Best Sneakers for Arch Support Reviewed
Why would you be looking for sneakers with good arch support? There are many reasons, and they are all very important. Did you know, for example, that for every mile you walk, your feet must absorb pressures that range from 200,000 to 300,000 pounds? The arches of your feet are taking the main force of this pressure; in fact, many of the foot problems that walkers and runners experience can come from a lack of proper arch support. If your sneakers give you the support you need, you will have a much more comfortable experience in all your activities, and prevent many foot problems that could otherwise occur.
- Vionic Walker
- Shock Absorbing Midsole
- Brooks Addiction Walker
- Made for Low Arches
- Asics GEL-Tech Neo
- Well Ventilated
Your foot has three arches, and these arches are made up of bones, ligaments and tendons. There are two long arches on each side of the foot, and one which runs across the middle of the foot from the inside to the outside. Your arches work in the same manner as a spring, and bear the weight of the body, absorbing the shock during movement. If you are not feeling comfortable, or experiencing pain in the sneakers you now use for your workout or daily walks, you may benefit greatly from the benefits these top arch support sneakers have to offer you.
10 Best Sneakers for Arch Support
1. Vionic Walker
These sneakers are given high marks by sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis, even those who have to stand on their feet all day long.
Strong and Solid Walking Sneaker
This sneaker receives high marks from users for its solid construction and feel, with great stability for the foot.
Cost and Value
The price of the Vionic Mens Walker is on a par with most of the other arch support sneakers on the market, and is highly recommended by most of its users.
- These shoes ease pain for many users
- Considered one of the best choices for Plantar Fasciitis
- Great for people who must be on their feet all day
- Wonderful for flat feet
- Good for heel spurs
- These sneakers run small, so it’s best to order 1 size up.
- Stitching on the shoes can be subject to fraying.
2. Brooks Addiction Walker
If you have flat feet or low arches, these sneakers are designed to support your walking in every way possible. The stability and structure of the sneaker also provides excellent cushioning.
If you suffer from overpronation, these shoes will provide the proper support. The sneakers will reduce the risk of injury and guard against shin splints (also known as medial tibial stress syndrome) and knee pain.
Cost and Value
The cost of these sneakers fits well within the range of comparable offerings on the market.
Great for Low Arches
Perfect for Overpronation sufferers
A good choice for flat feet
Strong ankle support
Relieves pain for many users
The suede finish is easy to soil
The shoe is a bit heavy for some users
3. New Balance MW928
ROLLBAR is a system that is designed to reduce rear foot movement, and prevents the foot from rolling inward, providing excellent support for those who have severe overpronation.
Walking Gait Cycle
The Walking Strike Path® technology works with the full ground contact sole unit to help stabilize the foot, and offers a comfortable all-day wearing experience for most users.
Cost and Value
In comparison to the other arch support sneakers, the price of the New Balance MW928 Walker has a slightly higher price point range, depending on features.
ROLLBAR technology eases overpronation
Offers all-day comfort
Full ground contact sole gives good support
Good for stabilizing the foot
Relieves heel pain
Tongues are a little short
A little tight for EEEE sizes
4. Asics GEL-Tech Neo
Many users report that they have less hip, knee and ankle pain when using these sneakers on long walks. Others who have injuries such as nerve damage report the same benefits.
Comfortable for use on pavement
The shoes have a large amount of ventilation on the top and sides, and are extremely light because of the materials used. Many users report it feels as if you are not even wearing shoes.
Cost and Value
Most users find the sneakers to be good value for money, as they are priced lower than comparable shoes.
Good for long walks
Stretchy and breathable top structure
Good heel support
Glue that binds the fibers sometimes wears off too soon
Shoe runs a bit small so best to order ½ to 1 size up
5. Saucony Grid Omni
This patented feature gives a smooth transition on all terrain, creating a solid structure for the underside of the foot in motion. This structure slows the pronation which occurs as the outside edge of your heel comes in contact with the ground and locks, to deal with the shock.
Compression molded EVA midsole
The EVA midsole provides rebound for your foot and cushioning as well. It helps to protect the foot from feeling hard objects, and all the pressures that can be experienced while walking.
