10 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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 138 hrs of research
Continental Grip Rubber Outsole
- Adidas Ultraboost ST
- ASICS GEL-Kayano 25
- New Balance 990v4
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
- Salomon Sonic RA Max
- Saucony Fastwitch 9
- Mizuno Wave Inspire 15
- Brooks Addiction Walker
- Nike Air Zoom Winflo 5
- New Balance 928v3
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Sneakers for Arch Support
1. Adidas Ultraboost ST
Continental Grip Rubber Outsole
Now, if you’re after a sneaker that works great for running, but is also stylish enough to become your go-to shoe, you may want to check out the Adidas Ultraboost ST. The Ultraboost changed the game when it was released in 2015, and remains a flagship model to this day. In addition to the unparalleled comfort you’ll get from this shoe, you can also choose from a variety of colorways, from down to Earth blacks and whites, to pop culture inspired styles.Read more
The ST version features the Boost cushion that everyone loves about Adidas sneakers, and combines it with a Torsion System insert that supports the arch of the foot and prevents pronation issues that could lead to more serious problems.
You’ll find that the upper is highly comfortable with its bootie construction made out of the brand’s Primeknit - it stretches with your foot, giving you a snug but comfortable feel that’s lightweight and breathable. The insole is removable and can be replaced with custom orthotics, and the outsole features Continental grip rubber that;ll provide good traction on most surfaces.
The price of the Ultraboost is the highest on this list, although you may be able to snag some of the older colorways at an average price for this type of sneaker. Nonetheless, if you’re after ultimate comfort that looks amazing in any type of situation, then this sneaker is definitely our first choice.
2. ASICS GEL-Kayano 25
FluidFit Jacquard Mesh Upper
GEL Shock Absorption
Lightweight Midsole Material
Moisture Wicking Seamless Lining
Abrasion Resistant Outsole
Lace Holes Durability
Specifically developed for runners with low arches and flat feet, the GEL-Kayano 25 by ASICS provides plenty of support to anyone who has overpronation issues and needs a sneaker to help alleviate the discomfort that comes along with it. It’s one of the highest rated running shoes currently, and that comes as no surprise, as the brand is an expert when it comes to cushioning technology that allows athletes to perform at their best, and everyone else to use their footwear as everyday shoes they can rely on, even when they’re on their feet for several hours at a time.Read more
The jacquard mesh upper used in the Kayano 25 uses multi-directional stretch fibres that allow for the ultimate fit to be created, without sacrificing support and lock-in (important because it prevents your foot from moving inside the shoe). The seamless lining prevents discomfort, rubbing and blistering, making this one of the most comfortable options on the list.
To absorb shock, the GEL-Kayano 25 uses a gel compound both in the forefoot and rearfoot of the shoe, while the midsole is made from extremely lightweight foam that provides excellent bounceback with each step. Support is ensured by a Dynamic Duomax System found in the midsole, along with the brand Guidance Line technology that ensures proper alignment from landing to toe off. The outsole works well on a variety of surfaces and is abrasion resistant, while the inner lining wicks away moisture, preventing odors linked to sweating. The GEL-Kayano 25 is one of the most expensive models on this list, but, if you’re after the top performer, it’s definitely a good investment.
3. New Balance 990v4
Genuine Leather and Mesh Upper
ENCAP Midsole Technology
Made in the USA
Padded Ankle Collar
Blown Rubber Outsole
May Get Hot in Summer
Back when it was released, more than 30 years ago, the New Balance 990 changed the running industry for good. Not only did it feature foam materials to take care of shock absorption, but it was a supportive sneaker that was an excellent choice for anyone who needed added support under the arch. Since then, it has become a fashion staple, with numerous iterations, colorways and special editions. Plus, the fifth version was announced in February 2019 to be released later in the year, making it one of the most anticipated sneakers of the year.Read more
First and foremost, the thing about the 990v4 is that it doesn’t look like a bulky, cushioned running sneaker. It’s one of those styles that will look awesome with jeans, and you may even get away with wearing them to the office. For a more expensive look, you can choose one of the Made in US models which use quality suede uppers, but can also opt for the fun, colorful options that allow you to show off your personal sense of style.
