Identify Your Arch Types
We all have a natural foot arch type. Someone may have once pointed out to you that you’re ‘very flat footed’ or maybe you struggle with shin splints and muscle strain – this could be an indication that you have high arches. Feet are extremely important for day to day life, especially if you have an active lifestyle or your job requires you be up and about throughout the day. Whether you’re thinking about buying your next pair of running shoes or need something more comfortable for a special occasion, invest some time into finding out exactly what type of foot arch you have and how it can affect the shoes you buy. Below, we’ve investigated what foot arches are, the different types, why they matter, and ultimately, how you can identify your foot arch successfully.
What Is A Foot Arch?
Foot arches are a crucial element in your body’s structure, as they support the weight of your whole body, providing you with the best posture with the least weight resistance. Without functioning arches, there would be more wear and tear on your musculature and skeleton because motion and force on your foot would impact directly, instead of over time.
Different Foot Arch Types
There a few different types of food arches: normal, high, and flat.
Normal foot arch: this means that you can successfully absorb the impact of walking or running or any kind of exercise, without too much impact on the rest of your body. You might notice a curve in your foot, which is completely normal. This means you should be able to wear any type of shoe without discomfort or problems in the future.
High foot arch: you may also notice that your foot curves, but it’s quite exaggerated. You may notice that your body, joints, and muscles feel more strain after doing certain types of exercise. This is because your have less natural shock absorption that those people with normal foot arches because your foot has minimal contact with the ground below.
Low foot arch or flat feet: You might not notice any curvature at all if you have flat feet, hence the name. This low foot arch does work as a great shock absorber, but can put strain on your knees as your feet will roll inwards. This means that your feet are constantly in touch with the ground, as fully as possible. This can cause health problems in the future, such as arthritis.
Why Does My Foot Arch Type Matter?
Feet arch types matter as you need to ensure you’re buying the right shoes for you, so that you can provide yourself with additional shock absorption if required, or take the strain off your knees. Many joint problems can be attributed to poor fitting shoes because people aren’t aware of their feet arches. A simple test, which we’ll outline below, can help you start investing in the right type of footwear for you. Health problems for poor fitting footwear include the likes of arthritis, excessive muscle and joint strain, or even plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis is a condition which cause inflammation of the fibrous tissue on the bottom on your foot, which can cause excruciating heel pain. The condition is more commonly seen in those of us with flat feet or because of severe pronation (pronation is where the foot rolls inwards when standing, which is caused by flat feet).
How To Identity Your Foot Arch
There are a couple of ways to identify the type of foot arch you have. One, simply stand up straight and get someone to take a picture of the back of your ankles and feet and see which way you feet fall, if at all. More inwards means you have high arches and more outwards means you have low. If you’re struggling to differentiate, then the second test is a little more exciting. Take a bowl of water and a large sheet of paper. Make sure you use something darker, so that you can see your foot print. Wet the bottom of your foot and then place your sole onto the piece of paper. Remove your foot and take a look at the outline left behind. If your foot is completely filled in, including where the arch should be, then you’re flat footed. If you can see evidence of curvature, but still see a decent imprint of a foot, then you have normal arches. Lastly, if you can barely make out any contact in the middle of your foot on the paper, then it’s more than likely that you have high arches.
What Footwear Should I Now Buy?
If you have a high foot arch, try to look for running shoes or walking shoes with plenty of cushioning, so you have some extra help in absorbing motion. Don’t go for something that includes arch support, as this is definitely something you don’t need. If you have flat feet, you need a shoe which basically enables you to have an arch, so that your feet don’t constantly roll inwards. Trainers or shoes that include arch support, such as wedges or support posts, will give you the support that you’re craving. Remember, always try on footwear before buying, so that you know what support is provided with each type of shoe. Now you’re equipped with the knowledge of your foot arch type, you can start living in comfort, improving your posture, and feeling less strain and pressure on your joints or knees.Particularly if you’re a runner, finding the right type of trainer for your arch type is vital for the comfort and performance of your run. If you’re still unsure about your arch type, then visit your local podiatrist for more information about what to do next.There’s a great range of products out there, so make sure you ask the right questions, read some reviews, and enjoy shopping!
- Foot Shapes: Why It Matters Whether You Have Flat Feet or High Arches? – London Bridge Orthopaedics
- This Simple Test Can Tell You Which Type of Arch You Have – Runner’s World
- How to determine foot arch type – Mayo Clinic Health System
- The Easiest Way to Identify Your Arch Type – Parker
- Learn Your Foot Arch Type With The Wet Test – Heel The Pain