What is a high arched foot?

High arched feet are one of the most misunderstood foot problems. Health and lifestyle magazines, online media, shoe stores and some medical personnel will have you believe that high arched feet always behave in a very specific way. A popular way to describe this is to perform the wet foot on floor or paper test. If the foot print shows high arched feet then your foot will naturally be supinated and that you should wear shoes suitable for this. This is scientifically incorrect and a failed attempt in trying to simplify foot function for the purpose of selling shoes and related products.


What causes this condition?

The shape of the arch of your foot is controlled mainly by a bone known as the talus. If the talus bone points downwards towards the ground then it creates a flat foot type. If the same talus bone points slightly upwards from its correct position then it creates high arched feet. Other nerve and musculoskeletal diseases can affect the talus position and create high arched feet too. Some people inherit high arched feet and so it is also more frequent in some parts of world than in others.


Is this likely to be a problem?

Many people with high arched feet go on throughout their life without having any foot problems. For many however, the high arched foot can cause a wide variety of problems. High arched feet have been associated with lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, achilles tendon problems, metatarsalgia, ankle injuries, toe deformities and corns. A very high arched foot makes very little contact with the ground which makes it unstable and this can make the foot either supinate or pronate excessively leading to painful conditions of the lower limb.


What foot arch pain treatment is available?

If you have a high arched foot then it is likely permanent. However, the associated incorrect movements of excessive supination or pronation which are related to pain CAN be treated. Given it’s complexities, if you have a high arched foot we recommend that you seek the help of a qualified podiatrist.

We are able to control the function of the high arched foot using custom made orthotics and exercises based on a clinical evaluation and gait analyses. All high arched feet DO NOT always need arch support or foot arch pain treatment. This is another common misconception and causes many complications.

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