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10 Comfortable & Supportive Shoes For Running, Walking & Everyday Wear

Author:

Jamey Powell

Expert reviewer:

Robert Kornfeld, DPM

December 9, 2022

Contributing writer

By Jamey Powell

Contributing writer

Jamey Powell is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Previously the senior market editor at Healthline.com, she has years of experience scouring endless product reviews and testing out the latest and greatest products in the sleep, fitness, and nutrition markets.

Expert review by

Robert Kornfeld, DPM

Holistic Podiatrist

Robert Kornfeld, DPM is a holistic podiatrist, dedicated to treating chronic foot and ankle pain at its source.

Image by mbg creative

December 9, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

We’ve all toughed it out in that cute but treacherous pair of shoes at least once, right? But if your everyday shoes are causing you pain, you likely aren’t getting the support you need. The best shoes for arch support should make it feel like the ground is rising up to meet your arch.

Since our feet are unique, support looks different for everyone: Some folks have flatter feet, while others have super-high arches. We chatted with experts to learn what it means to have proper arch support in a shoe–and they even shared a few go-to recommendations. Below, find our picks for the best shoes for arch support, with options for every activity and budget.

A peek at the best shoes for arch support of 2022:

Best sustainable

Cariuma OCA LowGo to review

Best for normal arch support

Allbirds Tree RunnersGo to review

Best for arch pain

Hoka Clifton 8Go to review

Best for running

Brooks Ghost 14Go to review

Best for high arch support

Brooks Addiction WalkerGo to review

Best casual shoes with arch support

Adidas Stan SmithsGo to review

Best dress/work shoes with arch support

Birdies Starling LoaferGo to review

Best golf shoes with arch support

OluKai Wailea Golf ShoeGo to review

Why is arch support important?

“The arch of the foot functions to absorb shock, store it, and then convert that energy into propulsion during the gait cycle,” explains Austin-based podiatrist Anne Sharkey, DPM.”Arch supports in shoes can help by improving shock absorption, posture, and stability.”

Janine Ferrigno-Taddeo, DPM, agrees. “Arch support is important for keeping your feet and body aligned to help prevent injury,” she adds. “Proper arch support helps reduce overpronation and absorb shock, and orthotics help create an equal distribution of pressure as we walk or run.”

It’s also important to understand that some degree of pronation is normal and necessary for efficient gait dynamics. Your shoes should provide just the right amount of arch support for your foot shape specifically. Podiatrists say a common sign of too much arch support is if your shoes cause discomfort or you notice existing symptoms worsening with wear.

So, how do you know how much lift you need? Sharkey confirms that both flat-footed people and those with high arches will benefit from the right level of arch support. What this means will depend on your foot type–but as a general rule, you should seek a shoe that aims to bring the ground up to meet your arch. If you’re unable to find that in an orthopedic off-the-shelf model, your best bet is to consult with a podiatrist for a customized evaluation and, possibly, custom orthotic inserts. “High arches tend to do best with custom or semi-custom orthotics, due to the need to have devices that conform well to the foot,” Sharkey explains.

How to choose:

Keep it neutral: According to Sharkey, neutral shoes are your best bet for finding a balance between support and flexibility. “Stay away from motion control shoes, as these are often too rigid,” she warns.

Absorb that shock: Say farewell to thin ballet flats and hard-soled boots–for a happy arch, shock-absorbing cushion is where it’s at. “A high arch often causes muscle pain and fatigue due to lack of adequate shock absorption,” Sharkey explains. “A cushion insole that contours well to the arch does best in this situation.”

Save room for orthotics: “Shoes with removable insoles or with orthotics built into them are great for supporting your arches and your body from the ground up,” says Ferrigno-Taddeo. “But some people have high arches, some have medium arches, and some have low arches or flat feet. Removable insoles are great because you can customize the support your body needs based on your unique arch by adding your own orthotics into your shoes.”

If you’re interested in trying inserts, consider sizing up a half size, depending on the model. And to help aid you in your insole journey, Sharkey recommends these orthotic brands: Spenco Polysorb, EasyFeet, and Powerstep.

