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Best Running Shoes for Orthotics 2020

There have been many moments in my running history that I pondered the effect of the pounding on the pavement would have on my ankles, knees, and back. So far, after over 10 years of recreational running, I have yet to suffer from more than a little heel pain. Over a drink a few weeks back I was chatting about marathon running with a good friend of mine and he spoke about his problems and journey to full marathon competitive running.

I asked him if he had suffered any problems with his running shoes. He proudly told me about the insoles he has made for himself when he visited the doctor a few years prior. Specially designed to perfectly conform to the outline of your sole, orthotics created to support every angle of your foot. These insoles can be added to most shoes, but not all. Ridgid and firm, his orthotics came with a hefty price tag, but worth it as he now comfortably runs his marathons regularly and relatively pain-free.

Orthotics are specially designed foot or heel supports (insoles) prescribed by a doctor to treat foot, back or leg problems. They are carefully and skillfully designed to be the perfect fit for the individual. There are other insoles which are available on the market at a much lower price, however, legitimate orthotics are doctor prescribed and well worth the effort.

In the world of running, each year 65 to 80% of runners all experience some sort of running-related injury, most often it is the result of overtraining, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to improving distance and speed over the weeks. 15% of all runners experience some sort of foot pain, plantar fasciitis is on the top of the list when it comes to foot pain. Orthotics can play a role in alleviating foot pain in runners. A medical device necessary for legitimate circumstances, orthotic devices can be life-changing.

How do you use an orthotic device? You need to buy the correct shoe, one that can offer support and offer the space for the device to be placed inside on the inner sole to provide maximum support.

It is worth noting that you can get off the shelf orthotic insoles to provide more cushioning and support for your running style, but the medical term refers to insoles that are specially designed by trained professionals to be specific to your feet. When choosing a shoe that you need to assist with running-related pain, or any day to day pain as per doctors diagnosis, you need to spend a few more dollars to make sure you are pain-free.

Brands such as Brooks, Asics, and Saucony have spent years researching and collaborating with doctors and scientists to provide a running shoe that provides comfort and support with cushioning and spring in just the right areas. As we are all unique in our foot arches and angles these companies cannot provide 100% support for everyone, therefore some companies allow for the addition for aftermarket insoles in their shoes making them orthotic friendly options.

Medical equipment friendly shoes are not always available and with my friend needed specialised orthotic insoles created for his arch style and feet, the research began to find appropriate options for running shoes so he can still run day to day and competitively.

Best Running Shoes for Orthotics

Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Orthotics

ModelRating
Brooks - Ghost 124.8
ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe4.6
Saucony Men's VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe4.6
Skechers Vigor 2.0 Trait4.5
Under Armour Men's 3021225 Running Shoe4.5
ASICS Men's GT-2000 7 Running Shoes4.7
PUMA Men's Tazon 6 FM Running Shoe4.5
ALTRA Men's ALM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe4.6
Nike Men's Running Shoes4.6
New Balance Men's Made in Us 1540 V3 Running Shoe4.4

1. Brooks – Ghost 12

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning
  • Fit Style: Mesh upper and traditional lace type
  • Manufacturer: Brooks

Brooks had to make it onto my list with the best medically and scientifically advanced technologies in running shoes. In my opinion, these shoes make the best addition to a serious runner’s shoe collection, allowing runners to adapt their running style and physical traits for pain-free training.

The Ghost 12 is the top of the range and features new technologies that create a superior product. Created for neutral runners, this lightweight shoe is ideal for a smooth ride with maximum cushioning. The cushioning style creates a shoe that is suited to road running, cross-training or the gym, generally suitable for almost all running types.

This shoe features a Segmented Crash Pad as an integrated shock absorber for maximum support. A new synthetic mesh with 3D Fit Print has been carefully engineered to provide the best fit around your foot, with strategically placed stretch and release mesh structure to conform to the contours of your feet. The Ghost 12 is the ultimate running shoe to adapt with your own orthotic device.

Pros

  • Neutral support
  • Quality synthetic mesh fit
  • Lightweight
  • Long-distance running, cross-training, treadmill, road

Cons

  • Price

2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber with rearfoot Gel Cushioning System
  • Inner Sole Composition: Removeable
  • Fit Style: Mesh upper and traditional lace type
  • Manufacturer: Asics

A unique selling point for the Venture 6 from Asics is the removable inner sole. This allows for the very easy adjustability and addition of medical orthotics. This is the reason for its number 2 spot on the list. Featuring a more traditional fit, mesh with synthetic support and a lace-up style to offer the upper support which is adjustable to be suitable for any person. Adding in your own orthotic as well as the advanced technology of the Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System to provide a smooth and pain-free run.

Asics has produced several running shoes that are tailored for different arch types. The Venture 6 is made for a neutral foot, but with the addition of your medical orthotic device, the shoe becomes ideal for any foot type. The rubber sole is created with Asics style for uphill and downhill traction and with high durability. A very clever choice for a more affordable running shoe which can be adapted with your orthotic device.

