Arches Beyond McDonald’s

In one of our blogs a few months back we talked about the podiatry problem of flatfoot. This condition occurs when the arches on the inside of the foot are flattened.

The arch of your foot is important for absorbing shocks and to help with locomotion. Beyond having a flat arch in flatfoot, you can have a normal arch, or a high arch. While these differences can seem trivial, they aren’t. They affect everything from the shoes you need to buy to potential joint problems down the road.

Let’s talk arches in this springy daffodil-covered blog at Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah.

What Are the Different Types of Arches?

There are three different arches that make up every foot, the medial, lateral, and transverse arches. But that’s for another time and an anatomy lesson. The arches we’re going to get into are the space behind the ball of the foot.

  • Flat arch — As mentioned, we talked about flatfoot in another blog. A person with this arch has serious pronation in the foot. This is the way the foot and ankle bones lean inwards. The more pronation you have the flatter your arch will be.
  • Normal arch — Also called a moderate arch, if you have a normal arch the middle part of your arch is slightly above the ground when your weight is on your feet. If you have a normal arch, you could slide a thin card between your foot and the floor. Normal arches evenly distribute the weight across the entire foot.
  • High arch — Also known as cavus foot, high arches are usually more rigid than the other two types. Because of your elevated arch, most of the forces and loads created from walking, running, and jumping fall to the forefoot and the heel, rather than being distributed across the entire foot, as they are with a normal arch.


People with flat arches can be more prone to developing bunions and hammertoes. They can also easily develop arch or heel pain, shin splints, and Achilles’ tendinitis. People with high arches can feel more fatigue and soreness after activity. People with high arches also tend to suffer more ankle sprains and their arch can lead to pain on the outside of the knee.

Knowing your arch is important when buying the shoes needed to support them. Give us a call at any of our five locations in American Fork (801), 763-3885; Payson, (801) 765-1718; Springville (801) 491-3668; and Orem (two locations), (801) 226-2421 or (801) 765-1718, and we can help tell you about your arch type.


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