As runners, we're always told that it's tough training, persistence and heart that are going to get us across the finish line. Quitting is for quitters, right? Unless your poor feet quit on you halfway through the race.
Sure, those other things are important too, but a runner with bad feet is going to have a tough time traveling mile upon mile over pavement or dirt. That's why finding the right shoe is so vitally important to success as a runner. Unfortunately, no two pairs of feet are exactly the same, so finding the right pair of shoes to support your unique bone, tendon and ligament structure takes a lot of time.
The good news is, there are clues to point you in the right direction and a major factor is your arch.
If you happen to have a high arch, you probably have a neutral gait (little to no internal rotation — pronation — when you walk), which means you want to look for a neutral shoe. After quizzing more than 30 runners about their arch height and shoe preferences, the following styles and brands received the highest marks as standouts for women with high arches.
The Asics GEL-Cumulus is intended for "underpronators to mild overpronators" — perfect for the high-arch ladies — so it comes as no surprise that they received rave reviews from real runners, including Sara from Sweaty Mess Mama. "I went through two shoes — a Brooks Adrenaline GTS, a stability shoe that I didn't need, then was switched to the Brooks Ghost — a neutral shoe with inserts. I hated running with the inserts — they were way too hard. When I had a knee injury last summer, my PT told me never to run in the Brooks again. I was so deathly afraid of injury that I listened and bought the Cumulus on a whim because I liked the color. I've since branched out to the Nimbus and Saucony Triumph, but I like the Cumulus because they're nice and cushy, have good arch support and they're really snug around my heel." (Asics, $120)
Kaella Car, the blogger behind Kaella on the Run, was one of three runners to swear by Mizuno Wave Riders: "I have super-high arches and I wear Mizuno Wave Riders. No complaints and they work great for me!" (Amazon, $120)
The 17th iteration of the Asics GEL-Nimbus is another fan-favorite of those who have under- to mild pronation. While the Nimbus didn't get quite as many raves as some of the other shoes on this list, they still stuck out as a top contender, and they've made it into Sara's (from Sweaty Mess Mama) go-to rotation with the GEL-Cumulus and Saucony Triumph. (Asics, $150)
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