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.