Best Shoes for High Arches Reviewed
Shopping for shoes can sometimes be an overwhelming experience. We’re bombarded every day by different brands and styles with different colors, features and prices. To make this worse, one in five Americans has an orthopedic condition affecting the feet called pes cavus, or in simple terms, “high arches”. Adding an orthopedic condition to your shoe-shopping experience complicates an already difficult process, which is why we created this guide to help you cut through the fog and find a pair of shoes as unique as you. Here are our top shoes for those individuals with pes cavus:
- New Balance W1340v2
- Motion Control Tech
- Rubber Sole
- Brooks Ghost 9
- OluKai Ohana
- Iceva Drop-In Footbed
- Vegan Friendly
As you start browsing our Top 10, be mindful of one more thing: while some shoes are general purpose, others are designed for a specific activity, sport or setting. We constructed our list to not only help fix your arches, but also help you improve that running time or swim that extra mile as well!
10 Best Shoes for High Arches
1. New Balance W1340v2
What do we mean by ‘motion control’? Well, we mean that this shoe does a spectacular job of keeping your ankle, arch, and heel aligned and healthy. By keeping your foot aligned, this shoe reduces your chances of sprains, rolling, and slipping.
Plush Inner Lining
We all love a plush shoe, but the Optimum Control Running shoe takes luxury and comfort to a whole new level! From the padded toe box to the padded tongue, every single portion of this shoe will leave your feet in a plush paradise no matter what you’re doing!
Cost and Value
Now, this shoe is one of the most expensive on our list. This might deter many from purchasing such a fantastic shoe, but, let me tell you, that price point is worth it! This shoe not only keeps your ankles and heels safe from the stress of everyday activity, but it’s super cozy and breathable also. If you're willing to spend a little extra on such a great investment. Not only will your health benefit, but so will your future endeavors in foot care!
Motion Control Technology
Padded Tongue and Collar
Toe Box May Fit Small
2. Brooks Ghost 9
This earth-friendly fabric isn’t only great for the planet, but it’s also great for your soles! The special blend of BioMoGo, a biodegradable compound infused into Brook’s midsole, increases the rate of biodegradation by 50%. This move for sustainability not only created an environmentally conscious shoe but a better, more luxurious midsole for customers thanks to the natural softness of BioMoGo.
Omega Flex Grooves
The Omega Flex Grooves are an all in one support, traction, and anti-slippage machine. Contoured patterns of grooves carve out the shoe’s outsole for all-day activity without the threat of falling or slipping. Due to the Omega Flex Grooves angle and placement, this shoe maximizes your traction with the ground. This makes it great for people will high arches because the grooves correct your balance and mitigate the pressure from your aches to the rest of your foot.
Cost and Value
Another excellent sports shoe, the Ghost 9 is for those who aren’t afraid to spend a little extra on their footwear. This shoe is on the higher end of our price range, but don’t let that high price scare you away from such an amazing, and functional shoe. That price point comes with guaranteed flexibility, comfort, and control specially designed for high arched individuals.
Omega Flex Grooves for Support
Crash Pad to Dampen Impact
May Not Be True to Size
3. OluKai Ohana
EVA material is generally used orthotic top covers, but for those with high arches looking for support, a shoe with and EVA midsole is a great find. More firm than regular insoles or cushioned footbeds, the Ohana sandal will keep you supported in the area needed most! The deep heel drop in allows the foot to nestle down into the shoe, allowing the arch to relax while being supported by the midsole design.
OluKai creates the option of having fully synthetically, or vegan, made shoes, as well as other shoes in leather. The Ohana is a full synthetic, but boasts of soft supple material to its make, keeping it water resistant, lightweight, and able to dry quickly. The footbed is anatomically compression-molded, and each individual foot get’s personalized fit with the ICEVA drop in.
Cost and Value
Not being an average pair of cheap flip-flops one may buy at the local dollar store, the Ohana’s quality construction and support come slightly with a price. Compared to other similar models of the sandal with leather construction, it’s similar in pricing. However, what exactly is your comfort worth when dealing with high arches? These will last you throughout the seasons, and even have a warranty should something break within the first year of purchase.
