It is important to know your feet type for the benefit of buying shoes that suit you. Shoes that do not conform to your feet might cause serious foot problems.
If you mind your feet that much, then at some point you must have asked, “What kind of feet do I have?”
Don’t worry; this guide will give you the right answers. You don’t have to stress yourself about your feet type henceforth. Your only concern will be how many pairs you want to buy.
Your feet type is usually determined by your arch type and sometimes the shape of your feet. There are three types of arches; low arch, medium arch, and high arch.
To know your arch type, do the following simple experiment from home:
Take the wet foot test
Pour some water into a bowl. Submerge your foot into the water for a few seconds. Then remove and stand on a soft piece of paper. Lift your foot from the paper and look on the paper.
Your foot leaves an imprint on the paper and tells the type of arch you have.
If the imprint reveals a majority or the entire of your foot, you have a flat foot. If your footprint indicates your heel, middle section and the ball of your foot, then you have a medium arch. A high arch is associated with a footprint that shows only the heel and the ball of your foot.
Detailed information about wet foot test available also here
What Kind of Feet Do I Have?
Low arch/Flat Foot
This type of foot tends to roll inwards when standing, walking or running. Low arches are usually imbalanced and can make you susceptible to common foot implications. This includes knee pain, heel and arch pain, and plantar fasciitis.
Flat feet have relaxed and flexible muscles which act as shock absorbers during movements. But due to excessive motion, the foot adds stress to the knees with the potential of causing injuries.
That is why the proper footwear and foot orthotics for this condition are necessary. They can help you to achieve an ideal body alignment and protect against injuries.
This type of foot has a slight outward rolling. High arches are more rigid and tight than the other types of feet.
Your feet absorb shock when you walk or run. But with high arches, your foot has a less surface area to bear weight and absorb impact in turn. Thus, you place a lot of pressure on your rear foot and forefoot region.
This lack of proper shock absorption can cause foot problems like stress fractures, heel pain and ball of foot pain. Other serious implications include plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
But don’t be scared. There is a high population with this type of foot and as many footwear designs to combat respective foot problems.
There are podiatrists who will provide treatment for any foot conditions. And there are orthotic devices to help in shock absorption.
A larger population has normal arch feet. This foot offers natural support to your body weight and usually pronates under heavy load. This means it absorbs shock well under normal circumstances due to its flexibility.
Normal arches have minimal foot issues. They might also suffer heel pains or other foot discomfort depending on the activity. The proper footwear for this type of foot helps to reinforce body posture and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Your arch type alone is just the beginning for getting the proper shoes from the store. Your shoes must have a proper fit. This is where size and width come in.
There are two types of feet shapes; narrow feet and wide feet. Shoes are designed the same way too. Just because you know your shoe size does not mean the width is correct.
Imagine walking around in shoes that are too tight and hurt your toes, leave alone your feet. And for women who love their toenails, anything that can leave a mark is unacceptable.
Shoes that are too narrow or too wide will usually end up in the closet unworn. Buying the right footwear will save you money, blisters, bunions and other foot conditions. You will also have the value for your money unlike dumping it in the closet.
You can as well measure your width at home by these simple steps. Have a friend trace your foot on a sheet of paper. Then measure the widest part of your foot, usually the ball of your foot.
You can always use your own measurements to find the right size from manufacturers’ size charts. You can also inform the footwear salesperson about your numbers so they can find your ideal shoe.
The Right Shoes for the Right Feet
Motion Control Shoes
These shoes are meant for people with flat feet. Their design aims to provide extra stability and reduce the potential of injuries. They hold the foot firm on the ground.
They offer features like stiffer heels to counter overpronation. These shoes somehow have a straight shape to provide extra support under the arch. The midsoles are usually firm while the uppers are flexible.
These shoes are recommended for people with high arches. They have both motion control and cushioning features. The cushioning provides the needed shock absorption for high arches.
They are usually semi-curved to provide good ground contact stability. These shoes tend to offer more support and flexibility. Stability shoes have a firm area within the midsoles to enhance arch support.
They are designed for people with normal arches, otherwise neutral pronators. Neutral shoes have moderate cushioning and medial arch support. They have a curved or semi-curved design for soft and faster movements.
Whatever category you fall into; flat feet vs. normal feet, narrow vs. wide feet, footwear designers have you covered. Some even specialize in targeting a single niche between the two; flat foot vs. arch foot.
The pressing question, “what kind of feet do I have?” is now behind bars. Feel free to go on a shoe shopping spree and get as many pairs in your lifetime.