Not Martha

seeking arch support in athletic shoes

I need a good amount of arch support in my athletic shoes so I’ve been a faithful New Balance girl for a while but recently the New Balance shoes I’ve been ordering for cross training have been almost without it, despite a few pairs having high “excellent arch support” reviews at Zappos (1010, 780). What’s going on? Did the doctors recommendation for arch support go away? Like when we all went from sit-ups to crunches? Did New Balance change the way they make shoes? Did my arches somehow get higher? Is this some sort of a strange bid to get me to buy the arch support inserts as well? Can you tell I’ve been so disturbed by this I’ve slipped into the realm of paranoia?

So, any recommendations on what brands or stores I should be looking at when I venture out into the world again with a few pairs of clean white cotton socks stowed away in my bag? Would fancy running stores carry shoes meant for cross training? Help, before I end up spending an hour trying on unsupportive shoes inside a generic sporting goods store!

· comments [90] · 02-4-2009 · categories:shopping ·

90 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dogmom // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

    My chiropractor was telling me recently about the firestorm going on in the chiropractic community about the change in NB shoe design relating to arch support — or the lack thereof. So no, I don’t believe you are being paranoid at all; there has been a major change, and from what I can tell from what he said, it’s not been well received at all!

  • 2 Monique // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Hi. I live up the road in Bellingham and up here we have a few stores dedicated to running. My suggestion is not one brand or another but rather that perhaps there is a running store in Seattle that you can go to to try on supportive shoes in a non-generic sporting store. I am not suggesting you buy them there, you could probably order online for cheaper, but just to find the brand and shoe that works for you.

  • 3 heidi // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I can recommend Super Jock ‘n’ Jill (on the north side of Green Lake in Seattle) without hesitation. They’ve got great staff and will actually watch how you walk/run to make recommendations based on your stride, needs, activities, etc. I got my last pair of running shoes there and love, love, love them!

  • 4 greta // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:41 am

    i’ve been learning a lot about shoes while shopping for my toddler’s shoes… it seems that there has been quite a bit of research recently showing that less support is actually better? protection from the ground and good flexibility more than anything else. something about your foot developing more of its own strength and flexibility rather than relying on the shoe. i do remember reading an article about nike coming out with new shoes for runners based on research showing that too much cushion etc. may not be so great… apparently runners were having more injuries the more ‘high tech’ the shoes were getting… but i can’t remember the citation. maybe the ny times? sorry!

    i used to always buy shoes with good support (my arches are very low, nearly flat) but since reading about the toddler shoes i’ve been trying a new approach, just making sure that the shoes are comfy and don’t rub or make me walk funny or anything. :) i am also being more conscientous about varying the shoes i wear every day. i have to say that maybe it’s psychological, but my feet do feel stronger and healthier.

    good luck finding whatever is best for you!

  • 5 cp // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Athletic shoes can be broken into three categories–cushioning, stability and motion control. Which one you need depends on your foot. (Even though “cushioning” sounds like everyone would want that!)Head over to Super Jock and Jill by Green Lake and see Chet James and tell him how you want to use the shoe. Save money buying other things online. These folks stand behind their shoes and will get you into the right pair.

  • 6 megan // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Thank you to Greta and Dogmom for notes on the recent changes, it’s really good to know it’s not my imagination. Sadly, I need arch support to balance out my long thin feet and the resulting metatarsalgia. Without an arch the weight is distributed right where it hurts, and I’m afraid it’s too late (queue violins) for my feet to not have developed this problem. Damn you new science!

  • 7 Hilary // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:00 am

    I go to a running store and the employees there will watch how you walk, look at the shape of your feet, etc. They then have you try on tons of shoes, 2 different pairs at one time. You pick the most comfy and then they use that as the next cue of what shoe to put on your second foot and so on until they find the perfect shoe. Unfortunately I don’t live in Seattle so my store is little use to you.

    However for good arch support I buy Asics. They are great shoes. Maybe try those? Also I was told that when I see a similar shoe for a lot less money but still Asics, it’s normally because they’ve stripped out some of the padding to make it more economical of a shoe so for running shoes, I don’t skimp.

