After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (2024)

If you often feel pain in your feet, knees, hips, or ankles during or after running, your shoes may not have enough arch support. We evaluated each pair based on fit, quality, comfort, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, and value.

Is It Good to Run With Arch Support?

Yes, although arch support has different benefits depending on your foot type. If you over- or underpronate, research has shown that running in supportive sneakers can help prevent your ankles from rolling in or out. It also encourages your natural gait and allows for smooth heel-to-toe transitions. The result? Less foot fatigue, plantar fasciitis pain, shin splints, lower back pain, and other discomfort. However, it’s important to find the right balance—having too much arch support is as bad as not having enough, according to podiatrist Marlene Reid, DPM, FACFAS.

Who Needs Arch Support Running Shoes?

Most runners should wear shoes with arch support. If you have flat feet or you overpronate, wearing stability or motion control shoes with stiff arch support can help you run more comfortably and prevent injuries. Have high arches? You may underpronate when you run, meaning your ankles roll outward. Look for sneakers with supportive cushioning in the arch. Even runners with neutral arches can benefit from wearing arch support running shoes—you’ll notice better shock absorption and balance on your runs.

Best Overall

Brooks Women's Glycerin GTS 20

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (1)

Meet Our Testers

Our testers run a few times a week—mostly on asphalt, but sometimes on treadmills, trails, and grass. One tester overpronates, while the other tends to pull their arch muscles. Both runners are prone to shin splints and noticed that wearing the Glycerin GTS 20 helped combat the usual pain and fatigue they experience after runs.

  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
  • Soft, responsive cushioning
  • Wide platform

What We Don't Like

  • Upper may not be as durable

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 9.4 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Plush, yet responsive | Materials: Mesh upper, textile lining, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 5/5

Best for road or track runners, especially if you overpronate.

With top-notch arch support and soft, springy cushioning, Brooks’ Glycerin GTS 20 Running Shoe is by far our favorite pair on this list. While testing this sneaker, we found it offered an ideal blend of comfort, stability, and responsiveness. Inside, Brooks’ GuideRails technology along the midfoot and heel helps prevent overpronation and promote your natural stride.

We like that the Glycerin GTS 20 has a wider platform than previous models do, providing smooth, balanced transitions from heel to toe. And the super soft cushioning helps absorb shock, minimizing impact during marathon training, short sprints, and everything in between. We’re also impressed by how lightweight this sneaker feels, even though it’s ultra-supportive.

The Glycerin GTS 20’s upper is made with breathable mesh that feels smooth, secure, and comfortable, even in warm weather. Plus, the plush collar provides crucial ankle protection and support. We also love that this sneaker has earned the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, meaning a group of podiatrists has found that it helps support the health of your feet.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Brooks.

  • We noticed during testing that the mesh upper seems less durable and may wear out quickly.

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  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
  • Soft, responsive cushioning
  • Wide platform

What We Don't Like

  • Upper may not be as durable

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 9.4 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Plush, yet responsive | Materials: Mesh upper, textile lining, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 5/5

Best for road or track runners, especially if you overpronate.

With top-notch arch support and soft, springy cushioning, Brooks’ Glycerin GTS 20 Running Shoe is by far our favorite pair on this list. While testing this sneaker, we found it offered an ideal blend of comfort, stability, and responsiveness. Inside, Brooks’ GuideRails technology along the midfoot and heel helps prevent overpronation and promote your natural stride.

We like that the Glycerin GTS 20 has a wider platform than previous models do, providing smooth, balanced transitions from heel to toe. And the super soft cushioning helps absorb shock, minimizing impact during marathon training, short sprints, and everything in between. We’re also impressed by how lightweight this sneaker feels, even though it’s ultra-supportive.

The Glycerin GTS 20’s upper is made with breathable mesh that feels smooth, secure, and comfortable, even in warm weather. Plus, the plush collar provides crucial ankle protection and support. We also love that this sneaker has earned the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, meaning a group of podiatrists has found that it helps support the health of your feet.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Brooks.

  • We noticed during testing that the mesh upper seems less durable and may wear out quickly.

Best for Overpronators

Hoka Women's Arahi 6 Running Shoe

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (2)

Meet Our Testers

Our testers run a few days each week, mostly on concrete and treadmills. They both deal with occasional knee pain during and after long-distance runs. But during testing, they noticed less knee pain after running in Hoka’s Arahi 6.

  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth ride

What We Don't Like

  • Not the best traction
  • Not as responsive

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 7.6 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Cushioning: Maximum | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.7/5

Best for people who run every day on concrete or asphalt.

If overpronate when you run, you likely also have flat feet or fallen arches. Wearing a running shoe with better stability, like Hoka’s Arahi 6 Running Shoe, can help reduce your risk of injury. This APMA Seal of Acceptance-winning pair features Hoka’s J-Frame technology, a stability system that gently aligns your feet without feeling overly stiff. In testing, we immediately noticed their significant arch support and the plush cushioning that Hoka running shoes are known for.

