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Arch support may not only be essential in your workout shoes or running shoes, but also for those everyday pairs — whether you’re working at the office or enjoying a night out on the town. That’s because arch support shoes are key for injury prevention.
For example, people with flat feet (aka fallen arches or feet with little to no arch) tend to overpronate, or roll their feet inward, while walking. This puts these individuals at an increased risk for shin splints, bunions, bone spurs and calluses, among other foot issues, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“Flatter-arched feet need more motion control and stability and excess pronation reduced in order to make the foot function in a more neutral way,” explains New York-based podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member Dr. Jackie Sutera. Arch support, she says, can help curb such pronation. “When feet are flat, the arch can touch the ground, causing poor biomechanics and lower limb alignment. This can lead to misalignment in the knees, hips and back.”
People with higher arches also benefit from arch support shoes, but “tend to need more cushion and accommodation,” Dr. Sutera says.
That’s because people with high arches are more prone to common injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, hammertoes, and IT band syndrome, says Dr. Emily Splichal, a New York-based podiatrist and CEO of Naboso. “People with plantar fasciitis or arch pain are often recommended to use arch support as a way to offload the inflamed tissue,” she explains. “Ligament laxity or flexible feet may also need arch-supportive shoes to provide better control.”
What to look for in the best shoes for arch support
Whether you have flat feet, high arches or flexible feet, supportive footwear can help reduce your risk of these foot issues and make walking more comfortable in general.
However, Dr. Splichal says that people who experience foot pain may actually benefit from wearing minimalist shoes because they help strengthen the feet and arches. Sensory stimulation, like rolling your feet with a ball, can help release trigger points and enhance foot grip, improving the overall strength of your feet.
When shopping for arch support shoes for flat feet, Dr. Sutera recommends pairs that offer support and stability from a rigid device to help hold up the arch.
“Rigid devices would include insoles, orthotics, arch support and shoe gear that are overall stiffer than their very cushioned and flexible counterparts. The flexibility/rigidity of insoles, orthotics and shoe gear varies,” she explains.
Meanwhile, women with high arches looking for arch support can benefit more from choosing shoes with more flexible and cushioned insoles to help absorb shock.
In terms of the level of arch support you require, you’re going to have to test out a couple of pairs to figure out the perfect version for you.
“My advice is to choose shoes that are comfortable and feel good,” Dr. Sutera says. “Look for excessive signs of wear and also arches that bulge. If you see this, you may not have enough support. It would also be a good idea to get the opinion of your podiatrist who can prescribe and make custom molded devices, if necessary, and can also evaluate your current insoles and shoes.”
Ready to shop? Here are the 15 best arch support shoes for women, including cute shoes with arch support, the best walking shoes for high arches and more.
Vionic Brisk Miles Sneakers
Best Everyday Walking Shoes
If you have flat feet and overpronate, the Miles provides you with solid arch support and increased stability, Dr. Sutera says. The orthopedic shoe is equipped with Vionic’s signature lightweight EVA midsole and advanced motion system, which includes a podiatrist-designed orthotic, cushioned outsole and a breathable upper. Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) overlays offer stability, so you can move with control with each step. Choose from medium or wide width and four different color options, including white, indigo, gray and black.
What reviewers say: I’m a hairdresser and stand on concrete all day long. I get plantar fasciitis, but the first day of wearing these shoes I noticed a huge difference. My heels feel so much better, and today, not even a full week after having, them I can walk around barefoot without having horrible pain.”
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoes
Best Running Shoes With Arch Support
Whether you’re running errands or racking up miles, these sporty-chic kicks will give you all-day comfort. They’ve got Nike’s React foam cushioning for more bounce, a flexible and breathable mesh upper and wide toe box. Runners rave about this Nike best-seller for its lightweight yet supportive feel.
What reviewers say: “These are a great supportive pair of shoes that are comfortable all day and work great indoors and out. I can stand all day at work in these, with a walking lunch break, then transition immediately to my 40-minute after-work jog with no problems.”
