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Holabird Sports

Running Tech Center

Choosing the Right Running Shoes for High Arches


There is an easy way to see if you need running shoes for high arches: take the wet test. Step in water and then stand on a brown paper bag. What does the outline of your foot look like? Does it look very skinny in the middle? You probably have high arches. The less of a foot outline there is, or the thinner the line from the back of the foot to the front, the higher your arch. If you have no connection between the heel and the front of the foot then you probably have an extremely high arch. The high arch is the least common type of foot.

Similar to issues with a flat foot, high arch runners can experience pain or injury if they don’t wear the correct shoes. Pronation is the way the foot rotates when it hits the ground and the weight moves from the back to the front. A natural inward rotation happens with a neutral or “normal” foot type. People with high arches are usually underpronators or supinators, which means that their feet roll outwards as they run.

When you have high arches your arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb the shock from travelling up your legs.

What are the best running shoes for high arches?

Runners with high arches need cushioning to correct their underpronation. Cushioned running shoes have more flexible soles which encourage rotation. Also, the width of the sole promotes rotation. Normal pronation absorbs shock; therefore, underpronation causes a lot of shock on the joints and feet, therefore, cushioned running shoes have extra cushioning to help absorb the shock. When shopping for running shoes look for the words: flexible, cushioned, or shock absorbing.

Luckily, there are many different types and brands of shoes to choose from when it comes to flexible or cushioned running shoes. And even though high arched people may have the rarest type of foot, every major brand of running shoe makes excellent shock absorbing shoes. It is very important that people with high arches do not wear stability or motion control shoes. Also, high arch people should continuously measure their feet because running can actually make arches fall and make a runner’s feet longer.

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