7 Best Running Shoes For Orthotics in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Running Shoes For Orthotics in 2024
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Running shoes for orthotics tend to be wide. Given the number of wide-running shoes on the market, choosing can be a drag. We took the liberty of coming to your aid by giving you an in-detailed review of these shoes. 

We have tested orthotic-friendly running shoes and we have carefully assessed which ones do, and even transcend their jobs. From there, we have selected the finest models from various categories to get you out of the misery of the trial-and-error task of obtaining the suitable pair for you.

How we test running shoes

We don’t just randomly choose the orthotic-friendly running shoes we put on this list. We pace and test each one of them to see if they’re worth recommending. 

Some of the steps we take include: 

  • Buying them with our own money. Our main reason for doing this is to avoid brand loyalty.
  • Logging 30-50 miles worth of test runs. We go active with these shoes and we form our impression about many things like their support, lockdown, spring, cushion, and others.
  • Slicing them into pieces. We hate working in the dark. As much as we can, we unravel all the elements present in the shoes.
  • Measuring each part of the shoe in 30 different parameters. We also make the data more readable, in a sense, by analysing them and forming our conclusions.

Best running shoes for orthotics overall

What makes it the best?

Backed up by our lab, we gave the top orthotic-friendly running shoe spot to Deviate Nitro 2 because it blends comfort, speed, and grip in perfect harmony. Our rides felt smooth with this carbon-plated pair that accommodates slow to fast paces and runners that pronate. It has an easy-to-switch insole that can be replaced with custom-fit orthotics for better comfort.

Every footfall of ours is caught by a soft foam that feels plush and delicate underfoot. Our durometer confirms it’s 30.8% softer than average, creating a smooth, low-impact ride. 

Despite the buttery foam, we didn’t struggle to pick up the pace. The carbon plate generates a consistent and vibrant energy that springs us off with every stride. What helps is the stiffness, which our lab validates to be 95.3% higher than average. This didn't go unnoticed in our runs as we could hold faster efforts with finesse.

The outsole uses PUMAGRIP ATR, which is meant to handle mixed terrains. We proved this true as it delivered excellent traction on wet roads, loose dirt, and light trails. Our durometer shows this type of rubber is softer than average, meaning it has a better grip.

DN2’s 31.7 mm heel stack falls 1.7 mm below average. Heel-strikers who prefer more support in this area should explore other max-cushioned trainers.

Pros

  • Great all-rounder
  • Super-smooth and responsive ride
  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfy upper
  • Grippy outsole
  • Above average durability
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • Heavier than other similar shoes
  • Not many colours available
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

Best daily training running shoes for orthotics

Nike Pegasus 40
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

We cut open and ran in many orthotic-friendly shoes and found the best daily trainer — the Pegasus 40. It perfectly encapsulates a reliable workhorse for gobbling daily mileage with its loose build, balanced cushion, and long-lasting outsole.  

Our runs feel natural with this flexible pair. We discovered multiple grooves along the outsole, allowing the shoe to bend easily. This enhances comfort since we don’t have to fight much resistance. Our bend test proves the force needed to flex the shoe to 90° is only 16.0N, 46.5% less than the average.

Switching our attention underfoot, the moderate cushion offers a good balance of foam, ground feel, and some energy return. While our durometer measures the React foam as 26.1% softer than average, its stack sits below the median. 

The Peg displays excellent durability and traction in the outsole. Its 3.4 mm rubber is thick enough to last long, but its dense material makes it more enduring. Our durometer shows it’s 7.2% harder than average. Despite this, it delivers the traction we need on different pavements.

With the comfy dual-layer padded upper, it lacks air ventilation. With a lower-than-average score on our breathability test, we don’t recommend this trainer in warm and humid conditions.

