Best Shoes for High Arches – Our Complete Guide

Best for most people: Asics Men’s Gel-Nimbus 18
Budget-friendly pick: Skechers For Work Mens 76834

Have you ever dreaded the trekking trip you and your friends planned so meticulously for? Or ended up on the bed the next day, cringing from tender soles and strained calf muscles? Legs are the most integral evidence of possessing a fit body and a healthy stamina. And our feet bear our entire body weight. However, conditions like a high arch or a flat foot make it impossible to enjoy our experiences while ignoring the pain.

A high arch or cavus feet is a condition where the arch of the feet causes intense pressure on the ball or the heel while standing or during movement. Not only does this lead to several orthopedic issues, the feet lacks the grip necessary for movement.

Along with a painful walking experience, shopping for the appropriate footwear could be quite an exasperating experience. However, that does not leave us without options as several designs fit the exact requirements of having a high arch.

Best Shoes for High Arches - Top Picks

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Some of the Best Shoes for High Arches

Flexibility and ease of control and proper distribution of weight are major issues when it comes to shoe shopping for those with a high arched foot. Nevertheless, here are some of the best choices to provide a comfortable walking or running experience without cutting out in the fashion department:

Asics Men’s Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoes

Editor's Rating:

This is a newer model, with a plethora of newer color choices that provides the required gel cushioning in the midsole, the rear, and the forefoot and provides leverage for running and absorbs the impact. 

It is built for runners requiring a daily, neutral trainer that provides the comfort and flexibility that you might need. It further accounts for longer and heavier usage. The upper unit of this shoe is designed to keep the feet cool and sweat free during hot days.

However, the midsole might be a little uncomfortable and stiff for some. The toe area further can do with some more breathing space and the heel is not that durable. But for a high arch, the steady cushioning would provide the perfect support and prevent an achy lower back and knees.

And considering its footwear, even though it is primarily meant for sport, in no way do they compromise on the looks.

Nike Men’s Air Zoom Vomero 10 High Arch Running Shoes

Editor's Rating:

A pair designed specifically for high arches, this shoe has a firmer midsole in contrast that improves the balance and flexibility. A mesh exterior enhances breathability and the Flywire Technology gives a firmer grip. 

The cushioning around the front and the rear is built of air units that softens the shock and enhances movement while the midsole and the heel have a foam support and a Lunarlon layer on the top.

The shoes offer a lighter feel as compared to the previous versions and the soft interior offers a snug fit. The forefoot has a softer blown rubber while harder carbon rubber enhances the heel and midfoot. However, the outsole is not much for rough use. Further due to the firmer cushioning, the shoes need a longer time to break in. The traction provided is excellent and the shoes allow high mileage cover.

Birkenstock Milano Slingback Sandal Unisex

Editor's Rating:

Not just extreme sport but also a relaxing evening walk requires comfortable footwear. This sandal provides the correct support for high arches but is not as restraining as sports shoes.

Firstly, with its double footprints, one being with a medium width and the other a narrower one, it has the shock absorbing qualities which you would require. And secondly, it has a deep heel cup and arch support with a cork midsole that aids to provide balance for those with supination.

It had straps that can be adjusted to your preference and an EVA sole for flexibility. With a heel lower than 0.80”, it offers a really relaxing experience.

Skechers For Work Mens 76834 Shape Ups XT SR Lace Up

Editor's Rating:

With a memory foam cushioned 11/2 inch midsole and a rocker bottom that perfectly absorbs the impact, these pair of work shoes contains a slip resistant outsole that improves the traction and would literally be a life-saver at times. 

It has a synthetic overlay and tough leather exterior. To add further support, it has a stabilizing side and a supportive midsole upper layer. The heel is a polyurethane based kinetic wedge that improves movement. A softer inner lining and a plush collar and perforated tongue add to the comfort and have a cooling effect as well.

These pair of work boots, though comfortable and stylish, however, is not very lasting when it comes to heavy use.

Hoka One One Clifton 3

Editor's Rating:

As compared to the previous pairs of Clifton, this one is incredible in its midsole cushioning. With a rougher exterior that is more durable than the softer mesh, it further has a wider toe box. The thicker than usual CMEVA midsole foam along with the rocker technology creates propulsion that allows gravity to aid the forward motion. 

It allows for a cushioned and smooth run that is supportive of the high arch. The exterior is breathable and allows for flexibility and the shoe itself is pretty lightweight.

However, the foam layering in the outsole is prone to erosion even though the rubber makes it firmer than the previous version. Even though it doesn’t do much in the looks department, the comfort definitely overrides that negligence.

BackJoy Men’s Standright Bliss Lace Shoes

Editor's Rating:

Available in various shades, this pair of shoes reduces the pain of impact on the heels and neutralizing the pressure points. It serves to maintain the body posture and facilitates movement in the correct proportion. 

It has a cushioning that absorbs the shock and reduces vibrations on the foot. They are equipped with Active Stabilization technology that aids movement. An orthotic heel cup further eliminates the pressure on the feet. It molds to the foot shape of the user and has a flexible grip with a breathable body. It is equipped for regular use and would be a cool addition to your wardrobe.