May Not Be Durable
4. Skechers Go Walk 4
This marvel of orthopedic science not only cushions your feet but disperses the shock and traumas of everyday activity. By contouring to your foot’s natural shape, the Goga Max High Rebound insole gives great support and deflects the stress of running.
Ever think a shoe could make running or walking feel incredible? Well, with the innovate 5Gen Midsole, you might not even call walking exercise anymore! Thanks to the specialized 5Gen Midsole, all your steps and strides will feel effortless and amazing with every step you take.
Cost and Value:
The Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe is right in the middle of our price range. Not too little, not much, but just right for most footwear budgets. This moderate price is enough to ensure quality features like breathability, durability, and balance, but not so overpriced that most can afford it. This shoe is the perfect compromise between price, features, and customer satisfaction.
Antibacterial Bamboo Lining
May Not Be True to Size
5. Alegria Paloma
The wedge design along with the lifted toe box creates a Rocking outsole that rolls pressure right off the front metatarsals. This action also relieves pressure from high arches while providing ample support for hours and hours. Coupled with the Anatomically Correct footbed, the Rocking outsole also improves and corrects the wearer’s gait with each step.
Anatomically Correct Footbed
The Anatomically Correct Footbed follows the natural contours of your feet and supports every inch of your foot. By molding to your foot, your heels and arches experience constant support for long wear. The Anatomically Correct Footbed also improves your gait by redistributing your weight more evenly all over the bottom of your foot.
Cost and Value
This flat, though a rather spectacular shoe, is on the high side of our price range. While it can vary from medium to high price based on style and size, it averages on the higher side of the spectrum. Though this shoe is more expensive both the Vionic Classic and the Skechers Go Walk 2, Alegria is revered for its comfort and commitment to the average worker. This shoe isn’t only designed for those who desperately crave extra support, but also those who need that constant support while working long hours. So, if you’re willing to spend a little extra for an amazingly comfortable and supportive shoe, look no further than this Paloma Flat.
Flat, Stable Outer
6. Vionic Wave
Don’t be weighed down with the typical lady’s shoe V.S. men’s shoe debate! Relax and marvel in the comfort meant for all in this unisex sandal. Though girls will have to convert their size to men’s sizing, the style and ease offered by these sandals are unparalleled on this list.
Neoprene Mesh and Liner
If you’ve never heard of neoprene, just know it’s the material most commonly found in swimsuits and other swim-related attire. Because of its moisture resistant qualities, the neoprene fabric added to the toe post and upper makes this sandal aquatic friendly. So take a walk along the beach, hike through a river, or go kayaking in this all-terrain sandals.
Cost and Value
Depending on the style and size you select, this shoe ranges from low to medium priced in comparison with the rest of the list. Though it’s not the cheapest shoe on the list, it’s definitely not the most expensive either. If you’re in the market for a good water shoe that can go pretty much anywhere than the Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal is a pretty great investment. And you don’t have to fret over your sizing! Just convert your current size to a U.S. Men’s size and your ready for those lakefront hikes and river escapades.
EVA Misdole Absorbs Shock
EVA Insole with Grooves for Comfort
Difficult to Size due to Unisex
7. Skechers Go Walk 2
The best feature of the Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 2 is the incredible odor and moisture fighting power of OrthoLite. The antimicrobial insole prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria by naturally wicking away sweat, thus keeping your feet cool and fresh. Not only will your feet stay dry and comfortable, but the OrthoLite technology also prevents orthopedic issues like athlete's foot and other foot fungi.
GOimpulse Sensors with Shock Absorption
All along the bottoms of the Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 2 are specially designed GOimpulse sensors. These sensors align with pressure points along the foot and take the brunt of the impact from the ground off of your feet's most sensitive points. This level of shock absorption is especially great for those with high arches because it relieves the extra tension placed on the front metatarsals with each footfall.