Pros

  • Plush and comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Has enough toe-box space
  • Not overly soft or firm underfoot
  • Good energy return
  • Great grip on most surfaces
  • Incredible durability
  • Perfect for everyday miles and LSDs

Cons

  • A generally narrow fit
  • Heavier than the v39
  • Not a very memorable ride
Full review of Nike Pegasus 40

Best running shoes for orthotics for speed training

ASICS Novablast 4
90
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Pushing the pace in the Novablast 4 feels smooth with the plush and peppy midsole. Our feet experienced its remarkable speed and comfort, and our lab results agree! Combined with its stable and robust base, it’s easily our best speedster among orthotic-friendly shoes.

Our durometer reveals a decadent foam measuring 28.7% softer than average. Underfoot, it feels buttery smooth and exceptionally guarded from the brunt of repeated landing impact of our high-paced sessions. Despite its softness, the midsole feels snappy and comes to life during our intervals and tempo workouts.

With a caliper in hand, we measured the midsole to be wider than average by 9.6/4.7 mm in the forefoot and heel. This means it should accommodate most custom orthotics. Not only that, it gives us a vast landing platform to find our footing securely during toe-offs and landing.

Surprisingly, Novablast 4 feels lighter than it looks. Our scales show it’s only 9.1 oz (259g), while the average stands at 9.4 oz (266g). What also keeps the feeling light is its adaptive midsole, which our bend test reveals is 13.5% more flexible than average.

While Novablast 4 can sustain high speeds, we find that it still lacks the energy return of a racer. We recommend PB-chasers to explore other options.

Pros

  • Enhanced outsole offering better grip and durability
  • Improved upper comfort with premium materials
  • Upgraded tongue padding
  • Exceptional value at just £150
  • More cushion than ever before
  • Accommodates a wide range of foot sizes
  • The most stable Novablast yet
  • Retains most of its fun and energetic ride

Cons

  • Not the best for hot summer runs
  • Outsole still lacks grip in wet conditions
  • Minor weight increase compared to v3
Full review of ASICS Novablast 4

Best cushioned running shoes for orthotics

What makes it the best?

The ASICS Gel Nimbus 26 has emerged from our rigorous lab tests and actual runs as the orthotic-friendly running shoes with the best cushioning. Aptly named Nimbus, it envelops the foot in a luxurious, cloud-like cushioning that feels surprisingly secure with every stride—a rare trait among maximalist daily trainers. With a removable insole, it’s easy to switch to custom orthotics as needed.

Its abundance of plush padding surpasses generosity, offering a height that exceeds race-legal limits. The midsole, towering at a substantial 40.4/32.0 mm stack, comprises a pillowy foam that delivers premium comfort and unparalleled impact protection across all distances. Our durometer readings confirm its exceptional softness, measuring 21.6% softer than average. Adding to its velvet touch is the PureGEL technology that facilitates softer heel landings.

Despite its ultra-soft feel, lateral stability is remarkably maintained, owing to its wider-than-average base and rigid construction. These elements effectively mitigate excessive twists and lateral movements to reduce the risk of injuries. 

However, its emphasis on comfort over speed may not suit those prioritizing pace, as its 10.7 oz (303g) weight requires additional effort to run faster. For speed-focused runners, we recommend exploring alternative options.

Pros

  • Premium all-around comfort
  • Enhanced toebox design
  • Exceptional durability
  • Best-in-series outsole
  • Ideal for long distances
  • Superb knit upper
  • Surprisingly stable
  • A dream for heel strikers

Cons

  • Increased weight
  • Limited energy return
  • Tongue lacks padding
Full review of ASICS Gel Nimbus 26

Best stability running shoes for orthotics

What makes it the best?

Adrenaline GTS 23 shines in offering subtle stability while putting a premium on comfort. It guides our feet without changing our natural stride and spoils us with soft foam and an airy upper. We switched the insole to our orthotics easily without issues. Based on our lab results and actual runs, it claims the top stability title for orthotic-friendly running shoes.

