Best Shoes for Arch Support 2019 Reviewed & Rated

Have you ever really sat down (or stood up) and thought about the arch support of your shoes? Do you even know what type of arches you have? Have you ever felt uncomfortable or sore while walking or running? It may be that you have the wrong type of shoes for your arches. We are here to provide you with the information you need to pick the best shoes for arch support.

If you are wearing old shoes, the chances are that the arches have lost their support and are doing you more harm than good, if they were even doing you any good in the first place. If you have any foot or heel pain, then bad arch support could be causing it, or making it worse.

Take off your shoe and feel the arch support with your fingers. Does it feel rigid or flexible? Is it worn? Does it match the arch of your foot? If you do find that you have discomfort when you walk, then it could be a sign that your arch support is all wrong. Getting the right shoes for arch support might take a while but by using our guide, the process will be a lot easier.

Best Men’s Shoes for Arch Support

Why Should I Buy Shoes with Arch Supports?

If you have not done so already, I recommend that you visit a podiatrist to have your feet assessed. Bad arch support can bring with it all types of pain, and if left untreated, can develop into severe heel pain or overpronation. If you have visited a podiatrist, then the chances are that they have recommended a pair of shoes with better arch support. You may also have been recommended inserts for your shoes, and, while they can also work, I prefer a complete shoe which has been designed to support your arches, rather than an insert which may not perfectly align with your shoe.

Shoes with the correct arch support can go a long way in relieving many different types of pain. When the fascia ligament is strained, the pain can be constant. Arch support can take that strain and pain away. Better arch support also gives you better shock absorption, which means that pain is not added to. Better arch support also helps to correct walking motion which needs it. It can help to correct afflictions such as overpronation and supination. Arch support shoes are often designed by podiatrists specifically to relieve foot pain.

A regular shoe can offer great arch support, but they are not specifically designed to do so.

Leave Some Room

If you are looking for shoes with good arch support, then there is a good chance that you have been to a podiatrist and been diagnosed with a foot condition. A need for good arch support often goes hand in hand with other foot afflictions. You podiatrist may have prescribed you with an orthotic insert which needs to go into your shoe. It is important when choosing a shoe with arch support that you have enough room for the insert.

Some shoes come with removable footbeds which will leave room for your orthotics. If the shoe does not, look for a lot of room in the footbed.

What Cushioning Do You Need?

Depending on what you are using the shoes for, you will want some form of cushioning. If you are going to be doing a lot of high-impact activities, you are going to want a lot of cushioning in the shoe. If you are mainly going to be standing or walking, you do not need a lot, but you still want some.

Most people prefer gel cushioning in their shoe, but you can find as much comfort with foam or air. With high arches, you need to make sure that you have a cushion in the arch of the shoe. An arch cushion will serve the same purpose as an orthotic but does not help with severe problems. Arch cushions are also great for those who find the rigidity of orthotics to uncomfortable. Again, we would recommend a gel cushion for the most comfort, but other cushions will also bring your comfort; it is more of a personal choice.

As well as having an arch cushion, your shoes should also have cushioned insoles to minimize the impact of waking and running. Cushioned insoles will add extra cushioning to the arch as well as to the rest of the foot. Look for good cushioning on the heel if you feel uncomfortable when you walk or if you spend a lot of time on your feet.

If you are running or participating in sports, you can also find sports cushioning in the insoles.

When looking at cushioning, you also want to look at the cushioning at the top of the shoe. When you put on your shoe, you want it to fit snugly on your foot. By supporting and cradling your foot, your arches are supported, and any pain is minimized. Laces really help you do this by ensuring that you have a tight shoe fit. The only problem is that the laces can dig into your foot and bring you more pain.

Look for tongue pads which are padded under the laces. This will enable you to pull the laces as tightly as you wish without adding any more unnecessary pain to your feet. A tongue pad which is comfortable and padded will also help to stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoe and will help to keep your feet in the correct position, and the arches supported.