Cost and Value
The Skechers Performance Go Walk 2 can a low to mid-priced shoe depending on the size and style you wish to purchase. Fortunately, most of the styles offered rest on the low end of our threshold, making this shoe both the top rated and one of the cheapest shoes on this list. And for such an affordable price, none of the amazing features are left out. This shoe comes equipped with not only superior shock absorption and comfort, but it also fights orthopedic ailments like athlete's foot with the super light, antimicrobial infused insole.
Engineered Stability Mesh
8. Altra Torin 2.0
A double layer EVA blended midsole will keep you running with feather-light feet, feeling supported each strike on the pavement. Altra’s trademark A-Bound cushion allows for strike cushioning in all the right places, so you won’t feel your arches aching from gravity when your heel strikes or toes roll off the pavement.
It may sound silly, but many running shoes have a notable heel to toe drop in height, which basically has you running on a small heel. This can sometimes weaken the Achilles tendon, and contribute to the pain felt with high arches. Having a ‘zero-drop’ shoe can help re-strengthen the Achilles through natural loading of the tendon. With the heel and forefoot at the same height compared to the ground, your weight is more balanced, the body is naturally aligned, and you can reduce impact by up to 5 times.
Cost and Value
When compared to similar running shoes of high quality and support, this shoe is about average in cost. On our list here, it’s more expensive than the Ohana sandal or Skechers Go Walk, but for runners with high arches, this is a solid option. With innovatively crafted support and biomechanically engineered construction for natural foot gait, The Altra Torin 2 will NOT disappoint.
Dual Layer EVA
Promotes Natural Gait
Some Complaints over Quality
9. Hoka One One Bondi 5
With ‘Rocker’ biomechanical technology to support this shoe’s midsole structuring, the Hoka One One Bondi 5 allows you to roll smoothly through the foot's natural style of gait during a walk or run. The midsole and insole design of the footbed act like bucket seats of a race car, supporting and holding the foot comfortably without constriction.
Ever evolving, the Bondi 5 shoe is designed with a lightweight cushioned sole, and Zonal Rubber Outsole keeps durability in mind so you won’t run down the sole after a few months. Add the Ortholite molded insole to help add arch support and more structure to the shoe, and you’ll feel like you’re walking or running on air!
Cost and Value
Typically priced for a quality pair of running shoes, it’s a bit more expensive than some others on our list but comparable to the Altra, Asics, or Brooks listed here. With a number of colors to choose from, Rocker technology added cushioning and support, it’s well worth the investment for those who go the extra mile in their active lives! Runners, walkers, even those who tend to be on their feet all day like nurses or doctors, may find this shoe suitable for their special footwear needs if dealing with high arches!
Zonal Rubber Outsole for Durability
Ortholite Insole for Comfort
10. ASICS Gel-Kinsei 6
ASICS is continually developing new footwear technology to improve upon previous models and create shoes made for support, especially those with high arches. Their FluideRide technology uses a dual layer midsole, with a lightweight spongy material and high-bounce EVA material. Combine these together for extremely cushioned foot strikes, and foot support when running or walking for a winning combination.
Made from a breathable mesh outsole, your feet will be dry after more strenuous activities. ASICS brands the Gel-Kinsei 6 with their Impact Guidance System badge of approval, which is one of their highest standard for biomechanical design. This design ensures the shoe was constructed with interlinked components to allow the shoe to work with the foot, creating dynamic stability to address forces placed on your feet when running or walking.
Cost and Value
Compared to other running shoe models on our list such as the Altra or Hoka One One, the ASICS Gel-Kinsei 6 is similarly priced. Having been in the business of making quality running shoes for over a decade, ASICS is one brand you can trust to have a technically designed supportive shoe, with breathability and cushioning for high impact activities or your daily errand runs.
FluideRide Dual Layer Midsole for Extra Comfort
Rubber Sole for Grip
Not True to Size
Did we miss the perfect pair of shoes for those with “high arches”? Let us know so we can evaluate them. We are always on the hunt for the best things to bring to our readers because we believe that an orthopedic condition or an uncommon foot type doesn’t mean you should live with shoes that are uncomfortable, too expensive or downright unstylish!