The model features ENCAP technology that combines ACTEVA LITE foam with a polyurethane rim that fix overpronation and that’s especially beneficial for heavier users, or those who do not want to purchase new shoes too often. As for the outsole, it’s made with blown rubber that iads cushioning, but that’s also great at providing traction on all surfaces. Overall, this is one of the most comfortable shoes on this list, and is definitely worth a try. With a variety of widths available, any user will be able to find the perfect fit, and the asking price, though high, is understandable considering it’s a leather sneaker.
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
Engineered Mesh Upper
Varied Color Options
BioMoGo DNA Cushioning
GuideRails Support Technology
Blown Rubber Outsole
Several Width Options
The latest edition of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a shoe made to correct overpronation while offering excellent cushioning and knee protection, making this one of the most effective sneakers for both runners and those who wear this type of footwear on a daily basis. Being one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to fit, Brooks offers narrow, regular, wide and extra wide options of most of their footwear, which means you can easily find a pair that’ll accommodate your foot without having to worry about breaking it in.Read more
In the upper portion, the Adrenaline GTS 19 features engineered mesh for breathability, lightweightedness and flexibility, while 3D print overlays keep your foot stable throughout all types of movement. Plentiful cushioning in the collar protects your Achilles, and prevents any movement inside the shoe. In terms of cushioning, you will benefit from Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA technology that absorbs shock and prevents it from traveling up your legs to your muscles and joints.
What prevents overpronation is a new GuideRails support system that stabilizes the foot, thus protecting the knees from having to suffer too much. The outsole is made with blown rubber that’s not only durale, but also maximizes shock absorption, so you can easily wear these sneakers for hours on end, on all types of surfaces. The model comes in several color options, from monochrome black to more colorful ones, and you’ll easily find the version that fits your wardrobe best. The asking price is average for this type of athletic shoe, while the fit and feel you get are exceptional.
5. Salomon Sonic RA Max
Dry and Wet Traction
Energy Returning Midsole
Limited Color Choices
A comfortable daily runner created by the brand who focus mainly on trail equipment, the Sonic RA Max was developed to offer added support to those with pronation issues. It’s a reliable pair of sneakers, designed to provide the ultimate fit, and despite the limited color options, it looks great paired with casual outfits.Read more
As the name suggests, this is a maximalist shoe that aims to provide you with a lot of cushioning, while still trying to keep the weight down to a minimum. What this means is that you get to benefit from the EnergyCell+ midsole that’s durable and doesn’t pack as easily as other foams, while an Opah heel unit takes care of energy return, making this a great model to wear for long hours.
The supportive features found in the Sonic RA Max is an Ortholite footbed that’s been anatomically shaped. It serves a dual purpose - increasing the cushioning of the shoe, as well as supporting your foot. In terms of the outsole, this is one of the few shoes that’ll provide a good amount of traction on both dry and wet surfaces, and you can rely on the breathable upper to keep you dry. The price of the RA Max is slightly lower than average compared to the other items on this list, making it a good overall choice.
6. Saucony Fastwitch 9
Lightweight Mesh Upper
Moisture Wicking Insole
Corrects Mild Overpronation
PWRTRAC Rubber Outsole
Single Color Option
Now, most users won’t require a highly specialized runner such as the Saucony Fastwitch 9, but those who plan on using their sneakers for runs could definitely benefit from this model. It was developed for competition wear, which explains the minimal heel to toe drop that makes you bear your weight more on the toes, and is lauded as one of the best Saucony shoes currently available. It only comes in one color option, which may deter those looking for something to go with a variety of outfits.Read more
In terms of technology, the Saucony Fastwitch 9 doesn’t overdo it. Instead, it offers just the right amount to provide wearers with a more natural experience. You will benefit from the lightweight SSL EVA midsole that’s been combined with a medial post beneath the arch in order to correct mild overpronation, while the rubber outsole is one of the stickiest you will find, with a great lifetime.
