Best Running Shoes for High Arches Reviewed & Rated
What happens after you run for five minutes? An hour? Twenty? What you should be feeling is a sense of accomplishment, but if you’re here odds are it’s what you feel instead are shin splints. Or pain in the arch, ball, or heel of your foot. Maybe you’ve even developed plantar fasciitis. Whatever the reason, it’s time to tackle the likely root of your problem: High arches.
While high arches are pretty common, running with the wrong shoe can lead to long term consequences and effectively end your running career. Those runners with high arches need to make sure the weight of their body is spread evenly throughout the foot, not over-taxing the arches. Runners with high arches can tend to underpronate (not rotating the foot sufficiently to avoid putting too much weight into the ball of the foot), so it’s important for those with high arches to look for a shoe with neutral-cushioning, flexibility, and that are lightweight.
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
- 3.1" from arch
- Salomon XR Mission
- 1.5" Heel
- Nike Tanjun
- supportive Rubber Sole
Most runners with high arches typically make the initial mistake of trying out a shoe with additional cushioning in the arch; but just as the St. Louis Arch would fall apart if it was supported with a beam in the middle, so too will too much support damage your feet. Stick to neutral, single-density midsole that provides uniform protection throughout the foot.
10 Best Running Shoes for High Arches
1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
Shoes with mesh uppers and ultra flexible soles of any kind tend to sacrifice durability for breathability, temperature control, and flexibility. However, the signature design of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus+ 33 and the quality inherent in higher end Nike products means that this shoe offers the flexibility necessary for high arches without ended up with a shoe that falls apart quickly.
Maximum cushioning with a lightweight feel
Ideal for those who underpronate because of high arches, the Air Zoom Pegasus+ 33 is marketed as the minimalist, lightweight, neutral running shoe of the Nike family. One of the lightest shoes on the list at around 10.8 oz (varies by size of course), this shoe still packs in heel and forefoot Zoom Air units as well as Zoom cushioning in the midsole for a uniform feel throughout.
Cost and Value
While definitely one of the most expensive shoes on the list, it ticks all the boxes necessary for a serious runner with high arches. You’ll find few other shoes on this list which combine all these traits so seamlessly, and they’re bound to last for over miles. As a bonus, it also comes in a variety of styles and colors.
- Mesh upper that provides flexibility and breathability
- Lightweight design
- Durable and responsive cushioning
- Neutral midsole ideal for high arches
- Stylish and comes in a variety of designs
- The hard outsole can be slippery on certain types of terrains
- Shoe design can run narrow for those with wider feet
2. Salomon XR Mission
The breathable upper mesh provides the necessary ventilation and moisture control to keep your feet dry and cool, while the Contragrip Outsole allows for optimal traction both indoors and outdoors. So whether you’re an avid trail runner, hitting the pavement, or cruising on the treadmill, the Salomon XR Mission adapts to you.
Supports and conforms to your feet
With a minimalistic Quicklace system, cushioning foam to reduce friction, and EVA in the heel for heel striking, the Salomon XR Mission conforms to your feet and provides the necessary cushioning in the heels and toe to provide optimal support for high arches.
Cost and Value
This shoe will usually hover around the medium cost range, so definitely on par with the versatility, durability, and comfort quality that you’ll be purchasing. Like all Salomon products, the shoe itself is also backed by a 2-year warranty so you can purchase with peace of mind.
- Dries exceptionally quickly after getting wet and/or soaked
- Durable: expect these shoes to last at least six months if you run an average of 70-80 miles per week
- Versatile: Great for the gym, trail, or walking
- Covered by the Salomon quality warranty for 2 years
- One of few true trail running shoes for high arches
- Must remember to order a size down
- Can be a little more on the expensive side of the shoe spectrum
3. Asics Gel Venture 5
With extra cushioning in the heel and a neutral midsole, the ASICS Gel Venture 5 is an ideal running shoe for those who are already feeling the impacts of high arches, like plantar fasciitis. The gel cushioning is great for lessening the impact of your feet.
Great for beginners or casual runners
Just starting out and don’t know what’s best for you? Enjoy an easy morning jog or just run on the weekends? This is a great, low-investment shoe for those who are just starting out or who expect to run under 40-50 miles a week. Not so cheap that you don’t feel confident in your purchase, and not so expensive that it’s over-kill.
