The best shoes for high arch support are the ones that fit you and your needs. You might be wondering what the difference is between a shoe and a sandal, or how much arch support is too much. Well, we’re here to help!
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what to look for in a comfortable pair of shoes that will keep your feet happy from day to night.
Best Shoes For High Arch Support
The 11 Best Pairs of Walking Shoes for High Arches, According to Podiatrists
High arches can be a pain, but these walking shoes feel like plush comfort with every step.
When you have high arches, finding the correct shoes for your feet can be challenging. That’s especially true when shopping for walking shoes: Whether you need them for traveling, errands, or just walking your pup around the block, a good pair of walking shoes should support your raised arches with every step—not exacerbate foot pain. Below, explore the best walking shoes that will keep your raised arches supported and learn how to find the right pair for your feet.
The 11 best walking shoes for high arches to buy
- Best Overall: New Balance Classics Sneaker
- Best Slip-on Sneakers: Rothy’s The Sneaker
- Most Supportive Sneakers: Asics Gel-Cumulus 22 Sneaker
- Most Stylish Sneakers: Naturalizer Morrison Sneaker
- Best Everyday: Mephisto Rebecca Perforated Sneaker
- Best with Wide Toe Box: Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit Sneaker
- Best for Long Walks: Hoka One One Clifton 7 Sneaker
- Best Fitness Walking: Brooks Ghost 14 Sneaker
- Best for Working Out: Saucony Endorphin Shift Sneaker
- Best Walking Sandals: Teva Verra Sandals
- Best for Trails: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
What does it mean to have high arches?
“High arches can make it difficult to fit into regular shoes,” Miguel Cunha, DPM, a podiatrist based in New York City and the founder of Gotham Footcare, tells Health. “Having high arches means that less of your foot actually touches the ground when walking or running, providing less shock absorption.”
High arches are genetic, Dr. Cunha explains, and as the name suggests, are characterized by an arch that’s higher than normal. The arch itself may not cause pain, but your feet might feel fatigued or sore, especially when you’re walking or standing. Other symptoms include arch inflexibility or stiffness, ankle pain, a tight Achilles tendon, discomfort in the ball and heel, or painful corns and calluses. (When in doubt, a podiatrist can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your foot pain.)
According to Dr. Marion Yau, a London-based podiatrist, this chronic discomfort is your sign to invest in a new pair of shoes. She warns: “It is very important for those with high arches to choose a supportive shoe because wearing the wrong type of shoes can lead to pain when walking or standing, cause instability and lead to ankle sprains, or tear in the plantar fasciitis.”
How to find a supportive walking shoe for high arches
In general, there are a few features you should look for in a walking shoe, says Dr. Cunha. Shoes should have a rigid shank (in other words, you shouldn’t be able to bend them in half), padding around the ankle, and a spacious toe box so you can move your toes freely. Also important? A well-cushioned footbed to prevent arch collapse. Dr. Cunha says that while he usually recommends custom foot orthotics, they can be expensive and aren’t always covered by health insurance. “When this is the case, I highly recommend a good insole such as the Profoot Triad Orthotics insoles,” he says. (See more of our favorite over-the-counter insoles here.) “These over-the-counter orthotics can help realign and position the foot and ankle properly to stabilize your arch to help provide shock absorption.” The combination of orthotics with a shoe that already has shock-absorbing padding in the footbed will work together to keep your feet pain-free.
Ready to make the switch to a more supportive shoe? These podiatrist-approved walking shoes will keep you comfortable during every part of your trek.
Best Overall: New Balance Classics Sneaker
Dr. Cunha says he often recommends this brand for its molded midsoles, which provide excellent arch support. “It’s designed to help mitigate foot, heel, and arch support for superior comfort and support of the plantar fascia,” he explains. With the New Balance Classics Sneaker, wearers are offered plenty of padding around the ankles and in the tongue, plush cushioning on the midsole, a TPU heel insert for extra support, and an everyday silhouette that works well with basically everything in your closet.
