How to tell if you have high or low arches

Written by kat black
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How to tell if you have high or low arches
Before purchasing athletic shoes, it is essential to take into consideration your arch height. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Arch height is an important consideration when buying any type of athletic shoes. Made up of numerous small bones, the longitudinal arches of the foot run lengthwise down the foot from the metatarsal area to the heel area. These arches provide shock absorption. The three basic types of arches -- high, low and normal -- have very different requirements with regards to support. In order to protect your feet, legs and back, choose shoes designed for your specific arch height.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Shallow pan such as a rimmed baking tray or cat litter box
  • Brown paper shopping bag

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  1. 1

    Add enough water to your shallow pan so that the entire bottom is covered in water. Place one foot in the pan so that the entire bottom of your foot becomes wet.

  2. 2

    Remove your foot from the pan and immediately place your wet foot onto the brown shopping bag.

    How to tell if you have high or low arches
    A footprint of a high-arched foot contains only a thin strip connecting the toes and heel. In extremely high arches, the toes and heels are completely separated. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)
  3. 3

    Lift your foot off of the paper and examine your footprint. If almost the entire bottom of your foot made contact with the paper, you have low arches. If there is a thin strip of footprint connecting your toes to your heels, you have high arches. Normal arches will fall somewhere between these two extremes.

    How to tell if you have high or low arches
    A footprint of a low-arched foot has almost no indentation in the middle. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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