In general there are only three basic types of foot based on the height of their arches. A cavus foot or high arches describes one that has an abnormally high arch that runs along the bottom of your foot. This is clearly visible during a gait analysis, as most of a person’s body weight/pressure will be borne at the heel & toe area of their feet, with the midfoot bearing little or no pressure.
This condition can lead to discomfort brought about by instability and pain especially when weight is placed on the balls and heels of your feet when standing or walking. Wearing the correct type of shoes will help to minimise the pain as well as the risk of injury.
Cavus foot can actually develop at any age. Some can experience it on one foot only while others may have it on both. This condition is often attributed neurologic disorders or medical conditions like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, polio, stroke, muscular dystrophy, or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. The abnormally high arches are often inherited structural abnormalities.
It is important to consult a healthcare provider not only when you are feeling pain related to high arches, but understanding the cause will have a huge effect on the future course of the condition.
This means that if the condition is caused by medical conditions or neurologic disorders, there is a chance that it can worsen progressively. If the cause is other than those, there is a good possibility that there will be no change in its appearance.
What You May Experience
People with high arches can experience a variety of symptoms. Aside from the obviously high arch visible when standing, other common characteristics that can be experienced by people with this condition can include any or all of the following:
- Claw toes that are clenched like fists;
- Hammertoes or bent toes;
- Calluses forming on the side, heel, or ball of the foot;
- Instability of the foot caused by the inward tilt of the heel normally leading to ankle sprains;
- Weakness of the muscles in the feet and ankles causing you to drag your foot;
- Foot drop; and
- Pain when walking or standing.
Protecting Your Feet
One of the best ways to deal with cavus foot or high arch is to provide your feet with ample protection. The easiest way to do this is to buy and wear the right type of shoes for you. Some of the shoe characteristics you should look for when buying a pair must include:
People with extremely high arches must invest in shoes that have greater shock absorption in the soles. This delivers additional comfort when walking or running. The sole should be relatively soft and can bend about a fourth of the length of the sole when measured from the end of the toe up to the point where the foot begins to bend. Make it a point to never compromise shock absorption in your shoes to compensate for your high arches.
Adding additional support to your shoes
Shoe inserts or custom made arch supports are designed to assist in supporting the longitudinal arches of your foot including the transverse arch. When these are specifically designed to have an effect on the supination (rolling outward) tendencies of the high arched foot & when they are incorporated into the right shoe, this can greatly reduce the discomfort experienced when walking or running.
It is important to understand that different types of feet have different needs when it comes to shoe shapes (lasts). For high arches, it is a must to have curved lasts as distinct from a straight last for flatfoot. It is equally important to shop for shoes that are designed to have generous room for the toes.
Surgeons may also recommend the use of a brace that will help to keep the ankle and the foot stable. This solution can likewise help you manage foot drop.
There are many ways to manage the pain caused by high arches, so there is no need to simply live with the pain and discomfort. Call to your nearest Foot Solutions UK store today & see what we can do to help you to minimise the discomfort associated with high arches. We carry a broad range of supportive cushioned footwear, and we can also provide custom arch supports tailored to your specific needs.