Every runner is only as good as their shoes. Finding the perfect fit isn’t always easy – especially if you have high arches. You might find it difficult to choose a shoe that offers you the support you need during runs while still being comfortable for your arches.
Most runners with high arches shop around for running shoes that prioritize support and utilize high-quality cushioning technology to reduce injuries.
We’re rounding up everything you need to know to find the best running shoes for high arches that will help you smash your fitness goals.
How do you know if you have high arches?
The easiest way to check if you have high arches is by looking at your footprint. You can check your foot type with this great tool at Mayo Clinic.
Simply dip your foot in a bowl of water, step on a piece of cardboard, and examine the print that remains. If your footprint shows very little of your foot, you probably have a high arch.
High arches can increase the risk of strain and injuries due to excessive muscle and joint stress. This biomechanical imbalance can result in an uneven distribution of weight and impact forces during activities like walking or running.
You have high arches if all you can see in your footprint is your heel, the ball of your foot, and your toes (Credit: Scio21 / Shutterstock)
Runners with high arches often face challenges related to shock absorption, especially during high-impact activities such as running. Due to the structural characteristics of high arches, there is a reduced natural ability to absorb and distribute the forces generated while running.
Sneakers that offer high-quality cushioning will compensate for your foot’s lack of shock absorption, reducing injuries and giving you a more comfortable running stride.
The best running shoes for high arches typically have enhanced flexibility and a softer midsole.
Do high arches cause problems for runners?
Runners with high arches are more likely to suffer injuries from overuse, particularly while training for marathons and sporting events. Shin splints and plantar fasciitis are two common injuries caused by excessive muscle strain.
Having a high arch means that there’s an uneven distribution of pressure as your foot hits the ground while running. New runners may not notice problems right away, but regular runners can be left dealing with leg and back issues.
The Best Running Shoes for High Arches
1. Brooks Ghost 15 Women’s Road Running Shoes, $139.95 at Zappos
One of the most popular shoes for runners with high arches is the Brooks Ghost 15. The style is one of the brand’s most iconic silhouettes, with the Ghost 15 being adapted to include a spacious toe box for wider feet.
The Ghost running shoe offers ultimate flexibility with an internal heel counter that locks your foot in place, while a spacious midfoot ensures extra comfort.
Brooks’ best-selling running shoe, the Ghost 15 has been updated with DNA Loft V2 cushioning for a smoother ride with a breathable 3D fit print upper for a seamless fit
The Ghost 15 utilizes a Loft v2 foam in the midsole for extra cushioning to ensure smooth toe-offs and easy landings through every run.
These running shoes also feature a mesh upper that makes the silhouette more pliable. The lightweight cushioning will give you a balanced, smoother, and more comfortable run.
2. Hoka Clifton 9 Running Shoes, $145 at Nordstrom
If you’re a runner who wants extra cushioning, check out the Hoka Clifton 9 style. They’re designed to leave you feeling like you’re running on a cloud. It’s a lightweight shoe designed for runners who want to take their shoes with traveling, commuting, or when hitting the gym.
Designed for daily running, the Hoka Clifton 9 provides soft, even cushioning with Meta-Rocker technology that ensures a consistently comfortable ride at any distance
The Clifton 9 boosts an ultralight midsole designed to protect your foot while walking or running. The sole offers an extra soft landing to reduce impact and lessen the pressure across your foot.
We recommend the Hoka Clifton 9 for runners in warmer climates as the breathable mesh upper helps keep your temperature regulated to reduce sweating. These shoes feature HOKA’s meta-rocker technology to give you a smoother landing mile after mile.
3. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 Neutral Cushioned Running Shoes, $159.95 at Zappos
ASICS pitches this style as “the most comfortable running shoe” that offers a customized running experience. These running shoes are the best option for women with high arches who run on roads and rougher environments.
Made of soft-engineered knit upper, the Gel-Nimbus 25 boasts OrthoLite X-55 footbed, PureGEL technology for easy and lightweight cushioning, and AHAR rubber outsole for flexibility and durability
These running shoes for high arches feature ASICS’ latest Pure-GEL technology that provides maximum shock absorption.
Add these shoes to the top of your shopping list if you also have a higher instep as the stretch knit upper provides plenty of space for a comfortable fit.
4. Brooks Glycerin 20 Road Running Shoes, $160 at Nordstrom
Brooks is one of the top brands for runners with high arches. The Glycerin 20 is an alternative to the classic Ghost style, offering an even smoother ride with a lighter-weight silhouette.
These shoes feature Brook’s Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT V3 foam, which makes them the most responsive and durable style in the brand’s lineup.
An alternative to the Ghost 15, the Glycerin 20 is a highly cushioned running shoe enhanced with a breathable 3D Fit Print mesh upper and DNA LOFT cushioning
The silhouette features a wider platform to provide extra balance and take the pressure off your arches between transitions. You’ll also get extra cushioning from the grooves in the outsole’s transition zone to boost your performance and improve traction.
The Glycerin 20 is ideal for high-mileage runners who need extra support for high arches. These women’s running shoes are available in wide, narrow, and medium widths to give you maximum support.
5. Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Running Shoes, $160 – $200 at Nordstrom
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% is a running shoe that blends durability with an innovative design to keep you going mile after mile.
You’ll be zooming forward with the shoe’s responsive cushioning that is guaranteed to add an extra spring to your step.
A fusion of powerful, high-performance technologies, the Nike Tempo Next% features Nike’s Flyknit upper with ZoomX foam that distributes foot pressure evenly to responsive Zoom Air units under the forefoot
This running shoe utilizes Nike’s React technology to create a durable but lightweight heel that keeps you secure and cushioned through every transition.
These supportive ultra-cushioned sneakers are ideal for runners who find themselves training across multiple surfaces as they offer maximum traction.
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% is the all-around shoe for runners who want a one-stop solution for their fitness routine.
6. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v12 Running Shoes, $159.99 at Nordstrom
Another high-mileage shoe to have on your radar is the Fresh Foam 1080v12 from New Balance.
These shoes are available in a narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide fit to give you the ultimate running shoe. New Balance recommends sizing down for this model as it runs larger than previous versions.
The 1080v12 is an adaptable shoe that ticks all the boxes – from flexibility to cushioning and its lightweight silhouette.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12 is made from hypoknit upper with fresh Foam X midsole and underfoot cushioning and flex zones
The key to finding the best running shoes for high arches is to search for styles that offer support with silhouettes that provide extra cushioning.
Running shoes with plenty of cushioning will reduce the pressure on your feet and prevent muscle strain, allowing you to keep hitting your fitness goals.