Best Running Shoes For High Arches – Men and Women

If you're a runner with high arches, you are well aware of the struggles with finding the right shoe for your foot. 

In short, having a running shoe with plenty of padding is essential, since high arches tend to result in less shock absorption happening in the foot.  ​

Identify Your Foot Type

One of the most important, and often overlooked steps in this process is making sure you actually know what type of foot you have.

It sounds obvious, but many people aren't sure if their feet are high arched, flat, or somewhere in between which means they really don't know exactly what to look for when they are shopping for running shoes.

Fortunately, Zappos.com put together a simple little test you can do at home to determine what type of foot you actually have:​

What Kind of High Arches? 

Assuming you do have​ high arches, the next important consideration is your gait type. The image below, also from Zappos.com, shoes what a gait is all about:

Gait Type - High Arches

When your foot strikes the ground, it will typically end up in one of these 3 positions which greatly affects what you need from a running shoe. 

This matters because it's tough to give a one-size-fits-all answer to the question "what are the best running shoes for high arches?" Assuming you don't have a problem with overpronation, then a neutral cushioned shoe is likely what you want. 

However, some high arch runners will overpronate, and may prefer a more pronounced, higher arch support. This post from The Running Warehouse does a fantastic job of describing the different types of high arch runners, if you want to check it out. ​

In many cases, a more neutral shoe will do the trick - but if you're in doubt, check out the free gait analysis tool and see if you may need a different type of support. ​

High Arch General Characteristics​

While every foot and running style is unique, there are some common traits of high arched feet. The McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois put out a nice summary of ​the characteristics of high arch feet which include: 

  • More rigid overall, which absorbs most of the shock on the outside part of the foot
  • More shock runs up the leg, since less is absorbed by the foot
  • Outer parts of shoes tend to wear first
  • Calluses and wear tend to show up on the outer part of the foot.
  • Common injuries are stress fractures in the femur and tibia, as well as achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

What Kind of Running Shoes Are Best for High Arches? 

Knowing the common problems or characteristics of high arches as outlined above, what kind of features are needed in their ideal running shoe?

Here are a few, according to The University of Illinois: ​

  • Extra Cushion - this limits the amount of shock passed onto the legs
  • Midsole - softer and flexible , providing more cushion than support.
  • Last - Typically a curved last is best for high arches.

As far as shoe classifications go, these types of shoes are best described as "Neutral Cushioning Shoes" which as the name suggests, are designed to have extra padding throughout - which is arguably the most important thing for a high arch runner.

Now that we've got some criteria to work with, let's take a look at the highest rated running shoes for both women and men with high arches. 

Quick Look: Best Running Shoes For Men​

Saucony Shadow 6000

The Shadow 6000 has a classic look and has been around forever, but people still love it for it's superb cushioning and affordable price point.

Saucony Originals Men's Shadow 6000 Cushion...
  • Cushioned sneaker with lace-up vamp...
  • Ionic Cushioning System provides...
  • Polyurethane midsole offers...
  • Triangular lug outsole for...
  • Saucony

Average Review Rating

4.8
RoadRunnersSports.com
4.7
Saucony.com

What to Expect

This particular shoe has been in existence since 1991, and from the beginning it was designed with distance runners in mind. Expect a shoe with a particularly padded forefront, and very stable heel. ​

Key Features​

  • Mesh and synthetic leather upper for a breathable yet supportive fit.
  • Combination EVA/Polyurethane midsole.
  • Removable sockliner with Ionic design.
  • Scotchlite reflective.
  • XT-600 carbon rubber outsole.
  • Shoe weighs 12.9 oz.
  • Ionic Cushioning System, composed of molded triangular pillars at the rear of the midsole, provides additional cushioning for the heelstrike phase of each running stride.

What People Say​

Nobody knows shoes better than the people that have been running in them day after day, and in this case, year after year.