“Very comfortable,” raved one reviewer. “Took them out of the box and walked all over Philadelphia for a weekend without any issues.” Another shopper noted that they’re best suited for “a comfortable day of shopping, running errands and generally being on my feet” and shared that they “found these to be deep enough to accommodate an orthotic.”
Best Slip-on Sneakers: Rothy’s The Sneaker
Did you know that Meghan Markle’s go-to flats brand also carries sneakers? As recommended by Dr. Cunha, this pair has a roomy toe box and uppers and supportive insoles that are made using 100% recycled fiber from plastic water bottles. Plus, like all Rothy’s shoes, The Sneaker is machine washable and has no break-in period thanks to the seamless construction, so it’s instantly comfortable.
“These did not disappoint,” according to one customer. “I walked all day in these and they were so comfortable. As advertised, there was no break-in time.”
Most Supportive Sneakers: Asics Gel-Cumulus 22 Sneaker
A favorite for Dr. Cunha and Dr. Yau, this white, black, and pink pair from Asics is stylish enough that you’ll want to show them off, but still boasts tons of foot-supportive details that will cushion your high arches and relieve any signs of strain. “It has cushioning and traction, which is helpful for high arches as it can give support which may reduce stress and injury,” explains Dr. Yau. “It contains guide sole technology to reduce the load placed on the limb from foot strike to toe-off, which allows a high arch foot to function through gait a lot easier.” In fact, one reviewer says wearing them “feels like walking on gel pillows.”
“I walk multiple times a day and an average of 10 to 15 miles a week,” another wrote. “I chose a comfort/cushion shoe that would provide me more movement to roll and disperse impact away from my ankle. Yep, these work!”
Most Stylish Sneakers: Naturalizer Morrison Sneaker
If you want shoes that you can wear on your walk to work (without having to change out of them once you get to your desk) these are a great choice. The durable white leather and tan tweed keep them office appropriate, while the podiatrist-approved contoured footbed and heel and arch support mean your raised arches will be comfortable on your commute. The lace-up sneaker also features dual-density cushioning and advanced flexibility, which will help you navigate the obstacles on your commute without hindering your stride.
“We walked six to nine miles daily [on vacation] and my feet were happy,” one customer said. “I got loads of compliments on how they looked from my teen and college-aged girls.”
Best Everyday Sneakers: Mephisto Rebecca Perforated Sneaker
These Mephisto sneakers deliver major style points that make them ideal for your everyday wardrobe, whether the occasion calls for casual or dressy. And with plenty of arch support and a soft footbed for shock absorption, they’re also a good choice for anyone with high arches. Plus, the sneakers come with a removable anatomical insole for extra comfort, which Dr. Yau says will “support the arch and cushioning the foot, protecting the metatarsal and heels by reducing pain, callus build-up, and pressure.” Fans of the sneaker love its lightweight feel and quality construction.
“These shoes are incredibly lightweight but also very well made,” one reviewer shared. “They are one of my go-to pairs when I know I have to walk a long distance or be on my feet all day. Fit like a glove, true to size, they are a step (or two or three!) above your regular sneaker and will make a world of difference as to how your feet feel at the end of the day.”
Best with Wide Toe Box: Mizuno Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit Sneakers
Dr. Cunha also recommends Mizuno, another brand that has premium removable insoles. Also good? The brand’s Cloudwave technology for extra cushioning, SmoothRide engineering for a comfortable heel-to-toe stride, and a breathable sock-like fit. But for many, it’s the spacious toe box that makes its Wave Rider 24 WaveKnit Sneaker a must-have. “It allows your toes to move freely with no restrictions therefore minimizing discomfort placed on the arch of the foot,” Dr. Cunha explains. This style also ensures proper shock absorption and stability for optimal performance and safety.