Pros

  • Neutral support
  • Rearfoot Gel Cushioning system
  • Price
  • Removable sock liner

Cons

  • Old school lace-up style

3. Saucony Men’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Textile and Synthetic
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: Versa foam cushioning
  • Fit Style: Mesh upper and traditional lace type
  • Manufacturer: Saucony

Saucony is one of the most respected running and walking shoe manufacturers. Collaborating with scientists, Saucony has studied and researched the biomechanics of top athletes, all with different foot arches and have developed shoes that cushion and support in all the right areas.

The Cohesion 12 from Saucony features a mesh textile and synthetic upper which offers optimum support for your foot in all the right places, with adjustable traditional lace-up style, suitable for any foot and running type. The Versa foam cushioning sole creates a smooth and comfortable ride for any level of experience for the runner, creating a supportive shoe which keeps the runner neutral and braced. There is leeway to add your medical orthotic for extra assistance as needed for your foot arch style.

Pros

  • Neutral support
  • Quality synthetic and textile mesh fit
  • Price
  • Versa Foam Cushioning system

Cons

  • None

4. Skechers Vigor 2.0 Trait

Details

  • Top Form Material: Textile and Leather
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: Air-cooled Memory Foam
  • Fit Style: Old school leather and textile with traditional lace type
  • Manufacturer: Skechers

The Skechers brand of running shoes has been long known for its fashionable durability, comfortable fit and excellent support for the user. The Vigor 2.0 is no exception, with their inhouse engineered Air-cooled Memory Foam inner sole, featuring gel-infused, high-rebound memory foam and their moulded dual-lite base material. The best support for the user, you can add your medical orthotic device for superior support to prevent any pain when on your feet for extended periods, or when running for long distances.

The Vigor 2.0 featured a comfortable upper, combining textile and leather with extra cooling micro-perforations and adjustable laces for a comfortable fit. A supportive midsole for stability and comfort and ease of use. The rubber sole and leather material adds to the long term durability of the shoe as well as the safety and non-slip use.

Pros

  • Optimal midsole support
  • Quality leather and textile mesh fit
  • Memory foam inner sole

Cons

  • Leather material needs more maintenance

5. Under Armour Men’s 3021225 Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: Charged cushioning foam
  • Fit Style: Full mesh upper and modern lace type
  • Manufacturer: Under Armour

Under Armour is a well-known brand that offers great options for runners, creating versatile and comfortably modern shoes. Aesthetically pleasing and useful for a multitude of reasons, the Charged Rouge is suitable for running or walking, day to day use. Although the cushioning system is almost mundane, the removable sock liner allows you to insert your orthotic device, creating a perfect base for your medical suited running shoe. A foundation built with a fully breathable mesh upper and modern lace-up style to offer adjustability to your preferred use, running or walking. The Charged Rogue comes standard with a rubber sole for safety and stability. This running shoe is affordable, general and a good foundation for your medical orthotic needs.

Pros

  • Neutral support
  • Quality modern synthetic mesh fit
  • Lightweight
  • Removable sockliner
  • Price

Cons

  • Standard inner sole

6. ASICS Men’s GT-2000 7 Running Shoes

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: Guidance Line Midsole Technology
  • Fit Style: Synthetic mesh upper and modern lace type
  • Manufacturer: Asics

Asics are industry leaders when it comes to running shoes with advanced cushioning technology. Their specially engineered shoes create a comfortable ride with the optimum level of stability and support. The GT-2000 is ahead of the game with rearfoot and forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System, absorbing shock and footfall while allowing the natural movement associated with a running stride.

Their I.G.S or Impact Guide System Technology is Asics design philosophy which incorporates features to allow for the natural movement of the runner while offering optimum support to prevent injury or any pain during use. Guidance Line Midsole offers support for the foot while their synthetic mesh upper offers adjustable support to conform to the contours of your foot and offer stability where you most need it. This shoe from Asics really is the ultimate running shoe to incorporate when you need the extra support for your foot.

Pros

  • Neutral stability and support
  • Quality synthetic mesh fit
  • Lightweight
  • Rearfoot and forefoot Gel technology
  • Price

Cons

  • None

7. PUMA Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic leather
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: Softfoam sock liner
  • Fit Style: Synthetic leather and modern lace type
  • Manufacturer: Puma

German origins do not affect the high quality and superior technology associated with Puma running shoes. Their engineering of the Tazon 6 FM running shoe is top-notch, incorporating modern aesthetics as well as safety and stability. This shoe features a synthetic leather upper with perforations for cool breathability. A cushioned midsole with EVA heel pad for comfort and shock absorption. The Softfoam sock liner provides soft comfort underfoot.

Puma spread their roots across the globe to offer everyone the comfort and safety of well-made shoes to protect and support your feet. These shoes comfortably fit around the entire foot and provide a secure wrap to offer support where you most need it. Orthotic insoles are able to be fitted in these shoes and increase your support exponentially.

Pros

  • Midsole support
  • Quality synthetic leather upper
  • Price

Cons

  • Breathability limited

8. ALTRA Men’s ALM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: StoneGuard and Altra Quantic
  • Fit Style: Synthetic upper and minimal lace type
  • Manufacturer: Altra

What would a running shoe list be without a trail running shoe? Altra was founded in the pursuit of better trail running shoes (as well as road running shoes) and they have made a name for themselves as ahead of the game.

