One of my co-workers asked me about what kind of shoes to buy that would give her the right support for high arches. First, I told her there was no substitute for finding the best running shoe store in her area and getting fitted by an expert. But then the bad news - athletic shoes simply don't have arch support. To get the right support for a high arch, you will need to buy an arch support insole to replace the insole in the shoe.
A high arch does not absorb the shocks of walking and running as well as a normal arch. You may want to look for shoes rated as cushioned shoes in addition to getting an arch support insert.
Top Picks for Cushioned Shoes
Look for shoes that have more volume, as a high-arched foot needs more space inside the shoe. The staff at a serious running shoe store will know which shoes have more volume. Otherwise, you will need to try on shoes to find this, it isn't a quality listed when shoe shopping online
You can also use lacing techniques to ensure you don't end up with pain or a numb foot from the pressure of the shoelaces. Use the wide-foot lacing technique, skipping every-other eyelet to reduce pressure on the top of the foot.
Insoles and Orthotics for High Arches
I have been using Footbalance custom molded insoles, which they mold to my feet at my local Roadrunner Shoes store. They make the difference for comfort in both my athletic shoes and my everyday shoes. Whether you have a high arch or a low arch, the custom molding will ensure the insole matches your foot, not some manufacturer's mold.
Review: Footbalance Insoles
If you want expert advice in finding the right insole, look for a pedorthist shop such as the chain Foot Solutions. These experts can recommend or modify commercial shoe inserts without going the full route of making a custom orthotic. The analysis is usually free, and in my case the recommendation was a very inexpensive insole and wedge.
Getting a Foot Analysis
You can also get an automated footmapping at a Dr. Scholls kiosk, which I found at my local Wal-Mart. I gave it a try and asked podiatrists what they thought of it. Our readers have also given dozens of reviews of whether they found it accurate or helpful in choosing an insole.
Dr. Scholls Footmapping - Podiatrists Comment
Reader Reviews: Dr. Scholls Footmapping and Custom Fit Orthotics
The Walking Company stores also do a footmapping and foot analysis. They have semi-custom 3D3 insoles for different foot types. They also have B.I.O. System sandals and dress shoes with built-in orthotics for different foot types.
My walking buddy Will writes about his search for the right insoles for high arches. He's had a lot of misadventures and pain from arch supports that caused more problems than they cured. He also was game enough to review the WalkFit Orthotic Insole I bought via infomercial. He seemed like the perfect customer for it, but his judgment was they made a much better doorstop than an insole.
Review: WalkFit Orthotic Insoles
Problems for People with High Arches
Our Foot Health Expert lists many causes of pain for people with high arches. They range from metatarsalgia pain in the ball of the foot to ankle sprains caused by supination (rolling outward with each step).
High Arched Foot Problems