Does Arch Support Help or Hurt?

I know that when I say something like “There is no support for arch support,” and make a post to explain why I say that, some people respond, “Yeah, but your minimalist shoes have no support in them, so of course you would say that.”

To those respondents I say, “You have the order backwards. I discovered the lack of support for support long before starting Xero Shoes.”

But, there’s no need to take my word for it.

There’s RESEARCH that backs up the idea that arch support — whether it’s built into the shoe, or added with an insole or orthotic, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

And the independent shoe review site,, has just posted an article asking the question “Truth or Hype?” when it comes to supporting the arch.

The synopsis is in the infographic from their site, below:

I take issue with the recommendation that you should only use arch support if a podiatrist recommends it, given that most podiatrists don’t know about this research and think, incorrectly, that you DO need arch support.

Plus, not surprisingly, many of them make quite a bit of income from prescribing arch support.

So, I’d rewrite the recommedation to “recommended by a podiatrist who understands natural movement and knows that arch support is a temporary treatment for healing in most cases.”

BTW, my favorite part of the article on is actually the list of Best Rated Running Shoes on the right hand side.

As of this writing, here’s what that list shows… notice that THREE of the top 5 are Xero Shoes! (and I expect that the Speed Force will crack the Top 5, too):

Top rated running shoes - Xero Shoes has 3 of the top 5