How we picked:

Podiatrist recommended

We took our experts’ insights into account and also provided a few expert recommendations directly from these podiatrists.

Versatility

Our list includes shoes for running, work, walking, and everyday wear. Regardless of what activity you’re after, we found a shoe that will support your arches.

Shoes can get expensive (as can custom orthotics!), so we made sure to include a range of products to fit various budgets.

Sustainability

We always keep Mother Earth in mind when reviewing products at mindbodygreen. There are a number of brands on this list that make an extra effort toward using sustainable and recycled materials, including several Certified B Corporations.

Our picks of the best shoes for arch support of 2022:

Best sustainable: Cariuma OCA Low

Pros:

Made from recycled & organic materialsCarbon neutral shippingCertified B Corp

Cons:

Squeaky on some floorsWide sizes not available

Sizes available: 5-13half sizes available

Colorways: 16+ options

Return policy: 60 days

These comfortable, supportive sneakers from Cariuma are not only a great pick for your feet, but for the environment, too. Plus, they’re a mindbodygreen editor-favorite. Made with recycled plastics, sustainably-sourced natural rubber, and GOTS-certified organic cotton canvas, the OCA Lows are a great eco-friendly pick.

The removable insoles can be swapped out for a longer lifespan or replaced with custom orthotics. Cariuma is a Certified B Corp and also plants two trees in the Brazilian rainforest for every pair of sneakers purchased.

With over 6,800 reviews on the Cariuma website, people love these supportive shoes. One person writes, “These shoes were immediately comfortable to wear all day. I’ve had recent knee replacement surgery and a history of other foot and ankle issues but these shoes fit well, provide great arch support, and are comfortable to wear and walk in all day.” It’s honestly difficult to find a negative review for the OCA Lows, but some say they’re a little squeaky on certain floors, and a few wish there was a wide option available.

Best for normal arch support: Allbirds Tree Runners

Pros:

Made from recycled & sustainably-sourced materialsWell-cushioned and breathableCarbon Neutral certified, certified B Corp

Cons:

No half, wide, or narrow sizes available

Sizes available: 5-11

Colorways: 7 options

Return policy: 30 days

For a shoe that prioritizes sustainability and caters to neutral arches, check out the Allbirds Tree Runners. Made from a sugarcane-based foam, merino wool, eucalyptus-derived Tencel, and recycled plastic water bottles, these carbon-neutral sneakers have all the eco-friendly perks. Plus, Allbirds is a Certified B Corp and partners with an organization called Soles for Souls to donate all lightly-worn returns to folks in need.

The Tree Runners are lightweight and breathable, with just enough arch support to keep most foot types supported and comfortable. One thing to note: while you can remove the insoles for custom orthotics, Allbirds doesn’t offer half sizes. That in mind, it’s best to size up if you’re between sizes or are hoping to use your own inserts.

This is one of the brand’s most-loved designs. Customers love that they can be worn right out of the box, with “no time needed to break them in at all.” One says, “I was walking 10 miles a day and never felt any discomfort. I’ve typically had issues with arch support, pain in the ball of my foot, or pinching in my pinky toes when walking long distances, but I never had any of those issues with these shoes.”

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Best for walking: Asics Gel Nimbus 24

Pros:

Flexible and well-cushionedLots of color optionsGreat for distance running

Cons:

Not great for wide feet

Sizes available: 5-13half sizes availablewide sizes available

Colorways: 19 options

Return policy: 90 days

Asics’ Gel Nimbus line comes recommended by Sharkey. It’s a flexible, well-cushioned shoe with neutral arch support that molds to your foot over time. With a breathable mesh upper and grippy soles, this shoe will keep your feet cool and comfortable, no matter how many miles you cover. Plus, they’re available in a generous selection of color options.

While these are loved by walkers, dancers, and anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet, they’re also one of our top sneaker picks for runners, and come highly recommended by our marathon-running editor, who won’t train in anything else.

This shoe gets rave reviews for comfort, quality, and speed, but several people say that they run very narrow, with recommendations to go up a half size.

