Best arch support shoes aren’t just more cute and comfortable but also can help prevent overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, stress fractures, and shin splints.
Arch support may be not only essential in your workout shoes or running shoes, but also for those everyday pairs, whether you’re working at the office or enjoying a night out on the town. That’s because shoes are key for injury prevention.
For example, people with flat feet (aka fallen arches or feet with little to no angle) tend to overpronate, or roll their feet inward, while walking. This puts these individuals at an increased risk for shin splints, bunions, bone spurs, and calluses, among other foot issues, according to the Cleveland Clinic. People with higher arches also benefit from arch support shoes, but “tend to need more cushion and accommodation,” Dr. Sutera says.
That’s because people with high arches are more prone to joint injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, hammertoes, and IT band syndrome, says Dr. Emily Splichal, a New York-based podiatrist and CEO of Naboso.
“People with plantar fasciitis or arch pain are often recommended to use arch support as a way to offload the inflamed tissue,” she explains. “Ligament laxity or flexible feet may also need arch-supportive shoes to provide better control.”
What to Look for in The Best Shoes for Arch Support
Whether you have flat feet, high arches, or flexible feet, supportive footwear can help reduce your risk of these foot issues and make walking more comfortable in general.
While there will always be someone who gravitate toward minimalist shoes or even going barefoot, most walkhers need shoes with good arch support, says Austin, Texas-based podiatry specialist Daniel T. Halloran, DPM, FACFAS—particularly when it comes to “solving problems with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, posterior tibial tendinitis, medial knee pain, and low back pain.”No single shoe model or type of shoe works for all runners who share a foot type or running style.
However, some generalizations can be made, depending on arch height, form, and foot flexibility.
Arch Height and Form
There are three types of arches based on height low (flat feet), medium (normal), and high. If you're not sure what kind of arch you have, this simple test can help.
Firstly, walkers with high arches tend to supinate (underpronate). Because their arches tend to flatten and rise to absorb the shock of landing and taking off. Also high arched runners tend to benefit more from neutral shoes which provide built-in stability, says Halloran. Medium-arched runners also tend to do well with a neutral shoe.
Second, people with flexible or low arches (flatter feet) are more likely to overpronate. It means that their feet tend to roll inward as they run so that the outer edge of the foot hits the ground first. For this group, stability shoes can often help. Also known as "motion control" sneakers, stability shoes use guide rails, medial posts, and other features. They were built into the midsole to lightly correct that inward roll before it can cause injury.
While the evidence that stability shoes prevent injury isn't conclusive that study from a 2016 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that overpronating runners who wore motion-control shoes suffered fewer injuries over the course of six months than those who wore neutral shoes.
Find Your Arch Fit Shoes
No matter your arch height or pronation style, the most important thing is finding a dedicated walking arch support shoe that fits well and feels supportive and comfortable.
How We Selected These Arch Support Shoes
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 walkers 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.
1. Best Everyday Walk Arch Fit Sneakers
If you have flat feet and overpronate, the Miles provides you with solid arch support and increased stability. The orthopedic shoe is equipped with WalkHero’s signature lightweight EVA midsole. The advanced motion system includes a podiatrist-designed orthotic, cushioned outsole and a breathable upper. Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) overlays offer stability, so you can move with control with each step. Choose from medium width and three different color options, including black, gray and olive green.
What reviewers say: "I’m a hairdresser and stand on concrete all day long. I get plantar fasciitis, but the first day of wearing these shoes I noticed a huge difference. My heels feel so much better. And today, not even a full week after having, them I can walk around barefoot without having horrible pain. ”
2. Ultra-Comfort Arch Support Sneakers
The style of sneakers stand out from the rest of the brand's running lineup thanks to pain-relief technology. Because of that increasing shock absorption and maximizes comfort. In additon, it's paired with a firm foam lining, which prevents your foot from rolling inward during a run (a plus for overpronators). WalkHero' built-in Orthotic system gives the shoes a 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.
What reviewers say: "I have worn WalkHero shoes for many years. I regularly participate in high-impact workouts. And find that these shoes provide great support in the heels and balls of my feet. This is a great shoe with arch support and, in my opinion, worth every penny. I've let friends talk me into buying other, less expensive, shoes over the years. Also in every case ended up replacing them almost immediately with a new pair of WalkHero. "
3. Casual & Stylish Arch Support Slip-on Loafers
These versatile slip-ons have easy-to clean canvas uppers, durable rubber soles, and thoughtfully engineered footbeds with arch support and deep heel cups. They might take a day or two break in, so consider wearing them around at home before your trip.
The classically cool design flaunts monochrome canvas uppers and suede lining for a hint of texture. You can choose from several colors, including classic black, brown, navy blue, light grey and beige. As for the outsoles, you're looking at durable-yet-flexible rubber with patterned tread for a sturdy stride.
WALKHERO was founded by a podiatrist, and it shows. Like all footwear styles from our brand, this slip-on shoe features built-in orthotics, meaning the footbeds are designed to reduce pain and optimize comfort. In addition to top-tier arch support, the removable, fabric-covered EVA insoles have deep heel cups and cushioning throughout.
But that's not all. Elastic gore panels and heel tabs make these casual sneakers super easy to get on and off. The canvas is a breeze to wipe clean, too. One thing to note is that it may take a day or two to break in the material, so you might want to wear them for a few hours a day leading up to your trip.
What reviewers say: "Extremely comfortable and very cost efficient for a casual shoe with the extra support needed for plantar fasciitis. Bought one pair during a flash sale and wish I had gone ahead and bought a second or even a third. I did order a second pair the same day the first pair arrived and I saw how fashionable and comfortable they were! "
4. Best Selling Orthopedic Slippers
WalkHero Men's Mars is one of our best sellers for a reason. Stability cradle and removable suede insoles provide advanced arch support. The deep heel cup to relieve pressure and foot pain while you party, fishing, or just run errands. Allowing those in need to feel comfortable in their shoes while wearing them.This style combine casual kick-on & kick-off style and a weathered canvas upper with a technical footbed for both indoor and outdoor activities. Ergonomics design for the sole incorporates a cushioned forefoot, deep heel cup, orthotic arch support, and a metatarsal pad.
What reviewers say: "I got these for my husband to wear in the house for foot support and in lieu of house slippers. He often takes the pups out and wouldn’t have to change footwear since they are made for outdoors too. They were very comfortable from the start and do not mark up the floors. Because they are not slippery on tile. I got the light color and then sprayed them with a fabric protector. You wouldn’t have to do this if you aren’t fussy."