This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
Father's Day Sale - Save An Extra 10% Today. Code: DAD10

How To Tell If You Have High Arches or Flat Feet? Arch Height Test.

Made From The Molds Of Your Feet

custom orthotic insoles inserts orthotics

Active

Designed for an active lifestyle.

best custom orthotic insoles inserts orthotics

Everyday

Designed for normal day-to-day use.

Discovering whether you have high arches or flat feet is essential for understanding your foot mechanics and finding the right footwear support. In this article, we'll walk you through a simple test to determine your arch height. Having high arches means that the curve in the middle of your foot is pronounced, which can lead to instability and underpronation while walking or running. Flat feet, on the other hand, have little to no arch, resulting in overpronation and reduced shock absorption. To perform the arch height test, all you'll need is a piece of paper and a pen. We'll guide you through the step-by-step process to determine if you have high arches or flat feet. Plus, we'll share insights on common symptoms and how to alleviate any discomfort or pain associated with your arch type. Understanding your arch height is crucial for maintaining optimal foot health and preventing potential injuries. So, let's get started and find out what your arches have to say! 

Understanding High Arches or Flat Feet

Before we delve into the arch height test, let's understand the different types of foot arches. The arch of your foot plays a crucial role in distributing the weight of your body and absorbing shock while walking or running.There are three main types of foot arches:


1. High Arches: Having high arches means that the curve in the middle of your foot is pronounced. This can lead to instability and underpronation, where the foot rolls outward while walking or running.


2. Normal Arches: Normal arches have a moderate curve that allows for efficient weight distribution and shock absorption.


3. Flat Feet: Flat feet have little to no arch, resulting in overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively while walking or running. This can lead to reduced shock absorption and potential injuries.

The Importance of Knowing Your Arch Height

Understanding your arch height is crucial for maintaining optimal foot health and preventing potential injuries. Wearing the wrong type of shoes, especially for those with high arches or flat feet, can lead to discomfort, pain, and even long-term foot problems.
 

By determining your arch height, you can choose appropriate footwear that provides the necessary support and stability for your feet. This can significantly improve your comfort level and reduce the risk of developing foot-related issues.

Proper Arch Support

Signs of High Arches

Identifying whether you have high arches is the first step in understanding your foot mechanics. Here are some common signs of high arches to look out for:
 

1. Foot Pain: People with high arches often experience pain in the arches, heels, or balls of their feet. This pain can be exacerbated by prolonged standing or walking.

2. Instability: Due to the lack of contact between the foot and the ground, individuals with high arches may have difficulty maintaining balance and stability.

3. Underpronation: Underpronation, also known as supination, is a common issue for those with high arches. It occurs when the foot rolls outward excessively during the gait cycle, leading to uneven weight distribution and reduced shock absorption.

4. Tight Achilles Tendon: High arches can put extra strain on the Achilles tendon, leading to tightness and potential discomfort.


If you experience any of these symptoms, it's advisable to perform the arch height test to confirm whether you have high arches.

Signs of Flat Feet

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, have little to no arch, and they can cause a different set of issues. Here are some common signs of flat feet:


1. Foot Fatigue: Individuals with flat feet often experience fatigue and discomfort in their feet, especially after prolonged periods of standing or walking.

2. Overpronation: Flat feet tend to overpronate, meaning the foot rolls inward excessively during the gait cycle. This can lead to improper weight distribution and reduced shock absorption, potentially causing pain or injuries.

3. Knee or Hip Pain: The improper alignment caused by flat feet can lead to additional stress on the knees and hips, resulting in pain or discomfort in these areas.

4. Shoe Wear Patterns: Flat feet may cause shoes to wear more quickly on the inside of the sole, near the arch area.


If you notice any of these signs, it's important to determine whether you truly have flat feet by performing the arch height test.

The Arch Height Test

To perform the arch height test, all you'll need is a piece of paper and a pen. Follow these step-by-step instructions to determine if you have high arches or flat feet:


1. Prepare the Materials: Place the piece of paper on a hard, flat surface, such as a floor or table. Make sure the entire paper is visible and not obstructed by any objects.

2. Wet the Bottom of Your Feet: Wet the soles of your feet or apply a small amount of water onto the paper to ensure a clear imprint.