  • 8 kathy // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I always thought I needed arch support (and it felt so good) until I started running and having foot pains of various sorts. I’m so so so glad I sought professional help in the form of a proper shoe fitting at a specialty store. I’m running on less arch support now, but my feet are doing great.

  • 9 megan // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thank you to everybody! And thanks to CP for explaining the cushioning/stability/motion control thing. The shoes I’ve been trying have all been in the cross training section of the New Balance site which means they are cushioning, which might explain the lack of arch support in the ones I’ve been trying on. According to my foot doctor and the research I’ve been doing on metatarsalgia I really need arch support to balance the weight distribution at the ball of my feet. I head to Jock and Jill, thanks to everybody for the recommendation that I go there!

  • 10 Jamie // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Ditto on the Super Jock ‘n Jill at Greenlake, I won’t go anywhere else.

  • 11 Chris // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I also need good arch support in my workout shoes. The best I’ve found has been in Asics and Adidas shoes. I like the Asics Gel Nimbus series, but they’re kinda pricey.

  • 12 Theresa // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’d suggest http://www.roadrunnersports.com – they have a great customer service staff and returns are good.

  • 13 Linda // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:42 am

    My hubby swears by Superfeet arch support. He wears them in his tennis shoes and loves them. He also adores Shoes & Feet where he bought them. He thinks they know their stuff.

  • 14 allison // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I always had trouble finding shoes that supported my feet properly. I have flat feet and they pronate also so I checked with some running shoe experts at the Fleet Feet here in Houston and they recommended one Asics and one Mizuno shoe. The Asics was fine was I ended up going with the Mizuno and I love it!

  • 15 Adrienne // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I’m late, but I’ll throw in my two cents anyway… the other brand of shoes my podiatrist recommended was Asics, so you might try those. But really I find that no shoes have enough arch support for me, I yank out the insole that comes with and use Sole footbeds instead. http://www.yoursole.com/ (they’re not paying me to say this) I don’t care what the latest expert findings are, I have lots of foot pain if I don’t have arch support.

  • 16 paola // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Late again, but ditto on Super Jock ‘n Jill. They let you try everything, nothing is too much trouble and I came away with such comfortable shoes, even though I too have foot problems.

  • 17 Miss Grace // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Please let us know what you end up getting. I have the exact athletic shoe problem.

  • 18 Kate // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I have crazy high arches and Saucony are the only sneakers I can wear.

  • 19 Chuck // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I pronate badly when I walk and thus need good arch support. I have been wearing Saucony Omni series for several years. They have great support, are light and very comfortable.

  • 20 Rebecca // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I wear New Balance, but I remove the insole and replace is with a Super Feet insole: http://www.superfeet.com/. They’re great!

  • 21 Anne // Feb 4, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I second the recommendation for Mizuno shoes. I have very high arches, and my Mizunos have wonderful support. I’ll never buy another brand of running shoe.

  • 22 KatieMcG // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I ditto the others re: a good, professional fitting. I used to work shoes in a sporting goods store, and specialized in running/walking shoes. I will say that Saucony is a good brand that I’ve had luck with before. Good luck!

  • 23 sara // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I definitely recommend the “stability” Asics shoes…I have big problems with shoes with no arch support and these are awesome.

  • 24 Stacy // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Brooks running shoes seem to give me the best arch support and stability for my flat feet.

  • 25 Emily // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I have a pair of Nikes that turned out to have not enough arch support, so I bought a pair of Superfeet insoles. They’re an extra expense (I think $30), but definitely worth it, especially if you’re stuck with a barely-but-too-worn-to-return pair of shoes.

  • 26 Asia // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    SUPERFEET, they are amazing, you can buy them at Nordstrom for sure, but I’m sure other places have them. They are $30 or so, and last a year or more, depending on your activity level. They are inserts for your shoes, they not only support my abnormally high arch, but they also keep my ankle stable. I can’t imagine not owning these.

  • 27 Karen in Wichita // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for bringing this up… I have a ratty old pair of NBs that I love, and was just trying to figure out what they were (the numbers are all worn off) so that I could get the same thing again. Glad I didn’t go mail-order some.