Cost and Value
The low price of this shoe makes it an attractive choice for customers who are looking for high quality at a good price point.
Rated high for comfort
Structure and stability
Good for low arches
Excellent heel cushioning
May be uncomfortable for neutral walkers
6. Vionic Orthaheel Action
The Active Motion System technology combines a podiatrist-designed orthotic with a flexible, cushioned outsole and a lightweight and breathable upper.
Molded EVA midsole
The molded EVA midsole provides reliable support for the user in all walking environments, guaranteeing comfort for the heel-to-toe strike zone.
Cost and Value
The price of this sneaker is competitive within the range of top quality walking shoes.
Lightweight and breathable upper
Antibacterial top to control foot odor
High comfort factor for users
Durable rubber outsole for traction
Can wear out quickly on underside of toes
Laces can be a bit difficult to tie
7. Spira Classic Leather
The WaveSpring is a unique lightweight and stable spring that features both in the heel and the forefoot of every Spira shoe. It works as a small "shock absorber" and creates less stress on muscles and joints.
Unlike other shoes, the Wavespring® does not rely on various compressive foams that may initially provide a comfortable feel but eventually break down over the life of the shoe. This shoe will maintain its cushioning effect over time.
Cost and Value
This sneaker lies in the mid-range of the price grid for a quality arch support shoe, and is a good value when considering the unique advanced spring technology.
Recovery time between activities is often reduced
Returns 96% of the energy back to the user
Helps to prevent injuries
The shoes can have a tendency to wear out quickly after heavy use
Some users find the springs to add too much weight to the shoe
8. Propet Stability Walker
This PU EVA midsole has a gel heel pad and unique cushioning ridges for comfort and a high degree of arch support.
The removable insole feature is great for those users who prefer or actually need to insert their own unique orthotic for medical reasons and special support considerations.
Cost and Value
The Propet sneaker lies in the mid-price range, although less expensive options are available. They are excellent value for money and can be fully reimbursed by some medical insurances.
Great for people who are on their feet all day long
Shoe stability prevents knee and hip strain
Aids in walking on uneven surfaces
Excellent shoe for the wider foot
Light yet sturdy
Shoe fabric can stain easily, even from water droplets
Backing is hard according to some users
9. Brooks Addiction V-Strap
The forefoot MC Pod construction is perfect for many kinds of foot problems, and sets the foot in an effective, steady and secure position.
For those who have foot injuries or a slightly larger foot than its twin, the V-Strap offers ultimate flexibility to address width needs as required.
Cost and Value
The Brooks Addiction Walker V-strap is priced in the mid-range of arch support shoes, and is a durable shoe that offers good value for price.
Many users find the shoe extremely comfortable
Room for custom orthotic inserts
Velcro straps for easy on-off
Give feet and ankles good support
Designed to prevent pronation
- Shoes run small, so order ½ to 1 size larger than normal
- Somewhat squarish in style for some users
10. Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
The Double Fan Wave provides high stability to reduce pronation, without increasing stiffness. It is comprised of a flexible plastic wave structure running from the heel to the midfoot, creating a cushioned and springy walk.
Articulated U4icX heel wedge
This heel wedge is lightweight and more cushioned, delivering a soft and downy feel to the underfoot with each footfall.
Cost and Value
The Mizuno Wave sits in a somewhat higher price point than the other shoes on this list, but many wearers consider it good value for money.
Good cushioning on instep
High degree of stability
Lightweight in structure
Superior arch support
Extremely comfortable for all-day users
Heel cup can be a bit snug
Toe box can be a bit too wide compared to earlier models
Now that you’ve had a chance to review our top 10 picks for arch support sneakers, which one looks like the best choice for you?
Do you have flat feet, or perhaps a low arch? Or does your arch approach a middle range. Perhaps you even have a very high arch? Your decision will be most influenced by the kind of arches you have, and this will vary widely between all of us. But one thing is certain. The choice of sneaker that you make is going to make a world of difference to your workout or activity, and it is one of the most important ways that you can maintain and impact your own foot health.