The upper features a mesh upper that’s lightweight, while the inner of the shoe has some great features, including an insole that’s anti-microbial and moisture wicking, preventing odors from forming inside the shoe. The price point is average compared to the other models listed, making this an overall good investment.
7. Mizuno Wave Inspire 15
Jacquard Mesh Upper
Fan-shaped Wave Plate
Suitable for Mild Overpronation
U4icX Midsole Material
X10 Carbon Rubber Outsole
Runs ½ Size Small
Limited Color Options
Although developed for runners who train on a daily basis on road conditions, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 is an excellent choice for anyone who needs an extra bit of support to correct moderate overpronation. Containing all of Mizuno’s shock absorption technology, it’s an excellent pair of footwear for all types of activities. From casual everyday wear, to work, weekend outings and travel, the 15th edition of the Wave Inspire will serve you well.Read more
One of the biggest updates compared to previous models is the new engineered mesh upper that offers the same amount of breathability, but with better support and durability. Overlays in the toe, midfoot and lacing area ensure a snug fit that won’t break down with wear, while padding in the collar and tongue give you a plush feel.
The fan-shaped Wave plate found in the Inspired 15 ensures a moderate amount of support, regulating the movement of your feet, preventing them from becoming misaligned during your runs. Aiding the shock absorption, the U4icX material underfoot ensures smooth transitions, while still giving you a responsive ride. The outsole uses X10 carbon rubber that’s abrasion resistant and highly durable, with deep flex grooves that allow you to move completely naturally, no matter the type of movement. Although priced slightly higher than average, the Wave Inspire 15 by Mizuno is a stellar investment for all those who are looking for running sneakers, or a fit and comfort level that only comes with athletic footwear. The color options are slightly limited, but all look great, nonetheless.
8. Brooks Addiction Walker
Great for Low Arches
Perfect for Overpronators
Good Choice for Flat Feet
Strong Ankle Support
Relieves Pain for Many
Suede Finish is Easy to Soil
If you have low arches, this could be the best sneaker choice for you. This leather walker for men has loads of support for your feet and also is very well designed if you suffer from overpronation.Read more
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 provide 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. The cost of these sneakers fits well within the range of comparable offerings on the market.
9. Nike Air Zoom Winflo 5
Cushlon Cushioning and Support
Multidirectional Traction Pattern
Limited Color Options
Affordable, quality made and minimalistic in terms of bulk, the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 5 is a great choice for those who want a sneaker that won’t weight too much or look like it should be left in a gym bag. It’s suitable for both neutral and ovepronation, as the midsole was designed with support in mind. The color options are limited, especially the men’s versions, but there are a few solid choices for those who prefer a simple look.Read more
This model features Nike’s Cushlon technology for shock absorption and support. You’ll find that the interior part of the shoe, the one under your arch, features a denser compound that prevents the arch from rolling inwards. This results in less pain felt in the tendons, as well as a lower likelihood of developing joint or back pain.
In the upper portion you get a mesh material that’s flexible and breathable, as well as Flywire cables that Nike uses in most of their running gear. These serve the purpose of wrapping around your midfoot and allowing you to find the best fit through lacing. In terms of price, this is one of the cheaper options on this list, although it’s still pricier than a regular pair of everyday sneakers.
10. New Balance 928v3
ROLLBAR Technology Offers All-day Comfort
Full Ground Contact Sole
Good for Stabilizing
Relieves Heel Pain<
This sneaker from New Balance receives high marks from many male users. They feature a compression molded EVA midsole for arch support, and the ROLLBAR and Walking Strike Path® technology. It is also a lightweight sneaker that its users find sturdy and comfortable. This New Balance shoe showcases good styling as well.Read more
ROLLBAR is a system that is designed to reduce rearfoot movement and prevents the foot from rolling inward, providing excellent support for those who have severe overpronation. 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.
