You’ve likely heard of someone asking, “What’s your sign?” but “What’s your arch type?” – probably not! While neither would be considered “a good line,” the answer to the latter can offer far more valuable information than what the stars may provide.
You see, the arch of your foot not only has the big job of providing you with support and shock absorbency every time you take a step, but it’s also a key factor in determining what shoes you should wear, what foot problems may be in your future, whether you could benefit from orthotics, and more! That’s why it’s important to know the type of foot arch you have, so you can choose the right footwear and stop problems before they start. Sure, you can just kind of eyeball it, but there’s a way that’s almost as easy, yet a lot more accurate! It’s called the Wet Test, and here’s how it’s done:
- Fill a basin with water
- Dip your foot in it
- Step on a piece of paper or dry concrete
- Look at the footprint you leave behind
If you see about half of the middle region filled from the outside in, congrats – you have what’s considered a normal arch.
If the entire middle section where your arch should be, is completely filled, you have low arches, a.k.a. flat feet. This means your foot likely rolls too far inward when you step (called overpronation), making you prone to injury and other issues.
If there is little or no imprint in the middle, and only the heel and forefoot are evident, you have high arches, making your foot less able to absorb shock, thus increasing your risk of injury.
While a normal arch type needs no special treatment, those with low or high arches should look for certain features in shoes, as well as invest in orthotics to slip inside them! Flat feet need footwear that provides stability and support, especially in the arch area. If you have high-arched feet on the other hand, look for shoes that are well-cushioned in the heel and ball of foot.
Custom orthotics can provide additional cushion and support where needed, as well as disperse weight and pressure more evenly, help to absorb shock, and correct pronation so that your foot is aligned properly when you step, making injury and pain less likely to occur.
So, do the wet test and determine your arch type, then give us a call to get the help you need. Dial (518) 273-0053 to reach either of our offices in Troy or Clifton Park, NY, and if someone does ever ask you, “What’s your arch type?” you can answer (right before you excuse yourself to leave)!