Why Foot Arch Type Matters

Human feet all have the same general, inherent design—26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles and connective tissues (tendons, ligaments)—but every pair is uniquely structured with its own intricate differences from other pairs of feet. A prime example of this is the foot arch, a biomechanical structure often taken for granted.

There are three basic types of foot arches – moderate, low, and high. In most cases, you can easily identify your arch type by examining the wear pattern on the bottoms of shoes or taking the “wet test.” If your footwear shows even wear, you likely have moderate arches. Excessive wear on the outer edge can be a sign of high arches, whereas the opposite usually indicates low arches.

The wet test entails wetting the bottom of a foot, taking a normal step on a surface that visibly shows the wet footprint, and then evaluating the results. For more information on this, give our Houston podiatrist office a call and we can help.

One of the key responsibilities of the foot arch is to properly distribute forces across the foot while walking or running. This is performed through a biomechanical process known as pronation – an inward rolling motion starting with the heel strike and extending through the final push of the toes.

Potential issues that come from arches that are either too low or too high include:

  • Overpronation. If you saw excessive wear on the inner edge of your shoes, it is because of this biomechanical abnormality. The foot structure leans toward the center of your body, and problems develop because too much force is absorbed by the inner edge of each foot.
  • Supination. While low foot arches cause too much pronation, high-arched feet do not roll enough. As might be expected, this lead to excessive forces being absorbed along the outer edge.
  • Bunions. Connected to overpronation issues, the risk of bunions increases if you have low arches. This can be attributed to excess pressure on the inner edge of your foot, causing instability in the joint found at the base of the big toe.

If you are worried about the potential problems that can arise on account of foot arches that are either too high or too low, we can help ease your mind. Houston Foot Specialists is proud to offer an array of preventative and treatment options. Even better, many options are conservative and do not require an invasive procedure.

Contact us today to learn more about your foot arches or schedule an appointment for the treatment you need to address an existing condition. We look forward to hearing from you, so give us a call at (713) 467-8886 or schedule an appointment with us online today.

Categories: General