I originally bought these shoes because I have problems with shin splints and extremely flat feet. While these don't have any special arch support (okay they have no arch support) they help promote a natural gait and the strengthening of the foot and leg muscles. When the feet and legs are strengthened in a more natural fashion, things stop hurting. It's awesome. I also don't fall as much in them as I have better balance and stability when turning quickly. Anyway I'm glad others introduced me to them and pushed me to try a pair and I think I'm becoming a true barefooting convert!