It’s time to have a discussion about arch support. Did you know that a lack of arch support is a common cause of foot and heel pain? Properly aligning and supporting the arches of the foot is a basic solution to many painful and cumbersome foot problems, but it can be a challenge to find trusted information outside of shoes for athletics and athletes. We know that this is a persistent issue that many of us deal with and there is a simple solution by finding shoes that have the proper supportive infrastructure to make sure your arches have the support they need. We know researching shoes for arch support can feel daunting and you don’t really know where to start, which is why we’ve done the research for you so there is no guesswork involved. To find the best shoes for arch support, it’s important to understand why good arch support matters, what the arch of the foot really does, and how to make sure you’re buying shoes with the right arch support for your feet. When you’re looking for the best shoes for high arch support, we want you to feel informed and unstoppable in your pursuit of the perfect supportive shoes. Learn more about how we use orthaheel technology to create our supportive shoes.
We not only want to help you understand why arch support matters and look for the best type of shoe for arch support, we have earned a place in the industry as a trusted resource that has dedicated foot doctors, research teams, and shoe stylists, to make sure you can find shoes with orthotics built-in while still sporting the latest styles and trends. Along the way, we’ll educate you on what the arch of the foot really does, why arch support matters, and our top tips for finding the best shoes for arch support.
Hold On… What Exactly Does The Arch of the Foot Do?
Before we dive into how to find the best shoes for arch support, first let’s review what exactly the arch of the foot does.
We know that not everyone is an expert in the anatomy of their feet or understands exactly how everything functions, nor should they need to be. However, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of how important elements in your feet function in order to be aware of why they matter and choose shoes that meet their needs. You’ve probably heard of the arch of the foot and maybe even heard that it needs support, but what exactly does the arch of the foot do?
The arch of the foot is one of the most vital structural elements of our feet. Whenever you take a step or move, the arch of your foot absorbs the majority of the pressure that is exerted on your feet with every step. Did you know that the arch of your feet bear two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand pounds of stress for every mile that you walk? That’s a lot of pressure to be responsible for absorbing! It’s easy to see how when the arch of the foot is not properly supported, it can lead to a number of different foot problems.
We want you to keep in mind one of the most interesting aspects of the arches of the feet: they are different for every person. The height of the arches of the feet can vary significantly from person to person, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all solution for arches. In addition, the height of the arches of the feet can change as individuals age or as the result of various different medical conditions. With this understanding of the arch of the foot does and how unique it is for each person, let’s take a look at why arch support matters.
Breaking Down The Why: Arch Support Made Easy
Now that you’re an expert on what the arch of the foot does, we want to take a moment to dive into why supporting the arches matter and how the relationship our feet have to the ground they walk on has changed.
By now you know that when it comes to arches there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but everyone should make sure that their shoes have a supportive infrastructure to support the arches of the feet. So why is arch support important and why is it something our shoes now need to have? To answer that question, it’s vital to take a quick look back at human history.
Many years ago, human beings used to primarily tread on soft and forgiving surfaces, such as soil and sand. Over time, as the world has changed and developed, the surfaces we tread on have evolved as well. What does this mean for our feet, our primary connection with the ground? The surfaces we now walk on are much harder, flat man-made surfaces, such as concrete, stone, tile, and hardwood floors. While these surfaces are beautiful and practical for living in and with, they are very different than what our feet are accustomed to. When you walk on a surface like dirt, the ground contours to the unique arches and contours of your feet. However, when you walk on a surface like hardwood floors, the floor has no give and does not contour to your feet as well. Because the surfaces we tread on are much harder and unforgiving, our feet try to adapt to them by contouring to the floor, which can result in foot pain and a number of different issues. So what does this have to do with arch support?
Now that our world is primarily comprised of hard surfaces that don’t provide the natural arch support of forgiving surfaces, it’s imperative that both our feet and footwear have supportive technology with arch support that hugs our arches like a natural footprint. By wearing shoes with proper arch support, your shoes can promote natural alignment from the ground up and hug the unique curves of your feet, which helps to prevent the onset of many common foot conditions that develop as a result of wearing footwear without proper arch support. One of the most common foot conditions that can develop as a result of wearing shoes without arch support is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the forefoot, becomes excessively stretched and develops small tears along the surface of the plantar fascia. These small tears result in inflammation, which causes you to feel heel pain and aching. We want to make sure you never have to feel the pain and discomfort of improper arch support, which is why we compiled our top tips for finding the best shoes for plantar fasciitis and shoes for arch support.
