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How to Find Out Your Foot Arch Type With the “Wet Test”

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Several weeks ago, I shared with you a few suggestions on how to improve bad posture. Improving poor posture may be easier if you know which foot arch type you have. The post from a few weeks ago brought up a few questions, namely, how do I find out what foot arch type I have?

There’s a very easy at-home method for finding your foot arch type. It’s known as the “wet test.” This DIY test can be a great starting point for learning more about your arch type, as well as how it impacts your posture, gait, and overall musculoskeletal health. However, if you are having any kind of foot pain or posture-related health problems, see a Houston orthopedic physician for a full evaluation and diagnosis. Also, the results of an at-home test are not definitive and should not be used in making any major decisions about your health.

How to Find Your Foot Arch Type

To do the wet test, all you need is water and a piece of heavy brown paper (grocery bags work well).

The test itself is quite simple.

  1. Wet the sole of your foot in the tub or outside with a hose.
  2. Shake off drops of water.
  3. Step onto the brown paper bag, and stand normally with your weight distributed evenly between your two feet.
  4. Step off the bag.

You will see the shape of your foot left by the water on the bag. Interpret the results using these guidelines:

  • Normal/Medium Arch: A normal/medium arch will show about half of the arch region watermarked on the paper. This is the most common foot type. If you have this arch type, good news! You can wear most any shoe for running. Consider wearing a pair that prioritizes cushioning and control.
  • Flat/Low Arch: A flat/low arch will likely result in a watermark that fills in most (or all) of the footprint’s arch. If you have this type of arch, you may want to wear shoes that provide stability in the arch.
  • High Arch: Little or no contact on the outside edge of the foot could mean you have a high arch. People with high arches may not absorb shock well. Whether you run or not, you may find greater comfort in wearing well-cushioned shoes.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For more information about foot arch types and what you can do to maximize your health and comfort, see a sports medicine doctor near you in Houston. Schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.