Other soft, supportive shoes can feel heavy on your feet—but the Arahi 6 weighs just 7.6 ounces, making it a smart option for daily training. We also like its curved Meta-Rocker sole, which helps you roll through your feet for a smooth, effortless ride. And we found that the breathable mesh upper offers a secure fit, with no irritating seams or tight spots. An extended heel tab makes these easy to throw on whenever you need a reliable road running shoe.

Also available in men’s sizes at Hoka, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and REI.

  • During testing, we noticed that the outsole doesn’t grip the ground as well as some others do. The Arahi 6 may not be the best choice for running in the rain.
  • While these sneakers are very comfortable, the cushioning isn’t the bounciest.

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  • APMA Seal of Acceptance
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth ride

What We Don't Like

  • Not the best traction
  • Not as responsive

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 7.6 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Cushioning: Maximum | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.7/5

Best for people who run every day on concrete or asphalt.

If overpronate when you run, you likely also have flat feet or fallen arches. Wearing a running shoe with better stability, like Hoka’s Arahi 6 Running Shoe, can help reduce your risk of injury. This APMA Seal of Acceptance-winning pair features Hoka’s J-Frame technology, a stability system that gently aligns your feet without feeling overly stiff. In testing, we immediately noticed their significant arch support and the plush cushioning that Hoka running shoes are known for.

Other soft, supportive shoes can feel heavy on your feet—but the Arahi 6 weighs just 7.6 ounces, making it a smart option for daily training. We also like its curved Meta-Rocker sole, which helps you roll through your feet for a smooth, effortless ride. And we found that the breathable mesh upper offers a secure fit, with no irritating seams or tight spots. An extended heel tab makes these easy to throw on whenever you need a reliable road running shoe.

Also available in men’s sizes at Hoka, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and REI.

  • During testing, we noticed that the outsole doesn’t grip the ground as well as some others do. The Arahi 6 may not be the best choice for running in the rain.
  • While these sneakers are very comfortable, the cushioning isn’t the bounciest.

Sold by

Price

Zappos

$140

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Best for Flat Feet

Brooks Men’s Launch GTS 10 Running Shoe

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (3)

Meet Our Testers

Both of our testers run multiple days a week on paved roads, dirt paths, grass, and treadmills. Although they don’t have serious knee pain, one tends to get soreness after a particularly long or hard run, and the other has had knee surgery.

  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • Firm cushioning
  • Durable

What We Don't Like

  • Not as responsive

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 8.6 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Firm | Materials: Knit upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Best for overpronators and treadmill runners—we recommend these sneakers to anyone with no existing foot, knee, or joint pain, since they have firmer cushioning.

Brooks’ Launch GTS 10 Running Shoe delivers the arch support and comfort that runners with flat feet need. Featuring the brand’s GuideRails support system, it promotes a natural gait, prevents your ankles from rolling inward, and keeps excess movement in check. When we tested this pair, we were impressed by the Launch GTS 10’s high-quality construction and stable feel.

These sneakers’ firm cushioning is ideal for occasional speedwork, while the knit upper allows air to flow to prevent your feet from overheating. We also love how well they fit—true to size and ultra-secure. If you overpronate and haven’t found the right running shoe yet, we highly recommend giving this streamlined pair a try.

Also available in women’s sizes at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Brooks.

  • These shoes aren’t as responsive as some others we tested. We noticed that they didn’t feel very springy while we ran.

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  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • Firm cushioning
  • Durable

What We Don't Like

  • Not as responsive

Arch Support: Stability | Weight: 8.6 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Firm | Materials: Knit upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Best for overpronators and treadmill runners—we recommend these sneakers to anyone with no existing foot, knee, or joint pain, since they have firmer cushioning.

Brooks’ Launch GTS 10 Running Shoe delivers the arch support and comfort that runners with flat feet need. Featuring the brand’s GuideRails support system, it promotes a natural gait, prevents your ankles from rolling inward, and keeps excess movement in check. When we tested this pair, we were impressed by the Launch GTS 10’s high-quality construction and stable feel.

These sneakers’ firm cushioning is ideal for occasional speedwork, while the knit upper allows air to flow to prevent your feet from overheating. We also love how well they fit—true to size and ultra-secure. If you overpronate and haven’t found the right running shoe yet, we highly recommend giving this streamlined pair a try.

Also available in women’s sizes at Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Brooks.

  • These shoes aren’t as responsive as some others we tested. We noticed that they didn’t feel very springy while we ran.

Sold by

Price

Amazon

$100

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Best for Long Runs

Asics Women's Novablast 3 Running Shoes

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (4)

Meet Our Tester

Our tester has some knee pain and weak ankles. They ran in these shoes extensively on asphalt, treadmills, and trails—even completing a marathon in them.

