What Are The Types of Foot Arches?

In a previous blog post, we talked about the importance of your arch type. In this blog post, we want to dive into the different types of feet arches and what you can expect if you have a certain arch.


If you haven’t seen the other article, you can check it out here. Keep reading to find out what arch type you might have.


Low Arch/ Flat Feet


First, we’ll go ahead and talk about those with a low arch or flat feet.


Characteristics of Low Arches or Flat Feet:

  • Very flexible foot

  • Arch that sits low to the ground

  • Little to no arch definition


Some of the potential problems that come with arches like these are:

  • Overpronation

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Post-tibial tendonitis

  • Heel spurs

  • Medial knee problems

  • Bunions


Having low arches is actually more common than you think. Around 20% of the population actually has low arches. While low arches can typically lead to imbalances of the feet causing long-term problems, most of the time you can help prevent this with the right footwear and custom orthotics.


Medium Arch


Next, we will cover the medium arches.


Characteristics of medium arches are:

  • Biomechanically efficient foot

  • Moderately flexible foot

  • Defined arch


Some of the potential problems of having medium arches are:

  • Heel pain

  • Susceptible to metatarsalgia


Medium arches are a lot more common, with 60% of the population having them. While medium arches are more biomechanically efficient than other arches, they are still susceptible to common foot problems caused by improper footwear.


For someone with medium arches looking to get orthotics, make sure they have arch support, cushioning and shock-absorbing materials for comfort and foot pain prevention.


High Arch


The last arch type we’ll be covering is high arches.


Characteristics of high arches are:

  • Very rigid foot

  • Arch that sits higher from the ground

  • Well defined arch

  • Excessive pressure to rearfoot and forefoot


Some of the potential problems of having high arches are:

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Heel pain syndrome

  • Arch strain

  • Metatarsalgia

  • Calluses

  • Claw toes


Just like low arches, around 20% of the population has these types of arches. Typically when we walk, the whole foot absorbs the pressure. But those with high arches are going to have a lot more pressure on the rearfoot and forefoot areas, which can cause foot conditions.


Fortunately, the right orthotics can actually help support the arches and fill the cavity to disperse the shock from walking, running, and jumping.


Knowing which arch type you have can help identify the cause for some foot-related problems, as well as leg, back, and hip pain. If you aren’t sure of your arch type you can head to your local Podiatrist and receive imprints or iStep scans.

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