Consider Your Arch Type When Shoe Shopping

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Each time you purchase shoes, it’s a good idea to have your feet professionally measured. Our feet grow as we age, and too narrow or too tight shoes can cause many foot problems such as ingrown toenails, Morton’s neuroma, hammertoe and bunions.

When you choose shoes, it’s important to consider your arch type too. Our arches have many jobs as they assist with weight-bearing and movement, bringing flexibility and stability to your foot.

Do you know what type of arch you have?

How To Determine Arch Type

There are three types of foot arch:

  • A low arch, also known as flat feet, can result from an injury or if the arches haven’t properly formed after childhood.

  • A medium or neutral arch is, for the most part, biomechanically efficient.

  • High arches tend not to absorb shock as well as a neutral arch and are often hereditary.

It’s easy to figure out your arch type. Wet your feet in the bath or shower and then step on a dark floor tile or a flattened brown bag. When you lift your foot, you will see its outline traced out. If you have flat feet, you will see the full outline of each foot. Someone with high arches will see little mark in the arch area, while those with neutral arches will see about half of the arch area filled in.

Selecting the Right Shoe for Your Arch Type

Wearing the right shoes and sandals for your arch type is essential for optimal foot health and can lower your risk of stress fractures, ligament and muscle strains and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

  • Neutral arch. Just about any shoe that has ample room in the toe box and fits well works for you.

  • Low arch or flat feet. Look for comfortable shoes with added arch and heel support as well as extra cushioning to reduce friction. Wearing custom-fitted orthotics can add more shock absorption.

  • High arch. You’ll need a shoe that is flexible but also supportive and cushioned. Walking shoes that are too rigid can cause frequent foot pain and blisters.

Let us help! Come visit our office so we can accurately assess your foot arch and discuss the best shoes for your unique feet.

Don’t Live with Foot Pain! We Can Help

Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis, discomfort from arthritis, an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.