A Guide to Finding the Best Shoes for Arch Support
By now you know that it’s important to find shoes that have proper arch support, but we know it can be a challenge to go looking for shoes with arch support without knowing exactly what to look for to make sure the shoes you buy are right for your feet. At Vionic, we believe that when you are armed with information, you can choose footwear that is right for your feet and will provide you with the style and support you deserve. Everyone deserves shoes that make them look and feet great! We’re here to help make sure you have the resources and information you need to find shoes that will hug your natural arches and provide you with unparalleled comfort. In fact, we built on business on that. Here’s a comprehensive guide to support you, getting supported in finding the best shoes for arch support. Learn more in our related blog article about the best orthopedic shoes for women and check out Vionic’s orthotics guide.
Start with Determining Your Arch Height
When you’re looking for the best shoes for arch support, we recommend starting with finding your arch height. Depending on your arch and foot type, different shoes will suit your feet. So how do you find your arch height? First, it’s important to know the basic characteristics of the three categories of arch heights. We’ve broken them down for your below.
- Low Arch/Flat Feet
- Defining Characteristics: Feet with low arches are often very flexible and have an arch that sits quite low to the ground. Their main characteristic is that they have very little arch definition.
- Potential Foot Problems: Feet with low arches are more susceptible to overpronation, which is when the foot rolls inwards. Common issues that arise in individuals with low arches include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, medial knee problems, bunions, and overpronation.
- Medium Arch:
- Defining Characteristics: Feet with medium arches are considered biomechanically efficient and are characterized by a defined arch and moderate flexibility.
- Potential Foot Problems: While medium arches are less likely to develop foot problems, they are still susceptible to common foot problems like metatarsalgia and heel pain due to improperly fitting or supportive footwear and repetitive stress.
- High Arches:
- Defining Characteristics: High arches are recognizable by their well-defined arch that sits higher from the ground. Feet with high arches tend to be much more rigid and absorb much more pressure in the forefoot and rearfoot.
- Potential Foot Problems: Feet with high arches are prone to a number of different foot problems, such as heel pain syndromes, arch strain, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, calluses, and claw toes, to name a few.
Now that you know what to look for to find your arch height (and some of the potential foot problems to be aware of), the next step to finding shoes for arch support is to look for cushioning.
The Key to Comfort is Cushioning
If you’re looking for the best shoes for arch support, we want you to remember to look for shoes that have cushioning and padding in the areas of your feet that will receive the most pressure based on your arch height. For example, if you have high arches, it’s important to look for footwear that has cushioning in the forefoot and rearfoot to help absorb the pressure that is offset from having a high arch. Having proper support for your arches includes having the cushioning your feet need to feel comfortable and supported all day long. If you want to feel like you’re walking on clouds, cushioning is the name of the game. Anyone who says that having shoes you love means being in pain hasn’t walked a mile in Vionic!
Remember Arch Support Isn’t Just For Athletic Shoes
One of our most important pieces of advice for finding the best shoes for arch support is to remember that arch support shouldn’t just be in your athletic or running shoes. If you’re like many of us, you know to look for supportive infrastructure when you’re searching for walking shoes, but when you’re looking for boots or supportive house shoes, arch support probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. We know this can be a challenge because the fashion industry often doesn’t consider comfort and the foot health industry often doesn’t consider fashion, but we’ve built our business on changing just that problem. Proper arch support shouldn’t just be limited to athletic shoes, you should be able to find all of the different types of footwear you want and need with the supportive infrastructure your feet demand for long periods of time. Check out Vionic’s best shoe inserts for standing all day.
If you’re looking for the best shoes for arch support, you have to find a company that places an emphasis on both support and style so that you not only have the arch support your feet need, you have shoes that compliment your style and elevate your outfit. At Vionic, our mission is to create stylish footwear that hugs your arches like a natural footprint in all of the latest footwear styles that you’re looking for. Vionic’s science-backed innovative shoes combine pioneering biomechanics technology, fashion-forward style, and high-quality materials to make sure all your shoes have the arch support you need without sacrificing style.