Prepare to find your *sole* mate.
Whether your runs always end with cramped arches or you simply want to ensure your feet are properly supported throughout a workout, it’s time to start considering a running shoe with arch support.
While built-in arch support may feel like an unnecessary and bulky addition to your sneakers, it’s actually a critical feature for preventing common runner issues like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and ankle sprains—especially if you have flat feet.
“Arch support equals shock absorption,” New York-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner, DPM, tells Health. “And everyone can use that.”
The extra boost of arch support, which is already important on a day-to-day basis, is even more valuable for runners. The high-impact exercise puts consistent stress on your feet, making built-in shock absorption an absolute necessity.
However, there’s no one shoe that works for every type of runner, and that’s why Dr. Brenner developed a four-point rule as a guideline.
“Pick up a pair of shoes and make sure the shoe does not bend in half,” explains Dr. Brenner. This two-step test includes attempting to fold the shoe like a burrito in both directions. Next, she recommends making sure there is “thickness in the arch” because this generally gives the foot more support. Finally, the shoe should have a wide, chunky heel to maximize the support.
While Dr. Brenner personally likes Asics for running shoes, she says it’s really important to test different shoes for yourself to ensure the one you choose offers enough stability for your foot. It’s also a good idea to seek out a shoe that’s specifically designed for your running path, whether that’s on a rocky trail, a treadmill, or blacktop on a road.
If you need additional support in an already-stable shoe—especially if you have flat feet or super high arches—Dr. Brenner suggests using custom orthotics, too. These can add an extra boost of support that can turn a sub-par shoe into a delightful treat for your feet.
When searching for a shoe with arch support, it’s also critical to find a shoe that works with your body’s natural structure. Some shoes are better suited for flat feet or high arches, while other designs account for pronation issues (where the foot rolls too far inwards during impact). Plus, you might have a natural preference for a low-drop sneaker, which means the heel and ball of the foot stay relatively even in the shoe.
To help narrow down your options, we scoured the Internet and found the 13 best running shoes with arch support that meet Dr. Brenner’s guidelines—so you can count on all of these options to have thick arches, a cushioned chunky heel, and a super stable construction that won’t twist. Read on to find your new *sole* mate.
- Best for Flat Feet: Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
- Best Cushioning: New Balance 680v6 Running Shoe
- Best Support: Saucony Women’s Omni 16 Running Shoe
- Most Comfortable: Hoka One One Clifton 5 Knit Running Shoe
- Best for Long Runs: Adidas Women’s Solar Boost Running Shoe
- Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
- Best for Underpronation: Altra Footwear Paradigm 4.
- Best Waterproof: The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
- Most Secure Fit: Mizuno Women’s Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe
- Best for Form: On Cloudflyer Running Shoe
- Best for High Arches: Nike Zoom Winflo 6
- Best for Trail Running : Salomon Sense Ride 2
- Best Low Drop: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V3 Running Shoe
Best for Flat Feet: Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
While Dr. Brenner recommends always completing her four-step test, she personally prefers Asics’ running shoes. The Gel-Kayano stands out from the rest of the brand’s lineup thanks to gel technology that increases shock absorption and maximizes comfort. It’s paired with a firm foam lining that prevents your foot from rolling inwards during a run (a plus for overpronators) and Asics' built-in Trusstic system that gives the shoes critical structure to prevent them from twisting as you run. Despite all the cushioning and support you could ever dream of, they’re still super breathable and lightweight.
“I have worn Gel-Kayano shoes for many years. I regularly participate in high impact workouts and find that these shoes provide great support in the heels and balls of my feet. This is a great shoe and, in my opinion, worth every penny. I've let friends talk me into buying other, less expensive, shoes over the years and in every case ended up replacing them almost immediately with a new pair of Gel-Kayanos.”—Amazon Customer
Best Cushioning: New Balance 680v6 Running Shoe
Despite offering plenty of cushioning for your feet, these sneakers remain super lightweight with a durable rubber outsole and supportive midsole crafted from a stability-enhancing rubber. While arch support is a given (at least in this roundup), you’ll also love how the design maximizes comfort by using a no-sew upper, which minimizes irritation, and a mesh fabric lining for extra breathability. A favorite brand of Dr. Brenner, these New Balance shoes also have a removable insole, so you can opt to insert your favorite custom orthotics.