With such a wide range of top sneakers on the market to choose from, there is no need to suffer pain or discomfort, or face the risk of developing musculoskeletal issues because your sneakers are not supporting the arches that you were born with. It’s one of the simplest ways you can protect your foot health and avoid problems for years to come.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Arch Support Sneakers
When you are selecting the best Arch Support Sneaker for your physiology and condition, you must be aware of how important the choice is to the long-term health of your feet, as well as the short-term health considerations.
Of this you can be certain: wearing the proper sneakers for your foot type and chosen activity will make all the difference in your overall comfort, safety, and enjoyment for years to come. It’s also very important that you select shoes that take into account any previous injuries you may have, as well as the amount of pronation and foot movement you experience in your activity.
Let’s look at some of the most important considerations below.
Room for your orthotics
It’s important to know that the arch support shoe that you select has room for your orthotic insert. If a podiatrist has prescribed a custom orthotic insert for your particular foot problem, then you need to be able to use this in your shoe without compromising on comfort or fit.
Research shows that the proper orthotic insert can reduce the reaction force you experience, and minimize unwanted rear foot motion, so you are going to want to use any orthotic in your sneakers as well as the other shoes you use daily. The effect of your orthotics on foot motion and impact can make all the difference in your workout or workday use.
Some of the sneakers have a removable foot bed, but you should also look for plenty of room and width in the toe box to accommodate any orthotic your podiatrist has designed for your particular foot problems. If your sneaker does not allow for the orthotic to be comfortably inserted, then you can have a serious problem that may cause you to develop plantar fasciitis. Your sneakers must be somewhat snug in the heel so that your sneaker does not slip off your foot while you are walking or working out.
Of course, more cushioning is desirable for high-impact activities, whereas for standing, it is not always as necessary. Especially if you have chosen a sneaker to accommodate a slight or even significant past injury. But this is a personal preference too. Some prefer gel, some prefer foam, and some prefer air. Every step you take can make or break your activity. There are options for both stability and neutral cushioning.
A solid sneaker that gives you great cushioning support can be the best option for stability. Shoes with a stability cushion are often best for people who have medium arches. They will give you a good flow between heel-strike to toe-off, but also maximum protection for foot movements. You’ll find that you can walk or run much further than you usually can with complete comfort.
For those with higher arches, a neutral sneaker will let your foot move through your activity with more flexibility while also giving you comfort with each step for great performance fit.
Choosing the right shoe for your particular pronation is essential for foot health. But how do you know whether you have underpronation, overpronation, or if you are in the neutral category? If you see that the outside of your shoes often show the most wear, then you are adjusting to the outer side of your shoes as you walk or run, this wear pattern will pinpoint you as an underpronator. If you are neutral, then the soles of your shoes will show wear in an S-shaped pattern. You will see extra wear under the ball of the foot and the inside of the heel, if you are an overpronator. Once you or your doctor have determined what is your general tendency within these categories, you can find a shoe with the exactly right support and cushioning for your foot.
- If you’re an overpronator, you should look for sneakers that provide more stability. You will need maximum support and cushioning that is structured to distribute the impact of your footfall and minimize your pronation.
- If your pronation pattern is normal, you can choose from a wider variety of shoes for the activity you have in mind, because there is no motion to be corrected.
- If you’re an underpronator, you are often more prone to shock-related injuries, so you should always look at a shoe with a lot of cushioning.
If you have read testimonials from shoe purchasers online, you will often see that someone says they wish they had known they needed to order a somewhat larger size of sneaker than they normally do.
It could be that you also may need to purchase a size of shoe that is half to one-size larger, as well as one width size up from your normal width. And in the case of orthotics this is even more of a consideration.
Keep in mind that different manufacturers use different lasts, or 3-dimensional molds made of wood or plastic to construct their shoes. The overall fit of your shoe is determined by the last, which has the following dimensions:
- Forefoot width
- Heel width
- Instep height.
So the sizing will vary accordingly. Check the testimonials to see if the shoe you have chosen has a few customers who write that they should have ordered one size up. Then you will know the tendency of that particular brand in terms of sizing.
