If you’re thinking of buying a new pair of shoes, especially athletic shoes for your exercise program, it’s a good idea to know your arch type before you buy. You can easily determine your arch type by using the “wet test.”
The wet test
• Pour a small amount of water into a shallow pan.
• Step into the pan.
• Remove your foot and step onto a sheet of heavy paper.
• Look at the impression made by your foot.
The test results
The impression left behind by the wet sole of your foot helps determine your arch type.
• Normal or medium arch – If your foot impression shows about half the arch filled in, you have the most common foot type that naturally supports your body weight and pronates (rolls in) under a load. Some pronation is desirable and acts as a natural shock absorber. Runners with this type arch can wear just about any shoe.
• Flat or low arch – If the arch of your foot is filled in on the impression, you have a flat arch. That means when you run your foot collapses inward, putting added stress on your feet and knees and contributing to the possibility of injury. You should probably consider shoes with a lot of cushioning to build up the arch or shoes with wider, more substantial midsoles.
• High arch – If the impression shows only the heel and ball of your foot, you have a high arch. This means your foot may not roll in and absorb much shock, and you probably need a shoe with little or no arch support or stability control.
If you need help with this question or any other foot-related issues, don’t hesitate to contact Alpine Foot Specialists at 847-540-9949 to schedule an appointment.