how do i find running shoes for high arches 1
how do i find running shoes for high arches 1

Are you struggling to find the perfect running shoes for your high arches? Don’t worry, your search ends here! We understand the importance of having the right footwear that provides the necessary support and comfort, especially for those with high arches. In this article, we will guide you through the process of finding running shoes that cater specifically to your needs. So lace up your shoes, and let’s get started on this journey towards finding your perfect fit!

How Do I Find Running Shoes For High Arches?

Understanding High Arches

What Are High Arches?

High arches, also known as pes cavus, is a foot condition where the arch of the foot is higher than normal. This can cause excessive pressure on the ball and heel of the foot, leading to various foot and leg problems. High arches are relatively uncommon, affecting only about 10% to 15% of the population.

Signs and Symptoms of High Arches

If you have high arches, you may experience a range of signs and symptoms. Some common indicators include:

  1. Foot pain: High arches can result in pain and discomfort in the arch, heel, and ball of the foot.
  2. Instability: The higher arches can make your feet less stable and more prone to ankle sprains or frequent wobbling.
  3. Calluses and corns: The pressure on certain areas of the foot can lead to the development of calluses and corns.
  4. Achilles tendonitis: The excessive arch can contribute to tightness and strain in the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation and pain.

It’s important to identify these signs early on to prevent further complications and ensure proper treatment.

Effects of High Arches on Running

Running with high arches can be challenging and potentially increase the risk of injuries. The lack of shock absorption due to the rigid foot structure can result in excessive stress on the joints and muscles. This may lead to issues such as shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis. Therefore, finding the right running shoe is crucial for individuals with high arches to minimize these negative effects.

Importance of Proper Running Shoe

Why Is it Important to Choose the Right Running Shoe?

Choosing the right running shoe is essential for everyone, but it becomes even more crucial for individuals with high arches. A well-fitting shoe provides the necessary support and cushioning to mitigate the impact of running on the feet and lower limbs. It helps distribute the pressure evenly, reduce the risk of injuries, and enhance overall running performance.

How Can the Right Shoe Help with High Arches?

The right running shoe can greatly alleviate the discomfort and potential complications caused by high arches. Here’s how it can help:

  1. Arch Support: A shoe specifically designed for high arches offers appropriate arch support, ensuring that the foot is properly aligned and reducing stress on the arches.
  2. Cushioning: Ample cushioning in the midsole and heel helps absorb shock and reduce the impact on the feet, preventing pain and injuries.
  3. Heel Counter: A well-structured heel counter provides stability and prevents excessive pronation, helping individuals with high arches maintain proper foot alignment.
  4. Flexibility: The shoe should have enough flexibility to accommodate the natural movement of the foot while running without compromising support and stability.
  5. Toe Box Width: A wider toe box allows the toes to splay naturally, providing comfort and preventing the development of blisters or calluses.

By addressing these specific needs, the right running shoe can optimize your running experience and help you avoid potential problems associated with high arches.

Factors to Consider

Arch Support

When choosing running shoes for high arches, prioritizing arch support is crucial. Look for shoes with built-in arch support or the ability to accommodate custom orthotics that provide the necessary elevation and stability for your arches.


Adequate cushioning is essential to absorb impact and minimize the pressure on your feet. Look for shoes with ample cushioning in the midsole and heel areas to ensure a comfortable running experience.

Heel Counter

A sturdy and supportive heel counter is important for individuals with high arches. It helps stabilize your foot and prevents excessive inward rolling or pronation during the running motion.


Finding a shoe with the right balance of flexibility is key. You want a shoe that allows your foot to move naturally while still providing enough support and stability.

Toe Box Width

A wider toe box is beneficial for runners with high arches to prevent cramped toes and allow for natural toe splay. It helps reduce the risk of blisters, calluses, and other toe-related issues.

Determining Your Arch Type

Wet Test

One popular method to determine your arch type is the wet test. Wet your feet and step onto a piece of paper or a towel. The shape of your footprint can give you an idea of your arch type. If your footprint shows a high, narrow arch with minimal contact in the middle, you likely have high arches.

Footprints on Paper

Another way to determine your arch type is by examining your footprints on a piece of paper. If your footprint shows a significant curve or high arch, it indicates high arches. Remember to perform this test after a run or when your feet are slightly sweaty for more accurate results.