Each footfall is met with a vast landing platform that inspires safe landings. Our caliper shows it’s 4.2/6.9 mm wider than average in the forefoot and heel. Another stability feature is its GuideRails technology that’s integrated into the sides of the heel for further support. Despite being a stable shoe, this pair doesn’t resist our natural movements thanks to its loose build. Our flex test confirms the midsole is 41.2% more adaptive than average.

The cushion feels balanced underfoot — soft and steady at the same time. Our durometer validates it stands 18.4% softer than average. Even with its velvet touch, we never bottomed out.

Switching our attention to the upper, it’s one of the most breathable shoes we’ve tried with no blister encounters. Our lab breathability test confirms this with a 5/5 rating. 

This shoe is better suited for heel-strikers since the forefoot stack falls 3.0 mm below the average. It's not cushioned enough for forefoot landing.

Pros

  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all

Cons

  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Best lightweight running shoes for orthotics

Hoka Mach 6
85
Good!

What makes it the best?

Upon lab-testing and running with orthotic-friendly shoes, we discovered Hoka Mach 6 leads the pack in the lightweight category. This workhorse excels across the board—offering responsiveness and grip for intervals, cushioning for long runs, and flexibility for recovery days. For such a light build, it’s packed with features that make our runs lively and vibrant.

At a mere 8.2 oz (232g), it’s exceptionally airy for its cushioning and remains 12.5% lighter than average. Along with its free-flowing midsole, we can move naturally and be quick on our feet. In our flex test, it bent in all the right places with a force 36.4% below average.

Mach 6 offers generous cushioning and our caliper confirms its 36.0/26.4 mm stack rises above the 33.6/24.9 mm average. It dampens landing impact effectively, allowing us to chase more miles with fresh legs. The shoe also includes a subtle rocker that helps with our forward momentum.

In our tests, the Durabrasion rubber, softer than the average at 75.1 HC, delivers exceptional grip, ensuring our safety and surefootedness no matter where we ran.

With its focus on agility, the shoe runs quite narrow. We recommend those with wide feet to explore alternatives for better comfort.

Pros

  • Really lightweight
  • Fantastic outsole
  • Exciting ride
  • Highly cushioned
  • Great for heel strikers
  • Handles faster paces
  • Superb lockdown
  • Excellent value at £150

Cons

  • Drop varies from stated
  • Somewhat narrow fit
  • Thin tongue
Full review of Hoka Mach 6

Best budget running shoes for orthotics

What makes it the best?

At only £80, we didn’t expect much from the Adidas Duramo 10 but were pleasantly surprised with how supportive and comfy it felt during our test runs. For those needing custom insoles for underlying foot conditions, we find the Duramo 10 to be the best orthotic-friendly running shoe on a budget. 

Requiring 32N of force to bend the shoe 90 degrees in our flex test makes it 7% stiffer than average. As such, the Duramo 10 resists the natural flexion of our foot during our stride to a certain degree, which prevents us from exacerbating any existing foot injuries by providing underfoot support. This level of stiffness also makes the Duramo 10 more receptive to custom orthotics. 

We also found the Duramo 10 to be high in torsional rigidity, earning a 4 out of 5 in our manual assessment where we bent and twisted the shoe in our hands. This is another supportive feature of the shoe that serves to keep the shoe from contorting with our foot as we run. The result is a nice and level platform for stable and secure landings, even on uneven terrains. 

While a certain amount of stiffness is beneficial, the Duramo 10 stiffens up by a whopping 85% in the cold; much more than the average shoe which only becomes half as stiff under similar conditions. This means the Duramo 10 will definitely feel too frozen to be comfortable during winter runs.

Pros

  • Comfy for all-day wear
  • Lightweight for its kind
  • Stable even during sharp turns
  • Breezy on warm days
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Can handle gym training
  • Durable for the price
  • Soft upper
  • Affordable
  • Eco-friendly upper

Cons

  • Break-in period for wide feet
  • Lacks spring for fast runs
Full review of Adidas Duramo 10
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.