Arch Height 101 - How To Tell If You Have High Arches

by Mark Paigen June 26, 2018

14 Comments

Learning how to tell if you have high arches can be a great step toward improving any foot pain you may be experiencing. Once you determine your arch height, you can find the right solutions to help relieve pain, correct foot issues and improve your comfort. Here's how to determine your arch height!

Arch Height 

There are two important factors when it comes to your arch height:

  1. Weighted Arch Height - Using the wet test (below), the shape of your footprint will give a good indication of your weighted arch height.
  2. Foot Flexibility - This is important for people with Low Arches. If your wet test shows low arches and your feet are rigid, our low arch height will be most comfortable. If your wet test shows low arches and you have highly flexible feet, you will probably find a medium (or in rare instances) a high arch height best. 

The Wet Test

An easy way to see the height of your arch in a weight bearing situation is to do a "Wet Test".

  1. Place a piece of corrugated cardboard on the floor next to your shower mat.
  2. From the shower step your left foot onto the mat, then take a step onto the cardboard with your right foot.
  3. Repeat, stepping out with the right foot first.
  4. Observe the shape of the footprint and use it in the table below. Always default to the foot with the lower arch.

Arch heights - A simple guide


Footprint Description
Low Arches Low Arch Foot Low arches are more challenging to fit. Using the test below, determine the flexibility of your feet. More flexibility = higher arched insoles.
Medium Arches Medium Arch height foot The most common arch height, about 40% of our customers are most happy with medium height insoles.
High Arches High Arch Height foot A close 2nd to medium in sales, high arch heights indicate a healthy arch. 
Extra High Arches Extra High arch height foot Few have arches this high. Many people with extra-high arches have less flexible feet and benefit from arch support that spreads weight over a larger area.

With a little effort, you can achieve a level of comfort and support that rivals custom orthotics. 

FIND YOUR FIT

Flat feet? Discover your foot flexibility.

If your wet test shows low arches, determine the flexibility of your feet with the tests below:

  1. Sit with one leg over the opposite knee. Look at the area of your foot where your arch should be. If you are surprised to see that your foot looks more arched than your wet test, you have flexible feet. This means that your low arch condition is brought on by weight bearing. A medium arch insole from Tread Labs should be your first choice. If your non-weight bearing arch is quite high may want to order a medium and a high and try both.
  2. Stand on tip toes. Have a friend look at the area of your foot where your arch should be. Like the example above, if your arches show themselves, your feet are flexible.
  3. If your arches do not present in the sitting or standing test, you have rigid, low arches and will be best served with Tread Labs low arch insoles.

All feet are not created equal.

The sizes and shapes of our feet are uniquely our own. For this reason, Tread labs offers medical grade, semi-custom insoles. Medical grade components provide firm support while our semi-custom fit offers 4 different arch heights to precisely match your individual needs.

Tread Labs is the only company to offer this level of support and fit. We offer much of the functionality of custom orthotics without the cost or risk associated with them. While there are a small percentage of people who truly benefit from custom devices, semi-custom is often a better value.


How should my new insoles feel?

If you have worn insoles before, you have some idea of what to expect. You may find that Tread Labs offers a higher level of support.

If you have never worn supportive insoles, break them in slowly over a few days. This is how your new insoles should feel:

  • Comfortable - Your foot should feel consistent contact through all parts of your arch. There should be no uncomfortable pressure points or hot spots.
  • Supportive - Initially, a supportive orthotic may feel aggressive. After a few days, it should feel like it has always been there, supporting your every step.
  • Functional - Unlike soft, foam insoles, Tread Labs insoles support the bones of your feet, aligning your ankles, knees and hips for a more efficient stride and improved biomechanics.

Tread Labs Fit Guarantee

Know that any purchase you make with us is risk free. Try Our insoles for a month. Feel the difference they make in comfort, alignment and endurance. Discover what exceptional support does for the health of your feet and the quality of your life. If you are not completely satisfied, send them back for a full refund. We'll pay the shipping.

While most customers initially purchase 1 pair of insoles, some purchase 2 pairs and keep the pair that is most comfortable. If you are on the fence about size or arch height, this is a great option and guarantees an optimum fit. Remember - return shipping is free.

