Whether you’re commuting to work, walking your pups (or kitty), or jogging in Central Park, wearing shoes without arch support may be the end (no, we’re not talking Thanos snapping his toes) for your feet. Without it, bow pain, tight muscles, and collapsed bows (oh my gosh) are likely to occur. Fortunately, there are the best shoes for arches, so we contacted an orthopedic surgeon to get his opinion.
Before we dive in, why is arch support so important? For starters, it can prevent and manage foot injuries, according to Nam Tran, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon based in Dallas, Texas. “Arch support helps achieve the proper biomechanical alignment of the foot that is needed for pain-free walking,” says Dr. Tran. “When our joints are positioned correctly, the likelihood of early-onset arthritis, overuse injuries, and ligament/tendon injuries is greatly decreased.”
Not all shoes are built the same, so before you swipe your credit card, Dr. Tran recommends checking your insoles first. Supportive shoes will have inserts that have padding materials in the arch area. “If the insert doesn’t have this and the inside floor of the shoe is flat, the shoe may not have arch support,” he adds.
We handpicked Dr. Tran for his best running shoes for arches. Below, he will find his main recommendations, so that he can keep foot pain at bay.
The 4 best shoes for arches
Hoka, Clifton 8 — $140.00
Receiving the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) seal of approval for promoting good foot health, the Hoka Clifton 8 consistently ranks at the top. It’s lightweight, breathable (thanks to mesh), and has a responsive cushioning midsole that protects your feet on impact. All in all, “the Clifton is a great shoe that offers overall support and cushioning,” says Dr. Tran.
Available sizes: 5-12
Colors and patterns available: 18
Asics, Gel-Kayano 29 — $160.00
If your feet tend to roll inward or have fallen arches, Dr. Tran recommends the Asics Gel-Kayano. This lightweight shoe features the brand’s signature Litetruss construction, which prevents feet from twisting and turning during movement, and a foam sockliner that cushions arches. What’s more, the external heel cup cradles your feet and the knitted outer shell keeps air flowing (see ya, sweaty feet).
Available sizes: 5-13
Colors and patterns available: eleven
New Balance, Fresh Foam X 1080v12 — $160.00
Light, breathable and supportive, the New Balance 1080 is “a great all-around shoe with lots of cushioning and comfort,” says Dr. Tran. The midsole is made of foam, which absorbs shock so your joints and arches don’t have to, and the outer layer is made of knit (so light and breathable it feels like a second skin). It comes in classic colors like black and white, as well as electric purple, vibrant sky blue, and lime green.
Available sizes: 5-13
Colors and patterns available: 12
Vionic Limitless Shoe — $135.00
With a reinforced heel, cushioned sole, and breathable mesh, there’s no limit to the distance you can go in these shoes. The soles were designed to hug and support the natural curvature of your arches, and the shoe has a forward motion design to propel you into your next step, making it a great option, especially “for patients who may be suffering from painful conditions such as plantar”. fasciitis,” says Dr. Tran.
Available sizes: 5-14.5
Colors and patterns available: 4
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