“These shoes are super supportive but are still sleek and look so cute,” one shopper said. “I love them for long walks and runs.” Another added, “There is plenty of room in the toe box and they are very comfortable.”
Best for Long Walks: Hoka One One Clifton 7 Sneaker
Making Dr. Cunha’s list of favorite high arches sneakers for its unmatched support, the Hoka One One Clifton 7 Sneaker has a full-compression EVA midsole that delivers the perfect level of cushioning during your walks, no matter how long they are. “A well-cushioned footbed and anatomical arch support to hold up the arch and prevent it from collapsing to minimize fatigue and pain,” he says. This style also keeps your foot stable and allows it to adapt to its natural placement for a more organic-feeling transition from heel-strike through toe-off. Reviewers are also fans of the wide toe box and shared that the shoe offers “perfect support and cushioning for long runs on the gravel, pavement, and off-road.”
“What a difference these shoes have made,” raved one Zappos shopper. “They are comfortable, have great support, look great and best of all, gave me back the freedom to walk and stand on my feet for extended periods.”
Best Fitness Walking: Brooks Ghost 14 Sneaker
The Brooks Ghost 14 Sneaker achieves the balance between lightweight and structured with its thoughtful design, which includes soft-yet-energizing cushioning, a breathable stretch, a removable foam insole, and strategic flex grooves to promote your forefoot’s natural movements. Dr. Cunha says the sneaker also provides proper support to the heel. “When you are walking or running, it will help prevent ankle sprains in people with high arches,” he explains. “The heels of the shoe should be a little wider on the bottom to add stability.” This also allows for a smoother landing to toe-off transition.
“These shoes are extremely comfortable, with arch support suitable for my needs,” shared one customer. “While walking, I no longer have the pains on the top of my foot, or the back of my heel.”
Best for Working Out: Saucony Endorphin Shift Sneaker
If your walks oftentimes turn to runs, or you find yourself wearing your walking sneakers to your workouts, you’ll need a supportive and responsive sneaker like the Saucony Endorphin Shift. “I love this shoe as it is very hip and [colorful], making anyone walking with you envious,” Dr. Yau says. “It has breathable mesh uppers so the toes can breathe and stay dry. By having a lightweight cushioning, it provides a spring of the rearfoot and a medial rubber wrap that increases structure and support, which is ideal for those with the high arch feet.” The brand’s FormFit technology allows the sneaker to conform to your foot, creating a personalized fit.
“Love the look and love the cushioning, great overall fit,” one reviewer said. “My pace has actually improved.”
Best Walking Sandals: Teva Verra Sandals
Boasting a podiatrist-approved contoured EVA foam midsole for optimal arch support, this athletic sandal ensures that your foot is cushioned, stable, and comfortable with every stride. It also has a shock absorbing pad in the heel for added support and stability, plus breathable quick-drying straps that are made from 100 percent recycled plastic. If your walks bring you to the trails or somewhere slick, the sandal’s tractioned rubber outsole has enough grip to keep you balanced and on course.
“I have had plantar fasciitis in the past and get very tight calves,” one shopper began. “They were billed as hiking sandals I think but I only wear them on streets/sidewalks. They are very comfortable and I’ve had no issues with comfort or pain, etc. There is a bounce to your step in the heel, which I love.”
Best for Trails: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Made of durable and breathable materials, this hiking shoe from Merrell is strong enough for any trailhead and keeps your foot feeling comfortable and supported. “The Merrell M Select Fit.Eco+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support is great to give those high arches support,” Dr. Yau assures. Additionally, its cushioned design ensures shock absorption and stability while its carefully crafted outsole gives you the traction to take on the trail with confidence.
“I have very wide feet, plantar fasciitis and the beginnings of a bunion, but these were comfortable right out of the box for me,” one reviewer shared. “The first day I wore these on a 7+ mile fast hike over varied terrain with lots of up and down, no problem. The next day a 10+ mile hike with less hills but varied terrain and again, no problem.”