Arch Support

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A few weeks ago, we posted some information on why we recommend orthotics, and showed the kind that we carry in the office. We’ve talked about feet a lot lately, but since they’re the objects getting you through your day, you want to take care of them, right? One of your priorities should be good arch support. This starts with your shoes, but you also need to understand what shoes would work best for your arch.

High, normal, and low arches

The first thing to look at is your arch height. The “wet test”, featured at this page on Runner’s World, will help you determine if you have a high, normal, or low arch. If you have a low arch, then you generally need mild or medium support. With a high arch, you’ll usually need medium support. Even those with normal arches still need support; don’t forget to still pay attention to what shoes you’re wearing!

Under- and over-pronation

Once you know your arch height, the next thing to look at is pronation. With a normal arch, there generally aren’t any problems and you have a normal gait, with the pressure balanced properly as you place your foot down. If, however, you have a high or low arch, watch for under and over pronation. Overpronation means that you roll your foot too far forward when you step, putting the pressure mostly on your first two toes. Underpronation means that you don’t roll your foot far enough inward, putting the pressure on your outer toes. Both can affect and cause pain in your feet, ankles, and knees!

Arch support

Doctor Becerra and his son – Jack’s flip flops may not be giving him the best support!

Keeping all of this in mind, remember to purchase shoes with support! Don’t just think about how they look – think about how they feel too. I know this from personal experience – I bought a pair of tennis shoes two months ago, but noticed that my feet were sore at the end of the day, and that I was walking slightly on the outside of my feet. Once I put a pair of orthotics in them, I really noticed a difference! So even though my shoes looked a lot more fashionable and colorful, in the end they really weren’t helping, and I ended up buying a better pair of shoes a few weeks later.

Don’t buy a pair of shoes and figure out later that they really aren’t the best for your foot – remember to pay attention to your arch and the support the shoes are giving you!

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