  • Lightweight
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Made with recycled materials

What We Don't Like

  • May run narrow

Arch Support: Neutral | Weight: 7.8 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Cushioning: Lightweight and responsive | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Best for marathon or long-distance runners with neutral arches.

For distance runners who need supportive, comfortable sneakers for their high-mileage training, we recommend Asics’ Novablast 3 Running Shoes. During testing, we were immediately impressed by their stellar arch support, which cradled our feet in all the right places. But despite this shoe’s maximum cushioning, it’s surprisingly lightweight and responsive.

We also found that the Novablast 3 is supportive enough to help stabilize our ankles and legs without feeling too stiff or bulky. Even better, they maintained their comfort, support, and durability over months of use, including a marathon. Plus, the breathable mesh upper is made from recycled materials, so you can feel good about wearing a more sustainable shoe.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Asics, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  • We noticed during testing that this shoe felt snug, so some runners may want to consider sizing up.

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  • Lightweight
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Made with recycled materials

What We Don't Like

  • May run narrow

Arch Support: Neutral | Weight: 7.8 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Cushioning: Lightweight and responsive | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Our Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Best for marathon or long-distance runners with neutral arches.

For distance runners who need supportive, comfortable sneakers for their high-mileage training, we recommend Asics’ Novablast 3 Running Shoes. During testing, we were immediately impressed by their stellar arch support, which cradled our feet in all the right places. But despite this shoe’s maximum cushioning, it’s surprisingly lightweight and responsive.

We also found that the Novablast 3 is supportive enough to help stabilize our ankles and legs without feeling too stiff or bulky. Even better, they maintained their comfort, support, and durability over months of use, including a marathon. Plus, the breathable mesh upper is made from recycled materials, so you can feel good about wearing a more sustainable shoe.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Asics, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  • We noticed during testing that this shoe felt snug, so some runners may want to consider sizing up.

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Price

Amazon

$95

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Arch Support Running Shoes We Also Tested

We’ve tested over 100 running shoes, but they can’t all be winners. Although these sneakers excelled in some categories, they ultimately didn’t earn a spot on our final list of recommendations:

  • Saucony’s Freedom Crossport feels springy and responsive underfoot. But it runs narrow, and we didn’t feel that the firm cushioning stabilized our feet or helped correct our overpronation.
  • Athleta’s Saysh Felix Running Shoe may have “running” in the name, but the brand notes that it’s best for gym, studio, and outdoor workouts. We felt the same way—the minimal cushioning and stiff sole are much better for lifting weights than they are for logging miles. We also thought this pair was pricey.

Where We Stand

After testing over 100 arch support running shoes, Brooks’ Glycerin GTS 20 Running Shoe remains our favorite pair for its wide platform and built-in stability system. As we continue to test all of our top picks at home, we’ll update this list with any new findings or important information.

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (5)

What to Look for When Shopping for Arch Support Running Shoes

  • Support Level: The amount of support you need depends on your arch type. If you have flat feet or low arches, you’re more likely to overpronate. Look for stability or motion control shoes with stiff arch support that will help prevent your ankles from rolling inward, like Hoka’s Arahi 6 Running Shoe. Runners with high arches should opt for neutral sneakers with great shock absorption and extra cushioning in the arch, like Brooks’ Cascadia 17 Trail Running Shoes. If you have neutral arches, then the neutral running shoes on our list will provide plenty of support.
  • Drop: A running shoe’s drop refers to the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot, in millimeters. Although it’s small, the drop can affect your foot strike, stride efficiency, and which joints take on the most impact. If you tend to strike with your heel first, look for a shoe with a higher drop (between 8 and 12 millimeters). Sneakers with a higher drop also usually have more cushioning in the heel, for additional support and protection.
  • Fit: Regardless of your arch type, it’s essential to find a running shoe that fits correctly and comfortably. To avoid blisters and bruised toenails, make sure there’s a thumbnail’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe when standing, says Caroline Bell, a running shoe expert for Fleet Feet. Your toes should be able to wiggle around and your midfoot should be firmly held in place. Also, make sure your heel doesn’t slip out of the ankle collar.
  • Cushioning: The right amount of cushioning depends on your personal preferences and training schedule. If you’re looking for a light, fast shoe for racing, look for firm cushioning with a springy feel—we recommend New Balance’s FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3. For long-distance running, you’ll need a pair with soft cushioning that absorbs impact to protect your muscles and joints from the repetitive stress of pounding the pavement, Bell says. Our top pick is Asics’ Novablast 3 Running Shoes.
  • Price: You should expect to pay between $120 and $220 for a pair of high-performance running shoes with dependable arch support.