  • 28 Maura // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Just chiming in on going to a store where they watch how you run and recommend shoes. I did that and got to try on a lot of different pairs before I picked. Then I just buy new ones online.

    I also have Asics for arch support.

  • 29 Meagan // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. I can’t say enough about them (although they are usually not pretty shoes, alas, it is not unusual for that to be the case in high-stability running shoes). Brooks, Brooks, Brooks. Though I’m sure it’s best to go to a running store, if offered the choice of Brooks, try them on, as they’re really a cut above the rest (and several cuts above recent NB’s).

  • 30 Kerri // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Have you tried on the New Balance 992s? I’ve found them and their predecessors, the 991s, to be some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. They’re pricier but I think it’s worth it, and even though I’ve had arch issues in other shoes I’ve worn, I’ve never experienced it with these.

  • 31 Kim // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I second many people– definitely recommend Super Jock n Jill on Greenlake. They watch you walk and run barefoot, then recommend shoes. You can even try running around a bit outside with their shoes on! I bought Brooks Adrenaline from them (I have low arches) and have been very pleased. They also carry NB, Asics, Mizuno and Saucony (I think), among others.

  • 32 Mark // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I second the recommendation of 3rd-party insoles. Brands like Superfeet, Shock Doctor, Montrail, and Spenco all make nice insoles that can replace the flimsy ones that come in most shoes (not just NB).

    Bring the insoles with you when you try new shoes, and be extra sure the insole is measured to fit your actual foot, not your shoe size! For example, I usually wear a 10.5-11 shoe, but my arch is more like 8 or 9 for insoles. Most decent outdoor stores can help you with this.

  • 33 Shannon // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I tried on every shoe my local sporting good store had when I bought my Asics looking for the best arch supoport. They feel great, and I need a lot of support too. Also, you may want to look into orthotics from an orthopedist. I had mine made and I put them in my running shoes and everything is wonderful.

  • 34 Torrilin // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    it seems that there has been quite a bit of research recently showing that less support is actually better

    Um. Kinda. Sorta.

    That’s actually *really* old research, dating back to the mid80s. If you have a normal foot, with no damaged joints, bone deformities, tendon troubles etc etc etc, then yes, less arch support is good. This is well supported and pretty broad based research.

    The problem is, not everyone has completely normal feet, and some issues higher up in the legs can contribute to foot troubles. If you *do* have a bone deformity, tendon issue, joint issue etc, then your body may need different things from someone else with normal feet. And you’ll need different things from someone with a different medical issue. Arch support is not a cure all, and depending on your particular problem, it can actually make things worse. (been there, done that, have t-shirt and a lifetime prescription for orthotics)

    If you have a lot of foot pain when you’re physically active, your best bet is to see a podiatrist. Make sure there isn’t a medical problem, then go with a shoe that keeps you comfortable.

  • 35 Lisa // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I just bought a pair of Earth shoes
    http://www.earthfootwear.com/ that have incredible arch support!
    They are sold at Whole Foods, but I got mine at a shoe store.

  • 36 megan // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Torrilin – Thank you. I definitely fall into the “not normal feet” category.

    Thanks to everybody for the recommendations on inserts. I’ve had a set of Sole moldable inserts that I never got around to popping into the oven so I’ll start with putting those in an older pair of shoes and seeing how it goes.

  • 37 BJ Lantz // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I’ll throw in my vote for Mizunos as well. We have a great athletic shoe store here called Spikes (not a chain). They really know their stuff and take into consideration how the shoes you’ve been wearing have worn, your foot itself and what you will do with the shoes (ie. running, walking, step, etc). I have a sky-high arch and could never find a shoe that I was happy with until I went there. They put me in a Mizuno and 5 or 6 pairs later, I’ve never bought a different brand. They ain’t cheap, but they are worth every single penny.

  • 38 Cecilia // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I have had really good luck with Asics.

  • 39 Stacy T // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    i switched to Brooks and have not gone back to any other shoe. Glycerine is my favorite because its not a soft shoe. I run about 15-18 miles a week and get new sneaks every 6 months. Brooks are the BEST!