“They are by far the best, most comfortable pair I have ever known. I am a physical education teacher and on my feet all day and I am very active. They give me comfort and support.”—Maria
Best Support: Saucony Women’s Omni 16 Running Shoe
The super supportive construction on these running shoes make them a top pick for anyone who deals with moderate-to-severe pronation (or rolling inwards of the foot). They have an external support frame that keeps your foot stabilized throughout your run—and prevents the burrito-style bending that Dr. Brenner warns against. Anyone with normal, low, or flat arches will find comfort in the foam midsole on this option, thanks to the brand’s signature EVERUN topsole that gives the foot continuous cushioning and shock absorption.
“Having suffered from Plantar Fasciitis, I was given a list of shoes to select from so I chose Saucony Women's Omni 16 Running Shoe. These shoes are by far the best pair of shoes I have ever owned. It's been about 3 weeks since I've had them and I am pleased to say that my PF has subsided substantially.”—Rosalynd Williams
Most Comfortable: Hoka One One Clifton 5 Knit Running Shoe
The perfect trifecta of breathability, comfort, and stability, this cushy running shoe has a thin sock-lock collar construction and a cute knit design that you’ll actually want to sport outside of the gym. The lightweight frame molds to your foot with an adaptive forefront that makes every step smoother than the last. The flat-waisted design give you full-ground contact for an extra boost of stability, while the brand’s signature Hoke One One midsole gives your foot a necessary dose of cushioning that doubles as shock absorption.
“Without question the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. I have arthritis in my feet and finding a comfortable shoe that provides enough support is difficult if not impossible.”—CD
Best for Long Runs: Adidas Women’s Solar Boost Running Shoe
You’ll stay supported and comfortable mile after mile in Adidas’ latest high-performance sneaker. The new design features the brand’s most responsive arch cushioning yet, which absorbs shock and releases a burst of energy to give you a literal “boost” during your run. While the Boost cushioning is a standout feature for optimizing your energy return, it’s also a critical part of keeping your gait smooth, your shoes durable, and your feet comfortable. Plus, you’ll find Dr. Brenner’s recommended wide, chunky heel and thick arches on this lightweight design.
“I have very flat arches and have a lot of trouble finding running shoes that fit well and offer enough support. These are great. Wore them for my first half marathon and they were the perfect running shoes. These are the only running shoes I'll wear for cardio days and heavy workouts. Highly recommend.”—Amazon Customer
Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
New Jersey-based podiatrist Alan Bass, DPM, previously told Health that his preferred brand of running shoes for those with plantar fasciitis is Brooks. This particular design by the trusted brand features the most cushioning in the Brooks lineup, with an adaptable midsole that absorbs shock and a plush, fitted upper that moves and expands naturally with your stride for a smoother run. Just beware, these lightweight roadrunners are optimized for medium and high arches, and only offer neutral support.
“Absolutely LOVE these shoes! I'd been suffering from plantar fasciitis for several months due to a flimsy non-supportive running shoe. I needed something with more arch support and structure and these fit the bill! They are super comfortable, they hug my foot perfectly and allow plenty of wiggle room for my toes. They are also very lightweight so it doesn't feel like you're lugging around concrete blocks when trying to run.”—Amazon Customer
Best for Underpronation: Altra Footwear Paradigm 4.5
If your foot tends to roll outwards when running—putting painful pressure on your ankles and outer toes—you’re likely struggling with underpronation. But with the right footwear, like these supportive sneaks, you can ditch the struggle. With a stabilized construction that prevents your foot from underpronation, this dynamic shoe also has a removable sculpted footbed, breathable mesh lining, and a quick-drying knit upper. Designed for the female foot (with a higher instep, longer arch, and better metatarsal spacing), trail runners in particular will love the zero drop platform, which keeps your heel and forefoot even as you run to encourage proper form (and minimize impact).
“These shoes are comfortable. I feel stable in them and can easily put my own orthotics in them. I am going back to my teaching job this week, and am hoping for all day comfort and support.”—Bobbie
Best Waterproof: The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
If most of your running happens outdoors—especially on trails—then a waterproof design is a no-brainer. Our top pick from The North Face pairs a shock-absorbing midsole with a tractioned rubber outsole to give you consistent stability throughout your run. The fast-drying mesh upper is lined with a breathable (and waterproof) membrane that hugs the shoe to your feet and keeps you dry and comfortable. There’s even a protective toe cap for “added durability”—even though we all know it’s really just so you don’t stub your toe on the trail (ouch).
