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Best Running Shoes for Orthotics

September 10th, 2013

If you wear orthotics and you run, it can be a challenge to find a running shoe that fits your orthotics while offering the performance you want. Thankfully, there are several great options from some of our top brands if you’re looking for a shoe to fit your orthotics. What makes one running shoe better than another for orthotics wearers? Read on to find out!

Key Considerations

  • Pronation Support Level – A custom orthotic is designed to provide the right amount of pronation support on its own, meaning that if you add an orthotic into a support or motion-control shoe, you are likely to be over-correcting your pronation (known as supination). This can lead to running injuries such as stress fractures due to the lateral sides of your feet bearing too much of the ground impact forces. For this reason, it’s best for orthotics wearers to select neutral running shoes that do not offer pronation support.
  • Volume of Upper - The thickness and shape of orthotics can vary considerably based on individual needs, but in practically all cases, an orthotic will take up more volume in a shoe than the standard sockliner. This makes it a challenge to wear an orthotic in lower-volume running shoes. The solution: select a shoe that is at least medium in its overall upper dimensions, and perhaps consider purchasing a wide shoe, which will offer additional volume. You’ll also want to check out the running shoes listed below that are specially designed for orthotics wearers.
  • Shoe Size – In a shoe designed to accept orthotics (more on that below), you can generally purchase your standard running shoe size. For medium and lower volume running shoes, orthotics wearers may want to go up a half or even full size for an adequate fit.

Models Worth a Look

Brooks Dyad 7, New Balance 840 v2, Saucony Echelon 3

Brooks Dyad 7 – A highly cushioned, bigger volume shoe with a low arch structure that easily accommodates orthotics, the Dyad is one of the most popular running shoes for orthotics wearers. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but in return gives a boatload of cushioning and a wide, stable platform. This shoe is available in 2E and 4E widths for men and D and 2E widths for women.

New Balance 840 v2 – A top seller for runners who use orthotics, the 840 v2 provides a very high-volume fit along with a comfortably cushioned platform. Need even more room in the upper? This shoe is available in both 2E and 4E widths for men and D and 2E widths for women.

Saucony Echelon 3 – The lightest weight shoe here, the Echelon feels a bit more lively underfoot than either the Dyad or 840. We find the Echelon to offer not quite as much upper volume as those other shoes as well, particularly in the heel and midfoot. This shoe is available in 2E widths for men and D widths for women.

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