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Arch Type

Understanding your arch type will help you know which shoes and arch supports are most appropriate for you. If you do not know your arch type, step into a shallow pan of water, and then onto a piece of paper to help you understand which category you fit into. Although arches are as varied as people, we will use the following categories for simplicity.

Flat Arch

The flat arch footprint will show no empty area between the forefoot and the heel.  If you have a flat arch, a straight last shoe will be the most comfortable and supportive.  You probably over pronate, so you might also consider a motion control walking or running shoe.


High Arch

A high arch (cavus foot) footprint will have an empty space between the forefoot and the heel.  The cavus foot can be associated with difficult shoe fit due to instep height.  It is also frequently associated with heavy metatarsal head (ball of the foot) pressure.  The cavus foot is usually very rigid, and may be associated with supination, but can still have any gait type.  Although it is sometimes thought that this foot type does not require arch support, we find that a soft arch support helps ballance the weight on the foot thus creating less pressure on the heel and forefoot.  Usually a curved last shoe is appropriate, and if there is nopronation, avoid motion control and stability shoes. 


Normal Arch

Your footprint will have an empty area on the inside of the foot between the heel and the forefoot. The outside of the foot will be connected by a large band.  If you have a "normal arch", a slightly curved last will fit best, with mild arch support. There are many shoes that will fit you, but if you want the best in running or walking, you still need to know your gait type. For more information about gait type click here.