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shoes For High Arches
When selecting shoes for this list, we paid special attention to the arch support and general comfort provided by these shoes. Because this list is meant to act as a guide for people with high arches, we felt their comfort level in the shoes was of the utmost importance. Along with comforts specially made for pes cavus, we also took shoes with versatile features into consideration. If a shoe could be more than just a walking or running shoe, then we felt it had greater value to our readers. And, finally, because pes cavusis a medical condition, we wanted Podiatrist-designed or approved shoes on this list. This not only ensured the validity of the shoes but also confirmed the health benefits of wearing proper footwear. Below is a breakdown of each point of criteria and more information regarding the selection process.
Biology of the Foot
People can have one of three types of an arch in their foot. Normal arches have a slight curve, while fallen arches (flat feet), do not. Those with high arches have a more pronounced curve to the foot. Interestingly, those with high-arching feet tend to not pronate as much as those with normal or fallen arches. Pronation is the movement of the foot inward, which occurs naturally when we walk and our feet touch the ground. This is the foot’s way of absorbing the weight of our body while in motion. Under-/Over-pronation of the foot can cause medical issues and pain when it is excessive.
In addition, those with pes cavus are more prone to these structural or biological attributes:
- Imbalanced muscle groups of the foot and ankle
- Inwardly curved heel bone
- Ligament stretching or tears along the base of the arch
Pes Cavus can result in foot, ankle, or knee issues, including:
- Achilles tendon pain
- Hammertoe or claw toes
- Pain when walking or simply standing
- Ankle Sprains
- A weakening of the musculature in the foot and ankle
- Knee pain and injuries
For those with high arches, pronation may not be the biggest worry, but finding shoes with added arch support features can remove excess strain placed on the heel and toes of the foot, helping to distribute weight more evenlyacross the foot.
Comfort and Support
Comfort means support, balance, and cushioning for an enjoyable and comfortable experience in your chosen shoe. Because this article focuses on the needs of those with high arches, we only selected shoes with a high insole that provided lots of padding. What this extra padding does is ensure that the arch is constantly supported by the shoe itself. This relieves pressure off the arch and heels in favor of more even distribution of weight across the foot. By selecting shoes that with optimal padding, especially in the insole, we feel that each shoe on this list will provide excellent comfort and support for our high arched readers.
How To Support High Arches
- Firm supportive insole
- Extra cushioned footbed
- Impact absorbing sole and footbed
- High topped shoes for ankle support
- Wider or larger heels for stability
- Custom orthotics or shoes with removable insoles to fit custom orthotics
- Shoes constructed to mold the foot, and promote natural gait while maintaining supportive features
Variety of Shoe Type
Over the years, shoe design and construction has grown leaps and bounds to include specific elements for those with high arches. Going beyond the simple sneaker, sandals and boots have begun to incorporate a more cushioned and supportive insole.
- Cushioning– When selecting a sandal to support high arches, look specifically for added footbed cushioning. Even some platform type sandals can provide added style with extra cushion.
- Heel Cup– Some sandals are designed with a heel cup that hugs the heel and are lower in relation to the middle arch of the shoe. Those sandals designed with a ‘natural’ contour design and heel cup will be more comfortable to the shape of high arched individuals.
- Arch Contour and Support– Few sandals or beach-goer shoes have arch support in mind, seeing as you’ll take off your shoes as soon as you hit the beach. However, well-designed brands to exist, and will have insole support or a shoe design that adds cushioning under the arch. Those on our list are two great examples of a shoe with contour cushioned arch support!
- Activity– most sneakers nowadays are made specifically for walking, lounging, or running. Running sneakers tend to have the most advanced technology for arch support and cushioning for those with high arches. However, note that not all running shoes can be good for lateral movement training!
- Price– Quality sneakers will come at a premium price, but with all the research that went into the design and make of these shoes, it’s well worth it for high arch support and relief. Each quality brand of sneaker will usually patent their individual technology used to make that shoe and explain in detail on their websites!