What Are High Arches?

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A high arch, also known as a pes cavus, as the term suggests, is a condition of the feet where the arch is too high. Around 8 to 15 percent of the population is afflicted with cavus foot and more than sixty percent of them suffer from foot ache. Pes cavus could be of two varieties based on their functions: rigid or flexible. Studies have evidenced that a rigid pes cavus has reduced capability to absorb the shock, less surface is available for contact and leads to hammertoes and the consequent metatarsalgia.

Our arch is supported by our tarsal and metatarsal bones, ligaments and tendons. Our arch bears shape to our feet and comprises of the entirety of the same. Our foot arch deals with the pressure of our body on the feet and gives our body the balance for standing, walking or running. It further provides the feet a grip on slopes or rough surfaces.

While in many cases, it is a genetically transmitted condition, use of wrong footwear can, in some cases, be its cause as well. It is not age or gender specific, even though women who tend to use high heels are more prone to develop high arched feet. Further, pes cavus can a sign of some neurological disease. It is the opposite of flat feet, even though it is rarer. It usually develops in children on both feet but is not noticed till adulthood. But if it appears suddenly on just one foot, it could have been caused by some trauma or the symptom of a neuromuscular ailment. It may further lead to clawed toes and jerkiness of the knee joint as well.

Have you even had to drag your feet to make it through the last few miles? Or had to lag behind on a walk? Surgery, in case of extreme pain, is used to rectify cavus feet. However, using the proper support for walking alleviates the situation to an extent.

With an inability to absorb the shock, a high arched foot causes stress on the tender tissues of the foot and the calf. This shock is transmitted to other parts of the lower body and causes aches in the lower back, hips, knees and ankles. One of the nonsurgical treatments of high arches is to wear proper footwear.

If you are not sure as to whether you have cavus feet, there is a simple test engineered for this. To determine a high arch, make an imprint with wet feet and examine it. If the only visible parts are the heel and the top of your feet, you have a high arch. Besides, even while standing, if you notice that the instep is hollowed and most of your body weight is placed on the balls and the heel, you have a cavus foot.

Shoes, specifically designed with proper arch support, provides the extra support to correct over-pronation or supination, unlike normal walking shoes that are built with space and comfort in mind, but nothing else. Further, they provide support for the plantar fascia ligament and relief from bunions and calluses.

Obviously, as you have experienced, it is not the easiest thing to deal with, particularly as it curbs ease of movement. Taking proper measures to support your feet is important for this very reason.

Benefits of Using Shoes Built for High Arches

Even distribution of body weight is extremely necessary for our feet, especially, the heels. Shoes with a high top and a wider heel and a heel pad offer better stability. Shoes designed for high arches should provide a cushion to balance the pressure, particularly in the midsoles and insoles. Running shoes for high arched feet requires a softer fall that absorbs the pressure but does not hinder the gait. Footwear with proper cushioning can prevent several agonizing conditions like Achilles Tendonitis, pain in the metatarsal, over-pronation etc. This cushioning is usually provided with air, gel, polyurethane, etc.

Apart from footwear, another way to deal with high arches would be using external insoles. Available both for flat foot and cavus foot, these insoles provides the cushioning that normal shoes lack. While insoles are often used with regular shoes to provide the external support, insoles are recommended even with shoes designed for high arches to provide an extra layer and further comfort. Research has proved that the use of insoles aids the distribution of the ground reactive force on the front of the feet and accounts for unloading of the metatarsal and a painless movement.

In one study, researchers discovered that the use of shoes with insoles helps alleviate metatarsal pain more than soft orthotics. The semi-rigid orthotics in these shoes provided a better effect in comparison than bare shoes as well.

Thus, investing in a good pair of shoes, designed for high arched feet by podiatrists is recommended by doctors.

Proper arch support is detrimental to avoid further foot injuries like imbalance, muscle strain and ankle and joint pain. Most shoes are neutral running shoes which are primarily built with midsole cushioning but bear no medial supports. Moreover, the right footwear is an important consideration because long stretches of walking can be pretty painful, even if we ignore the consequences most of the time, it is not wise to avoid the hassle and provide our feet the support they require before the situation winds up into something worse.


High arches can be excruciating, especially when you have a rigorous lifestyle. Not just our daily pressures but intense sports can be murder on our feet. We hardly get the time to rest all through the day and the nights are filled with repenting the sadism we put our feet through. A twisted ankle once or twice, or even intense muscle pain can be easily ignored but they do affect our stamina. High arched feet further affect out lower back and knees.Not just that, but ruptured ligaments, fractures in the tibia, etc. can be a counter effect of learning to live with the wrong shoes. And while we often deal with a little pain to amplify our fashion statements, being conscious of our footwear is detrimental for our fitness. The specially designed footwear are a little heavy on the pocket but , as mentioned earlier, no one wants to deal with foot pain while we strive to put in all our effort in our day to day life.

  • Updated February 16, 2017
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