Whether you're commuting to work, taking a stroll with your pups (or kitty), or jogging in Central Park, wearing shoes without arch support can be the endgame (no, we're not talking about Thanos snapping his fingers) for your feet. Without it, arch pain, strained muscles, and collapsed arches (oh my) are likely to ensue. Luckily, the best sneakers for arches exist, so we tapped an orthopedic surgeon to garner their input.
Before we dive in, why is arch support so important? For starters, it can prevent and manage foot injuries, according to Nam Tran, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon based in Dallas, Texas. "Arch support helps aid in achieving the proper biomechanical alignment of the foot that is needed for pain free walking," Dr. Tran says. "When our joints are positioned properly, it greatly decreases the likelihood of early onset arthritis, overuse injuries, and ligament/tendon injuries."
Not all shoes are constructed equally, so before you swipe your credit card, Dr. Tran recommends checking out your inserts first. Supportive shoes will have inserts that have filler materials in the arch area. "If the insert does not have this and the inner floor of the shoe is flat, it is very possible that the shoe contains no arch support," he adds.
We tapped Dr. Tran for his go-to best sneakers for arches. Ahead, you'll find his top recommendations, so you can keep foot pain at bay.
The 4 best sneakers for arches
Receiving the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for advancing good foot health, the Hoka Clifton 8 constantly ranks on top. It’s lightweight, breathable (thank you mesh), and has a cushioned and responsive midsole that pads your feet during impact. All in all, “the Clifton is a great shoe that offers support as well as overall cushion,” says Dr. Tran.
Sizes available: 5-12
Colors and patterns available: 18
If your feet tend to roll inwards or you have fallen arches, Dr. Tran recommends the Asics Gel-Kayano. This lightweight shoe features the brand’s signature Litetruss structure, which prevents your feet from twisting and turning during movement, and a foam footbed that cushions your arches. Even more, the external heel counter cradles your feet and the knit outer layer keeps air flowing through (see ya, sweaty feet).
Sizes available: 5-13
Colors and patterns available: 11
Lightweight, breathable, and supportive, the New Balance 1080s are “a great all-around shoe with lots of cushion and accommodation,” says Dr. Tran. The midsole is constructed out of foam, absorbing the shock so your joints and arches don’t have to, and the outer layer is constructed out of knit (so lightweight and breathable, that it feels like second skin). It comes in classic colors like white and black as well as Electric Purple, Vibrant Sky Blue, and Lime Green.
Sizes available: 5-13
Colors and patterns available: 12
With a reinforced heel, cushioned sole, and breathable mesh, there’s no limit on the distance you can go with these kicks. The soles were engineered to hug and support the natural curvature of your arches, and the shoe has a motion forward design to propel you into your next step, making it a great option, especially “for patients that may be suffering from painful conditions like plantar fasciitis,” says Dr. Tran.
Sizes available: 5-14.5
Colors and patterns available: 4
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