High Times for Arches

There’s a great movement afoot in this country, with lots of grass roots support to weed out those who oppose the potential referendum. This has led to a paradigm shift in the popular outlook, with minds and laws changing faster than a cloud of smoke fades into the air of a teenager’s bathroom. I’m referring, of course, to the issue of the high arched foot, its potential challenges, and the selective advantage it confers. (You thought maybe I was talking about something else?). Let’s discuss.

The arch of the foot is shaped by its bones, ligaments and tendons. The entire bottom surface of a flat foot generally remains planted on the ground throughout the gait cycle and while standing, while the high arched foot looks like just that - a foot type in which the heel and ball of the foot touch the ground while the arch remains suspended in air. Consequently, there is a lot of pressure exerted on the heel, areas under the 1st and 5th metatarsals, and the outside of the foot. There is also a tendency, in more pronounced cases, to sprain the ankle due to the position of the foot and ankle. Since pressure is not evenly distributed along the bottom of the foot, distance running may be more difficult, but the tripod like shape of the foot is an ideal spring mechanism for sprinting.

So what does all this mean for all you folks blessed with this type of foot? Since there is a lack of contact with the ground, a shoe with a bit of a heel (1-2”) is generally more comfortable than a flat. This is due to the fact that a heel mimics the natural position of the foot, while a flat or barefoot position strains the arch and plantar fascia. For you runners out there, consider a neutral platform or structured cushioning shoe type. Yes, you are the under pronators, although as we have previously discussed in the annals of this hallowed blog, even high arched feet pronate at some point in the gait cycle. And contrary to popular belief, orthotics can be quite beneficial for this foot type - as long as they are the right type, and casted by an expert NYC podiatrist. A rigid shell is not usually comfortable since it digs into the arch that does not necessarily need support. A semi-flexible shell, however, will cushion the bottom of the foot, and distribute weight much more evenly along the bottom of the foot, providing comfort and support for both everyday walking as well as exercise such as running or sports. And don’t even think of wimping out and getting a cheapie pair from the drug store kiosk. Sometimes a cheap orthotic can be very expensive in the long run, whatever that means. You get the point.

So if your arch is high, or you think it’s high, or your Mom told you it’s high, or it’s been hanging out in Colorado, roll on into your kind NYC podiatrist. After a few treatments, we will be best buds.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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