Cost and Value
Definitely the cheapest shoe on the list, this is definitely one of the more affordable shoes you’re going to find for a quality run. While you shouldn’t expect it to last for more than 250-300 miles, this is a great shoe for the casual runner and is easily replaced when necessary.
- Great price for a decent running shoe
- Gel cushioning is neutral enough to support high arches
- Great fit right out of the box, needs very little breaking-in
- Enough room for additional orthotics if needed
- Probably one of the most reviewed shoes on this list
- Not the most flexible sole
- Tends to not last as long as some of the more durable, higher priced shoes on the list
4. Brooks Glycerin 14
Rivaling the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus+ 33 for weight, the Brooks Glycerin 14’s still manage to maintain and ideal amount of cushion by segmenting it. Keep in mind, with high arches you’re going to want to look for a shoe with a decent amount of cushioning, while still being a neutral midsole throughout.
Too narrow of a shoe and you end up exasperating the rigidity of feet with high arches, restricting rotation and making an already bad underpronation worse. Owners comment time and time again that the Brooks Glycerin 14 manages to stay streamlined and light, while still being comfortable and flexible enough for
Cost and Value
Yet another shoe that ticks all the boxes, but can be a little bit cheaper than the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus+ 33 at the cost of very little difference. Slightly less durable (give or take 50 miles), not as many bells and whistles, fewer choices in style (one reviewer called them “ugly as sin” but depends on how you feel about dynamic color schemes). In general? Slightly cheaper for slightly less fancy.
- Goes a long way towards correcting underpronation
- Segmented “crash pads” give the shoe proper cushioning
- Lightweight without sacrificing cushioning and durability
- Mesh and synthetic upper maintain the shoe’s breathability and flexibility
- Added synthetic makes the upper slightly more durable
- Not as solid of a outsole as some of the shoes on the list
- Can run a little small so be sure to order a size up
5. Nike Tanjun
This is about as close to a barefoot shoe as you can get while still maintaining enough support for your high arches. The very definition of lightweight, you get the minimalist feel while still coming off your run shin splint and pain free.
The entire shoe is flexible
The upper is entirely composed of a no sew mesh, which means the upper is not only breathable but delightfully flexible. Add to that the sturdy foam like sole and you have a shoe with excellent cushion that adds on to the flexibility from the upper.
Cost and Value
Minimalist design means minimalist cost. Trending towards the lower end of the cost scale, these puppies won’t put you outside of your budget. While the mesh at the toe is likely to give out first, you can expect quite a few miles out of these shoes for the casual runner.
- Nearly barefoot feel while maintaining proper support
- No sew mesh upper adds breathability
- Combination of mesh and light sole gives unparalleled flexibility
- Always give bonus points for style
- Can get a little smelly
- Lack of serious construction not ideal for long runs
6. Altra Torin 3.0
Building on the tradition of great responsiveness, the updated Footpad outsole claims to better map out the bones and tendons of your feet adding additional flexibility. The conforming inner shoe and solid outsole also offer a better response time between footfalls, rebounding quickly from each step and giving you confidence in your run.
The next generation of Torin offers both more room and more cushioning. Added padding in the heel make it great for runs exceeding 10 miles, while still maintaining a neutral enough midsole to support high arches. Definitely the shoe with the most cushioning on this list.
Cost and Value
The Altra Torin 3.0 will definitely cost you a pretty penny, but if you’re a serious long-distance runner it’s worth it. The cushioning is unmatched, the responsiveness great, and the arch support on point enough to justify the price for those who run more that 60 miles a week.
- Footpad outsole adds comfort and flexibility
- Responsive enough for long distance running
- Unmatched cushioning
- Meets all the necessary requirements for high arches
- Fixed the breathability issue from the previous model
- Can be a little pricey compared to similar models
- Extra cushion adds a little more bulk than lightweight enthusiasts may find ideal
7. Nike Free 5.0
The hexagonal flex grooves are an innovative take on adding flexibility while maintaining durability and comfort. Flywire cables integrate with the laces so that the Nike Free 5.0 conforms better to your foot, enhancing that flexibility and giving you a better fit.
Traction and stability
Want to take these out on the street? Swell. Off-roading a little more your style? Go for it. You dream it the Nike Free 5.0 can handle it. With a fat outsole and rubber pods that handle the lateral sides, this shoe can take a beating while giving you great traction and amazing stability.