Naturalizer True Colors Vera Ankle Strap Sandals
Best Heeled Sandals With Arch Support
Dr. Splichal recommends heels with a low, stable heel for arch support, and these strappy sandals fit the bill. Known for being a pioneer in stylish and comfortable women’s shoes, Naturalizer offers inclusive sizing, with options for both large feet and extra wide calves, as well as a variety of heel heights. These cute shoes with arch support not only come with a low block heel and contoured insole, but they also offer slip-resistance (after all, you don’t want to be falling on the dance floor). From cocoa to cafe au lait, these 2.5-inch heels come in a variety of stunning neutral shades that work well from the office to the after-hours cocktail party.
What reviewers say: “I can wear them for hours and hours without issue, including dancing and walking in cobblestones.”
Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit – Unify Sneakers
Best Arch Support Shoes for Walking
You probably remember buying a pair of Skechers platform sneakers in middle school, but times have changed and so have the brand’s shoes. These walking shoes feature Skechers’ podiatrist-certified Arch Fit insoles that help reduce shock with each step and distribute underfoot pressure. They’re also highly durable and offer traction for trotting in a variety of terrain.
What reviewers say: “I ordered these for my daughter who has severe rheumatoid arthritis and has issues with walking and foot pain. She says they are comfortable for walking and don’t put pressure on her toes. This is her second pair and she was glad to be able to reorder a product that works for her.”
Born Brin Ballet Flats
Best Dressy Flats With Arch Support
Born is a brand that takes pride in creating quality footwear with sophisticated and refined details. These ballet slippers don’t fall flat on offering superior comfort. Designed with a cushioned footbed with arch support, these ballet flats are also made with a traditional hand-stitching process called Opanka which join the upper, insole and sole together. The result is a more flexible, durable and responsive shoe. Get a pair (or two) in pretty pink, yellow, nude or black.
What reviewers say: “Cute, comfortable, very affordable. I love that they have some arch support, and they come in delicious colors! Nice quality.”
FitFlop Shuv Two-Bar Shearling Slides
Best Arch Support Slippers
Some people like to go barefoot at home. But with this cozy pair of slippers from FitFlop, you’ll find it harder to take them off. In addition to offering the fluffiness you crave, they’re complete with triple-density Microwobbleboard midsoles that help absorb shock and reduce underfoot pressure.
What reviewers say: “A slipper that you can wear all day around the house…not too hot, just cozy and with great foot support. I did order one size smaller as suggested, and that was the right call.”
Dr. Scholl’s Leta Slip-On Sneakers
Best Slip-On Arch Support Shoes
You’ll find Dr. Scholl’s signature memory foam footbed with arch support in these stylish slip-ons, which are great for everything from running errands to traveling. Their wide toe box makes them a versatile pick for anyone dealing with bunions and hammertoes, and the 1.5-inch platform gives you a bit of a lift with zero drop. Plus, these cute shoes with arch support are made of eco-conscious materials, and with each purchase, one tree will be donated to Trees for the Future, which helps impoverished families learn sustainable farming techniques.
What reviewers say: “I stand a lot for work, and I can hardly ever wear any shoes without socks because they cut into my feet. I thought I would give these a try, and I’m honestly blown away by the quality. They are so comfortable!”
Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes
Best Arch Support Shoes for Nurses
This Asics shoe is built to meet the demands required of running a marathon, so it’s also a great option for nurses who need supportive footwear that can withstand hours of standing, walking — and spillage. One of the most comfortable sneakers for women you can buy, these are particularly made for overpronators and those with flat feet who need more motion control. Alongside cushioned and responsive midsoles, they feature heel counters that provide stability.
What reviewers say: “These Gel-Kayano 28s fit my troubled flat feet beautifully. I’ve also fractured both ankles in the past, so arch support is imperative. I have wider feet and narrow heels, and these Asics accommodated them comfortably.”
Rockport Total Motion Kalila Pumps
Best Arch Support Shoes for Work
A pair of classic black pumps is a must-have in every woman’s shoe collection. These two-inch heels by Rockport come in wide and medium widths to accommodate different foot sizes and shapes. They also have a well-padded footbed with arch support to keep pain at bay. Whether you’re wearing a power suit or a pencil skirt to the office, these pumps are highly versatile and go with a range of outfits.