Best for arch pain: Hoka Clifton 8

Pros:

Generous cushioning and supportIncludes recycled materials

Cons:

May run largeSome reviews say they aren’t durable

Sizes available: 5-12half sizes availablewide sizes available

Colorways: 10 options

Return policy: 30 days

Thanks to their highly-cushioned midsoles, these sneakers are often recommended by Sharkey. They have a roomy toe box, neutral arch support, and are surprisingly lightweight for their chunkier design. And, like most of the brand’s shoes, the Clifton 8’s have a rocker style sole that the brand says encourages a smoother stride during runs and walks. People with arch pain in particular will appreciate the cloudlike cushioning and supportive soles.

We’ve included these shoes in a number of our round-ups, including the best walking shoes for women, the best running shoes for women, the best shoes for bunions, the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, the best shoes for high arches, and more. And, since they’re so versatile, they’ll even make a great gift.

With 4.6 out of 5 stars and over 2,800 reviews on Hoka’s website, these shoes get a lot of love for their comfort level and how supportive they are. Some reviews do mention that they’re not the most durable.

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Best budget-friendly: Vionic Beach Pismo Casual Sneaker

Pros:

Sustainably-sourced canvasSignificant cushioning and arch supportLightweight

Cons:

Durability may be an issue

Sizes available: 5-12some half sizes availablewide sizes available

Colorways: 45 options

Return policy: 30 days

For a casual shoe at a reasonable price point, these are one of the best shoes for high arches. Vionic is a podiatrist-founded brand that puts orthotic comfort at the center of all of its designs–and the Beach Pismo shoe is no exception. With a cushioned heel and significant arch support, this is a great lightweight shoe that will support you through long days walking, working, or traveling. They’re also machine washable and have removable insoles for custom orthotics. Bonus: the brand uses sustainably-sourced canvas.

Thousands of Amazon reviewers compliment the support and lack of break-in time for these kicks. One person writes, “They’re amazing. I have very high arches, a history of plantar fasciitis, plus a couple of knee and ankle injuries that still affect me. I’m getting another pair of these shoes, they’re so amazing.” On the con side, a few people warn that these shoes are not extremely durable.

Best for running: Brooks Ghost 14

Pros:

Medium, wide, and narrow optionsMade with recycled materialsCarbon neutral shoe

Cons:

Fit may vary by model

Sizes available: 5-13half sizes availablewide sizes available

Colorways: 20+ options

Return policy: 90 days

A great option for wide feet and another recommendation from Sharkey, Brooks’ Ghost sneaker is one of the best running shoes around–and for good reason. Neutral support and generous cushioning make these shoes a suitable choice for runners of all distances. They’re crafted with 30% recycled materials and are the brand’s first carbon-neutral shoe, meaning the company produces less manufacturing waste and offsets its carbon emissions.

Not a runner? These shoes meet podiatrist guidelines for walking, too, and are one of our top walking shoes for women.

Customers rave about how lightweight these sneakers are, while still providing sufficient cushioning and support, and they get a ton of praise for smooth transitions and a roomy toe box. That said, some people with very high arches find these to be too neutral.

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Best for high arch support: Brooks Addiction Walker

Pros:

Narrow, medium, wide, & extra-wide sizes availableGreat balance of stability & cushioningSlip-resistant outsole

Cons:

Sizing may run smallSome reviewers say the model is noisy compared to other styles

Sizes available: 5-12half sizes availablewide sizes availableextra-wide sizes availablenarrow sizes available

Colorways: 2 options

Return policy: 90 days

This walking shoe provides great support for people with high arches. The unique design uses three densities of foam to smooth out the heel-to-toe transition and even your stride to correct any overpronation (when your foot rolls inward as you walk). The cushioning helps reduce impact on your joints, making this a great pick for people who spend a lot of time on their feet.

One USPS carrier who spends a lot of time on their feet praises this shoe, writing, “These shoes are a game-changer for my feet!! There is no ‘breaking in’ or ‘getting used to’ a new pair of shoes. My feet aren’t hurting and actually still feel good at the end of a 10-12hr day.” These are also some of the best walking shoes for bunions, thanks to the wide toe box.

