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Prepare to find your *sole* mate.

By Braelyn Wood
October 01, 2019
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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. 

However, there’s no one shoe 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. 

  1. Best for Flat Feet: Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
  2. Best Cushioning: New Balance 680v6 Running Shoe
  3. Best Support: Saucony Women’s Omni 16 Running Shoe
  4. Most Comfortable: Hoka One One Clifton 5 Knit Running Shoe
  5. Best for Long Runs: Adidas Women’s Solar Boost Running Shoe
  6. Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
  7. Best for Underpronation: Altra Footwear Paradigm 4.
  8. Best Waterproof: The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
  9. Most Secure Fit: Mizuno Women’s Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe
  10. Best for Form: On Cloudflyer Running Shoe
  11. Best for High Arches: Nike Zoom Winflo 6
  12. Best for Trail Running : Salomon Sense Ride 2
  13. Best Low Drop: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V3 Running Shoe

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