People with high arches know it can me challenging to find comfortable shoes, and often suffer from health issues related to the strain put on and radiating from their feet. If you have developed high arches, finding the right shoes to support your feet is important in relieving pain and preventing further complications, especially during exercises that put stress on the feet.
Learn here, how to recognize high arches and how to find the best shoes for running with high arches.
What are high arches, and why do they matter when it comes to running shoes?
The term arch describes the curved area of your foot that connects the heel and ball. For some people, this curve is steeper than for others. When the arches reach especially high, it can cause a variety of problems.
The structure of a foot is built to flex and catch the impact force when we are walking or running, to lessen the strain on our body. Pressure is distributed evenly.
When you have an unusually high arch, it can influence the natural gait cycle. The impacts when hitting the ground might get distributed to parts of your feet, like the small toes as opposed to the big toe, that are not meant to handle this kind of strain regularly.
The influence of the high arch on the complex system that allows your feet to carry your weight can lead to a range of health issues, like inflammations, that can either be worsened when running or inhibit our performance.
How do you know if you have high arches or not, and what are the symptoms?
You can check if you have unnaturally high arches with a quick test:
Prepare a sheet of paper or cardboard and step on it with wet feet. The moisture leaves an imprint. If the imprint only shows a faint connection or no connection at all between the heel and the ball of your feet, you have high arches.
Afterwards, you can visit a healthcare provider. A podiatrist, can further examine your feet and determine the severity of the problem.
You might want to check if you have high arches if you frequently have some of the following conditions and symptoms:
- plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connecting tissue between heel and toes)
- metatarsalgia (inflammation of the ball of the foot)
- claw or hammer toes
- foot and ankle instability
- pain in your feet (sharp, stabbing, shooting, aching, or burning) especially when walking, standing, or exercising
- feeling of tingling or numbness in your toes
- feeling like a pebble is in your shoes when it is not
- corns or calluses
- bending toes when standing
- trouble finding fitting shoes
The pain felt in the feet can lead to bad posture when trying to relieve the strain by ourselves. This can cause pain and discomfort in our entire body and muscles developing one-sided.
How to choose the best running shoes for high arches?
It is important to support our feet when we have high arches, especially when we put a lot of pressure on our feet, like when exercising, walking, or standing for extended periods of time. The best running shoes for high arches have the appropriate built to counter the badly distributed impact force.
Orthotic insoles are a great additional support, especially when they are custom-made to accommodate your individual feet. However, many running shoes already come pre-built to help with high arches.
- They need to provide an adequate level of under-arch support and midsole cushioning to help catch impacts and redistribute the loading stress to the relevant parts of your feet.
- The shoes should not be excessively soft. Instead, they combine impact-absorbing cushioning with supportive rides.
The following running shoes are advisable for people with high arches:
- ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24
- Brooks Ghost 14
- HOKA Clifton 8
- Karhu Ikoni
- New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v12
If your arches frequently cause you pain and discomfort, it is a good idea to visit a medical professional, like a physiotherapist or podiatrist, before buying a shoe, to find the perfect support for the specific shape of your feet.
High arches influence the impact force distribution of your feet and put strain on the parts that are not equipped to handle it. As a result, people with high arches often suffer from pain, discomfort, and health issues like frequent inflammations and poor posture.
Especially when we are putting a lot of pressure on our feet, like during running and other exercises, it is important to accommodate our arches and help our feet distribute loads correctly. Specialized running shoes for high arches and the use of orthotic insoles are a great support to relieve pain and discomfort and prevent other conditions from developing.