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