Feet with high arches are a special foot in a number of ways. There are a few tricks to ensure you are wearing the right foot for your high arch!
Feet with higher arches may be harder to find shoes that the foot will fit in. Simple slip-on shoes are the most obvious ones that will not fit. There will need to be some adjustability of the shoe for the foot to slide in comfortably. Laced shoes are a better bet for feet of this kind than a slip on! It is possible to have more ability to adjust a shoe that can be laced up. Perhaps a longer pair of laces may be needed to make it fit better and to tie the shoes up.
Feet with higher arches may be a different shape than other feet. If you draw a straight line from the heel to the toes, this can give you an indication of the shape of the foot.
For a “normal” foot, the line will pass through the second toe (directly beside the big toe), or the joint space between it and the middle toe. For such a foot, a straight lasted shoe would benefit. This kind of shoe would have the same shape as just described: you can draw a straight line from the heel to the middle of the shoe.
For high arched feet, the line may point to the outside toes. In this case, a shoe that curves to the inside would be the best option. If the foot curves inwards and it is put into a shoe that is straight or curved outwards, the foot will push against the inside of the shoe.
It is often mentioned to take the insole out and put our foot on it. This is great to determine the width of the shoe, but you can also look at how the foot sits on the insole. If there is a part of the foot hanging over the side of the insole, the shoe is too narrow. If there is a lot more space on one side of the insole than the other, the shape of the insole is not correct.
High arched feet can be more rigid than other feet. These feet have a greater need for cushioning in the soles of the shoes. There also tends to be proportionately more pressure on three spots on the foot with a high arched foot. The spots are the heel, the big toe and the little toe. These feet are more like a tripod. Providing cushioning and support for the foot can help distribute the shock over a larger area and diminish the possibility of pain at these three spots.
With a high arch, a neutral running shoe would be the best option. This means there is no extra support on the inside of the shoe. A stability or motion control shoe will push the foot farther out, which exaggerates the high arch.
As a result, keep in mind the support is visible and solid! Keep in mind that each foot and arch is unique. If you have an orthotic, see how the orthotic works in the shoe. Some shoes may be too powerful for you and rock your foot out too much.
If you have any questions about this, please consult your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist and they would be pleased to help you find some shoes that will work for you and your orthotics.
Written by Jim Pattison, C. Ped (C)