Thanksgiving, which is just a few weeks away, marks the beginning of the holiday season. People are busy planning their big meals and preparing for guests. This can mean a lot of time on your feet—which can mean dealing with sore feet later. Your natural foot shape and function, particularly your arches, can contribute to this or help you manage the pressure.  Knowing your arch type can help you better care for your feet and ankles so they stay comfortable, even when you’re standing or on the go for the holidays.

Your arch is the middle part of your foot. It’s an important foot structure, and its shape can impact your comfort and your walking efficiency. It helps support and distribute your body weight evenly through your lower limbs. It also helps you absorb impacts when you take a step. Not everyone’s arches are the same, of course. You could have one of three different arch types:

  • Average or Medium: A normal arch is efficient and effective for both absorbing shock and distributing your body’s pressure. Typically this leaves a footprint where you see about half your arch.
  • Flat or Low: Low arches are flatter than the medium midfoot. Typically they are more flexible through the middle of the foot, too, but less efficient for absorbing pressure. They’re also more likely to overpronate, or roll inward too far when you walk or run. These leave behind wide footprints with almost no visible arch.
  • High: High arches are taller than the average midfoot, directing most of your body weight onto the ball of the foot or the heel instead of spreading it over your entire sole. Generally these do not absorb shock efficiently, since the arch is too rigid and raised. They’re more likely to underpronate, or direct weight to the outside of the foot when you walk or run. These leave behind narrow footprints, with only the outside edge, ball of the foot, and heel visible.

The best way to check your arch type on your own is using the wet test. Once you know your foot shape, you can invest in comfy footwear that accommodates your arch height and efficiency. If you’re not sure what kind of arches you have, or don’t know how to find shoes to accommodate your needs, contact Carolina Podiatry Group. You can reach our offices by calling—(803) 548-FEET for Indian Land or (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster—or by using the website.

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