Consulting with a Professional

For a more accurate assessment of your arch type, it’s best to consult with a professional, such as a podiatrist or a footwear specialist at a specialty running store. They can perform a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the most suitable running shoes based on your specific needs.

Expert Recommendations

Brands Specializing in High Arch Support

Several shoe brands specialize in designing running shoes with excellent arch support. Some well-known brands include:

  1. Brooks: Known for their supportive and cushioned running shoes, Brooks offers a variety of options for high arches.
  2. Saucony: Saucony focuses on creating footwear that provides excellent arch support and stability.
  3. ASICS: With their Gel cushioning system and supportive midsoles, ASICS shoes are often recommended for high arches.
  4. New Balance: New Balance offers a wide range of shoes with various levels of arch support, accommodating different arch types.

These brands have established a reputation for providing reliable support and comfort for individuals with high arches.

Specific Models for High Arches

Within these brands, there are specific models that are particularly well-suited for high arches. Some popular models for individuals with high arches include:

  1. Brooks Ghost: This neutral running shoe offers exceptional cushioning and arch support, making it a favorite among runners with high arches.
  2. Saucony Guide: The Saucony Guide provides stability and arch support without compromising comfort, making it an excellent choice for high arches.
  3. ASICS GT-2000: ASICS GT-2000 combines support and cushioning, offering a secure fit and stability for individuals with high arches.
  4. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080: Known for its plush cushioning and arch support, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is a reliable option for high arches.

These models, among others, have proven to be effective in providing the necessary support and comfort for individuals with high arches.

Visiting a Specialty Running Store

Benefits of Visiting a Specialty Running Store

Visiting a specialty running store can greatly benefit individuals with high arches. These stores have knowledgeable staff who understand the specific needs of different foot types, including high arches. Some benefits of visiting a specialty running store include:

  1. Expert Guidance: The staff at specialty running stores are trained to assess your foot type and gait and recommend the most suitable running shoe based on your individual needs.
  2. Wide Selection: Specialty running stores typically carry a wide range of running shoes specifically designed for different foot types, including high arches. This allows you to try on various options and find the perfect fit.
  3. Customized Recommendations: The staff can provide personalized recommendations, taking into account your running style, preferences, and any existing foot issues or injuries.

By visiting a specialty running store, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible advice and finding the ideal running shoe for your high arches.

Professional Gait Analysis

One of the valuable services offered at specialty running stores is a professional gait analysis. This involves observing and analyzing your running style and foot mechanics while you run on a treadmill or outside. The analysis helps identify any biomechanical issues and provides insights into how your feet and legs move during the running motion. With this information, the staff can suggest the most suitable running shoes that address your specific gait and foot type.

Trying Different Shoes

One of the advantages of visiting a specialty running store is the opportunity to try on different running shoes. Trying on multiple options allows you to assess the fit, comfort, and support of each shoe. It’s important to spend some time walking or, if possible, running in the shoes to get a true sense of their performance. This hands-on experience will help you make an informed decision and find a shoe that works best for your high arches.

Online Shopping Tips

Researching Shoe Brands and Models

While visiting a specialty running store is highly recommended, online shopping can also be a viable option for finding running shoes for high arches. To make an informed choice, it’s important to research different shoe brands and models. Look for brands that specialize in providing support for high arches and read reviews and recommendations from other runners with similar foot types. This research will help you narrow down your options and find models that have performed well for others with high arches.

Reading Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the fit, comfort, and performance of running shoes for high arches. Pay attention to reviews from individuals with similar foot conditions to get an idea of how well a particular shoe may work for you. Look for common themes or comments regarding arch support, cushioning, and overall satisfaction. However, keep in mind that comfort and fit can vary from person to person, so it’s best to read multiple reviews to get a more holistic view.

Understanding Return Policies

When purchasing running shoes online, it’s crucial to understand the return policies of the retailer. Even with diligent research and reading reviews, the fit and comfort of a shoe may still not meet your expectations. Familiarize yourself with the retailer’s policies regarding returns, exchanges, and refunds. Look for online retailers that offer hassle-free returns, as this will give you the peace of mind and flexibility to find the perfect running shoe for your high arches.

