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Do high arches need arch support?

Run currently stocks 40 different styles of shoes and each one of them supports the arch. Whether you have high arches, low arches, or something in-between, it’s practically impossible to buy a shoe that doesn’t give some kind of arch support.

The construction of the upper, the materials selected for use in the midsole, and the shape of the sockliner are the things that support an arch.

The upper

arch support

The all-mesh upper.

Shoes are generally, from top to bottom, a mesh upper attached to a foam midsole which is attached to a rubber outer sole.

The upper includes the tongue, lacing, eyestay reinforcement, quarter panel, toe box, vamp, Achilles’ Tendon protector, and heel counter. The quarter panel is sometimes used to support the arch. The quarter panel will be stiffer than the mesh that most of the upper is made from. It will return more force to the medial arch, which makes it a kind of support.

Sometimes the panels are connected to the eyestay reinforcements that apply force to the arches as the laces are tightened. The force against the arch is a kind of arch support. When the quarter panel and eyestay are designed to work together, the resulting structure is typically called a mid-foot wrap.

The midsole can offer the greatest arch support

arch support

The grey foam, called the medial post, is denser than the white foam.

The midsole of a technical running shoe is most often made of layers of foam. From top to bottom, the most commonly seen parts are the lasting insole, higher density foam, and lower density foam.

The higher density foam compresses less than the lower density foam—it feels harder—and so it acts to support the arch. The higher density foam has most often been called a medial post–because the idea is that it posts-up the arch! For even more support, some of our shoes include arch supports in the midsole.

The sockliner

arch support

Sockliners curve up to meet the arch.

The sockliner is the part of the shoe that your foot, or more likely, your sock rests on. Each of the sockliners in our shoes curves up in the same place as the foot’s arch. The sockliner is a pliable material that easily deforms. It doesn’t look like it can handle much work. But manufacturer’s have discovered that wearers prefer the gentle arch support that sockliners provide.

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Phil Clark