How are the arches in your feet? Do you know what kind of arch you have? There are three basic foot arches. Your arches can be flat, normal, or high.
The type of arch that you have can make a difference in the type of shoes are comfortable for you and give the best support to your feet and legs.
How can you tell whether your arches are high, low, or medium?
Here are two ways that you can use to check your arches. The most definitive way is to ask your friendly local podiatrist. The doctor can look at your foot and tell you where your arch is on the high/low spectrum. The best part about asking the doctor is that then you can find out what you should do to give your foot the most support.
The other way is a test that you can try at home. For this test, you need the following items:
1. A shallow pan
3. A piece of heavy paper – like a shopping bag.
Put the shallow pan on the floor and pour some water into it. Put the heavy paper on the floor next to the shallow pan. Remove your socks and shoes. Put your foot into the shallow pan and then put your wet foot on the paper. You should see the outline of your foot.
Look at the outline. Can you see all of your foot on the paper? If that is the case, you probably have flat feet. If you look at the paper and you see about half of your foot, then you have normal feet. The last option is that if when you look at the paper you see the ball of your foot and the heel of your foot but barely any middle part then you have high arches.
Why does my arch height matter?
If you are part of the majority of people and you have a medium arch height, then you don’t have as much to think about. But if you have flat feet, then you need to consider that you are probably an over- pronator and should be aware of that when pick out shoes. If you have high arches, you have a whole different set of issues, like being an underpronator.
What does it mean to be an underpronator or an overpronator.
Pronation is the roll of the foot while walking or running. A normal pronation will hit the ground on the outside of the heel and roll inward a small degree. If you overpronate, then when your foot strikes the ground, it rolls inward at a greater degree. As you might guess then underpronators roll their foot to the outside. If you would like to see a short video that demonstrates overpronation and underpronation, please click on this link.
Pronation dictates how your weight lands when you step or run. It also dictates how you push off on your feet when you move. These actions, especially in an under or overpronation situation can mean that you are putting stress on parts of your feet that were not designed for that stress. Both situations can leave you open for injury.
Next week we will talk about high arches.
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