Best Running Shoes for High Arches in 2018
If you have high arches, it’s important to wear a running shoe with lots of cushioning and support. Runners with high arches tend to roll outwards (supinate), so it’s key for a shoe to provide lots of cushioning to protect your feet.
High arches can lead to problems like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or even stress fractures. Thankfully, using the right shoe can help you avoid these issues. If you aren’t sure if you have high arches, try the wet paper towel test. This simple test isn’t perfect but will provide a general idea of the type of arch you have.
We’ve rounded up ten shoes with tons of cushioning and support so you can run pain and injury-free – even with high arches. Let’s get started…
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Best for Long Distance
Hoka One One Clifton 5
Best Overall Running Shoe for High Arches
1. Brooks Ghost 11
The Ghost has been one of Brooks’ best-selling shoes for years. The Ghost has garnered a reputation for being a reliable performer on all kinds of pavement, whether you’re just getting started or looking for your marathon partner. Version 11 keeps the great fit of prior models, but has a mesh, seamless upper that feels great.
These shoes have a tradition 11 mm drop, meaning your feet are angled forward slightly. Great for heel-strikers or runners with naturally good form. The Ghosts have a nice, wide toe box, but cinch up in the midfoot to hold your foot in place. The best part of these shoes is their careful balance of cushioning and weight, striking the perfect balance.
The extra cushion is exactly what your arches are looking for. Gel-Foam padding helps support the arch by conforming to your foot and spreading impact energy across the sole.
If you’re experiencing pain in your heels or just want a cushioned, best-of-all-worlds running shoe, the Brooks Ghost 11 is great option.
- Midsole is BioMoGo DNA gel which adapts to your stride
- Great cushioning, support, and overall fit
- Engineered mesh upper provides support without extra weight
- Some runners report excessive wear on the inside heel collar
- Runners with narrow heels might find the heel too wide
Most Comfortable Running Shoe for High Arches
2. Brooks Glycerin 16
If we could only use one word to describe the Glycerin from Brooks, that word would be “plush.” This ultra-cushioned ride will have your arches support with pillowy-soft gel. At the same time, this shoe manages to be flexible and not too heavy.
New DNA Loft in the midsole provides a lush, responsive, and cushioned experience. This means that despite your foot’s many movements as you run, you’ll still maintain adequate support and comfort. At just over 10 oz for the men’s shoe and 9.4 oz for the women’s, it’s a good mid-weight shoe that won’t make you feel like you’ve strapped bricks to your feet.
Another huge pro to this shoe is its overall durability. The outsole’s use of ridged technology and transition zones mean you get flexibility without giving up on long-distance quality. The new seamless upper provides a secure yet soft fit through the entire shoe.
- High level of cushion to soften impact on heels
- Customized fit on midsole thanks to Brooks’ Super DNA technology
- Seamless upper for increased comfort
- Some reviewers complain about narrow midfoot
- High heel height (36.1mm) might be too high for some
Best New Balance Running Shoe for High Arches
3. New Balance 1080v8
The 1080v8 from New Balance is made with engineered mesh that is breathable and comfortable for long-distance runs. A supportive toe cap and heel combine to provide high levels of support in a neutral shoe, which is great for people who need additional support.
Ultimately, what shines about this shoe is the Fresh Foam in the midsole. This technology from New Balance is extremely soft and loved by reviewers for its plush support. The combination of hard and soft blown rubber on the outsole also provides a great mix of traction and durability which are great for racking up the miles.
This is a wide shoe – even in the standard, medium width – so if you have a narrow foot, it’s not for you. However, if you have standard to wide feet, you’ll appreciate the fit and stance.
- Plush and comfortable
- Low heel-to-toe drop (less than 10mm)
- Breathable upper provides extra comfort for hot climates
- Heavy (over 10oz)
- Fairly stiff shoe
Best Long Distance Running Shoe for High Arches
4. Hoka One One Clifton 5
The fourth iteration of Hoka One One’s Clifton has been completely redesigned. The mesh is tight and durable, while still allowing your foot to breathe. Despite tons of cushioning (which we love!) the shoe manages to still be very responsive and lightweight.
Lots of cushioning provide a soft landing for high arches. The shoe has a high stack height (making you grow a little taller!), but does look odd compared to a traditional running shoe. But this translates to maximum support and a soft landing. When you’re struggling with pain from high arches, that extra cushion will help minimize any pain you might feel.
The stiffness of this shoe can also be a help to people who need extra ankle support due to weak arches. Reviewers report that the cushion feels faster than prior versions and helps to provide a consistent ride. They also love the durability as older versions of the Clifton didn’t last long, especially for heavier runners.