The Superior 4 from Altra comes with a removable inner sole which allows the owner to add their medical orthotic for the best running experience available. Ideally suited to trail running, the Superior 4 has been specially engineered to offer the best support for your foot, using their advanced technologies to improve natural foot positioning, toe splay, comfort and stability. Providing a safe and secure landing on any terrain using their rubber sole and Zero Drop platform to maximum foot security. Created to be as lightweight as possible, reducing foot fatigue during trail running episodes.

Pros

  • High support
  • Removable inner sole
  • Lightweight
  • Trail running technologies

Cons

  • Limited breathability

9. Nike Men’s Running Shoes

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: unknown
  • Fit Style: Mesh upper and modern lace type
  • Manufacturer: Nike

Nike creates many running shoes and the introduction of the Air Zoom Structure 22 is no exception to the quality that Nike produces. Their team of engineers and scientists work together to improve and develop superior running shoes which offer the best support and movement of their running shoes. This one from Nike is foundationally the best for the addition of medical orthotics for the best fit and feel, complementing the advanced technology of their dynamic support midsole. Synthetic mesh upper with strategically placed overlays with a modern lace-up style creates an environment of safe, secure and comfortable running.

Pros

  • Quality synthetic mesh fit
  • Lightweight
  • A good foundation to add to your medical orthotic device

Cons

  • Limited support for your foot arch

10. New Balance Men’s Made in Us 1540 V3 Running Shoe

Details

  • Top Form Material: Synthetic mesh
  • Sole Composition Material: Rubber
  • Inner Sole Composition: ENCAP and Rollbar midsole
  • Fit Style: Mesh upper and modern lace type
  • Manufacturer: New Balance

Created by New Balance with their superior technologies, the 1540 V3 is created with all-day wear in mind. From running on the road to running errands, the support and comfort is almost unmatched. A thick heel and Forefoot Comfort Pad offering a soft landing to support your feet through many miles.

The combination of a synthetic mesh with overlays as the upper offers cool breathability and function to support your feet all day. Featuring a Ground Contact EVA outsole which is lightweight and creates a comfortable and natural movement for the footfall. Inside, the 1540 V3 is the brands ENCAP and Rollbar midsole technology to add superior support and comfort for your heel arch type. Adding your medical orthotic device will create a better shoe, perfect for your requirements.

Pros

  • Breathable upper mesh
  • Quality mesh fit with modern lace-up style
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile, from road running and day to day wear

Cons

  • Price

Best Running Shoes for Orthotics

FAQs

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are medically prescribed devices to help alter the arch to prevent foot, ankle and back pain in patients.

How often should I replace my running shoes?

Even with orthotics, you would replace your running shoes every three to six months, depending on how often you go running.

How often should I replace my orthotic device?

Generally, you should replace your orthotics every two to three years. Professionally recommend check-ups with your doctor should be annual.

Do orthotics weaken feet?

No, orthotics support the muscles in your feet and legs. Your feet do not become dependent on orthotics like a crutch but work while you are wearing them.

Should I wear orthotics every day?

Follow the guidelines prescribed by your doctor, as sometimes it may vary from situation to situation, depending on the severity of the problem.

Can I wear my orthotics with any shoe?

Not all shoes are able to fit orthotics, shoes such as high heels and flip flops cannot hold orthotics. Some closed shoes also cannot hold the orthotic device. Most running shoes can securely hold the orthotic device, consult an expert to know what type of shoe to buy for the best, most comfortable, use.

What is the price for orthotics?

Some health insurance companies will cover the cost of your orthotics as they are medically prescribed by a doctor. If you do not have medical insurance, the cost can be up to $1500 USD per set. Some off the shelf types can be as little as $75 USD, but they are not going to offer the support that a professionally made customized set of orthotics can provide.

What materials are orthotics made from?

Off-the-shelf orthotics can be made up of several materials such as foam or gels. Prescription orthotics are made with hard plastics or composites (polypropylene, copolymer, carbon graphite composites) to give the best physical support for your feet.

How do I clean my orthotics?

Generally, it is pretty easy to clean your orthotics. Remove from your shoes and gently clean your orthotics with mild soapy water with a soft cloth, dry with a cloth or air-dry overnight.

Conclusion

Orthotics are necessary for so many people from a range of physical problems. From simple foot pain to difficulty walking, orthotics are vital to change the life of so many people, they are a medical necessity. Scientists and doctors collaborate together to create devices that help the quality of life for those suffering from foot, ankle or back pain related to foot arch shape.

Some users will feel relief after a few months of use and some may need to wear their orthotics for years at a time. However, the case, the need for appropriate foot ware was important for the global community to consider. Thankfully many shoe manufacturers came to the table with advanced technologies which created impressive shoes to accommodate medical orthotics to help the population. If you are such a person that needs to incorporate orthotics into your life, I hope that list has been helpful in choosing the right running for you to continue on in a healthy lifestyle.

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