ground as realistically as possible.
- This latest edition adds forefoot grooves to the sole, making the design even more flexible and grippy on different surfaces. Previous buyers said they ran terrifically on all surfaces.
- The 7’s also have an adjustable saddle which makes for a more customizable fit than the 6’s.
- Reviewers agreed that this shoe is cushioned enough to absorb impact but has enough stability for mild pronators. They said the road feel was soft, but not squishy or wobbly. We’d categorize it as responsive, and adaptive given the crash pad.
- There’s a mesh fabric upper for moisture and odor control. We like it because it’s a sock-fit upper, with a slip-on lacing system. That allows for a more even fit, which molds to your feet. Previous buyers said that the upper fits comfortably but securely. It provides a bit more room in the toe box than other high-arch options.
- Some reviewers found that they ran a bit small. You’ll also want to anticipate a more snug grip with any sock-fit style.
Things to Think About
Running shoes designed for high arch runners aren’t usually too bulky. They’re slimmer than a support shoe or motion control shoe because you won’t need a lot of pronation control (as you would with flat feet). However, they’re still going to be a bit bulkier than your average shoe. That’s because the arch and mid-foot need to be a bit thicker. With that said, our choices demonstrate that you don’t have to sacrifice looks entirely. You’ll have nearly the same range of options to choose from as someone with average arch curves.
You want to make sure your running shoes last. All shoes wear down over time, especially the tread. But cushioning and support can also collapse over time. You’ll want to find shoes whose insoles and arches don’t soften out too much with wear. As a high-arched runner, you need constant arch support. We really like EVA foam arch support which will mold itself to your specific foot, rather than having a set, rigid support. EVA foam also lasts better than other foams which were used in older shoes. It’s common in nearly all new models.
Although they’re not motion-controlling, all of the shoes we’ve recommended here (and anything suitable for someone with your foot type) fall under the category of specialized running shoes. Most specialized running shoes run around $100. Depending on sales, you might find them less or more expensive. One way to save money is to get the previous year’s model. However, if you do that you might miss out on key updates to the shoe’s form and function. Each year, companies make their shoes lighter, sleeker, and better engineered.
While it’s a cheap option to get an insole with a high arch support, many running shoes have properly engineered midsoles and custom cushioning designed to promote overall foot structure. It makes more sense to invest in a really good shoe than to try and correct a so-so running shoe with an insole.
Guide to choosing the best running shoe for you
Now that you’ve looked at some of the options available, how do you decide which will be best for you?
If you are running off-road, the New Balance MT1210V2 is a great option. They’re durable, comfortable and have solid traction on any terrain. None of our other recommendations will serve you as well on the trail, or last as long on rough surfaces.
Road runners will be well-served by the Nike Air Pegasus or the Saucony Hurricane. Both are lightweight but still provide ample cushioning. The Brooks Ravenna is a popular low-profile choice, which gets you a bit closer to the ground. It’s cushioned and gives you the arch support you need to run comfortably.
If you’re looking for the lightest option, the Brooks Pure Cadence will provide all the stability you need with less cushiness. It provides the lightness and ground-contact of a minimalist shoe, with special arch support designed specifically for you. The Pure Cadence is a good option for people who are interested in natural running styles but need more arch support than “barefoot” models can give you.
For the highest-arched runner, the Adidas Supernova Sequence provides maximum cushioning with a strong stability base to control pronation. It’s a bit heavy, and it’s probably overkill for most people. However, if you have a very high arch curve that results in lots of wobble, these will correct your stride very well.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for here or are interested in other great footwear available online, check out our other most comfortable shoe guides at bestwalkingfeet.com!