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Top 5 High Arch Running Shoes: Finding Good Support & Comfort

Updated on November 19, 2014
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Finding the Best High-Arch Running Shoes: The Right Fit

I often get asked "what is the best running shoe for high arches?" and I think it's because there is a lot of misinformation out there. I personally have high arches and I've been given conflicting advice from different experts and running shops. Ultimately, I want a shoe that fits well, offers me support and encourages me to run on a frequent basis, and I'm sure that's what you're after too if you're reading this!

High arches are fairly common, but I'd say they are less medicated than low arches and flat feet are. That's because high arches often help people avoid the common back and knee pain issues that bother most people. However, this condition does open you up to other problems that could lead to serious 'wear and tear' on your body and limit your capability down the road. Because of that, finding a good set of running shoes for high arches is vitally important if you plan on running every day.

This article is written to specifically talk about high arches, the problems that they may cause, and some simple ways to alleviate any pain, discomfort or future issues. Primarily, we'll be taking a look at five of my favorite runners for people with this condition, but I'll also first touch on common issues and side-effects that you might already have, and how that will affect your run. Let's begin!

Please fell free to leave any questions, comments or clarifications at the bottom in the comments section.

Common High Arch Problems & Running Shoe Solutions

There are a few specific ways that you can identify high arches and the related problems, and there are definitely ways to remedy those issues.

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High arches are quite apparent, and a visual inspection of the bottoms of your feet can usually tell you. If not, you can often find machines in running stores that measure the weight distribution of your feet and let you know.

Here are a few problems associated with high arches, and ways you can remedy them.

SUPINATION:

Pronation is the degree to which your foot and heel roll as it moves through each stride. If you have high arches, you likely don't suffer from overpronation, but you may suffer from the opposite issue, which is called under pronation or supination. This is where your foot and ankle actually roll outwards.

That's difficult because pronation is your body's natural shock absorber, and it prevents shock and impact injury. It can also lead to damage in your ankle and the ligaments of your foot.

Running shoes for high arches combat this by providing some support and direction the pronation of your foot in a more neutral manner.

EXCESSIVE SHOCK / IMPACT:

If you do have high arches you are lucky. You will avoid a lot of the control issues that people with flat feet or overpronation might suffer from. However, sometimes you can be a bit lacking in the shock absorption department. With each stride, your ankles, knees, hips and spine are absorbing extra impact that would otherwise be dampened, particularly if you suffer from supination.

Finding the right running shoes for high arches can be a life saver in this situation. I generally recommend a shoe that has minimal support but still provide excellent shock absorption. It's the kind of thing you can never have enough of. If you experience knee or joint pain after a long run, this is something you might want to look into.

So what kind of shoe is best? Everyone's stride, gait and foot structure is different, but generally speaking those with very high arches need a running shoe that is neutral in support, and provides above average cushioning.

Still not sure what that means? Here are a few real life examples that I'd recommend you take a close look at.

ASICS Equation 6: Comfortable, Neutral Runners for High Arched Feet

ASICS is a fantastic brand that produces excellent running shoes for all types of feet. The Equation 6 series of runners is a great choice for anyone with high arches, because it offers a neutral runner with a near perfect fit for the foot shape.

One of the main advantages of the Equation 6 is the flexibility of the sole, an important factor in any running shoes for high arches, because you don't want to inhibit any positive pronation your gait may have.

Another great thing is that this shoe, though neutral and fairly lightweight, still provides an excellent degree of cushioning and shock protection, so you can safely run while mitigating a lot of potential attrition to your system.

They're available for both men and women. Read the customer reviews and you'll see how popular and well thought of these runners are.

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New Balance 890 Neutral High Arch Running Shoes

New Balance is a great brand that has produced a number of running shoes that combat various levels of pronation or supination. The M890 neutral runners are extremely popular shoes that have a lot to offer. They are light, cushioning and comfortable, and they're even attractive looking too.

