Customers often tell us they have high arches and need extra support. Many women experience high arches and benefit from a shoe that gives their arch a lift. Others who say they have a high arch actually have a high instep—which is different than having a high arch. Instep refers to the slope of the top of your foot being step (or high) or shallow (or low). High instep and high arches are not the same, and don’t require the same considerations when choosing shoes. So a person who has heard that high arches need extra support, but actually has a low arch and a high instep might continually find themselves frustrated when the shoes don’t fit.
Confusing, right?! Our sales staff has a combination of over 200 years of shoe experience-- we’ve been doing this for a long time—so when you put your trust in our expertise, we will help you find the right shoe to fit your specific needs. We’re going to focus on arch support today, but keep an eye out for future blogs that give you tips on shopping for a high instep!
Because the need for arch support varies from person to person, it’s important to get to know which brands work best for YOU. Your best friend might sing the praises of a particular brand for her high arches, but if you have flat feet you could feel like you are walking on a tennis ball when you try on the same shoe. Flat-footed friends don’t have to give up on arch support completely though. Instead try a shoe with a cork footbed that molds to the shape of your foot, over a brand with a firm, contoured footbed. If you’ve consulted an orthopedic doctor who has prescribed a custom-made orthotic, buying a shoe with a removable footbed is your best option.
Brands with cork footbeds:
Naot – This brand is the most frequently mentioned by customers who have consulted with orthopedic foot doctors. Many of their cork footbeds are removable (and replaceable) so if they wear down over time you can replace them without having to buy a new shoe. With hundreds of styles, NAOT is a customer and staff favorite!
OTBT (Off the Beaten Track) - Stylish and fashion forward, there is no compromise with OTBT! The more you wear them, the more the cork footbed takes on the shape of your foot, offering you customized support that looks amazing.
Brands with firm, contoured footbeds:
Aetrex – A leader in the field of orthotic footwear, Aetrex also offers fashion forward wedges that we love.
Olukai – Who says flip flops can’t be foot friendly! First designed by Hawaiian lifeguards, Olukai offers slip-on sneakers and flip flops that offer great support.
Vionic – With a huge range of styles from flats to pumps to sneakers, Vionic’s patented footbed is best for those with very high arches.
Taos – Who knew a canvas sneaker could offer such support? Taos fans do!
Brands with removable footbeds:
Remonte – Most Remonte styles are designed to remove the footbeds so that you can swap them out for your own orthotic.
Taos – They already offer amazing support, but if you’ve been prescribed an orthotic by your doctor, you can still enjoy Taos sneakers.
Ara – One of our best-selling brands, Ara has always been a top comfort choice that is now expanding their collection of styles extra built-in arch support and removable footbeds.
Who can benefit from arch support and why is it important?* People who stand or walk for many hours a day (hello hair stylists, waitstaff, retail sales people--we see you!) will appreciate the comfort of proper alignment. No matter the arch of your foot--from flat to high--the proper kind of support will help distribute your weight evenly over your feet. When your weight is properly balanced this can improve joint paint from your ankles all the way to your neck. Those with a condition of the sole called plantar faciitis can find reduction in the pain they experience. Well-made shoes--like those mentioned in this blog--consider the anatomical structure of the foot, which when properly supported help the entire body feel it's best.
Not all of our customers are close enough to visit our stores, so we've developed several ways to support your unique needs. Shop our Arch Support and Removable Footbed collections for a curated collection of shoes specifically for our friends with high arches. You can also take a short Product Selection Quiz which can match you with a great pair of shoes based on your needs. Local? Visit either our Camp Hill store at 1801 Market Street or Harrisburg at the Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace so our experts can help you find a shoe that feels as good as it looks!