High arch feet are less common than flat feet and are estimated to affect about 20% of the population. A simple way to determine if you have high arches is by wetting your feet and standing on a surface such as concrete or a piece of paper to check for the imprint left behind. People with high arches will only see an imprint of their heel and the front of their foot with nothing in between. However, a consultation with a healthcare provider is the surest way to know if you have high arches, and they can run tests to determine the severity of your condition.
Symptoms of High Arches
With high arched feet, the toes are often in a clawed position. This foot type tends to be very rigid in nature and often lacks some shock-absorbing properties. When the foot does not absorb shock effectively due to failing to roll in sufficiently, symptoms such as shin, knee, heel and back pain are more common as these structures are forced to take more force than they are normally supposed to.
There are several conditions that can develop as a result of high arch feet:
In other cases, high arch feet are a symptom of another conditions, such as: Spina bifida, Muscular dystrophy, Cerebral palsy, Polio, Spinal tumors, Spinal cord injuries, Stroke, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).
The Solution for High Arches
High arch feet tend to be very rigid in nature and lack some shock-absorbing properties. As a result, they can cause symptoms such as shin, knee, heel, and back pain. High arch feet are either genetic or caused by an underlying condition. There isn’t a way to prevent the problem from occurring, but properly supporting high arch feet with orthotic insoles can help relieve excessive pressure on the ball and heel of the foot by evenly distributing body weight.
Orthotic arch supports are designed with a built-in arch support that helps prevent the over-collapse of the arch and a heel cup to cradle the heel of the foot and limit excessive ankle movement. There are two types of orthotic arch supports: semi-rigid and rigid. Semi-rigid arch supports feature a somewhat flexible support platform that provides good support for the foot, while rigid arch supports feature an almost completely stiff support platform that is ideal for those seeking firm arch support.
It is a common misconception that softer is better, but where arch pain is concerned, it is almost always advised that you seek relief with an orthotic arch support. This is because a cushioned arch support or flat cushioned insole will not give your feet enough arch support, and you will continue to experience arch pain.
Orthotic insoles typically require a small break-in period before you wear them all the time. If you have never worn an orthotic arch support before, it is recommended that you only wear them for 1 to 2 hours a day for the first week, then 3-4 hours a day for the next week. After several weeks, if the arch supports are still causing discomfort, you may consider trying a different pair of insoles. It is also important to wear insoles that are designed to work with your foot arch type. Insoles designed for both flat feet and high arches will not work for you as they are made for medial arches.
Custom orthotics are expensive, costing anywhere from $200 to $800, which doesn't take into account the associated office visits. For those who don't require custom orthotics, an off-the-shelf orthotic with arch support is a great option. The arch support of the insole should fit flawlessly across the length of your arch and distribute body weight evenly across your foot. If you are suffering from arch pain and plantar fasciitis caused by high arches, and you are wearing orthotic insoles for the first time, it is suggested that you buy one pair of rigid insoles and one pair of semi-rigid insoles. Rigid insoles are the best choice to help relieve your arch pain, while semi-rigid insoles are ideal for first time user. .
You can wash orthotics insoles with mild soap and water. Let them completely dry before wearing them again. If they do get wet, lay them on a flat surface to dry. Don’t put them in a dryer or under a heating device, like a hair dryer.
Best Orthotic Insoles for High Arches
Custom orthotics are expensive, costing anywhere from $200 to $800, which doesn't take into account the associated office visits. For those who don't require custom orthotics, an off-the-shelf orthotic is made with arch support is a great option.
For off-the-shelf orthotic, you should only browse insoles that are designed to work with that foot arch type. For high arches, the arch support of the insole should a flawless fit across the length of your arch of your foot that distributes body weight evenly across your foot.
Some insoles are specifically designed for individuals with high arches, while others are designed for individuals with low arches or neutral arches. There is no "one-size-fits-all" insole or orthotic that can provide optimal support for both high arches and low arches. Insoles and orthotics that are specifically designed for high arches typically have a higher arch support, while those designed for low arches typically have a lower arch support or may be flat.
It's important to choose insoles or orthotics that are specifically designed for your foot type to ensure optimal support and comfort. Individuals with high arches require more support under the arches to help distribute weight and reduce pressure on the plantar fascia and metatarsal heads, while those with low arches require less support to help prevent overpronation and excessive motion of the foot.
In this article, we will compare two brands, Powerstep and LittleMum, in their high arch insole which can help provide foot relief and promote proper foot alignment
Powerstep High Arch Orthotic Insoles: Powerstep High Arch Orthotic Insoles are known for their semi-rigid support, deep heel cradle, and firm arch support. These insoles offer stability and alignment for the foot. The double-layer cushioning provides comfort, while the antimicrobial top fabric reduces odor and moisture. Additionally, Powerstep insoles can fit into a variety of shoe styles, adding versatility to their usage. However, some users have reported that these insoles can be easily collapsed and uncomfortable. Additionally, they may not fit well in certain types of shoes, limiting their adaptability.
LittleMum High Arch Orthotic Insoles: LittleMum High Arch Orthotic Insoles are a promising alternative, boasting several advantages that make them a favorable choice. These insoles offer rigid support with a built-in shell arch support system, promoting natural alignment and moderate control. The deep thin heel cup restricts ankle movement, reducing strain on the foot. Moreover, the lift bones in the forefoot alleviate pressure on the ball of the foot, enhancing overall comfort. LittleMum's low-profile design ensures an easy fit in various shoe types, making them suitable for everyday use. With a Coolmax top cover to reduce friction and a shock-absorbing cushioning foam base layer, these insoles prioritize both support and comfort.
Powerstep High Arch Insoles: Price: $44.95
Established Brand: Powerstep has a reputation for producing quality orthotic insoles and is trusted by many users.
Semi-Rigid Support: Powerstep High Arch Insoles offer a semi-rigid support system, providing a balance between flexibility and stability.
Deep Heel Cradle and Arch Support: These insoles feature a deep heel cradle and firm arch support, promoting stability and proper foot alignment.
Double Layer Cushioning: Powerstep insoles offer double-layer cushioning for enhanced comfort and shock absorption.
Versatile Sizing: Powerstep provides a wide range of sizes, including oversizes, ensuring a better fit for individuals with larger feet.
Higher Price: The price of Powerstep High Arch Insoles is $44.95, which may be a limiting factor for budget-conscious consumers.
LittleMum Care High Arch Insoles: Price: $25
Competitive Price: LittleMum Care High Arch Insoles offer a more affordable option compared to Powerstep, making them a cost-effective choice.
Rigid Support: These insoles provide rigid arch support, promoting natural alignment and reducing strain on the foot.
Deep Thin Heel Cup: LittleMum insoles feature a deep thin heel cup that limits ankle movement, providing added stability.
Lifted Forefoot: The insoles have a lifted forefoot design, reducing strain and pressure on the ball of the foot.
Size Range: While LittleMum Care High Arch Insoles may not offer as extensive a size range as Powerstep, they still provide options for men and women, accommodating sizes up to Men 11.5 and Women 12.5.
It's important to note that individual foot conditions and personal preferences may vary, and it's always recommended to try on different insoles to find the best fit and support for your specific needs.
Considering the more affordable price and the benefits provided, such as rigid arch support, deep thin heel cup, and lifted forefoot, LittleMum Care High Arch Insoles present a compelling option for individuals seeking relief from high arch pain.