In comparison to the other arch support sneakers, the price of the New Balance 928 Walker has a slightly higher price point range, depending on features.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 a great performance fit.
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 a 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.
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.
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.
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 sports 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Ever wonder what kind of arch your feet have? It's a simple test to figure out if you have fallen, neutral, or high arches. Using a piece of paper, simple dampen your feet with a bit of water, and step onto the paper. the resulting imprint will reflect how high your arches are, and help you determine what level of support you may need!
Most individuals with a neutral arch likely won't need as much support in their footwear as those with higher or fallen arches. High arches do require some support and stability, and fallen arches require the same, as well as footwear that can help stabilize gait and pronation. For both high or fallen arches, having footwear with proper cushioning will help minimize any impact that can strain the arch.
Other Factors to Consider
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 among 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.
Each one of the options on our top 10 list were selected because they help people just like you: ones with high arches or flat feet. Any of the choices would be a good one, but if you delve into our criteria section to see how we arrived at our total scores, you can find the ones that match your concerns the best.
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 shows 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.
While style is often a matter of personal taste, we've checked thousands of online reviews to see what people are saying about each of the products on our list. Some things, such as sleek design, seamless construction and overall weight and shape of the shoe, were common likes or dislikes among buyers of each product.
To evaluate style, we considered everything from the design, color, shape, weight, lines and overall construction of the shoe in question. While no one wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe, they also don’t want a comfortable shoe to be ugly on the eyes. We’ve selected all of those on our top 10 to be not only stylish, but also comfortable, true-to-size, supportive and durable.
The higher the score on the “style” metric, the more fashionable we and the community of buyers we surveyed deemed the product to be.
Picking a shoe with a good and strong arch support is imperative to the protection of your foot. For some people, this can mean purchasing a shoe that has a removable footbed, so they can use a custom orthotic or insert. Some individuals need to purchase special medical orthotics because their arch requires more support than the shoe provides for. In this case, one needs to consider a shoe that has a good enough interior height to accommodate the foot as well as special inserts. Measuring the thickness of the foot and the insert required and comparing it to the room inside the shoe will let you know if it can handle the two without pinching or putting too much pressure on the foot.
Another part of the arch support is the shank. This is the portion of the shoe that runs from the front to the back and directly underneath the arch. The shank can be made of a few different materials such as steel and reinforced rubber that is compacted. The arch support will fail if the shank is not made to outlast any other part of the shoe. Picking the proper material to make the shank is in direct relation to the viability of the arch.
If a particular material that is not strong enough or designed to properly support the arch is used to make certain shoes, it will very much weaken the intrinsic muscles and also increase the likelihood of a "low" or collapsed arch; also known as planos. Over time and wear of the shoe, this could lead to a reduction in the arch's ability act as a spring and shock absorber. It is imperative to select a cross trainer shoe that will fully support the arch. One should think while choosing the support level of their shoe to avoid any impact on the tarsal and metatarsal bones. This is the body's natural shock absorber; they need proper protection from the correct arch support.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What type of closure for my sneaker is best?
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?
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?
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 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.
q: Are certain shoes recommended for those with plantar fasciitis?
We usually recommend that those with plantar fasciitis use a prescribed orthotic or other tool to help them with their orthopedic condition. That being said, if you can't make it to the podiatrist, many of the shoes on this list can help alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition. Read the shoe description in depth to find the best pair for you.
q: How long should my shoes last?
That depends on how often the shoes are worn and how much use they see in each wear. But, generally speaking, the shoes on this list will last a consistent runner a year or more before either the insole or the traction on the bottom fails and the shoes need to be replaced.
This depends on how many times you wear them and how much impact they see each time. Generally speaking, these shoes should last a good year to two years before needed replaced, often because the insole has worn or the traction and grip on the outsole fails, causing the shoe to need to be repaired.