Arch Types – What This Means for Footwear
- Understanding the type of arch in your foot can help you find the best shoes for your foot and avoid foot pain.
- The three main types of arches are high, low, and medium, and each requires different types of shoes to support them.
- A wet test can help you determine your arch type, and it is recommended to visit a trained professional for gait analysis when selecting shoes for exercising.
Three Main Types of Foot Arches: High, Low, and Medium
The arch of your foot is the area of the foot takes on a huge amount of pressure as you go through your day. The arches of your foot are formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones. You have lots of ligaments and tendons running through the area.
The purpose of the arch is to allow the body to support the weight of your whole body while you are standing with the least amount of pressure. No two arches are the same, but there are three main groupings of arch types that are typical to most feet.
The three different types of arches are high, low, and medium.”
How to Identify Your Foot Arch Type: The Wet Test
There is a really simple way to find out what kind of arch you have, and it is commonly known as the “wet test.” The idea of the wet test is incredibly simple–put your foot in water and stand somewhere where you can make a visible footprint. That could be on the sidewalk, it could be on a piece of cardboard or a piece of paper. It is important that you pick a place that will change color enough so that you can see the print. While you are looking at your print there are three groups of questions you should ask yourself.
1. Looking at the print of your foot, does it show almost your whole foot, without very much curving inward where the arch is?
2. Looking at the print, does it show an outline of most of your foot with a slight curve between the ball of your foot and your heel?
3. Looking at the print, does it show an outline of your foot with a very steep curve between the ball of your foot and the heel?
Now, it is highly possible that your foot is somewhere in between the descriptions found above. That is no problem, just pick the one that best describes the print of your foot that you are looking at.
Low Arches: What Shoes to Choose and Why Gait Analysis Matters
If you answered yes to question 1, you have a low arch. Depending on just how low the arch is, you could have flat feet. If you have a low arch, when you are looking for your best exercise shoes, you should be looking for shoes that control the motion of your foot when you most. We highly recommend that you visit with a trained professional at a shoe store where they perform what is called gait analysis. A gait analysis will help make sure that the shoes that you pick out are doing the most to stabilize the motion of your foot.
Medium Arches: The Importance of Finding Shoes for Neutral Pronation
If you answered yes to question 2, then you have a medium arch. This is sometimes called a normal arch, but I hate that term because it makes it seem like anyone who has anything different is not normal, which is just not the case. People with a medium arch tend to have neutral pronation, and when they are looking for running shoes, they should look for shoes that provide stability. Because neutral pronation is considered to be the best for your hips, feet, knees, and back, it is important that those who have neutral pronation wear shoes that help them protect that.
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High Arches: Choosing Shoes with Stability and Careful Wear
If you answered yes to question 3, then you have high arches. People with high arches are those who are most likely to roll an ankle–it seems a little weird, but your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back are all interconnected, and people with high arches tend to roll their foot in a little bit, which can affect those other joints, especially while you exercise.
People with high arches should look for shoes that offer great stability. People with high arches also need to be the most careful about how quickly their shoes are wearing out, and they should keep track of the miles they put on their shoes to know when it is time to replace them.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Exercise Shoes to Avoid Foot Pain
Knowing what type of arch you have can help you pick the best exercise shoes. Wearing the right shoes is one of the very best ways to stay free from foot pain. When you are looking for the best shoes for your foot we recommend that you try out KURU with our patented KURUSOLE™ technology to keep your feet free from pain.
No matter which activity you are wanting to do in your life, KURU has a shoe for you that will give you the support, comfort, and style that your feet have been craving.
At KURU, we’re on a mission to help you Heel Better™ with footwear technology designed to relieve foot pain, so you can live a life you love. Since launching our innovative technology in 2008, we’ve received more than 29,000 five-star reviews from thousands of customers who tell us their KURU shoes helped them with conditions (such as plantar fasciitis) and got them back to doing what they love. Explore our guide to the best shoes for plantar fasciitis to find a pair that fits your needs.
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