Different Kinds Of Foot Structure And Orthotics

Posted on: 26 March 2015

Very few people have the perfect foot structure. Sometimes orthotics can help to support feet that have structural problems. But even if your feet are not structurally perfect, you may not need orthotics.

Following are several types of foot structure, with advice on whether orthotics can help.

Pronated Feet

You may have pronated feet if your feet roll inwards slightly when standing, walking or running. With pronated feet, when standing, your arch drops, so your feet are flat on the floor. If you have pronated feet, this means that your heels, ankles, knees and hips so not align correctly due to the inwards roll of the feet.

To check whether you have this structural issue, perform a simple test. Sit down and lift up your barefoot off the ground and check to see whether your foot shows an arch. If you have no arch, then you have flat feet. If you can see an arch, then stand up and check whether the arch collapses with your body weight. If so, you may have pronated feet.

Also, check for wearing patterns on your shoes—whether they display signs of wear on the insides which may indicate pronated feet.

This issue is very common so do not be surprised if you find you have this foot structure.

Flat Feet

If you do not see an arch even when your foot is lifted and carrying no bodyweight, then you have flat feet.

Supinated Feet

To check whether you possess supinated feet, walk barefoot and be aware whether it feels like your feet tilt outwards so that your body weight falls primarily on the outside of your feet. Check your shoes for wear patterns. Are they more worn on the outsides? If so, this may indicate you have supinated feet.

High Arch

You have a high arch if when standing or walking, the middle of your feet does not touch the ground. Try wetting your feet with water and walking barefoot on concrete—then check your footprints. If the entire middle part of your footprint is missing, then you may have high arches.

Normal Feet

If your feet look the same when both sitting and standing carrying full body weight, then this indicates a normal foot structure.

Can Orthotics Help?

If you have pronated or supinated feet, your feet role inwards or outwards, and this prevents perfect alignment of the joints in your ankles, knees and hips which may then degenerate over time. Orthotics can help to realign your feet to avoid issues down the track.

If you have high arches, your shoes may not be providing sufficient support to prop them up, and this can result in pain from the soft tissue in your arch over stretching. Custom orthotics can help with this issue.

If you possess flat feet, you may not need orthotics, and this does not necessarily lead to problems in the future.

To take the safe path, if you experience any pain no matter what foot structure you have, it might be a wise investment to see a podiatrist such as Walk Without Pain who can investigate the issue.