The best shoes for medium arches are ones that have a flexible sole and are made of breathable materials.
Your feet should also be comfortable, so choose shoes that don’t cause pain or soreness.
Types of Footwear
Shoes come in a range of styles and materials. Shoes made from leather or other natural materials are often more breathable than synthetic alternatives. The best shoes for medium arches can be found in many different styles, including:
Boots – Boots are high-top shoes with a chunky heel, which helps distribute body weight across the shoe’s surface. They’re great for people who walk a lot and want extra ankle support. If you plan on wearing boots all day long, take time to break them in first to avoid blisters and other foot problems.
Sandals – Sandals provide excellent ventilation and are often made from lightweight and breathable materials like leather or canvas. They’re not as supportive as boots or sneakers but they’re easy to slip on and off when you need them most.
Shoes For Medium Arch
Whether your runs always end with cramped arches or you simply want to ensure your feet are properly supported throughout a workout, it’s time to start considering a running shoe with arch support.
While built-in arch support may feel like an unnecessary and bulky addition to your sneakers, it’s actually a critical feature for preventing common runner issues like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and ankle sprains—especially if you have flat feet.
“Arch support equals shock absorption,” New York-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner, DPM, tells Health. “And everyone can use that.”
The extra boost of arch support, which is already important on a day-to-day basis, is even more valuable for runners. The high-impact exercise puts consistent stress on your feet, making built-in shock absorption an absolute necessity.
These are the 15 best running shoes with arch support:
However, there’s no one design that works for every type of runner, and that’s why Dr. Brenner developed a four-point rule as a guideline.
“Pick up a pair of shoes and make sure the shoe does not bend in half,” explains Dr. Brenner. This two-step test includes attempting to fold the shoe like a burrito in both directions. Next, she recommends making sure there is “thickness in the arch” because this generally gives the foot more support. Finally, the shoe should have a wide, chunky heel to maximize the support.
While Dr. Brenner personally likes Asics for running shoes, she says it’s really important to test different shoes for yourself to ensure the one you choose offers enough stability for your foot. It’s also a good idea to seek out a shoe that’s specifically designed for your running path, whether that’s on a rocky trail, a treadmill, or blacktop on a road.
If you need additional support in an already-stable shoe—especially if you have flat feet or super high arches—Dr. Brenner suggests using custom orthotics, too. These can add an extra boost of support that can turn a sub-par shoe into a delightful treat for your feet.
When searching for a shoe with arch support, it’s also critical to find a shoe that works with your body’s natural structure. Some shoes are better suited for flat feet or high arches, while other designs account for pronation issues (where the foot rolls too far inwards during impact). Plus, you might have a natural preference for a low-drop sneaker, which means the heel and ball of the foot stay relatively even in the shoe.
To help narrow down your options, we scoured the Internet and found the 13 best running shoes with arch support that meet Dr. Brenner’s guidelines—so you can count on all of these options to have thick arches, a cushioned chunky heel, and a super stable construction that won’t twist. Read on to find your new *sole* mate.
Best for Flat Feet: Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
What You’ll Love: Firm foam throughout the arches support flat feet, while a built-in guide system prevents pronation.
What You Need to Know: The Kayano design changes slightly every year, and you may need to try different models to find the right one for you.
While Dr. Brenner recommends always completing her four-step test, she personally prefers Asics’ running shoes. The Gel-Kayano models stand out from the rest of the brand’s running lineup thanks to gel technology that increases shock absorption and maximizes comfort. It’s paired with a firm foam lining that prevents your foot from rolling inward during a run (a plus for overpronators), and Asics’ built-in Trusstic system gives the shoes critical structure to prevent them from twisting as you run. Despite all the cushioning and support you could ever dream of, they’re still super breathable and lightweight. Although the Gel-Kayano 28 is the most recent make of the shoe, its wide toe box and narrow construction are less popular than this discontinued 26 model.
Best Cushioning: New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: Along with offering cloud-like comfort, it packs more shock absorption than earlier models.
What You Need to Know: The extra cushioning makes the design less breathable and can be too plush for some users.
Despite offering plenty of cushioning for your feet, these sneakers remain super lightweight with their durable rubber outsole and supportive midsole. Arch support is a given (at least in this roundup), and you’ll also love how the design maximizes comfort by using an extra soft mesh upper, which minimizes irritation, and a padded tongue. Another favorite brand of Dr. Brenner, these New Balance kicks come in standard, wide, and extra-wide widths.
