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.
"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, or painful corns and calluses. (When in doubt, a podiatrist can help you pinpoint the exact cause of your foot pain.)
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 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 PROFOOT Triad Orthotics, Superfeet, or Stride 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.
Below, nine pairs of walking sneakers that will keep your raised arches supported.