What reviewers say: “I got these shoes to wear with my military mess dress and they worked perfectly. The gala was standing only, so I was on my feet constantly for five hours, and they weren’t killing me by the end of the night.”
Kork-Ease Shirome Booties
Best Booties With Arch Support
Kork-Ease is a Brooklyn-born brand that became widely popular in the ’70s for its buffalo platform sandal, but today, many women choose the label’s lightweight and comfortable leather shoes. From a chunky knit sweater dress to high-waisted jeans and a button-down, these stylish Chelsea-inspired ankle boots can easily pair with anything you wear. On top of having a cushioned footbed, these booties also have a stabilizing block heel. Plus, the elastic gore insets make it a breeze to slip these on and head out the door.
What reviewers say: “These boots are a win for women who want a two-inch boost with the obvious look of a platform. The soft gray leather is a lovely neutral; it pairs beautifully with black, brown, taupe, gray and denim. These are comfortable for a full day’s work on your feet.”
OluKai Ohana Beach Sandals
Best Flip-Flops With Arch Support
OluKai offers the perfect mix of function and comfort with these beach-ready walking sandals. The compression-molded EVA midsole contours to the shape of your feet and helps absorb shock, while the water-resistant straps and rubber outsole make them ideal for hanging by the water. Even better, these cute summer sandals come in 13 gorgeous shades.
What reviewers say: “After two years of daily use, my last pair of these wasn’t supportive enough for my needs. After trying other brands that were recommended to me, I finally came back and bought these before a cruise. I absolutely love them. After three months of wearing them again everyday, they still give the support I need for longer outings.”
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Best Hiking Boots With Arch Support
These best-selling hiking boots are a favorite for their superior traction and comfort. Equipped with a removable cushioned insole and a contoured footbed with arch and heel support, the waterproof Merrell Moab 2 will allow you to hike on for miles through rocky terrain — rain or shine. They also have a 1.5-inch rubber heel to help provide stability and shock-absorbing support.
What reviewers say: “These are great boots. The Vibram bottoms have grip, and I find the boots to be quite comfortable. I haven’t tried these in the water but they work well hiking and walking for long distances. I really appreciate the ankle and arch support as someone with weak ankles and lower arches. It makes the miles fly by easier.”
Sorel Caribou Boots
Best Snow Boots With Arch Support
When you’re trudging through nor’easter-like weather, these women’s winter boots will quickly become your go-to. The pair from Sorel has a sealed waterproof leather upper, an insulated inner boot that’s built with a comfortable midsole and a vulcanized rubber outsole to provide traction on slippery surfaces. We also like that they come up to your shins in case you’re hit with heavy snowfall and have a deep heel cup for stability.
What reviewers say: “Since I’ve gotten these boots, I’ve shoveled so much snow and I have NOT fallen on the ice once. These have excellent traction, comfort, and support — by far, the best boots ever.”
Ara Alabama Penny Loafers
Versatile and refined, these sophisticated loafers from Ara can elevate any look. Not to mention, they’re super comfortable dress shoes. For walking comfort, they feature a flexible leather upper, gripped outsole and removable, cushioned insole that can be swapped out for your go-to orthotics if needed.
What reviewers say: “They fit to a T. They’re beautiful and comfortable. Only downside is that I wish the interior was black (I could see the inner beige color on the sides of my feet).”
Sorel Cameron Wedge Sandals
You don’t need to be on a beach vacation to show off your pedicure. Also from Sorel, these flattering and comfortable wedge heel sandals will help you stand out while offering comfort and versatility. They have a cushioned EVA footbed to provide support for your arches and an adjustable ankle strap to keep your foot secure and stable. Plus, the scalloped sole will keep you from slipping.
What reviewers say: “I am a teacher and have the worst time finding nice sandals for work. I typically work about a 10 hour day, on my feet for most of it, so I need a shoe that’s comfortable. I can’t say enough good things about the Sorel shoes in my life. The first day I got these, I wore them to my regular teaching job, and they were so comfy that I kept them on for my evening adjunct gig! That’s a 14-hour day in brand new shoes. I am super impressed.”