Custom Orthotics for High Arches

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are specially crafted shoe inserts that provide personalized support and alignment for your feet. They are designed to address specific biomechanical issues and provide additional arch support, cushioning, and stability. Custom orthotics are typically prescribed and fabricated by a podiatrist or a specialized orthotics provider.

How Can Custom Orthotics Benefit High Arches?

Custom orthotics can significantly benefit individuals with high arches by providing targeted support and addressing the unique challenges associated with this foot condition. Some of the benefits of custom orthotics for high arches include:

  1. Arch Support: Custom orthotics are designed to enhance arch support, compensating for the lack of natural foot mechanics due to high arches. This helps distribute pressure evenly and reduce strain on the arches.
  2. Shock Absorption: The cushioning properties of custom orthotics help absorb shocks and reduce the impact on the feet, minimizing discomfort and preventing injuries.
  3. Alignment Correction: Custom orthotics can correct biomechanical imbalances and encourage proper foot alignment, reducing the risk of overpronation or underpronation.
  4. Injury Prevention: By providing proper support and cushioning, custom orthotics can help prevent injuries commonly associated with high arches, such as stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

Consult with a podiatrist to determine if custom orthotics are necessary for your high arches and to receive a personalized prescription based on your foot’s specific needs.

Consulting with a Podiatrist

To ensure the most accurate assessment and prescription for custom orthotics, it’s recommended to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist specializes in foot and ankle health and can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your high arches. They will assess your foot mechanics, gait, and any existing foot conditions or injuries. Based on their findings, they can determine whether custom orthotics are necessary and create a customized prescription to address your specific needs.

Special Considerations for High Arches

Overpronation or Underpronation

Individuals with high arches are more prone to overpronation, where the foot excessively rolls inward during the running motion. However, it’s worth noting that some individuals with high arches may also experience underpronation, where the foot doesn’t roll inward enough. Overpronation and underpronation can lead to various foot and leg problems, including instability and improper shock absorption.

It’s important to choose running shoes that address overpronation or underpronation, depending on your specific foot mechanics. Shoes with built-in stability features, such as medial posts or dual-density midsoles, are typically recommended for overpronators. On the other hand, individuals with underpronation may benefit from neutral or cushioned shoes that encourage more natural foot motion.

Injury Prevention

Taking precautions to prevent injuries is crucial for individuals with high arches. It’s recommended to gradually increase your mileage and intensity, allowing your feet and legs to adapt to the demands of running. Incorporating strength and flexibility exercises for the feet and lower limbs can also help improve stability and prevent common injuries associated with high arches.

Listening to your body and paying attention to any signs of discomfort or pain is key. If you experience persistent pain or are concerned about a potential injury, consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or sports medicine specialist.

Gradual Adaptation

When transitioning to a new pair of running shoes or custom orthotics, it’s important to allow your feet time to adapt. Start by wearing them for short periods and gradually increase the duration as your feet become accustomed to the new support and cushioning. This will help prevent discomfort and give your feet the necessary time to adjust to the changes.


Finding the perfect running shoes for high arches is crucial for minimizing discomfort, preventing injuries, and maximizing running performance. By understanding the specific needs of high arches and considering factors such as arch support, cushioning, heel counter, flexibility, and toe box width, you can make an informed choice when selecting running shoes. Consulting with professionals, like podiatrists or specialty running store staff, can provide expert guidance and ensure the best fit.

Additionally, custom orthotics can provide targeted support and alignment for individuals with high arches. A podiatrist can assess your specific foot mechanics and prescribe custom orthotics that address your unique needs. These orthotics can greatly benefit individuals with high arches by enhancing arch support, shock absorption, alignment correction, and injury prevention.

With the right running shoes or custom orthotics, individuals with high arches can enjoy their runs with improved comfort, stability, and reduced risk of foot and leg problems. Remember to prioritize injury prevention, adapt gradually to new footwear, and seek professional advice when needed. Take care of your feet, and happy running!

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Ryan Simmons
I'm Ryan Simmons, a passionate running enthusiast and shoe enthusiast. I have been running since I was a kid and never looked back. I started the website Max Shoes Running to share my knowledge and experience with other running aficionados. I have extensively researched the best shoes for running and am constantly testing new shoes to find the best ones for different runners. I'm also a big fan of sharing running tips and advice to help others reach their running goals. I'm always looking for new and innovative ways to improve my running, and I'm sure I can help you too.