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High Arches


What Are High Arches?

High arches are a common structural abnormality in which the feet have very high arches. Up to 20% of the population has high arches.
Your feet have three arches:
  • The medial arch, which runs along the inner edge of your foot
  • The lateral arch, which runs along the outer edge of your foot
  • The transverse arch, which runs across the width of your foot
These arches are made up of a complex structure of bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons that allow your feet to support your entire body weight when upright. While walking or running, your arches not only keep you upright but also have the job of absorbing the force, or “shock”, exerted on your feet when they make contact with the ground and using this ground reaction force to propel you forward.
Since [Force] = [Mass] x [Acceleration], the force exerted on your body is higher during locomotion than when standing still. This means that every time you take a step or stride, the arches can be tasked with supporting up to seven times your body weight. Over the course of a day, your arches can be tasked with transporting hundreds or thousands of tonnes.
If you have abnormally high arches, almost all force will instead be absorbed by the ball of the foot and heel, which puts immense stress on your ankles and lower leg.
In addition to causing pain and discomfort, high arches can make you more susceptible to certain foot conditions:

What Are The Symptoms Of High Arches?

Abnormally high arches can negatively affect your foot mechanics. This can cause symptoms such as:
  • Heel pain
  • Ball of foot pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Underprontation (feet roll excessively outward while walking or running)
Risk Factors

What Can Cause High Arches?

Certain risk factors may increase your chances of getting a high arch foot:

  • Genetics – high arches run in the family
  • Structural abnormalities
  • Muscular imbalances
  • Neuromuscular disease, such as Charcot Marie Tooth Disease

How Do I Prevent a High Arch foot?

Although prevention is difficult, see treatments for information on how to manage a high arch foot.


How Do I Treat High Arches?

Treatment for pain and complications resulting from high arches may include:

* To schedule best foot care appointment with our licensed chiropodists (foot specialists), use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338).

Our Toronto foot clinic is open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm. You do not need a referral to become a patient at our Foot clinic.

Articles about High Arches by Feet First Clinic

Book an appointment for high arches

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).