The tongue of a sneaker is a strip of material that is located under a shoe’s lacing, directly on the bridge of the foot. It’s the same in a dress shoe as well as a sport shoe. If the lacing is not isolated from the foot, pain quickly develops and the lacing can actually cut into the top of your foot. This can also cause a condition known as dorsal irritation.
Most people do not have absolutely identical feet. One foot will often be slightly different from the other. A tongue pad will solve this discrepancy and make the same pair of sneakers support your two slightly different feet properly.
An additional pad may be necessary if you experience this with the sneakers that you have selected. Or the solution could be as simple as choosing better cushioning socks to help you avoid too much friction between the shoe and the top of your foot. But it’s always better to have the shoe tongue be comfortable to begin with, with ample cushioning under the lacing and a tongue wide enough to avoid friction. A tongue pad will also make a big difference in comfort by preventing your foot from sliding forward.
Grip and Traction
If your sneaker does not have the proper grip and traction for the environment in which you are planning to use it, slipping and falling can become a real concern. This can cause problems whether you are participating in a sport that causes you to need to change direction quickly, or move over irregular terrain in an outdoor environment.
Other injuries can occur from a continual adjusting and readjusting of your weight as you try to regain balance from movement, causing stress on all parts of your feet as well as your entire body. And this will have long-term effects on your overall health, as well as having a potential to cause accidents that often occur from imbalance.
Whether you are walking, hiking or running outside, you need to have the best traction under all weather conditions. And if you are playing in indoor competitions on a polished surface, such as basketball, having a sure and safe traction and grip with your sneakers is essential.
Weight of Sneaker
Some sneakers are much lighter than others. Although it may seem like a few extra ounces would not make a difference, it’s something to consider, depending on the main purpose that you have in mind for your arch support sneakers.
Are you planning to use your sneakers for hours and hours of extensive hiking? Or are you planning to use your sneakers more for the purpose of having to be on your feet for eight hours a day and walking around indoors assisting customers or warehousing, for example.
Recent studies have shown that running with heavier shoes increases energy expenditure, as well as causing slower times.
So be sure to check the weight on the shoes you are considering, and compare. A few hours or even a day of wearing an extra 5, 10 or even 20 ounces could make a big difference in your foot health over time. Look for synthetic materials that are especially light for the upper part of your sneakers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of closure for my sneaker is best?
A: Depending on your preferences, there is no significant difference in a Velcro strap fastener or a lace-up version. If anyone has a bit of back pain or a previous injury that makes it difficult to bend over to lace shoes, then Velcro could be a good choice for having an easier on-off experience. It’s also good for some users who are older and don’t want to fuss with laces. However, it’s good to keep in mind that some users have reported that the Velcro straps don’t always last as long as the sneaker itself does.
Q: How much room should there be in the toe box?
A: The amount of room in the toe box is dependent on so many factors. It has to do with your running or walking style, the shape of your foot, and even the thickness of the socks you wear. If you are using orthotics, then that is another consideration. But generally speaking, your toes should be able to move independently, as well as wriggle around, without any friction or rubbing. But at the same time, you should feel a comfortable and somewhat snug fit.
Q: Will sneakers stretch with wear?
A: Sneakers made from natural materials have the potential to stretch somewhat with wear. Manmade synthetic materials are less likely to do so. If you need to have a little more room because your new sneakers are not as comfortable yet as you’d like them to be, there are options. Take the sneakers to a shoe repair shop and ask that they stretch them out a bit for you. There are actually machines that do this. In this way you can skip a month or two of breaking them in. So don’t put up with that tight-shoe pain, and do something constructive about it.
Q: What is the main consideration when choosing a lighter sneaker over a heavier one?
A: A lighter sneaker will feel more weightless on your feet, and is often less clunky and minimalist in style and design. The surface that you will be primarily using the shoe for will require a lighter or heavy styling as well. Of course a heavier shoe is often going to last longer, because the materials it is constructed with are more durable. But it will not be as flexible as a high-quality lighter sneaker made for running or cross-training. If you are considering moving away from walking activities into more running activities, it would be advised to also move away from a heavier, maximum-stability shoe, and select a more flexible sneaker for maximum comfort.