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Best Running Shoes With Arch Support in 2021

 

When you run, there’s a lot of pressure on your foot—about three times your bodyweight—and it increases as your muscles fatigue. Your feet evolved to absorb a good amount of this pressure. But if you have low arches or flat feet, your body’s ability to take the shocks of running is reduced. If your shoes don’t provide enough support for your arches, your overpronation—rolling your feet inwards—can hamper your performance and increase the chance of injury.

When you have flat feet or low arches, you need running shoes with arch support to prevent overpronation. If you have high arches, you still need a running shoe that is going to provide enough support to keep your feet in the right position throughout your run.

Our favorite shoe overall for arch support is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. It has a midsole made of two different types of foam. Its GuideRails Holistic Support System prevents unnecessary sideways foot movement.

It’s not the only running shoe with excellent arch support, though. We’ve reviewed 10 shoes so you can find the best one for you.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

 

  • Dual foam midsole
  • 3D fit print saddle
  • GuideRails Holistic Support System
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Hoka One One Gaviota 3

 

  • Midfoot H-frame
  • RMAT midsole cushioning
  • Molded Ortholite insole
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Brooks Launch GTS 8

 

  • GuideRails support technology
  • BioMoGo DNA foam
  • New engineered mesh upper
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Overall

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Brooks makes some of the most cushioned shoes on the market. Cushioning can make a huge difference to the level of arch support in a shoe, but the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is also a stability shoe that caters to those who overpronate.

Overpronators often—but not always—have low arches or flat feet that need extra arch support. Not only does this shoe have a dual-foam midsole for superior underfoot cushioning, but it also features a GuideRails Holistic Support System. This midsole element sits on the side of the foot to prevent excessive side-to-side motion.

The midsole consists of both BioMoGo DNA foam and DNA Loft foam, offering the best of both worlds in terms of softness and responsiveness.

You can get a tight, custom fit around your foot with the traditional lace-up system, which locks your foot in and wraps your arch in the upper’s 3D Fit Print saddle for extra stability. A plush ankle collar and tongue help keep your foot comfortable while it’s tightly locked in.

Underneath the shoe, a segmented crash pad helps to absorb shock and make the outsole flexible, culminating in a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

The Adrenaline does have a heel-to-toe drop of 12mm, which is on the high side. So it’s better for heel strikers than forefoot runners.

PROS:

  • Dual foam midsole
  • 3D fit print saddle
  • GuideRails Holistic Support System

CONS:

  • 12mm heel-to-toe drop may be too high for some runners
 

Top Runner-up

2. ASICS GT-2000 9

The ASICS GT-2000 9 uses the company’s latest technology to provide a solid and locked-in ride with plenty of support in all the right places. It’s a stability shoe with multiple “guidance” features to provide plenty of arch support.

The Impact Guidance System incorporates a variety of features. It includes Guidance Line technology, which is a vertical flex groove in the sole of the shoe to facilitate easier heel-to-toe movement.

A Guidance Trusstic System is a special piece of support in the midfoot that prevents the shoe from twisting and increases stability. The Heel Clutching System is an external heel counter that locks the foot in tightly but comfortably.

In the midsole, the Dynamic DuoMax Support System features firmer foam in the medial side of the midsole to counter inward rolling. The midsole uses both FlyteFoam Lyte Technology and SpevaFoam 45, which offer a mix of comfortable cushion, shock absorption, good responsive rebound, and support in the right area.

While this is great for support, some individuals may find that the midsole feels too stiff for their liking.

You can get a tight fit thanks to the breathable but supportive synthetic mesh upper with a classic lace close-up. A soft tongue and plush ankle collar allow you to tighten the shoe for stability without compromising on comfort.

PROS:

  • SpevaFoam and FlyteFoam Lyte midsole
  • GEL cushioning system
  • Heel Clutching System

CONS:

  • Some people may find the midsole to be a bit too stiff
 

Most Cushioned

3. Hoka One One Gaviota 3

As with most Hoka shoes, it’s easy to see at a glance that the Gaviota is very cushioned. Runners who need good arch support but also want a plush, cushioned feeling underfoot will appreciate the mixture of springiness and comfort that the Gaviota offers.

The Gaviota is a stability shoe, and uses what Hoka calls an H-Frame, which consists of two types of foam and provides targeted support and stability.

On the medial side, dense, firm foam prevents your foot from rolling as you step. On the lateral side, softer, spongier foam encourages your foot to settle comfortably.

With a stack height of 32mm at the heel and 27mm in the front—a heel-to-toe drop of 5mm—there’s plenty of foam in the sole to provide impressive cushioning. The midsole is made of RMAT—a mix of rubber and EVA foam—which offers a well-balanced mix of responsiveness and shock-absorbing cushion. You’ll also find a Late-Stage Meta Rocker, which helps with a more explosive heel-to-toe transition.