  • 40 m. // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Seattle Running Company on Capitol Hill is a great store.
    http://www.seattlerunningcompany.com/

  • 41 prasti // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    yes, yes…super jock n’ jill was the first place that popped into my mind. they recommended asics for me to provide better arch support (i even got to go on a trial run outside of the store w/ the shoes), though it may be a different situation for you. good luck!

  • 42 Kayla // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Go to a fancy sports shoe store! I went in and said, “Uh…I run 12 miles a week. My shins hurt. What shoes do you recommend?” And they recommended the perfect pair which also happened to be very affordable (Asics. Love!). Use their expertise!

  • 43 Libby // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Get thee to a fancy running store. I don’t really run, but have had stress fractures and foot problems from cross training and walking. They prescribed the perfect shoes each time. Asics and Mizunos. Shoes I never would have picked by myself off the shelf, but fit me perfectly and feel great!

  • 44 greta // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I found the NY Times article I had read, in case anyone’s interested: http://tinyurl.com/asresp. It’s from 2005, so not quite new, but not quite 1980s either.

    This is definitely one of those things where you just have to do what works for you, but I will happily be the Nth recommendation for Superfeet. I used to buy those for almost all of my shoes, and they really were wonderful at providing good arch support in otherwise unsupportive shoes. They also come in different thicknesses depending on whether you want them for dress/athletic/hiking shoes etc. I always bought mine at REI, I’m sure they still sell them.

  • 45 Suzanne // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I’m also a longtime New Balance girl and have been having super nasty foot pain after runs with my newer shoes so thanks SO MUCH for this post–it’s been very helpful for me to read all the comments, find out more about why this is happening and learn more about inserts!

  • 46 michelle // Feb 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I use to work at a running goods store – and there are many helpful shoe reviews and special fits. Running shoes for ‘support’ are basically separated into 3 categories: (1) Neutral/Cushioning (2) Pronation and (3) motion control (with motion control being the most ‘supportive’

    If you feel you need more than that, then it is recommended that people look into orthodics.

    Check out this site (hopefully it’ll help): http://www.runningroom.com
    Different brands fit up their shoes differently (ie) longer lasts, bigger toe boxes etc. So you’ve just got to fit into some that you like. I personally like aasics, but I know many who enjoy stiff support and go saucony.

    Furthermore – cross trainers are different from runners different from trail shoes, and walking shoes. Cross trainers usually have ‘less’ to them in terms of long distance running type activities.

    good luck

  • 47 Rachel // Feb 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    You should definately go to a local running store. They are trained to look at your feet and find a shoe that is right for you. Don’t get hung up on colors and the look of it, get a shoe that fits you and feels good. Running shoes are great for everything, not just running.

  • 48 megan // Feb 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Just for posterity, all the recommendations for inserts prompted me to finally use my heat-moldable SOLE inserts. I put them right into a pair of the New Balance sneakers I wore yesterday and did the same workout and it was SO MUCH BETTER. My shoes felt springier and the balls of my feet didn’t complain, no numbness in my toes. Now I just want to find a shoe with a little more room in the toe box.

  • 49 jo-anne in vancouver // Feb 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I swear by my Saucony “Pro-Grid Guide” shoes for pronators: http://www.saucony.com/ShoeDetails.aspx?gen=f&use=Run&id=1123&rel=1117,1126,1123,1147,1108,1139,1137,1103,1112,1042,1077,1060,1101,1073,1063,1061,1145,1133,1135,1151,1149

    I’ve been wearing them for years and I have extremely flat feet. Couldn’t get them in my size last year and tried Nike’s pronation shoes – crap! Even my physiotherapist told me to get rid of the Nike’s and go back to Saucony. I’m now just waiting for the 2009 ones to arrive at my local shop.

    On a side note, I do wear them with orthotics, another item I cannot live without.

    Good luck in your search!

  • 50 jo-anne in vancouver // Feb 4, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Oooooo…sorry about the extremely ugly link to the shoes!

