In our previous blog post, we shared four effective methods to help you choose the perfect shoes for your feet. We touched briefly on the topic of foot arches and promised to explore how to choose the right inserts to support your arch. It's crucial to understand your arch type so you can purchase shoes that are tailored to your needs, reducing foot pain and preventing injuries such as plantar fasciitis.
Determining your Arch:
Identifying your arch type is simple with the "home water test." Follow these easy steps:
Place water in a shallow pan and wet the soles of your feet by immersing them in the water.
Step onto a piece of paper and examine the footprint.
Here's what to look for:
Normal Arch: If about half of your arch region is visible, then you have the most common foot type. A normal arch can support your body weight and pronates normally.
Flat (Low) Arch: If your footprint shows the arch is mostly filled in, this indicates that your foot may be collapsing inward while running. This can cause muscle stress and joint problems.
High Arch: If you can see little of your footprint, it is likely that you have a high arch. This type of arch can cause excessive strain on joints and muscles because your feet may not absorb shock well, particularly during high-impact or jumping activities.
Potential Problems with Arch Types:
Normal Arch: A normal arch distributes weight and pressure evenly across the foot, minimizing faulty biomechanics that may affect not only the feet, but also the ankles, knees, and back.
Flat Feet: Flat feet exacerbate the negative impact of excessive pronation on the foot, leading to faster and harder damage. Posterior Tibial Tendonitis or Adult Acquired Flatfoot is a common condition in which the posterior tibial tendon gets inflamed or injured, causing painful progressive flatfoot. When this tendon is damaged, a painful lowering or collapsing of the arch occurs. If left untreated, this condition can lead to chronic rigid flat foot and functional limb length discrepancies. Severely rigid flat feet can also cause posterior tibial tendonitis due to the constant strain on the tendon.
High Arch: People with high arches have less of their foot touching the ground when walking or running, which means less shock absorption when the foot strikes the ground. This can make them more prone to overuse injuries when playing sports or exercising. Additionally, highly arched feet can make it difficult to fit into regular shoes, leading to pain in the ball of the feet known as metatarsalgia as well as plantar fasciitis. People with high arches may also experience fatigue and soreness in their feet due to the increased amount of weight placed on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing. Furthermore, high arches can cause problems with posture and balance, and increase the likelihood of ankle sprains as feet supinate and roll inward. Additionally, people with high arches may experience lateral (outside) knee pain as their inward-rolling feet cause their knees to turn outward.
Choosing the Right Shoe Inserts for Your Foot Arch Type
Normal Arch: Shoes with firm midsoles, straight to semi-curved lasts, and moderate rear-foot stability are ideal.
Flat (Low) Arch: Walking shoes with a straight last and motion control can help stabilize your feet. Look for a deep heel cup that promotes proper foot alignment, as well as pressure relief of the plantar fascia with heel strike. These features will minimize frontal plane motion and excessive pronation, which can lead to arch collapse and foot pain.
High Arch: If your footprint shows little contact with the ground, you likely have a high arch. This type of arch can cause joint and muscle strain because your feet may not absorb shock well, especially during high-impact activities. Choose shoes with cushioning to compensate for the lack of natural shock absorption, and a curved last. You should also look for a rigid shank - just take the shoe and bend it in half to check. The shank is the structure of the shoe and should be sturdy enough to uphold and support the arch.
Finally, it is worth noting that even if you have identified your foot arch type in the past, it may have changed. Physical activities, weight gain, and the loss of collagen due to aging and pregnancy can cause your arch to collapse over time.
Pick up your shoe inserts today at Bogers Shoes! Our team is always ready to help you with your needs.
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New Balance, Dansko, Birkenstock, Drew, Earth, Propet, Dunham, and Rock Port! Starting at $29.99!
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