Midsole and Outsole

The midsole is the part which sits between the insole and the outsole; the main purpose is to absorb shock. This is especially important if you are suffering from any pain as shocks and impacts can enhance that pain. Pay attention to the material used in the midsole. I have always opted for EVA foam because it is soft enough to cushion your foot while being flexible too. I also like that it adds a waterproof layer to the shoe.

For the outsole, we like to go for rubber. Again, it is a waterproof material, but it also has enough cushioning and flexibility to support the cushioning inside of the shoe. Rubber is also lightweight, so you do not have to add extra effort and energy when you are lifting your foot. You may not think that a heavy shoe needs a lot of effort to lift off of the ground, but when you have arch pain, a little more effort can add to that pain.


You may be asking what traction has to do with arch support, and it is true that better traction does not give you better arch support, but better traction does give you a better shoe, which, in turn, is better for your arches and foot pain in general. Depending on what you are doing, any slip or trip can affect your feet. If you have food pain, then the best arch support in the world is not going to matter when your foot slips out from under you.

The bad grip can also force your body to overcompensate for your foot being where it should not. This puts undue strain on the muscles and tendons in your foot and ankle, especially those in your arch. You want to buy shoes which are going to support and protect the arches of your feet, and great traction is a way in which you can do this.

Heel Drop

When we talk about heel drop, we are talking about the incline between the heel and the toes. A zero heel drop would mean that your heel is not raised above the level of your toes. A higher heel drop means that the heel is raised higher than your toes. The higher the heel drop, the higher your heel is raised.

A higher heel drop means that you will be landing more towards the middle or front of your foot, instead of at the back of your foot. This is more of a natural walking position and can enhance arch support. Look for a pair of shoes which have a slight heel drop to them for a more comfortable walking position.

Toe Box

When your footsteps down, your toes naturally spread to cushion the impact and distribute the weight of your body. If the toes cannot spread, then this can strain your foot and make any pain worse. Look for a shoe which has an adequately sized toe box, and one which allows you to spread out your toes when your foot is in the shoe.

Do Heavy Shoes Really Make a Difference to Foot Pain and Arch Support?

When you are buying your shoes, you do have to balance out some of the features. A few extra ounces may not seem like much, but that tiny amount of stress on your foot is repeated with each step you take. It seems to make sense to opt for a lighter sneaker, but lighter sneakers are not usually as durable as heavier ones. Heavier sneakers also give you more rigidity which will help to support your arches.

It really is a balancing act. We like to choose shoes on the lighter end of the scale. You will feel more free with a lighter shoe, and with a little investment, you can find a shoe which has some durability to it too.

Should I Use Orthotics?

Depending on the severity of your pain, you may be better buying orthotics to add to existing shoes. If you have not already, we would recommend buying shoes designed to give you arch support and add the orthotics to them rather than adding orthotics to any old shoes. This will give you the best support possible.

People have used orthotics for years to treat plantar fasciitis, and we have to warn you – when you first use orthotics, they will be quite uncomfortable. Orthotics are rigid. They have to be so that they support your arches, which tend to collapse slightly as you walk or stand. This rigidity will be uncomfortable for a time, but as you get used to them, you will forget that they are even there. Start by wearing them for short periods of time and build up the duration each day as they become more comfortable.

Should I Wear Arch Support Shoes All The Time?

Yes, it is recommended. Now, if you are running a garbage bag outside, then feel free to slip on any old shoes for a minute or two without having to worry about them damaging your feet. The rule is that if you need to wear a pair of shoes for more than five minutes, then you wear shoes with arch support.


If you have medium or high arches, you are going to benefit from shoes with arch support. If you suffer from foot pain, then you are probably going to benefit from shoes with arch support (unless you have flat feet). The technology in shoes is constantly improving, and there are a lot of choices out there now. My recommendation is to read through this buying guide and then begin to choose a pair of shoes which are going to bring you comfort and relieve the pain.

You always get what you pay for, so we recommend setting a budget for your shoes but keeping in mind that you are making a life choice here, not simply buying an item of clothing. A little investment can make your life more comfortable and free of pain.

We are on our feet a lot so it makes sense that we treat our feet with the care and attention which they deserve. Take the time to look at your options and find the shoes which are the best fit for you.

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