  • 51 saskia // Feb 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I have under pronation and got neutral support from a pair of wide Nike’s at Nordstroms…totally recommend going there –I went to Bell Square and also ended up leaving with a pair of SuperFeet insoles for another pair of shoes and went to The Walking Company on the second floor and got THE most comfie supportive cushy insoles (they are the thickest ones they have..)…I have high arches, long and tall bones that do not like running, and running now is heaven.

  • 52 Stacy // Feb 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I used to wear Nikes because NB didn’t have enough arch support for me. After visiting a running store and trying on several brands, I sank into a brilliant pair of Adidas adiSTAR and love them! My sister has arches not quite as high and loves Saucony.

  • 53 Breathin' // Feb 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    You need a neutral shoe, which usually has a white sole…nothing clear with fancy holes or anything.
    I also have very high arches and had to go and get my foot analyzed at a local sports store – we have the running room here and they were really great.
    I got Asics – and from day one they were perfect and didn’t give me any trouble.

  • 54 Jessica // Feb 4, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Saucony or Kalso Earth. I’ve never been a NB fan.

  • 55 Lindsay // Feb 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Alas, I have stupid high arches. As in I’ve-never-tried-on-a-pair-of-shoes-that-touched-my-arch high arches. The extra high arch supports you can order online though? HEAVEN. On the plus side, I can buy any athletic shoe that makes the rest of my foot happy, then just add one of my trusty insoles.

  • 56 Melissa // Feb 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Since no one’s mentioned them, I’ll give props to Ecco’s Receptor running shoe. I have awful terrible feet that are hard to fit, and these are insanely comfortable. Not cheap, but worth every penny.

  • 57 Michael // Feb 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    If the insoles have the problem solved, that may be all you need- though I’d highly recommend Mizunos and join the chorus on that front if you are still looking for something new.

    You’ll pay more money in a custom running store for a pair of decent cross trainers or running shoes- but the time invested in getting the right shoe makes the extra 20 bucks worth it.

    One thing that I don’t think has been mentioned- if you do go to a custom running store take in a couple of old pairs of running shoes/cross trainers. In addition to looking at your foot, watching you walk, and learning about your medical issues they will also look at the wear on your old shoes. The way you wear shoes down can be pretty important in determining what type of shoe you need and if your foot uses an efficient motion when walking and running.

  • 58 Maria // Feb 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I also had a fitting at Fleet Feet, and have been very happy with the Brooks Ariel shoe for the past 8 years.

  • 59 kat // Feb 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    ooh my dad would love your question! he is a bone doctor so he’s been critiquing my footwear all my life! he gave me arches to put in my running shoes.

    i wear asics which have okay support but adding additional supports that were molded to my feet really helped.

    it might just mean going to a running store and trying a lot of shoes on!

  • 60 Heather // Feb 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I had a soccer injury that resulted in some effed up feet and my physical therapist recommended I get me some motion control sneakers. I hit up Seattle Running Co where they film your gait and then analyze it to see what kind of shoe works best. I walked out with some Asics that made me very happy. I am also EXTREMELY fond of SuperFeet insoles. I’ve been using them for five years now and they’re grand.

  • 61 jackie // Feb 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Super Jock n’ Jill or The Foot Zone.
    I got a pair of Brooks and love them.

  • 62 Carolyn J. // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I’m a high-arched, wide-footed woman who’s giving another shout-out to Saucony.

  • 63 Courtney // Feb 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    I personally like Saucony but if you like the New Balance and you’re not getting the arch support you want just toss the insoles and get some Superfeet insoles. They have varying support insoles, I run with the pink but if you need a lot of support the green are probably for you. Market Street Athlete in Ballard will let you try them out in your shoes or shoes they have in the store.

  • 64 Heidi // Feb 5, 2009 at 5:26 am

    back when I ran, the only thing I could wear was Brooks.

    I am surprised your foot doc hasn’t put you in a made-for-you insole. I recently had a badly sprained ankle and we discovered a latent problem and now I have to wear custom insoles in all my shoes. ugly as sin, but upside is now I have SO much less pain and shoes fit my feet great.