The upper helps to lock the foot in place using Hoka’s Arch-lock Wings. These overlay-type support features wrap around the foot when you tighten your laces to provide added support and prevent side-to-side motion.

Some individuals may find that the Gaviota runs narrower than they would like in the toe box, which may be uncomfortable.

PROS:

  • Midfoot H-frame
  • RMAT midsole cushioning
  • Molded Ortholite insole
  • Arch-lock wings

CONS:

  • Some people may find that the shoe runs narrow in the toe box and midsole
 

Best Value

4. Brooks Launch GTS 8

The Launch GTS 8 is classified by Brooks as a support shoe, not a stability shoe, due to its lightweight design. But it does have Brooks’ GuideRails support technology to prevent the foot from excessive sideways movement.

It shouldn’t be confused with the Launch 8, which doesn’t offer any stability or arch support (though that’s still a great shoe for runners with a neutral gait!)

The Launch uses Brooks’ classic BioMoGo DNA foam with rebounding rubber, so you get firmness without sacrificing comfort. It’s also quite lightweight, which makes the Launch GTS excellent for those looking for a fast ride.

A strategically-shaped “midfoot transition zone” makes it quick to transition from heel to toe. Added rubber in the outsole forefoot helps you to toe-off explosively and effectively, and the 10mm heel drop offers slight forward propulsion.

The newly-renovated engineered mesh upper and flat laces are designed to prevent hot spots and chafing on the bridge of your foot. They run slightly large and you may be better off ordering half a size smaller than usual.

PROS:

  • BioMoGo DNA and rebounding rubber midsole
  • GuideRails support technology
  • New engineered mesh upper
  • More rubber under the forefoot

CONS:

  • These shoes can run half a size too large
 

Top Shoe For Long Runs

5. ON Cloudstratus

It’s easy to see how shock-absorbing the Cloudstratus is just by looking at the sole! ON describes it as having “maximum cushioning,” so there’s plenty of support for your arches while your foot is being cushioned.

A double-layer Helion-enriched CloudTec Speedboard gives this shoe more rebound and cushion than ever before. The forefoot is segmented in such a way that it moves with your foot, allowing you more efficient heel-to-toe transitions and an easy push-off.

The mesh upper is asymmetrical, designed to make moving your feet easier. It’s also well-ventilated and has an unusual star-lacing pattern that helps to wrap your foot securely and keeps it locked in tightly.

The outsole is enhanced with CloudTec technology to cushion every step and deliver an impressive rebound. It has a slight rocker bottom to help propel the runner forward faster.

Some individuals may find that the heel collar is higher than they are used to and that it causes chafing on the Achilles.

PROS:

  • Helion-enriched CloudTec Speedboard
  • External TPU heel counter
  • Anatomically-engineered mesh upper
  • Star-lacing configuration

CONS:

  • Some people may find that the heel collar is high and it may irritate your Achilles
 

Most Supportive

6. ASICS GEL-KAYANO 27

The Gel-Kayano offers the best of both worlds: it’s an excellent stability shoe and has great cushioning.

Flytefoam Propel in the midsole uses Space Trusstic technology, which offers extra support and structure in the midsole while being light enough to not weigh you down. ASICS uses its Dynamic DuoMax support system to prevent overpronation. This is basically a section of foam in the midsole angled at 35 degrees to keep the foot straight instead of susceptible to rolling over. They also use a Guidance Trusstic System to keep the foot in line from heel strike to toe-off.

The cushioning comes from two GEL cushioning pods, one in the forefoot and one in the rearfoot. These reduce shock on each step and decrease the chance of getting an impact-related injury.

Other features that help add to the support in this shoe include synthetic reinforcements on the upper that cradle the foot tightly, a traditional lacing system for a custom fit and Heel Clutch technology that uses an external heel counter to lock the heel in place.

ASICS has chosen to design the Kayano differently for men and women. The midsole is 3mm thicker in the women’s shoes, and also has a 3mm higher heel-to-toe drop. While the men’s shoe has more arch support than the women’s, the ladies’ shoes have extra support to prevent excessive forward motion.

Because of the technology that goes into these shoes, some runners may find that they’re heavier than they are used to. They could also run slightly narrow.

PROS:

  • Space Trusstic technology
  • Flytefoam Propel midsole
  • DuoMax support system
  • GEL cushioning systems

CONS:

  • Some people may find these shoes to be heavy and a tad narrow
 

Most Comfortable

7. Hoka One One Arahi 5

Hoka One One’s Arahi is similar to the Gaviota, in that it has tons of cushioning and good support – but it’s a bit lighter in weight. Why? Because and has a tad less cushioning and support. If you are familiar with Hoka, you’ll understand that this still means it has ample cushioning and support.