- Plush and comfortable
- This version is more durable than past models
- Appropriate for short or high tempo runs as well as long runs
- Very lightweight
- One of the few Hoka shoes that comes in widths
- Unusual look
- Wears out quicker for heavy runners
Most Cushioned Hoka One One Running Shoe for High Arches
5. Hoka One One Bondi 5
The Bondi 5 from Hoka One One is one seriously cushioned shoe! At 43.5mm high in the heel, we’re talking deep foam that provides exceptional cushion and maximum support. If you’re in pain and looking for a high level of comfort, this shoe is a great option, whether you’re looking at a long or short run.
What we also love is that Hoka has made a point to make this shoe look as sleek as possible. They’ve painted part of the sidewall, giving it a stylish look for a traditional running shoe. In past versions of the Bondi, reviewers have complained about a toe box that’s too tight, but with extra room in the 5, Hoka seems to have avoided that problem this time around. Still, that’s something to consider if you prefer a wider toe box.
The general fit of this shoe is that it’s big. It runs a little big, both in length and width. What’s interested is that while the shoe looks very high, your foot actually sits far down in the shoe – kind of like bucket seats in a car.
There is also a slight, rocking feel to the Bondi. There is so much cushioning and material in the sole, if it didn’t rock it would feel too clunky. As it is, the rocking takes some getting used to, but once you do provides a smooth ride, perfect for both long and short runs.
- Perfect for hard pavements and concrete
- Deep levels of foam provide extreme comfort
- High levels of midfoot protection for increased arch support
- Breathable upper that provides additional support
- Heavy (10.3oz)
- Very high profile not appropriate if you’re planning on using this shoe for anything other than running on road or treadmill
Best Running Shoe for High Arches to Be Worn With Orthotics
6. Brooks Dyad 10
When the Dyad first emerged on the scene, Brooks was heralded for creating a wide, straight platform without the stiffness of a motion control shoe. This is a great shoe for individuals trying to get healthier, lose weight, or just start running again. The biggest advantage to this shoe is that it takes an orthotic really well.
The Dyad 10 has been redesigned to accommodate more foot types. One major complaint about past versions of the Dyad was that the toebox was too narrow, even in wide widths. The Dyad 10 now sports a wide, more spacious toebox. This will better fit more foot types and take an orthotic even better.
The Dyad 10 also has a new seamless upper. Its soft overlays reduce irritation on your feet. You’ll also find good forefoot flexibility for a smooth transition as you transfer your body’s weight from the heel to the toes. This shoe has superior arch support, so it’s a great option for somebody with high arches.
This shoe also tends to be a great option for individuals who are tall or heavy, as it provides a wide stance with a high degree of cushion foam. The Dyad also has what’s known as a straight last. This essentially means the sole of the shoe is straight from the toe to the heel, unlike most running shoes that taper in around the arch. This creates a supportive shoe while keeping the shoe somewhat flexible and neutral.
- Available in multiple widths
- Takes an orthotic very well
- Very cushioned for comfort and support
- Very heavy; just shy of 13oz.
- High heel-to-toe drop might be uncomfortable for some
Best Heel Support in a Running Shoe for High Arches
7. Asics Gel-Nimbus 20
The Nimbus from Asics has been around for a long time, and for a good reason. This all-around comfortable shoe provides a snug, wrap-around fit. If you’re not used to a high-cushion shoe, you might be surprised by this one (it’s pretty heavy at 12.1 oz), but what it lacks in being a lightweight shoe, it makes up for in comfort and support.
The Nimbus’ multi-directional outer layer mesh provides support and the flexibility to travel with your foot while also giving you a greater sense of control. The hard Exoskeleton heel support from Asics provides phenomenal support through your heel, which also serves to help stabilize your ankle, two important features when you’re looking for a shoe for high arches.
FlyteFoam/Gel technology also helps protect your feet from the impact of long-distance roads or hard pavement while still being responsive. Plus, the outsole is made of high abrasion rubber that handles light trails and pavement well–but it doesn’t do well off trail, so keep that in mind.
- Plush inner padding for extra comfort
- High levels of cushion and support
- Hard Exoskeleton heel support for added stability
- Can feel clunky
- Heavy (over 12 oz)
Best High Mileage Running Shoe for High Arches
8. Asics Gel-Cumulus 20
The Cumulus 20 does, in fact, feel a little like running on a cloud. Thanks to its unique midsole construction and seamless upper fit, this is a great shoe that goes the distance as you rack up the miles.
