Learn Your Arch Type

People come in all shapes and sizes. From head to toe each body is unique. Just as individuals can possess high cheekbones or broad shoulders, the can have unique footprints. Bone structure plays a large role in determining body type as well as arch type. The Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona understand that no two feet are the same and can accommodate all feet. Which arch type are you?

When it comes to arches, there are 3 distinct variations.

Low Arches– Often referred to as “flat feet”, this foot type affects approximately 20% of the population. Flat feet tend to be the most flexible, which in turn makes them the most susceptible to rolling inward and over-pronation. The footprint from feet with low arches reveals almost the entire foot. Low arches are imbalanced and cause further complications such as heel and arch pain, as well as plantar fasciitis.

Low arches require shoes or custom orthotics that stabilize the foot. Stabilizing the foot will decrease the risk of over-pronation, irregular body alignment, and other injuries.

Medium Arches – The most biomechanically sound arches are medium arches, or normal arches. Approximately 60% of the population has this efficient foot type. Though sound, feet with medium arches are still at risk for developing common foot problems. Heel pain and discomfort in the balls of the feet appear frequently. When viewing the footprint of a medium arch, almost half of the arch area will be visible as well as a well-defined forefoot and heel.

Medium arches can always benefit from extra cushion, shock absorption, and support. Individuals with normal arches tend to prefer neutral-cushioned footwear with minimal support.

High Arches – High arches are the most rigid of all foot types and are at risk for under-pronating. Feet with high arches can’t absorb an adequate amount of impact and shock while walking or running. The amount of surface area that touches the ground is minimal and places an excessive amount of pressure on the balls of the feet and the heel. Individuals with high arches are prone to developing foot conditions such as heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and pain in the balls of their feet.

High arches require custom orthotics that fill the arch cavity. By filling the cavity, shock can be absorbed more adequately. To prevent injuries and maintain healthy feet, footwear that aids in cushioning and alignment is best.

Education is key

Learning about different foot types will help you make the best decisions when it comes to your personal foot care and footwear.

Let the Advanced Foot & Ankle specialists of Arizona help you find your perfect orthotic. We’ll help you achieve correct body alignment, prevent injuries, and maintain that healthy, pain-free lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.