Cost and Value
You already know you’re going to pay a Nike price for a Nike shoe, so don’t expect a deal on this one. While having fewer bells and whistles of some of the higher up models on the list means it’s a little cheaper, it also lacks some of the support and neutrality of the shoes higher up on the list. That being said it’s still a much raved about shoe and receives great reviews from all kinds of runners, not only for it’s innovative take on flexibility but it’s incredible cushioning as well.
- Hexagonal flex grooves add flexibility
- Added cushioning for longer runs
- Synthetic upper moves more naturally with your foot
- Increased traction and stability
- Rounded heel for a more natural footstrike
- Doesn’t specifically support high arches, but does the trick
- Not a neutral shoe
8. New Balance Leadville v3
Probably one of the coolest additions to the v3 iteration of the Leadville series, the N2 Cushioning Tech in the toe adds a spring and responsiveness unparalleled in similar brands. While it takes a moment to get used to, once you’ve got it down you’ll fly up and down the trail. Also great for high arches on the trail because it encourages a more engaging run.
Ready to go out of the box
Most shoes take a while to break in, but excluding the N2 Cushioning Tech (think of it as a bonus), the Leadville v3 is ready to go straight out of the box. Very little breaking in is necessary to get you running comfortably on the road or the trail.
Cost and Value
Pretty standard for a trail runner but definitely on the pricier side. Honestly though, with all the incredible and clever additives like the N2, Vibram outsole, and REVLite cushioning, you have a great shoe that adapts to the road and the trail.
- Ready to go right out of the box
- REVLite cushioning adds springiness and support
- Vibram outsole is an upgrade in durability from previous models
- Adaptable to both the road and the trail
- Outsole is great at shedding off mud and dirt
- Slightly less flexibility in order to have better durability for trails
- Heel not as cushioned as the toe
9. Brooks PureCadence 6
With a mesh upper helped along by synthetic materials, you have a durable upper that’s still lightweight and incredibly breathable. Because of it’s unique and attractive design, the PureCAdence 6 has a close, sock-like fit in the upper and a soft, responsive foam sole that give you incredible support with a lightweight and streamlined fit. Great for long and short runs alike.
Innovative “Guide Rails”
Many runners talk positively about the clever inclusion of new, lightweight Guide Rails. This support mechanism helps with under- and over-pronation alike by more-or-less outlining the proper movements for the foot. Great for runners with high arches, but can make the midsole a little narrow for some and customers recommend buying a size down.
Cost and Value
Pretty much right smack dab in the middle when it comes to costs and benefits. The presence of innovative additives like lightweight Guide Rails and it’s streamlined fit help it stand out from the crowd and make it great for short and speedy runs. While the outsole is more responsive, keep in mind when considering the cost that it does tend to wear out quickly.
- Streamlined fit
- Conforming and breathable mesh and synthetic upper
- Clever Guide Rail mechanism supports a more natural stride
- Good mid-level cost
- Only shoe on the list especially recommended for sprints and shorter runs
- Supportive mechanisms can make the midsole a little narrow for some
- Outsole is responsive but tends to wear away quickly
10. Adidas Supernova Sequence 9
Adidas likes to add a boost to a lot of their running products, which definitely gives you that high end responsiveness. Having a midsole boost will definitely help you carry on further, especially with all that extra cushioning. Just note, this will sacrifice some flexibility.
A smooth ride
Reviewers again and again will use the term “smooth ride” to describe this shoe -- and there’s really no other way to describe it. With it’s incredible stability and that added cushioning, a nice and wide box toe, and of course that midsole boost, mean that you will practically glide across the pavement.
Cost and Value
Definitely on the pricy side, but if you’re someone that prizes stability over all else in your running shoe, it might be worth the price. Without a doubt this shoe will last you over 300 miles, but if you have high arches you may want to be cautious about how much you invest in a shoe that doesn’t meet all your needs when others on the list will.
- Durability without being too bulky
- Midsole Boost
- Runners note it’s “smooth ride” feel
- Extra cushioning for long runs
- Wide toe box
- Lacks real flexibility
- Exceptionally pricey, especially compared to similar shoes
Because high-arched feet tend to be more rigid, you’re also going to want to look for a shoe that’s more flexible to compensate. Look for shoes with an extremely flexible upper (everything north of the sole, basically) like mesh, and even a sole that bends easily in your hands. As a bonus, look for a shoe that’s lightweight. Remember, you’re looking to even out the impact in your stride which will naturally be rigid and uneven because of high arches.