“I really like these shoes I had the older model (the 109) and these are just as good. They are comfortable and sturdy. They would be good for hikes, but I use them for long/brisk dog walks and as my general cool weather shoes. I love the Gortex feature. I can walk through wet grass and nothing soaks through. I have also worn these shoes in heavy rain and have had to pass through puddles and my feet are dry when I get home. My only complaint is that they could be a little more stylish, but I am someone who values comfort first.””—Zappos Customer
Most Secure Fit: Mizuno Women’s Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe
Prepare to take your runs to the next level with Mizuno’s most advanced support shoe. The cushioned midsole offers optimal comfort, while the built-in Wave plate technology in the footbed stabilizes your run by dispersing energy evenly post-impact (similar to the ripples of a wave, hence the name). The responsive plate also optimizes your head-to-toe transitions for smoother strides, gives you critical arch support, and prevents pronation. But the real standout is Mizuno’s brand new AeroHug technology, which molds the breathable mesh upper to your foot for a secure fit that eliminates slipping and sliding during your run.
“I over-pronate and have back issues, so I need excellent footwear. These are the most comfortable and supportive shoes I have ever put on my feet.”—Madam Page
Best for Form: On Cloudflyer Running Shoe
Like the name suggests, these cushioned sneakers make it feel like you’re running on clouds—instead of a hard treadmill. They offer the best of both worlds: a lightweight design that’s blended with the structure and stability of traditional, sturdy running shoes. While you’ll love the durable outsole and breathable upper, the real sell is the advanced technology that gently encourages a more efficient running style. The brand’s CloudTec cushioning promotes a forward foot strike by only activating during impact and quickly firming up right as the foot pushes off the ground. So not only will you feet feel heavenly during your run, but you’ll actually feel (and see!) improvement in your running form.
“These shoes are the best I have ever owned. I also have had three back surgeries and a knee replacement. I walk at least six miles on sidewalks daily. After years of buying different brands that changed every two years I found ON shoes. They give me the support I need and most importantly the comfort. There is no break in time. I can wear them on a long walk new and out of the box.”—Kathleen S.
Best for High Arches: Nike Zoom Winflo 6
Despite a streamlined design that minimizes bulk, these responsive running shoes still have the optimal support that Dr. Brenner recommends in the heel and arches. The super thick arches ensure the midfoot stays stable during movement, while an extra chunky heel gives your foot a much-needed additional layer of padding to reduce shock and protect your Achilles tendon from injury. Plus, there’s springy, responsive cushioning throughout the entire shoe, including from a padded midsole and a rubber crash rail along the outsole.
“I LOVE these! Comfortable, not too heavy, good responsiveness and I felt very supported in the mid foot. I have a bad knee from a skiing accident and the extra stability here really made a difference. I was able to run my fastest mile in many years in these. They run true to size.”—Lucy
Best for Trail Running: Salomon Sense Ride 2
These durable running shoes are specifically created for trail running with a stabilizing design that prevents painful over-rotation. The structured outsole protects your feet and ankles from twisting on rocks and other uneven surfaces, while simultaneously adapting to the foot’s natural movements to give an extra boost of support wherever it’s needed. You can quickly adjust the fit of the stitch-free upper with the quick lace system, which uses one-pull adjustments to tighten and loosen the fit. There’s even a removable OrthoLite footbed packed with antimicrobial properties, so your foot not only stays comfortable, but also feels fresher.
“I really like these shoes! They fit beautifully. My foot is on the narrow side and I was concerned that these might be a sloppy fit, but the lacing style keeps me nice and snug. I needed a more supportive shoe for my arthritis and plantar fasciitis, and these fit the bill. And they don't look like grandma shoes! Win, win, win.”—Alice
Best Low Drop: New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V3 Running Shoe
While most low-drop shoes offer limited stability and arch support, this minimalist sneaker defies the norm with an innovative foam midsole crafted from a single piece of foam. The lightweight material cushions your foot for the duration of your run, but still gives critical arch support for an extra boost of stability (and to prevent overpronation). And since the smart design has a low heel drop, the natural result is even weight distribution across the shoe (which means no added stress on one particular area of the foot).
“Got these for my daughter who has arch problems and shin splints and she said these are the most comfortable running shoes she's ever owned. They fit exactly as expected and are a nice neutral color.”—Goddess Reviews