High Arches

Women with high arches often face a dilemma when deciding what shoes will work best for them. High arched feet primarily contact the ground in the heel and the ball of the foot. Pain may develop in the ball of the foot with prolonged standing or exercise, called metatarsalgia.

Women with high arches often feel better at first with heeled shoes, because these shoes are often the only ones that actually match the shape of their feet and contact the arch. The problem is that when you lift the heel greater than one inch, you add pressure to the ball of the foot. If you wear heeled shoes frequently throughout the day, your Achilles tendon will tighten and you will increase the chances of developing hammertoes.

Flat shoes and often even athletic shoes may not feel supportive without the addition of an over the counter arch support, or custom orthotic. Frequent problems may occur with the development of pain either in the plantar fascia, or in the middle of the foot where your metatarsals join the tarsal bones.

Recommendations for women with high arches:

  • If you wear dress heels regularly, protect the ball of the foot with additional support either in the form of a metatarsal pad, or slim over the counter ¾ length arch support that includes a metatarsal pad. Dr. Jill’s gel metatarsal pad’s are reusable and are applied directly to your skin. Sole Perfection shoe store has an excellent selection of over the counter dress supports.
  • If you go directly from working all day in heels to working out in the gym, stretch your calves regularly before you begin your work out. If you don’t have prescriptive orthotics, replace the inserts that came with your athletic shoes with a good full-length arch support. ( Superfeet, Powerstep)
  • If you can, wear more supportive dress shoes with more square heels no higher than 1.5 inches. If style dictates otherwise, alternate between wearing dress heels and lower heels or flats.

Printable PDF on Overcoming Problems with High Arches.

Foot pain is not normal. If you’ve tried reasonable over the counter measures and your pain is not resolving, seek consultation with your podiatrist. You can reach the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or you can request an appointment online.