  • 65 cassie // Feb 5, 2009 at 6:57 am

    the best thing I ever did was see a podiatrist and get fitted for custom insoles. Yeah, you can mold your own at home, but the choice of material etc. are limited. My insurance paid for them and the doctor recommended a pair for athletes that has arch support molded to my foot but it also flexible and springy. I had tried everything in the stores before this, and it’s a huge difference.

  • 66 Jenn // Feb 5, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I also need arch support, and rarely get it from shoes alone. I’ve been using Sole insoles for awhile and find them to be good enough. Custom orthotics work better for me, but they’re around $400, so… http://tinychoices.com/2008/03/13/sole-insoles/

  • 67 Megan // Feb 5, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Hi, Megan!

    I have crazy high arches, and I LOVE my running shoes: http://www.mizuno.com/

    I’ve never had to add arch supports (which shift around, and wear out) to these. My arches never hurt. They’re the best thing since sliced gluten-free bread.

  • 68 Abby-Sophia // Feb 5, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Asics… not the best looking shoe design, but very comfortable for walking and gym/etc. I also have low arches and love this brand.

  • 69 Courtney // Feb 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

    My feet turn in terribly, and I used to be a New Balace girl myself. A year or so ago, I tried on some Nike’s at my local running store and have stuck with them since. They’re from the Bowerman series, I think they’re called Air Structure. I never thought I’d wear a Nike shoe again, but these are great.

  • 70 NiNi // Feb 5, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Nthing Superfeet. They made a world of difference in my New Balance shoes. I won’t be buying New Balance anymore, but I want Superfeet for all my shoes! They even make then for dress shoes.

  • 71 Anne // Feb 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    I think the best thing to do is go to a running store where they specialize in this sort of stuff – sounds like you know a lot already about what you’re looking for, so it’s just a matter of matching that with the shoe knowledge they have at these stores.

  • 72 missy // Feb 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Late to the party, but I’ll also name Asics and Brooks as my go-to shoes for running. I need motion control shoes to reign in my extreme pronation, and i’ve found that Brooks and Asics usually have great arch support as well. (And it sure beats my old ghetto arch support method of medical tape wrapped up around the ankle.)

  • 73 Llink // Feb 6, 2009 at 4:13 am

    I need a lot of arch support and have found over the years that Mizuno running shoes are best for me.

  • 74 Mandi // Feb 6, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Another vote for Asics! I went to a real runner’s store to get fitted, even though I am not exactly the vision of athleticism. That’s what they put me in, after watching me walk around a bit – and they are great! They zeroed right in on some aspects of my gait I hadn’t even noticed myself. I think going to the running store for a proper fitting at least once, is sort of like getting a good bra fitting at least once – you just should do it, and then stick with those brands/sizes from then on.

  • 75 Kate // Feb 6, 2009 at 6:59 am

    A good running store will also let you wear the shoes outside and run up and down the block a few times to you can really make sure they fit well and are comfortable. I never buy running shoes from generic sporting goods stores anymore. Asics are my brand of choice, but it’s all about what your feet are comfortable in.

  • 76 Mariko // Feb 6, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Crap, that’s a lot of comments! My 2 cents: I have been a runner for over 20 years. I have worn custom orthotics and motion-control shoes for over 20 years. I didn’t think I could walk barefoot or in unsupportive shoes EVER. But I recently started seeing a new podiatrist who is very into the whole barefoot running thing. So, out the door went my orthotics and stiff shoes, and now I run in racing flats with a little metatarsal pad (Pedag brand) in them. It’s only been a couple months, but so far so good. There’s a whole philosophy behind the “natural” running thing. Something to think about if you decide to get all crazy like I did. Whichever path you choose, you should definitely go to a technical running shoe store like that Jock & Jill place. Have fun!

  • 77 Jenn // Feb 6, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Sorry to be late to the party, but I just have to second the Superfeet insoles. I have crazy high arches (they don’t even leave a footprint!) and the Superfeet insoles are a dream. Without them I would not be able to run long distances at all.

  • 78 megan // Feb 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Thanks again to everybody for the recommendations. If anybody has any experience with cross training shoes for at home workouts of the 30 day shred/jumping jacks/elliptical machine sort I’d love to hear it as well. I am so very much not intending to run, or even walk long distances, in these shoes.