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (6)

How We Tested the Running Shoes

To find the best arch support running shoes, we’ve tested over 100 pairs of sneakers from trusted fitness brands. When we test shoes, we wear them for weeks at a time, running different distances on various terrains. We often have two or more runners test the same pair to see how they fit and feel on different arch types. During testing, we evaluate each shoe based on these key criteria.

  • Fit: When we first try the shoes on, we check to make sure they feel snug and supportive (especially in the arch). Is there enough room in the toe box for our toes to wiggle around? We use these observations to determine whether the shoe runs wide, narrow, or true to size.
  • Quality: We carefully inspect every shoe for flaws or defects. Do they seem durable and well-made? Next, we bend the shoe at the forefoot and try twisting it to make sure they’re sturdy. As we run in each pair, we note how well they hold up—does the cushioning, upper, or sole show any signs of wear or tear?
  • Comfort: Shoes with firm arch support can feel stiff at first. We check to see how comfortable the midsoles feel: Can we wear them for long periods of time without any cramping? After each run, we also note whether we feel pain or discomfort in our arches. Do we notice any pressure, irritation, blisters, or chafing?
  • Stability: We run on different types of terrain (like asphalt, concrete, and trails) to assess how solid the shoes feel. Do they help stabilize our gait and prevent excessive movement? Do we feel steady on our feet while we wear them?
  • Responsiveness: A responsive sneaker feels springy, propelling us forward to the next stride. It should make our feet and legs feel refreshed after a run (instead of heavy and fatigued). When the testing period ends, we also check to see if the cushioning still feels as bouncy as it did the first time we wore the shoes. Has it flattened out at all?
  • Cushioning: What kind of padding does the shoe have—firm or squishy? We’re looking for sneakers that support and cradle our feet, with great shock absorption. If there’s any extra cushioning underneath the heel, in the tongue, or around the ankle collar, we note that, too.
  • Value: To accurately assess each shoe’s value, we don’t check the price of each pair until the end of the testing period, after we’ve evaluated it in all other categories. Does the price seem fair, considering how the shoe performed during testing? Or would we only buy it if it went on sale?

Our Experts

We often consulted experts for additional guidance while researching and reporting this story. Some, like Bell, shared key information on how running shoes should fit and feel. Others, like Diana Levin Valencia, DPM, and Janine Ferrigno-Taddeo, DPM, advised us on how wearing running shoes with solid arch support can affect the health of your feet. Although we choose products independently, we use expert input to influence our choices.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine if a running shoe has enough arch support for you?

If you’re experiencing pain in the arches of your feet, it’s possible that your current running shoes don’t have the right arch support. Certified personal trainer John Gardner, NASM-CPT, recommends checking the soles’ wear patterns—if you notice a lot of wear on the inside, then you may need more support. You can also consult a podiatrist, a physical therapist, or a specialist at a running store for expert advice on the best running shoes for your arch type and gait.

Which running shoes have the highest arch support?

Stability or motion control shoes have the most arch support since they’re designed for runners with very low arches or flat feet. Some of the most popular stability shoes include Brooks’ Glycerin GTS 20 Running Shoe and Hoka’s Arahi 6.

What running shoes should you get if your arches hurt while running?

If your arches hurt while you run, it could mean that you need different arch support in your running shoes. Reid recommends consulting a podiatrist to determine the cause of your arch pain, your foot type, and any other needs you should consider before shopping for new shoes.

Can arch support running shoes help with bunions?

Yes: Running shoes with arch support help align your feet correctly to reduce the pressure on your big toe, which may alleviate pain and prevent bunions from forming or worsening. A wide toe box can also help prevent bunions, adds Ferrigno-Taddeo.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing health and fitness content and product recommendations. As a certified personal trainer, running coach, and avid runner, she’s always researching and testing running shoes. Her current running shoes are Brooks’ Glycerin 20, which have the perfect amount of cushioning and support for her high arches.

Expert Tested: The Best Stability Running Shoes for Women

Article Sources

  1. Malisoux L, Chambon N, Delattre N, Gueguen N, Urhausen A, Theisen D. Injury risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: a randomised controlled trial with participant and assessor blinding. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(8):481-7. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095031

  2. Huang YP, Peng HT, Wang X, Chen ZR, Song CY. The arch support insoles show benefits to people with flatfoot on stance time, cadence, plantar pressure and contact area. PLoS ONE. 2020;15(8):e0237382. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0237382

  3. American Podiatric Medical Association. Which running shoe is right for you?.

  4. Jafarnezhadgero A, Alavi-Mehr SM, Granacher U. Effects of anti-pronation shoes on lower limb kinematics and kinetics in female runners with pronated feet: The role of physical fatigue. Boullosa D, ed. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(5):e0216818. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0216818

After Running in Over 100 Sneakers, We Found the Best Pairs With Arch Support (2024)
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