The gel cushioning in both the heel and the forefeet are a tremendous relief to anyone who suffers from any foot pain. Since high arches mean you’re struggling to adequately transfer energy from your heel to your toes, that’s a big deal. The resulting bounce back in your toe as you push off means you’ll get better action out of less effort.
One of the lighter shoes we’re reviewing today, this shoe from Asics has managed to be supportive through the midsole and sole without adding extra weight. The latest version features a seamless upper for a comfy, sock-like fit. It also does away with the plastic gusset on the outersole. This provides a more natural running feel.
If you’re looking for an ultra-supportive shoe that won’t weigh you down, this is a good option.
- Lighter weight without sacrificing cushion
- Supportive midsole
- Extremely durable for high impact over long runs
- Many changes to version 20 – may impact longtime Cumulus lovers
Best High Performance Running Shoe for High Arches
9. Mizuno Wave Sky
Mizuno is typically known it’s elite high-performance shoes, but here it manages to go head to head with other high cushion shoes. What’s unique about this shoe is how it delivers its high level of cushion.
Unlike the gel or foam layers in Asics or Brooks, this shoe from Mizuno utilizes segmented layers of foam that run the length of the shoe. Each independent pod crashes independently as you land, helping you overcome the issues associated with high arches. You’ll find your run is smoother, softer, and more comfortable.
Added flexibility in the forefoot and heel mean greater stability as you run and a better feeling toe-off. This cloud wave technology mimics a foot’s action with normal arches, providing extra levels of comfort.
- Plush, cushioned ride
- Independent pod foam engineering means a more natural gait
- Elite performance level toe-offs and stability
- Heavy (over 11 oz)
Best Saucony Running Shoe for High Arches
10. Saucony Triumph ISO 4
The Triumph from Saucony is a top of the line, high cushioned trainer weighing in at just under 11 oz. This plush shoe is still firm, so if “cloud-like” isn’t your idea of a good run, this is the shoe you’ve been looking for.
The Triumph’s engineered mesh has some structure that breathes and adapts somewhat, while its lacing system is specifically designed to lockdown the midfoot and reduce irritation while you’re running. This is especially helpful, as that’s frequently a place that becomes painful if you have high arches.
Saucony’s EVERUN technology provides cushioning with a full-length midsole. This means responsiveness is good once you get going and that you experience high levels of cushion and comfort, though not tremendous traction.
- Fits true to size
- High levels of flexibility, even though cushion is thick
- Low traction levels
- Snug fit in the toe box
How do you know if you have high arches?
We know a number of ways that can help you determine if you have high arches. One of the signs is that your toes often scrunch up because they never seem to be able to straighten.
Another common indicator of high arches is that the tongue of your shoes rubbing against the top of your feet. Because of this, your shoes are often uncomfortable.
The final way to tell if you have high arches is to notice where your weight falls when you stand. If your weight seems to always fall of the outside of your feet, this could be a clue that the arches of your feet are too high.
Most importantly, when you have high arches, only the ball of your feet and heel touches the floor.
Do you need arch support for high arches?
One of the most common complaints of runners with high arches is pain. If you have high arches, you don’t have to suffer any longer. In most cases, additional arch support in your shoes is all you need to manage your pain.
The additional arch support in your shoes can alleviate pressure and foot strain by offering a nice cushion for running and walking as well as making sure that your body weight is distributed more evenly across your feet.
Just make sure that your shoes with arch support also have a low heel. For the best results, these types of shoes should offer plenty of space at the top so that your toes are not jammed together. If you want optimal support in the heel, consider using heel pads.
Proper insoles can also be used to support high arches. These devices are designed to stabilize the heel. According to our research, the best insoles are ones that provide firm support and a great fit. The result is increased foot comfort and optimal running performance.
Can running shoes for high arches prevent overpronation or supination?
Many runners with high arches also supinate. In other words, your feet roll outwards when you run. Not all runners with high arches will supinate, but it’s very common.
The good news is that running shoes that are designed for high arches can also prevent supination. The superb cushioning and support in these types of shoes are key features that support this goal.
Most runners do not know that they can still suffer from overpronation if they have high arches. When you land, overpronation can occur if your foot rolls inward too much.
One way to tell if you overpronate is to check the outersole of your shoes. If the inside of the shoe is worn much more than the outside, there’s a good chance that you often overpronate.
Shoes that are designed for high arches can correct this problem since they can alleviate pressure that you often feel on the ball and heel of your foot. In addition, arch-supporting shoes are great at distributing your body weight evenly across your foot to cushion the impact from running.