Sliding an arch support inside your running shoes can make the difference between comfortable running and chronic pain. If you don’t have adequate arch support, you may be more likely to develop any of a range of running injuries, from runner’s knee to plantar fasciitis.
The type of arch your foot has helps determine which type of running shoes will give you the best arch support.
Medium or Normal Arch
A medium arch leaves an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. A medium arch lands on the outside of the foot then rolls evenly through the ball of the foot. Runners with a medium arch tend to be Neutral Pronaters and should select shoes in the STABILITY or NEUTRAL categories.
- Asics: Gel Kinsei 3, Gel Kayano, Gel 3010, Gel 2150, Gel 1150
- Brooks: Ravenna, Switch, Adrenaline GTS, Trance
- Mizuno: Wave Inspire
- Saucony: ProGrid Guide
High arched feet leave an imprint showing a narrow band connecting the forefoot and the heel. A curved, high arched foot is generally termed a supinated or underpronated foot. The underpronator is prone to increased shock transmission through the lower limb. Runners with high arched feet should select shoes in the NEUTRAL or CUSHIONING categories.
- Asics: Gel Kinsei 3, Gel Cumulus, Gel Nimbus
- Brooks: Glycerin, Ghost, Summon
- Mizuno: Wave Rider
- Saucony: ProGrid Triumph, Pro Grid Ride
A low arch foot is referred to someone with flat feet. The imprint of a low arch has no inward curve where the arch should be, this usually indicates an overpronated foot. When an overpronated foot strikes the foot tends to roll from the outside of the heel inward excessively, causing the foot to collapse. Runners with overpronation should select shoes in the MOTION CONTROL or STABILITY categories.
Motion Control Shoes
But regardless of your arch type, you may need additional support, depending on the biomechanics of your feet. Talk to a podiatrist, and he or she may recommend an over-the-counter arch support or customized orthotics. And you can get extra arch support with running socks such as Thorlos, which provide specialized fit in the arches, heels and toes.