One Zappos customer had this to say about why he keeps buying these shoes. "They feel great from new and have excellent cushioning. The price is very reasonable. I've owned and used up about 6 pairs and will continue to buy these as long as they make them."​

Click here to read more reviews on Amazon.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32

Nike continues to make regular iterations of this popular running shoe. It's known primarily for it's stability and lightweight comfort with an excellent amount of padding. The Pegasus is simply a reliable running shoe.

Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Running Shoe Black/Dark...
  • Heel Zoom Air unit delivers highly...
  • Engineered mesh upper with Flywire...
  • Crash rail underfoot helps smooth...

4.6
RoadRunnersSports.com
4.7
Nike.com

What to Expect

Besides the comfort and stability we talked about earlier, the engineered single piece of ventilated mesh on the upper part of the shoe really helps the breathability and performance of the shoe overall. The "flywire cables"​ that attach to the shoe strings help provide a pretty secure, tight fit. 

​Key Features

  • EVA sockliner mimics the curvature of the heel and arch for increased comfort and support.
  • Single Layer Engineered Mesh comprises the upper, providing lightweight breathability.
  • Waffle outsole design in the forefoot provides multi-surface traction and a touch of cushioning.
  • Rubber Crash Rail on the lateral side acts as a cushioning device for smoother transitions and enhanced flexibility.
  • Crash pad at the bottom of the heel is a decoupled, gender-specific unit that reduces impact shock and corrects over pronation.
  • Cushlon is a full-length midsole foam that delivers plush, resilient cushioning.
  • Shoe weight: 9.9 oz (for a size 9)

What People Are Saying

Many times when people go Pegasus, they don't go back. For instance, the Running Shoe Guru raved "The combination of the Cushlon foam midsole and Zoom Air in the heel allowed for a comfortable ride during each of my outings. The shoe lived up to its history of being delivering smooth and quick transitions during each run." 

Click here to read what other buyers have to say from Amazon. 

Brooks Ghost 8 Running Shoe

Brooks' Ghost line of running shoes have long been known for their smooth heel to toe transition and overall comfort. In the 8th edition of the shoe, Brooks has added a more "sock-like" mesh top to the shoe, giving a lighter, more breathable feel to your run.

5.0
Zappos.com
4.0
BrooksRunning.com

What to Expect

One of the most consistent bits of feedback you'll find is just how well the Ghost 8 fits. In fact, a whopping 90% of Amazon buyers said that the shoe fits as expected (this number was typically much lower with other shoes we researched.)

So expect a solid-fitting, stable and comfortable shoe that performs well for just about any runner. ​

Key Features​

What People Are Saying

The Ghost 8 was given an Editor's Choice award by Runner's World. Check out what they have to say:

As it relates to the overall comfort of the shoe, the Runner's World breakdown talked about the importance of the segmentation of the shoe. Meaning that no matter where you make impact, it does a good job of isolating that impact to that area instead of spreading it across the foot. 

Click here to read more reviews on Amazon.

Best Running Shoes For Women with High Arches​

Asics Gel-Nimbus 17

With a shoe named "Nimbus" it better have a pretty cloud-like feel, and by all accounts these do. Asics has been releasing this line of shoes for years, and whether it's the Nimbus 15, 17, or 18 - you really can't go wrong.

ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 17 Running Shoe,Lightning/White/Hot...
  • Lace-up running shoe featuring...
  • Gait-enhancing impact guidance...
  • Vertical flex grooves
  • Supportive heel-clutching system
  • ASICS

4.3
RoadRunnersSports.com
4.7
SportsAuthority.com

What to Expect

The Gel-Nimbus is a neutral shoe with some impressive technology that provides consistent comfort to a variety of gait styles. It is designed to fit the underpronator all the way to a moderate overpronator. 