  • 79 JDW // Feb 6, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Call a local podiatrist’s office. Ask them what shoe store in the area to visit. I was having lots of problems with my feet and lower legs, so I went to a podiatrist. He gave me a “prescription” for shoes at a local running store. I went there, and the salesperson was extremely helpful. He said they get training from the podiatrists. I got a pair of motion-control shoes to correct my over-pronating and some green Superfeet. 2 weeks and all my achilles and bunionette problems disappeared like magic.

  • 80 Faye // Feb 6, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I would like to know as well, seeing as i have recently developed HEEL SPURS, which having low feet and nearly flat arches seems to have contributed too.

    i strongly suggest getting arch support, whereever you can because heelp spurs almost stoped me from living my life! sounds extreme but its extremely painful and anything you do to prevent it is better than having them. good luck!

  • 81 Ana // Feb 7, 2009 at 6:31 am

    In this case, I would suggest going into a running or sports shop to get personal help from someone who is knowledgeable and has different stock on hand. I know the prices are a bit more than online but you are paying for the service and supporting your local businesses.

    I have a low arch and pronation so I need a different kind of shoe than those who have narrow feet and high arches.

    After you’ve found a shoe that you like, perhaps you could order your next pair online.

  • 82 Laura // Feb 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Regardless of which running shoes I buy (and I usually buy Asics), the first thing I do is throw out the insoles the shoes come with and replace them with Smart Feet insoles. Smart Feet are great and have been recommended to me by physical trainers and an orthopedic doctor. There are several types of Smart Feet insoles, so you can choose your level of support. They are for sale all over town, but I know for sure that they are at Market Street Athletic Shoes in Ballard and REI.

  • 83 Katie // Feb 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Try Super Jock & Jill! They’re very helpful. You may want to try getting some inserts for extra arch support – they sell them at J&J. (PS I like Brooks Adrenaline shoes. Give them a try.)

  • 84 M.E. // Feb 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I have no arch on one of my feet, and I love my Mizuno Waves. They’re older, but similar shoes are still made, and you can visit the Mizuno website to see which shoes are better for pronators, which have more or less arch support, etc. (At least, that feature was there the last time I visited, a year or two ago.)

    The ones I have support my feet as effectively as custom orthotics do.

  • 85 just barrie // Feb 10, 2009 at 6:50 am

    i second the suggestion for super jock n’ jills. they make you run with the shoes, they really look at your feet, and no matter how busy they are they are determined to find you the perfect shoe.

  • 86 seedless grape // Feb 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

    The current edition of Runner’s World magazine has their round-up of this year’s new running shoes. They classify the shoes for all different preferences (stability control, underpronotators, etc.), provide user comments, and also rate their best buys. I bet they probably have recommendations for shoes with good arch support.

  • 87 jd // Feb 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Look into inserts — orthotics are the best and some insurance covers it. I noticed the change with NB last time I went to try on shoes and it pissed me off. I switched to Brooks and have not looked back. Try Ariel – motion control, arch support, and its incredibly light!

  • 88 nazila // Feb 13, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Everyday Athelete in Juanita is the place to go.

    I’m a brooks girl. I had my orthotics fit for my adrenalines and I haven’t looked back since.

  • 89 theTrueth // Jan 29, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I know exactly what you mean shoes and sandals have no arch support in them today and you use to get shoes with so much arch support it felt like you had a half of a supper ball supporting your arches but now they act like we do not know what we are talking about when it comes to arch support. My arches are killing me also and I am still looking for the right support.

  • 90 saddle_em // Feb 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    teh latest “trendy” brands are the worst footwear I have ever tried on. Nike, NB, Fila, all of them no longer have adequate arch supports. the new “studies” that say you don’t need arch support are just a way for companies to save money and cut quality. those of us over 50 have had good shoes in the past. it’s just been in the last couple years that shoe quality has been the pits. when I find a company that makes a decent shoe, i will be a faithful consumer. I have to have white shoes for work so am limited on what I can wear there. but more importantly, what I can stand to have on my feet for 12 hour shifts.

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