Every foot is unique. At North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute we celebrate diversity, but we also recognize that the shape of your foot often has a lot to do with what types of problems and injuries you might develop later in life, and some arch types may need a little more help than others to prevent some common problems.
Not sure what kind of arches you have? Take the wet test! This simple at-home procedure can give you a quick read on what foot type you have, and provide some idea of what tools or treatments may be helpful if you’re experiencing pain.
First, get the bottoms of your feet wet. A good strategy—fill a flat pan with a shallow layer of water and step in it. You don’t want to be soaking or dripping, just wet enough to make a clear footprint.
Next, grab an old grocery bag, piece of construction paper or cardboard, or other flat, papery surface that will change color when stepped on by a wet foot. Make a footprint and analyze what you see:
· If about half your arch is visible, congratulations! You have a normal arch, the most common and generally least problematic foot shape.
· If most or all of your arch is visible, you have flat feet. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need treatment, but it can make you more susceptible to certain problems or injuries. Inserts or orthotics to improve alignment may be recommended if you’re experiencing pain.
· If you can only make out a small sliver of an arch on the outside of your foot, or even no arch at all, you likely have high arches. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sweat it if your feet feel fine, but high arches tend to be the least flexible and poorest at absorbing shocks. Arch supports and extra cushioning are often recommended.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, whatever your arch type. If you’re dealing with tough, chronic foot pain, let Keith McSpadden, DPM help. With offices in both Cedar Park and Round Rock, we are Greater Austin’s leaders in diagnosing and treating painful foot conditions. Give us a call at (512) 593-2949 for an appointment in Cedar Park, or (512) 960-4290 for Round Rock.