You should expect a shoe that feels very light on the foot, and gives a glove-like fit thanks to the "Fluidfit" technology and single piece mesh upper. ​

Key Features

  • ComforDry X-40 sockliner offers moisture management and breathability.
  • FluidRide™ midsole technology provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability.
  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL® cushioning systems work together to better attenuate shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allowing movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
  • Guidance Trusstic System® supplies enhanced gait efficiency without compromising mid-foot structural integrity.
  • ComforDry™ lasting delivers underfoot comfort, exceptional breathability, and antimicrobial technology.
  • Shoe Weight: 11 oz

What People Are Saying

​In his review on Zappos.com, Gary S. said "I did my research prior to purchasing these puppies and found the engineers at Asics redesigned the shoes from the ground up. Literally. The upper is one continuous piece of material; no stitching of multiple pieces in the construction. The structure comes from heat welded applications on the exterior of the shoe. This results in an incredibly comfortable fit with no seams."

Click here to read more reviews on Amazon.

Nike Free 5.0 ​

​Here's the trick about the Nike Free 5.0 - women love the shoe, but often have problems with the size. These run small - so be careful when ordering online. For instance, one runner reported being a true "8" but she needed a 9.5 in this shoe. 

Once you get the sizing down, there is a lot to love about the comfort and support of this shoe.

Nike Free 5.0 Men's Running Shoe
  • Thermal Dri-FIT fabric - reflects...
  • Flat-lock stitching - eliminates...
  • Half-neck height - helps maintain...
  • Compression fit - for zero...
  • Strategically placed flat seams -...

4.0
Zappos.com
4.7
Nike.com

What to Expect

​As stated prior, you can expect that you'll need a little bigger size in these than your other shoes. However, once you've solved that then you should expect a shoe with a fair amount of arch support. 

They are designed to be minimalistic and sock-like, fitting the form of your foot. Take a look at this video for a few other features of the Free 5.0

Key Features

  • Waffle outsole enhances traction and durability while also encouraging a more neutral and efficient toe-off.
  • Modified innersleeve construction made of sandwich mesh provides a dynamic, sock-like fit that hugs the foot but still allows for easy on and off.
  • Seamless upper with stretchy mesh innersleeve to provide a supportive, skin-like fit that moves with each stride.
  • Deep flex-grooves along the length and width of the midsole enhance flexibility and help maintain stability.
  • Asymmetrical lacing system is offset to the lateral side of the foot to help reduce pressure over the top ridge of the foot for enhanced comfort.
  • Shoe Weight: 8 oz

What People Are Saying

Runner's Warehouse in the video above talks about how the "5.0" rating of this version kind of gives you the best of both worlds where you can "Expect a flexible ride while maintaining a good amount of cushion." 

Victoria Mitchell of Athlete's Foot said "The upper is the Flyknit material where one thread has been used to weave the entire upper. As I mentioned, it looks like a sock and fits that way too, snug and comfortable."

Click here to read more reviews.

Saucony Cohesion 9

You'll find that runners who love Saucony, REALLY love Saucony. These shoes are best described as well-cushioned and comfortable and they come in at a very budget-friendly price given the quality.

92 %
Runrepeat.com
5.0
Saucony.com

What to Expect

All day comfort. Look, these are great shoes even in you aren't really a runner - but you walk alot or just are on your feet quite a bit. They have consistent padding, a mesh upper and a pretty stable feel overall.

The Saucony Cohesion is simply a solid al​l around shoe. 

What People Are Saying​

On RunnersClick.com reported that you can buy online with confidence because "The latest version of Saucony Cohesion shoe line, the Saucony Cohesion 9, according to testers, is much more accurately fit to its size."

Mike Hout of RunnersChoice.com said "The Saucony Cohesion shoes are very comfortable to wear, and for the price they provide great value for money."

Click here to read even more reviews on Amazon.

Wrap Up​

Remember, it's difficult for any of us to say "this is the best shoe for you" simply because we all have different preferences and different needs.

Your gait and foot type have a lot to do with what your needs are in a running shoe, and then you preferences can guide what makes you feel the most comfortable as far as arch support and padding overall. 

That said, we hope our list of top picks for people with high arches can at least be a starting point to show you the models that have consistently worked well for thousands of runners of all shapes and sizes. 

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