- Office Shoe and Boots:
- Styling– A step up from sneakers or sandals, there are shoes made for high arch feet and business attire. Brands such as Vionic and Orthofeet have several styles and selections suited just for this!
- Ankle Support– Boots can provide added ankle stability for high arch individuals, but if boots aren’t on your list, select a shoe with extra collar cushioning and lace-up vamps.
Many shoes on our list are versatile options! We define versatility as any single pair of shoes that serves multiple purposes. For example, a shoe that is both a casual walking shoe and a training shoe is considered versatile by our standards. Rather than spending extra time, effort, and money on multiple shoes, we feel our readers can get all they need out of a single pair of shoes. And for those suffering from high arches, this was particularly important to us because we understand how difficult it can be to find just one pair of shoes.
Podiatrists are physicians that specialize in orthopedics and orthopedic conditions. When we see that a shoe has been crafted with technology created or supported by podiatrists, we feel the shoe is not only a healthy option, but a smart one as well. Many of the shoes on this list are designed or championed by a podiatrist, meaning our readers can make a well-informed decision about their footwear without wasting their time or money.
For more information on podiatrist-approved or recommended brands, you can visit their APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval Program website which lists all types and brands of podiatrist-approved goods.
Additional Items for Pes Cavus
- Foot creams and moisturizers
- Therapeutic products
- Medicinal agents
- Shoe insoles, inserts, and arch supports
- Pain relief
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if my new shoes are correctly treating my orthopedic condition?
A: A medical professional can help you objectively assess the progress you have made in healing or correcting your orthopedic condition; however, you know how your body feels best. If you started wearing new shoes while your foot pain started to decrease, there are good odds the shoe is working!
Q: Do I have plantar fasciitis or just very high arches?
A: You might have both. High arches can often lead to plantar fasciitis due to the excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. To get a diagnosis of your condition, seek an opinion from a certified medical professional.
Q: Should I buy new shoes, or can I get away with only using inserts?
A: It’s a tough call and one that should be made in consultation with a medical professional. Even a small pain can get worse over time and early detection of a problem is better than letting it linger, possibly to get worse. We recommend getting a professional opinion and then reading our Top 14 list if your specialist recommends shoes.
Q: What kind of athletic shoe should I purchase to relieve foot pain from my high arches?
A: Altra, Hoka One One and ASICs are great high-impact running shoes while those suited for walking are Nike, Skechers, or Saucony. Keep in mind that while each of these shoes has a supportive and comfortable design, they may support or feel different for you compared to another individual. For this reason, we recommend vendors like Amazon.com that have easy and flexible return processes.
Q: What are the long-term effects of high arches and plantar fasciitis?
A: The most notable long-term effect of high arches and plantar fasciitis is chronic foot pain. This chronic pain can manifest in several different conditions such as Hammer Toe and Claw Foot, which both can cause lifelong disability. Hammer Toe is when the toes begin to bend down due to excessive pressure being placed on the front of the foot. Conversely, Claw Foot causes the foot to bend upward due to the overcorrection of this pressure. To fight these conditions, act now to support your high arches and limiting your activity.
Q: Do I need shoes designed around my foot condition?
A: Ideally, you want a shoe that feels like it was made for you. When it fits just right, slips on without a second thought, and just makes you feel good with every step, that’s when you’ve reached shoe nirvana. But how do you find that ever sought-after perfect shoe? First, you must know your feet. This might include going to your local orthopedic specialist for a check-up. They can tell you in depth how your feet work and what problems they see in your footwear. If going to the doctor isn’t for you, then looking critically at your current footwear is the next best option. Ask yourself “What am I getting out of these shoes?” then ask an even more important question: “What am I NOT getting out of these shoes?” Those two questions right there will lead you closer to finding a shoe that seemingly was designed especially for you.
- Arches of the Foot, ,
- Why is Arch Support so important?, ,
- Flat Feet, High Arches, and running barefoot, ,
- Caring for your foot arch is key to comfort, ,
- High arches can be a sign of something serious, ,
- ASICS technology, ,
- Best walking shoes for high arches guide 2018, ,
- Seal of Acceptance/Approval Program, ,