One of Arahi’s unique features that make it a good stability shoe is that it uses more dense engineered mesh at the heel for better structure, and lighter, more open mesh at the forefoot for maximum breathability.

Another supportive feature is the firm EVA foam J-Frame, which runs along the medial side of the foot and offers protection against overpronation.

The Compression Molded EVA foam midsole is surprisingly lightweight, considering the amount of cushion it features. It’s a low-profile foam cushion that leans more towards being responsive than plush, but it absorbs impact underfoot and leaves the runner feeling very comfortable.

Adding to the comfort and responsiveness of the shoe is a Meta-Rocker which helps to propel the wearer forward faster and lessens fatigue in the legs. Take note that if you have used the Arahi 4 before this, the 5 is said to be narrower than the previous versions, so it may not be liked by everyone.

PROS:

  • EVA J-Frame
  • CMEVA midsole
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker

CONS:

  • This shoe seems to be narrower than previous iterations
 

Best Zero Drop

8. Altra Paradigm 5

If you’re a runner who prefers a zero-drop shoe, we recommend the Altra Paradigm 5 if you also need excellent arch support. Altra’s unique FootShape toe box is suitable for runners with wide feet who want more space for their toes to spread out naturally.

Altra’s EGO midsole is highly cushioned, and offers the dual function of being soft and comfortable and having good energy rebound. For stability, a medial guide rail is built into the midsole to prevent the foot from turning over. StabiliPod technology acts as a tripod to strengthen and support the arch.

The midsole also uses Altra’s FootPod technology, which follows the tendons and bones of the foot to give you the most comfortable and flexible platform for your feet.

Altra has also designed their shoes with gender-specific technology, so the women’s shoe is narrower in the midfoot and the heel, has a longer arch and higher instep, and has different metatarsal spacing than the men’s.

PROS:

  • Altra EGO dual-nature midsole
  • FootPod midsole
  • 5 mm sculpted footbed
  • Medial GuideRail

CONS:

  • Some people may find that the medial GuideRail creates a pressure point
 

Most Breathable

9. Brooks Glycerin GTS 19

The Glycerin is one of Brooks’ plushest shoes, but it’s also one of the most breathable. The new engineered mesh upper has larger-than-usual perforations to allow for increased ventilation, keeping your feet cool even on the hottest of days.

The GTS version of the Glycerin shouldn’t be confused with the classic Glycerin. This model has built-in guide rails that keep your feet in the right position, so they don’t overpronate. Plastic bumpers sit on either side of the foot and run underneath the sole to prevent rolling or sideways movement.

3D Print Fit technology incorporated into the upper helps to give it a snug yet comfortable fit. The upper stretches so it can accommodate feet of all sizes and shapes. An internal bootie hugs your foot so that you get the snug supportiveness but still feel the airflow inside the shoe.

A full-length piece of DNA LOFT foam in the midsole is plush but not too spongy and soft. It remains responsive enough for everyday use, even though it doesn’t have an explosive spring to it.

If you’re looking for breathability and great arch support, this shoe is an excellent option. They do seem to run small, so you may need to order half a size up.

PROS:

  • 3D fit print upper
  • Full-length DNA LOFT midsole
  • Built-in guide rail support
  • Internal bootie

CONS:

  • These shoes can run small and you may need to go half a size up
 

Best For Overpronation

10. New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11

The New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 is a stability shoe that’s made to stop runners from overpronating. The New Balance website categorizes them as being for medium arches, but they should still provide plenty of support for low arches.

These shoes are cushion level 4, which is the one below the top level. The Fresh Foam X midsole is plush and soft on each step, reducing shock and protecting your joints. For extra support, there’s a medial post that keeps the arch up and stops the foot from falling over when running.

To keep your foot locked in comfortably and safely, their Ultra Heel technology includes an internal heel cup for security and an elf-ear pull tab that flares out and keeps the Achilles tightly locked in.

They can run slightly narrow compared to most New Balance shoes, so check carefully before buying your usual size.

PROS:

  • Fresh Foam X midsole technology
  • Medial post
  • Ultra heel technology
  • Engineered mesh upper

CONS:

  • Some people may find that these shoes run slightly narrow
 

FAQs

Why is arch support important?

Arch support is important for a proper gait and running with proper form. If your arch isn’t properly supported, it can cause overpronation.

This causes extra pressure on every foot strike, increasing the chance of pain and injury.

How do I know if I need arch support?

You may need shoes with better arch support if you have unexplained swelling in your feet, sharp pain in the heel or forefoot, or had a lower back injury before.

Runners with flat feet or high arches generally need more support—flat feet to lift the foot into a position to prevent overpronation, and high arches to prevent them from collapsing. You may also need to rethink your arch support if you have diabetic foot problems.

The Wired Runner