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How Arch Types Affect Your Feet

We love our pets. Those furry freeloaders find a way into our hearts and become family. If you own a cat and want to show off your precious feline, the CFA Allbreed Cat Show “Cool Cats in Coat” takes place January 24-25 at the Holiday Inn on Ordway Drive.

When you watch a cat stretch, you get an idea of what we are saying when we discuss arch types. The cat arching its back resembles one of the extremes of the different foot structures.

High arches mean there is a pronounced curve to your arch, with mainly the ball of your foot and your heel touching the floor when you stand. This may be a normal foot structure for you, and as long as it stays flexible, you may be fine. However, this type of arch puts more stress on the midfoot bones, heel, and ball of your foot. You may tend to supinate (roll to the outside as you walk). It may also mean you have an underlying nerve condition that is causing your foot to arch. That should be checked out. People with high arches are more likely to have foot pain and difficulty walking.

If you have low arches (also called flat feet), your entire sole makes contact with the floor when you stand. This may be your normal foot structure, and thus not cause any issues. However, if you had a neutral arch that has gotten weaker, the collapse of your arch may cause you to overpronate. This means your foot tilts or rolls toward the inside more than normal, and that can put a lot of stress on your plantar fascia and your Achilles tendon.

A neutral arch is half way between the two, and usually experiences far fewer problems. Your gait is straighter with an effective rate of pronation, your arch has the right amount of give to it to absorb impact, and your weight is spread evenly over more of your sole. That doesn’t mean that you will never have painful feet, as there are many other conditions that can affect any of the arch types.

For help in deciding what shoes would be best for the different types of arches, or to treat any foot pain you have developed, contact Shenandoah Podiatry. Set up an appointment by calling (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office or schedule one online.