Best casual shoes with arch support: Adidas Stan Smiths

Pros:

Versatile, comfortable, and supportiveUp to 50% recycled materialsBudget-friendly price

Cons:

Runs largeMaterial isn’t very breathable

Sizes available: 5-11half sizes available

Colorways: 17 options

Return policy: 30 days on the Adidas website

Stan Smiths have been an Adidas fan-favorite for decades. With a versatile, casual look and surprising arch support, they’re a great pick for all sorts of activities–and they’re on our list of the best walking shoes for high arches. Plus, they’ve recently been redesigned to use a vegan, synthetic leather, made from 50% recycled materials. One consideration: the leather material may make these shoes a bit warmer than some more breathable options on our list.

You’ll find no shortage of Stan Smith fans, both out in the wild and on the web. There are thousands of positive reviews online, including one person who says, “I wore these everyday walking all over Europe. Never a single blister or sore arch. Obsessed!” The only consistent negative feedback we found was about the large sizing–the brand (and many reviewers) recommend sizing down a half-size in these shoes.

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Best dress/work shoes with arch support: Birdies Starling Loafer

Pros:

Comfortable quilted insoleMultiple color and fabric optionsNo-slip sole

Cons:

Not great for very high arches

Sizes available: 5-13half sizes available

Colorways: 16 options

Return policy: 30 days

Flats aren’t typically known for being supportive, but these stylish and versatile loafers from Birdies aim to break that trend. Great for work or a night out, the Starling Loafer is a quality pick that’s bound to attract some compliments. The quilted insoles include seven layers of comfort material, including memory foam and added arch support, and there’s a no-slip rubber sole for traction. Best of all, there are plenty of styles to choose from, including calf hair, velvet, and suede.

These loafers have over 20,000 (!) reviews on the brand’s website, with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5. Most reviews rave about the quality and cushion of these shoes, especially from people who say they need neutral arch support. Some reviewers note that these are not great for very high arches.

Best golf shoes with arch support: OluKai Wailea Golf Shoe

Pros:

Supportive and durable for all-weather golfingUses sustainably-sourced and recycled materialsCertified B Corp

Cons:

Toe box may be narrow for some feet

Sizes available: 5-11half sizes available

Colorways: 3 options

Return policy: 30 days

If golf is your game, you’ll want shoes that can keep you supported and comfortable during a long day on the course. Another certified B Corp, OluKai is a Hawaiian-inspired company that focuses on sustainably-sourced materials (such as natural latex) and uses 100% recycled packaging. The brand’s Wailea Golf Shoe is a stylish design made with waterproof leather and grippy, tractioned soles. Like all of OluKai’s shoes, the Wailea offers a convertible drop-heel for optional slide-on wear.

There aren’t a ton of reviews for these shoes on the brand’s website, but the feedback from golfers is generally positive. The only negative comments are from a few folks who wish the toe box was wider.

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FAQ

What kind of shoes are good for arches?

Arch support varies by shoe model, but as a general rule, our podiatrists recommend a cushioned shoe with good shock absorption. Running shoes in particular tend to cater toward arch support and shock absorption, but there are some casual shoes (such as the Cariuma OCA Lows and Adidas Stan Smiths) that fit the bill, too.

Is it better to wear shoes with arch support?

The amount of support you need will depend on your personal arch height. Still, as a general rule, you should feel supported in your shoes–that typically means a shoe that raises up to meet your arches, however high that may be. Again, everyone’s feet are different. If you’re unsure about what shoes you need to feel pain-free, it’s best to chat with a podiatrist who can assess your personal needs.

How do I know if I need arch support?

“Anyone can benefit from proper arch support, but people who suffer from injuries like plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia could really use the extra support in their shoes to help alleviate symptoms and pain,” answers Ferrigno-Taddeo. If you’re experiencing pain in the arches of your feet, we recommend speaking with a podiatrist.

The takeaway.

A pair of shoes with great arch support can be a game-changer for your foot health and overall posture. Whether you’re a walker, runner, or simply spend a lot of time on your feet, you deserve to feel as comfortable and supported as possible. Shoes off the shelf can certainly provide the relief you need, but remember: If you have pain in your arches or any other area on your feet, a podiatrist can help get you the custom care you need.

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