Buying shoes aren’t easy at all, especially when you don’t know what type of foot you have. Although some factors like weight or fit preferences might be integral factors, it is equally necessary to know your foot type when you’re planning to buy a pair.
The common myth out there is to always buy shoes with built-in arch support. But considering how important it is to keep the proportion of the shoes stable and how different people require a different level of arch support, it is better to get shoes with a stable and strong insole instead. What does that actually mean? It basically means that you should, when possible, avoid shoes that can be bent or folded into two. Why? These shoes are not made to adequately support your feet’s arch at all. The shoes might be comfy for a while, but in the long run, it can lead to a lasting negative effect on your feet and legs’ muscles.
So, the best advice is to look for shoes that allow you to insert the most appropriate support that suits your feet type.
Everyone has their own way of walking and depending on the way you walk, your feet can be classified into different types. If you are not sure about your foot type, try the simple wet test and uncover the mystery once and for all.
Just follow the simple steps below:
Step 1: Pour a thin layer of water into a pan
Step 2: Dunk your foot and make sure to wet your soles entirely
Step 3: Step on a paper towel or any kind of heavy paper
Step 4: Step off and have a look
Now, match the foot shape with the foot types below. As you can see, the foot types can be classified into three categories, depending on the height of your arch.
- Normal or Medium Arch:
If you see around half of your arch on the paper, you have the most common foot type and is considered neutral in the placement or angle of your ankles.
If you have normal arched feet, you can wear almost any type of shoes, although using a shoe with stable arch support is always recommended.
- Flat or Low Arch:
If the result you can see is your complete footprint, you have a flat foot, and hence, a pronator, which means that your ankles tend to lean inwards and your risk of injuries increases during sudden foot strikes.
People with moderate pronation are always advised to wear stability shoes supporting devices like 3/4 orthotic insoles like Bella or dual-density midsoles, to reduce the pronation. At the same time, people with severe pronation are advised to go with motion-control shoes.
* Pronation means that when you walk, your weight tends to be more on the inside of your foot.
- High Arch:
If you see the heel, ball of your feet, and a narrow line outside your foot, you have a high arched foot or experiencing supination. Supination, where your ankles lean outwards, means that you are experiencing too much shock that travels up your legs since the arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb it.
People with such high arched feet are always recommended to use a pair of neutral-cushioned shoes or a simple orthotic gel arch support insole pads, which provides them with a soft midsole, thus encouraging pronation.
It should always be noted that Wet Test only gives a clue in finding the correct foot type. Although many people fall into the above categories, some people might have different foot types and may require additional or customized solutions.
Hence, consulting with a shoe specialist or podiatrist is further recommended. They will evaluate based on a couple of questions about past injuries, running styles, etc., and help you find the perfect pair for your feet.