A high arch is not just an inborn peculiarity. It’s a condition that affects how your body weight is distributed as you walk or run, in particular the pressure it exerts on your feet. Some shock occurs every time you land on your sole, which has to be absorbed. This happens when the foot flattens a bit, adjusting its shape to accommodate the need. However, an instep that’s high and rigid prevents this from happening, causing ball and heel strain, potential numbness, and pain.

One way to prevent excessive strain from being placed on your foot is by choosing appropriate footwear. This is true with everyday walking shoes as well as those you use when exercising. Runners who have high instep problem should pay special attention to getting the best running shoes for high arches to relieve their feet. In this article, however, we will focus on general athletic footwear for people with cavus foot, which is the medical term for high arches.

How Do I Find out if I Have High Arches

You can usually tell if you have this problem by looking at your foot from the side and comparing how much empty space is between the sole and the floor to what you see normally. Alternatively, you can use a sheet of paper to get a print of your wet sole. If there’s little moisture between the heel and ball of your foot, you probably have high arches. Finding the right arch supports for shoes will help you tons in the long run.

Choosing Footwear for High Insteps

Shock absorbency is key when it comes to choosing the right shoes. Look for amply cushioned models that are labeled “plus” or simply “cushioned”.

Some brands make specialized series catering to people with medium to high arches that are designated correspondingly. If this is not the case with the model you are considering, make sure it has enough space while offering good ankle and arch support.

It’s also advisable to pay attention to how certain shoes are laced. Lacing that is designed for an average arch can prove way too tight for a high one, causing numbness and even pain. It’s generally best to lace your high-arched foot the way you would lace a wide one, doing one eyelet and then skipping the other to reduce the pressure.

Insoles also play a major role in relieving the stress on your foot as you walk or run. These shoe inserts promote even distribution of weight and pressure when fitted appropriately. Specialized high-instep sports shoes sometimes come with dedicated insoles, and there are shops that will customize your insole. Alternatively, you can get amply cushioned shoes that fit your feet well and come with a removable commercial insole to replace it with a high-arch-friendly one.


Well-made athletic shoes that fit your needs can be a huge relief if you suffer from high insteps. Look for a model that gives your foot a lot of space and supports the arch and ankle at the same time, preferably with a proper insole.