Best Support: Saucony Women’s Omni 19 Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: The extra stability is good for pronation and high arches.
What You Need to Know: This version has less heel cushioning than earlier models, and a few reviewers complain that the tread wears out quickly for the price.
The super supportive construction on these running shoes make them a top pick for anyone who deals with moderate to severe pronation (or rolling inwards of the foot). They have an external support frame that keeps your foot stabilized throughout your run—and prevents the burrito-style bending that Dr. Brenner warns against. Anyone with normal, low, or flat arches will find comfort in the foam midsole on this option thanks to the brand’s signature Everun topsole that gives the foot continuous cushioning and shock absorption.
Most Comfortable: Hoka One One Clifton 8 Knit Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: The breathable and lightweight shoe has a wide toe box to prevent toe scrunching.
What You Need to Know: The upper knit can stretch out over time, impacting the fit of the shoe.
A trifecta of breathability, comfort, and stability, this running shoe has a thin sock-lock collar construction and a cute knit design that you’ll actually want to sport outside of the gym. The lightweight frame molds to your foot with an adaptive forefront that makes every step smoother than the last. The shoe is constructed to give you full-ground contact on every step for an extra boost of stability, while the brand’s signature Hoka One One midsole offers a dose of cushioning that doubles as shock absorption.
Best for Long Runs: Adidas Women’s Solar Boost Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: Thick arches and extra-responsive cushioning keep feet comfortable, even during long-distance runs.
What You Need to Know: The tread is slippery on wet surfaces, and the style runs larger than other running shoe designs.
You’ll stay supported and comfortable mile after mile in Adidas’ ultimate sneaker for distance runs. The design features the brand’s most responsive arch cushioning yet, which absorbs shock and releases a burst of energy to give you a literal “boost” during your run. While the Boost cushioning is a standout feature for optimizing your energy return, it’s also a critical part of keeping your gait smooth, your shoes durable, and your feet comfortable. Plus, you’ll find Dr. Brenner’s recommended wide, chunky heel and thick arches on this lightweight design.
Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18
What You’ll Love: An adaptable midsole and extra cushioning from toe to heel helps with plantar fasciitis (heel pain).
What You Need to Know: The shoe offers minimal stability and may not work for pronators.
New Jersey-based podiatrist Alan Bass, DPM, previously told Health that his preferred brand of running shoes for those with plantar fasciitis is Brooks. This particular design by the trusted brand features the most cushioning in the Brooks lineup, with an adaptable midsole that absorbs shock and a plush, fitted upper that moves and expands naturally with your stride for a smoother run. Just beware, these lightweight roadrunners are optimized for medium and high arches and only offer neutral support.
Best for Underpronation: Altra Footwear Paradigm 5
What You’ll Love: Extra stabilizers and a guide rail system prevent feet from rolling outward mid-strike, and the extra cushioning is helpful for trail runs.
What You Need to Know: Shoes are slightly heavy at 10 ounces per pair, which could impact race time.
If your foot tends to roll outward when running—putting painful pressure on your ankles and outer toes—you’re likely struggling with underpronation. Luckily, solving this issue can be as simple as finding the right sneakers, like these cushioned kicks. They use three stabilizing pods and a guided rail system to keep the foot from twisting while running. The dynamic shoes also have removable sculpted footbeds, breathable mesh linings, and quick-drying knit uppers. Designed for the female foot (with a higher instep, longer arch, and better metatarsal spacing), trail runners in particular will love the zero-drop platform, which keeps your heel and forefoot even as you run to encourage proper form and minimize impact.
Best for Overpronation: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
What You’ll Love: Firm construction and guided rail support prevent feet from rolling inward.
What You Need to Know: The narrow shoe may be uncomfortable for wide feet, and this sole offers less traction than older models.
Overpronation—meaning your foot rolls inward when running—is more likely to occur in people with flat feet, but it can still happen for people with high arches, too. To avoid issues like shin splints, opt for a shoe that’s firm and packed with support. This cushioned style from Brooks is a great option: It not only has crash pad cushioning, but also comes with a unique construction that guides your feet and keeps them aligned to prevent any unwanted rolling.
Best Waterproof: Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6 Gore-Tex
What You’ll Love: Waterproof uppers, extra traction, and toe protection makes these the ultimate shoes for trail runs and sprints on rainy days.
What You Need to Know: Hard soles and minimal cushioning makes this style less comfortable than the brand’s other models.
