High arches are usually an indication that you supinate, or roll the foot outward, as you run. This condition can cause a number of uncomfortable side effects, including shin splints, ankle strain, stress fractures of the tibia, plantar fasciitis or ligament rupture. Find the right shoes for your high arches to prevent discomfort and maximize your running potential. Of course, if you still feel discomfort or pain, contact your doctor or a podiatrist.
Identifying Your Arch
A free gait analysis at a shoe store or a visit with your podiatrist can help diagnose a high arch that needs a specific type of shoe. If you have access to neither, you can do a quick check yourself. When you step out of the shower or tub, take a look at your foot print. A narrow, curved print with just a skinny strip connecting the ball and heel of the foot indicates a high arch and a foot that is likely to supinate.
The Cushier, the Better
Shoes with high amounts of cushioning usually have little support in the arch, something a high-arched foot doesn't need. High-arched feet usually provide little shock absorption, so your foot appreciates the extra padding.
The last is the model upon which the shoe is molded and also refers to the shape of the shoe. Look for a shoe that has a curved last. This structure encourages your foot to pronate slightly so you have a more neutral running experience. A slip last may be another feature you look for because they make the shoe flexible and add extra cushioning. A slip last is when the shoe's upper is sewed into a sock and fastened to the sole without any barrier between.
How to Shop
Try on shoes later in the day, once your foot has swollen -- you'll get the best fit for running. If you do purchase shoes recommended by a specialty store and continue to have problems that stem from supination, it may be time for an orthotic insert. Inserts can be bought off the shelf, and Sports Injury Clinic notes that most of the time these suffice. However, some people need specially designed orthotics molded by a podiatrist.