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If the arch — the area between the ball of the foot and the heel — is on the high side, you’re not alone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 20% of the population have a high arch.
“High-arched feet are also called ‘caves feet,'” says Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM, board-certified podiatric surgeon based in New York/New Jersey. “It is believed to be so called because the arch is more elevated than a normal arched foot, and the space between the arch and the ground resembles a ‘cave’.”
Plus, having a high arch means your foot is structured to naturally place too much weight on the outside of your foot when you walk or stand, says Brad Schaeffer, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon. New York-based anklet, and star of the TLC show, My feet are killing me.
“The actual arch, the area between your toes and your heel on the bottom of the foot, bends or arches away from the ground, which is the opposite of a flat foot,” he continues.
Remember that it is essential to put on shoes that are suitable for your feet. “People with high arches are generally prone to rolling their ankles and having knee and hip problems in the future when not properly supported,” says Dr. Schaeffer. The two tips to remember are to wear shoes that support the arch of the foot and to stabilize the heel in a more neutral position, he says.
And the good news is that there are plenty of stylish options out there. “These days, more than ever, many brands are making fashionable and attractive shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort and support,” adds Dr. Schaeffer.
How We Chose the Best Shoes for High Arches
We consulted Dr. Sutera (member of the Vionic Innovation Lab), Dr. Schaeffer and Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, podiatrist and board-certified surgeon specializing in sports and regenerative medicine at LuxePodiatry™ in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as reviewers who shared some of their own insights.
Our top picks
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OOmg low shoe for women
Women’s Fresh Foam Arishi V2 Running Shoe
Best walking shoe
Women’s Tokyo Leisure Drift Trainers
Best running shoe
Women’s Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes
Best Cross Training Shoe
Adrenaline GTS 22 for women
Best Slip-On Sneaker
Women’s Beach Malibu Casual Slip-On Sneakers
Cameron Women’s Multi-Strap Wedge Sandals
Women’s autumn clog
Sara ballerinas for women
Women’s Perry Sienna Leather Ankle Boots
Blissful Rejuvenate Unisex Recovery Sandal
Best Slide Sandals
Women’s Vivianne Slide Sandals
Best flip flops
Women’s Tide II Sandal
Women’s OOlala Sandal
HOKA ONE ONE
Women’s Bondi 7 Running Shoes
How to choose the best shoes for high arches
✔️ Look for support. “I can’t preach it enough: find a shoe with good arch support!” emphasizes Dr. Schaeffer. “Good arch support in shoes absorbs the painful bumps that happen when walking, running, or other activities.” Dr. Fuchs adds that a few terms to look for include cushioning, padded insole, and shock absorption. “High arch feet tend to put a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot, so you want as much cushioning (like a memory foam pad) or something with shock absorption on both the ball of the foot and on the heel,” she explains.
✔️ Say yes to ample space in the toe box. Opt for shoes that allow enough room for the toes to move freely, says Dr. Schaeffer. “Constricting shoes, whether flat or very high heeled, can have very detrimental effects on your feet and your body, and can exacerbate existing problems.”
✔️ Keep it light. Dr. Sutera says people with higher arched feet tend to prefer shoes that are accommodating, lighter and cushioned. Dr. Schaeffer agrees and insists on avoiding shoes that are too high, flat or stiff, as well as shoes that compress your feet at all times. “The goal is to get a neutral foot-like movement, especially if you have high arches,” he adds.
How do I know if I have a high arch?
“Here’s a fun and easy tip for self-diagnosis: When your feet are wet (like when you get out of the tub, shower, or pool), walk on the floor and look at your footprint,” suggests Dr. Schaeffer. “Is the print flat like a pancake where you see the whole foot or do you see a gap in the middle of the arch? Of course, the best decision is to have your feet checked by a podiatrist.
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