If most of your running happens outdoors—especially on trails—then a waterproof design is a no-brainer. Our top pick is from Hoka One One, and it pairs a shock-absorbing midsole with a tractioned rubber outsole to give you consistent stability throughout your run. The fast-drying mesh upper is breathable thanks to a water-resistant membrane, hugging the shoe to your feet and keeping you dry. There’s even a protective toe cap for “added support”—even though we all know it’s really to prevent stubbing your toe on the trail (ouch).
Most Secure Fit: Mizuno Women’s Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: The stabilizing technology stops overpronation without impacting the plush cushioning.
What You Need to Know: Reviewers complain the shoes require a break-in period and have a shorter lifespan than other Mizuno models.
Prepare to take your runs to the next level with Mizuno’s most advanced support shoe. The cushioned midsole offers optimal comfort, while the built-in Wave plate technology in the footbed stabilizes your run by dispersing energy evenly post-impact (similar to the ripples of a wave, hence the name). The responsive plate also optimizes your head-to-toe transitions for smoother strides, gives you critical arch support, and prevents pronation. But the real standout is Mizuno’s AeroHug technology, which molds the breathable mesh upper to your foot for a secure fit that eliminates slipping and sliding during your run.
Best for Form: On Cloudflyer Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: The sturdy and stable construction still includes plenty of cushioning to keep feet comfy mile after mile.
What You Need to Know: The lightweight shoe uses less responsive cushioning and can be hard to size appropriately.
Like the name suggests, these cushioned sneakers make it feel like you’re running on clouds instead of a hard treadmill. They offer the best of both worlds: a lightweight design blended with the structure and stability of traditional, sturdy running shoes. While you’ll love the durable outsole and breathable upper, the real sell is the advanced technology that gently encourages a more efficient running style. The brand’s CloudTec cushioning promotes a forward foot strike by only activating during impact and quickly firming up right as the foot pushes off the ground. So not only will your feet feel heavenly during your run, but you’ll actually feel (and see!) improvement in your running form.
Best for High Arches: Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: A super thick arch design provides excellent support for high arches.
What You Need to Know: The neutral stability won’t help pronators who need their form corrected.
Despite a streamlined design that minimizes bulk, these responsive running shoes still have the optimal support that Dr. Brenner recommends (especially in the heels and arches). The super thick arches ensure the midfoot stays stable during movement, while an extra chunky heel gives your foot a much-needed additional layer of padding to reduce shock and protect your Achilles tendon from injury. Plus, there’s springy, responsive cushioning throughout the entire shoe, including a padded midsole, as well as a rubber crash rail along the outsole.
Best for Trail Running: Salomon Sense Ride 2
What You’ll Love: The dirt-resistant mesh upper and tractioned midsole keep feet clean and steady during trail runs.
What You Need to Know: There’s less cushioning in the forefoot than the sole, which may make the shoe feel unbalanced—and a few reviewers complain they’re noisy.
These durable running shoes are specifically created for trail running with a stabilizing design that prevents painful over-rotation. The structured outsole protects your feet and ankles from twisting on rocks and other uneven surfaces while simultaneously adapting to the foot’s natural movements to give an extra boost of support wherever it’s needed. You can quickly adjust the fit of the stitch-free upper with the quick-lace system, which uses one-pull adjustments to tighten and loosen the fit.
Best Low Drop: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V3 Running Shoe
What You’ll Love: The lightweight design has a low-drop construction that makes feet stronger as you run.
What You Need to Know: High arches may feel unsupported by the low drop and minimal cushioning.
While most low-drop shoes offer limited stability and arch support, this minimalist sneaker defies the norm with an innovative midsole crafted from a single piece of foam. The lightweight material cushions your foot for the duration of your run but still gives critical arch support for an extra boost of stability (and to prevent overpronation). And since the smart design has a low heel drop, the natural result is even weight distribution across the shoe (which means no added stress on one particular area of the foot).
Best Budget: Feetmat Women’s Running Shoes
What You’ll Love: The budget-friendly pick still has moisture-wicking upper, no-slip outsoles, and plenty of arch support.
What You Need to Know: A lower price point comes with less research and lower-quality materials.
Shoe brands that invest in research to create top-of-the-line products should really be your first choice if you want high-quality support. But when those podiatrist-approved picks aren’t in budget, fiscally responsible shoppers have you covered with affordable alternatives. They’ve narrowed down Feetmat’s memory sole sneakers as a reliable option at a low price point. With non-slip outsoles and a moisture-wicking mesh material, these comfy sneakers won’t break the bank yet still offer all the support you could dream of.