So now that you know a little more, to get you started check out our selection of the Top 10 Best Running Shoes for High Arches and skim through them again if needed — because the discomfort you feel should be a result of pushing your limits, not because you’re wearing the wrong type of shoe. Below you will find the criteria needed in order to evaluate them yourself from now on.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Running Shoes for High Arches
“High arches” are so called because the foot curves upward from the toes to the heel of your feet. So the position of the cushioning within the inner soles of the shoes is highly important. The purpose of any shoe, especially running shoes, that deal with this physical disorder is to cut down the pain as much as possible.
The toebox of the shoes for high arches must have enough room for the toes to move around a bit. This with help remove some of the pain from the area along the toes that are either hammer-like or claw-like.
Heat must be able to get out of the shoes so the feet can cool off. Else, the heat will cause moisture to build up and add more problems and complications to the feet that are already hurting from their high arched disorder.
The shoes must be durable enough to withstand problems inside and outside the shoes. Since the discussion is “running shoes for people with medical disorders,” there has yet been any news about said shoes breaking apart from improper manufacturing.
The Shoes’ Upper
Having uppers that can secure the shoes to the top of the feet is important for those who are runners with high arches. The shoes must be worn comfortably so to avoid any friction that would cause more unnecessary pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are “high arches?”
Also known as “cavus foot.” (Pes Cavus is Latin for “hollow foot.”) It’s a condition in one or both of the feet that causes an upward curve shape between the toe bones and the ankle bone. The weight and pressure are placed on the heel and balls of the foot; causing pain when standing and/or walking. Cavus foot is indiscriminate; it will affect anybody at any age. It’s painful you literally won’t be able to stand.
Q: So what’s the cause of cavus foot?
It may just be something a person inherits; like arms that can’t bend all the way or thumbs with tiny nails. Or it could be a neurological disorder. People who had suffered from stroke, polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida suffer from cavus foot. People with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder, one of the more common neurological disorders, can also cause cavus foot. If you have cavus foot, you should get a diagnosis just to be sure.
Q: What are the symptoms?
Hammer toes (toes bent upwards), claw toes (toes clenched like a fist), inward-tilting heel (which can sprain your ankle), and the loss of muscle use within the ankle and foot (aka “foot drop”). Pain is also a nice, unwanted addition to the body.
Q: Can it be treated surgically?
Let’s hold off on that and call it the “last line of defense,” shall we?
One way to solve this problem is to fit an orthotic device in your shoe; adding cushioning and stability to your high arched foot. Another way is to buy shoes for high arched feet. The final way is for the surgeon to add a brace to your foot. (This way can also deal with the foot drop issue.)
If you do choose surgery, you might need surgery again in the future if the problem is worse than just some “bent-outta-shape foot.”
Q: So what about Plantar Fasciitis?
That’s tissue inflammation at the bottom of the feet near the heel. Although it’s not usually found among those who suffer from cavus foot, it’s not impossible. As said before, ask your doctor about it and get a diagnosis.
Q: I keep hearing about “pronation.” What is it?
It’s how the foot rolls inward when you run. When you’re running, the way your foot lands will cause a shock to the rest of your leg. Some of the impact caused to your legs when you run is not good. Hence, the importance of shock absorbing in your running shoes.
Underpronation can give your lower leg too much shock. That can cause plantar fasciitis. And/or that can be the result of high arches in your foot. So more cushioning should be placed in your running shoes.
Overpronation is when you land on your heels too much when you run. So the weight is not distributed evenly; causing heel spurs and bunions. A more constructive support and cushioning for your running shoes should be sought after.
Q: Are they any good?
Apart from complaints about sizes that don’t fit those who wear them, they seem to have remedied most of the problems. Mainly; the pain people have when running in shoes that aren’t made for those with high arches.
Q: Where do you buy them?
The lot of specialty shoe stores you’ll find in your mall and local “premium outlet” shopping centers sell them. They’re also sold online through the companies that make them. If you’re looking for insoles to put in your regular running shoes, it’s been recommended by some podiatrists to use custom-made orthotics instead of cheap “dollar store” inserts.
Q: What are some other ways to deal with high arches outside of surgery?
You can massage your feet. You can work on strengthening and stretching the muscles in your feet and legs that are tight and weakened. You can also remove some of the weight and pressure placed on your high-arched feet. Try some other strenuous exercise that doesn’t require running.
All-in-all: You should get a better answer to this question from someone who’s in the profession of caring for the feet and legs; like a podiatrician.