How Do I Know If I Have Flat Feet or High Arches?

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Do you have flat feet or high arches? Do you know the shape of your foot?  If not, there’s a simple, home test that will show you. This is important information when you are shopping for new shoes, because it will determine the best shoe for your foot type.

Take the wet test. Put some water in a pan, such as a baking sheet. Then stand on a piece of brown paper (a cut-up grocery bag will work). When you lift your foot, look at the shape. What do you see? If only a little of the outside of your foot is visible along with the ball of the foot and the heel, then you have a high arch. This type of foot is not that common, and means that you underpronate.  Shoes with a soft midsole encourage pronation in the foot. 

What if you can see almost your entire print? This test result tells you that you have flat feet, and are likely to overpronate. When this happens, your ankles turn in more than they should, so stabilizing shoes are recommended to control the motion of the feet. Seeing at least half of your arch shows that you have a normal arch, which is the most common of foot types. 

Knowing your foot type will help to insure that you select the most comfortable shoes. This is critical, because improper footwear is a leading cause of foot pain and foot conditions. Is foot pain slowing you down? Call the office of Podiatrist Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850, or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

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