3. Step onto the Paper: Carefully step onto the paper with both feet, ensuring equal weight distribution.

4. Step Off the Paper: Once you have fully stepped onto the paper, carefully step off, making sure not to smudge the imprints.

5. Examine the Imprints: Look at the imprints left on the paper. Pay close attention to the middle part of your foot, where the arch is located.

High Arch Feet

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing the Arch Height Test

1. Measure the Arch Space: Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the space between the floor and the highest point of your arch. This measurement will help determine your arch height.

2. Repeat the Test: Perform the arch height test on both feet to ensure accuracy. Sometimes, arch heights can differ between feet.

3. Compare the Results: Compare the measurements of both feet. If there is a noticeable difference in arch height between the two, it's important to consider the implications on your foot mechanics.

Interpreting the Results of the Arch Height Test

Once you have performed the arch height test and obtained your measurements, it's time to interpret the results. Here's what your arch height measurement might indicate:


1. High Arches: If your arch height measurement is significantly higher than average, you likely have high arches. It's important to choose shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning to provide stability and reduce the risk of underpronation.

2. Normal Arches: If your arch height measurement falls within the average range, congratulations! You have normal arches, which generally require less specific footwear support. However, it's still essential to choose well-fitting shoes that provide comfort and promote natural foot mechanics.

3. Flat Feet: If your arch height measurement is significantly lower than average or non-existent, you likely have flat feet. It's crucial to select shoes with proper arch support and stability features to minimize overpronation and provide adequate shock absorption.

What to Do If You Have High Arches

If you have high arches, it's essential to choose the right footwear to support your foot mechanics. Here are some tips to alleviate any discomfort or pain associated with high arches:
 

1. Arch Support: Look for shoes with built-in arch support or consider using orthotic inserts to provide additional support.

2. Cushioning: Opt for shoes with ample cushioning to absorb shock and reduce the impact on your feet.

3. Stability: Choose shoes with a stable base and good lateral support to enhance balance and stability.

4. Avoid High Heels: High heels can exacerbate the instability caused by high arches. Opt for shoes with a lower heel height or choose flats for added comfort.

What to Do If You Have Flat Feet

If you have flat feet, proper footwear can make a significant difference in your comfort and foot health. Consider the following tips to alleviate any discomfort or pain associated with flat feet:
 

1. Arch Support: Look for shoes with adequate arch support to help maintain proper foot alignment.

2. Motion Control: Shoes with motion control features can help reduce excessive inward rolling of the foot and provide added stability.

3. Orthotic Inserts: Consider using custom orthotic inserts to provide tailored support and cushioning for your flat feet.

4. Shoe Fit: Ensure that your shoes have a proper fit, allowing enough room for your feet and toes to move comfortably.

Flat Feet Foot Pain
Conclusion

Understanding your arch height is crucial for maintaining optimal foot health and preventing potential injuries. By performing the arch height test and interpreting the results, you can gain insights into your foot mechanics and make informed decisions when choosing footwear.


Whether you have high arches or flat feet, selecting shoes with appropriate support and cushioning can significantly improve your comfort and reduce the risk of foot-related issues. Remember to consult with a podiatrist or footwear specialist for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your specific needs.


Take the necessary steps to support your feet and enjoy pain-free, comfortable walks or runs. Your feet will thank you for it! Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet. 

People Also Ask:

How do you test arches?

Two tests to peek at your arches! 1. Wet footprint: Wet your foot, step on paper, and look for the arch shape. Flat? Low arch? High arch? 2. Pencil trick: Trace your standing foot – see the space under your arch? Tiny gap? No gap? Talk to a doc if you're unsure, sunshine!

How can I test myself for flat feet?

Two ways to check! 1. Wet footstep test: Wet your foot, step on paper, see the arch shape? Flat? Low arch? High arch? 2. Sock grab test: Sit down, pinch the middle of your sock beneath your arch. Can you grab it? No grab? Might be flat feet. See a podiatrist for a surefire answer, superstar!

How do you tell if you have high arches or flat feet?

Arch detectives, assemble! Wet your foot and step on paper. See the arch? Almost gone? Flat feet. High arch? Like a mountain range? High arches. But remember, if you're unsure, a podiatrist is your best foot-whisperer!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.