These shoes have a truly neutral support, and they also provide the runner with an excellent level of cushioning, thanks to their Abzorb technology (a combination of a removable insole and a lightweight midsole), which effectively reduces impact damage and keeps your feet very comfortable during your run. The mesh upper portion is very breathable and allows a decent amount of airflow. The sole is very flexible, but still rigid enough to provide some 'spring' with each step. The rubber outer sole is durable and built to last, and the diamond pattern gives a good amount of grip without upping the weight too much.

These are nice running shoes for people with high arches, or for anyone seeking a good quality yet inexpensive neutral runner. They are available for both men and women too, with the M890 and the W890 models.

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Mizuno Wave Minimalist High Arch Shoes for Running / Casual Wear

The Mizuno Wave is an excellent, attractive and inexpensive running shoe that's great for high arches.

If you're not familiar with minimal runners, the idea is that they are light weight and low profile, and they're supposed to simulate running with no shoes at all. Minimal or barefoot runners are a great choice for people with prominent arches, provided that they have enough cushioning, which the Wave Universe 4 does.

The AP midsole and Wave technology construction provides a good deal of comfort and cushioning, perfect for absorbing shock and preventing long term damage. The shoe itself is really flexible and doesn't inhibit pronation. The all-mesh upper portion lets air travel through very easily, yet keeps your feet dry in wet conditions. They're very lightweight, and they're also unisex, which is a nice bonus. Just be sure to pick out the appropriate sizing.

Overall it's a great running shoe for anyone with higher arches, and it's one of the least expensive shoes on this list. Definitely one to take a good look at.

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Brooks Ghost 6 Running Shoes for High Arches: Light Weight and Comfy

Weight has a lot to do with how effective a running shoe can be (and how much you are inspired to use it), and the Brooks Ghost 5 is a very light shoe that has a ton of great features. It pretty much has the ideal combination of things a runner with high arches wants in a shoe.

The 'Caterpillar Crash Pad' uses compression technology to provide a good amount of cushioning and impact reduction regardless of your weight or how you happen to land on the shoe. The outsole is strong, durable and has excellent grip with a ton of traction dedicated to the toe, heel and outside edge of the foot (where a neutral / high arch runner is likely to be placing their weight). You're likely to feel very planted and secure running with these guys. The durable mesh top is breathable and protects you from the elements. This shoe even has biodegradable components, making it a more eco-friendly choice.

I definitely recommend that you check out what other customers have to say about the Ghost 5 and their running experiences. I consider it one of the best of the lot.

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Salomon Crossmax Neutral Trail Runners

If you're a big fan of trail running, you should consider the Salomon Crossmax line of shoes. They are comfortable, secure, and perfect for a neutral runner or someone with high arches who is seeking a running shoe that provides extra cushioning and flexibility.

The nice thing about trail running shoes is they have a bit more grip than a traditional shoe, letting you move your run from the pavement and onto trails, grass, sand and gravel. They're a must have if you want to exercise on varied terrain.

Thankfully, the Crossmax doesn't actually weight much more than a traditional running shoe, and yet the traction is unbelievable. The sole has a special triangle pattern that ensures decent grip from all angles.

The 'Sensifit' and 'Sensiflex' technology in the sole allows great flexibility yet still gives a good amount of lateral stability. The insole has a cushioning foam that minimizes impact with each stride. They are breathable, light and attractive, definitely a high arch running shoe to take a look at.

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    • outdoorpursuits profile image
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      Kelly Taylor 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, West Coast Canada

      The Brooks Ghost 6 is probably your best bet here for two reasons: the first is the caterpillar crash pad compression technology providing the best impact absorption and thus, least strain to your ankle. The second is the relatively wide and strong sole that will help you to land with your foot more in line with your ankle to minimize potential supination.

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      Christina K. 3 years ago

      I used to run when I was younger and never had any problem. Now I am older and want to get back into running but find that when I run my ankles supinate to the point of almost spraining my ankle I also have high arches. What shoe would you recommend to help me get back to running for exercise and fitness.

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