If you have questions, please email us or call (781) 425-0662. We're here to help.

FIND YOUR FIT

Mark Paigen
Mark Paigen


14 Responses

Dan-Tread Labs
Dan-Tread Labs

September 07, 2018

Hi Monica,
Tread Labs offers three styles of insoles to fit a wide variety of footwear styles;

The Stride is perfect for footwear with removable footbeds such as work boots, hiking boots, running shoes and walking shoes, this insole offers the thickest cushion of the three styles and is probably the best choice for someone on their feet all day;

The Stride Thin is designed for close fitting shoes with thin, removable insoles such as casual shoes and minimal runners;

The Stride Short is ideal for shoes without removable inserts such as boat shoes, dress shoes and Chuck Taylors;

Please give us a call at 781-435-0662 if we can assist in any way.

Monica
Monica

September 07, 2018

A couple of months I purchased some insoles from my podiatrist’s office. I’ve put them in my shoes that I wear daily and noticed my feet slide and do not feel supported at all and I still feel a lot of pain when wearing them. I’ve found it extremely difficult in placing those same insoles into different pairs of shoes because it raises my feet too high to fit properly in the shoe. I have a medium arch based on wet test and am considering purchasing the size 9-10.5. I normally wear a 9.5 wide. Can you offer any suggestions on how to choose the proper shoe to fit the insoles? I work in an office enviorment and usually wear some sort of dressy flat shoe.

Dan-Tread Labs
Dan-Tread Labs

August 15, 2018

Hi JW,
I tend to take a bit of a conservative approach to arch height, and would recommend trying the High arch supports. The Extra High can feel pretty aggressive. We do offer free shipping and free returns/exchanges for our domestic customers, so if the High didn’t feel quite supportive enough we could always make an exchange for the higher supports.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.
Thanks,
Dan

Dan- Tread Labs
Dan- Tread Labs

August 15, 2018

Hi Tracy,
Our Medium arch supports are probably the closest to a Chaco sandal, though there are a few differences in design giving it a slightly different fit and feel. By supporting the arch and correcting your foot’s alignment you can prevent and relieve bunion discomfort.
Please give us a call at 781-435-0662 or send us an email if we can assist in any way.
Thanks,
Dan

JW
JW

August 15, 2018

I know from previous talus nuetral castings/orthotics I know my correction should be a very high arch (highest last place that casted me had seen) with a extra deep heel cup. My feet are flatter than flat standing, my talus rolls right over the calcaneus. That said I have been out of correction for around 4 yrs. I live in Chaco Sandles as they are the only thing my feet don’t hurt in. I want to start getting back into other shoes so I need to go back to correction. Should I go back straight into extra highs if I were to try your product?

Tracy
Tracy

August 13, 2018

Thank you for designing the original Chacos. I have a pair Chacos with I believe is the traditional Chaco footbed. I can hike in them all day. So I am hoping your insoles will work for my walking shoes. I have a flat foot wth mild to moderate bunions and a pressure pad callous at the 2nd metatarsal. With my Chaco I feel no pressure on the callous. My foot is flexible . Which arch size do you suggest? Thank you in advance for your recommendation
Tracy

Dan-Tread Labs
Dan-Tread Labs

July 25, 2018

Hi Renee,
I would recommend the 7-8.5. The top covers tend to run a touch large. This size will also offer a more precise fit than the larger 9-10.5.
Please let us know if we can assist in any way.
Thanks,
Dan
Tread Labs

Renee
Renee

July 25, 2018

I’m an 8.5, and my left foot sometimes causes me to buy shoes in a 9; it’s slightly bigger than my right foot. I’m wondering which size to buy.

Dan-Tread Labs
Dan-Tread Labs

July 11, 2018

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your question.
We do not sell mixed pairs. But, if after measuring your arches, you find that there is a slight difference in arch height between the two feet, going with the lower of the two heights can typically provide enough support to provide a fit and feel that works for both feet.
Please give us a call at 781-435-0662 if I can assist in any way.
Thanks again,
Dan

Sarah
Sarah

July 11, 2018

Should I buy two pair and waste the second set if my feet are different arches? Or are you able to sell me a custom pair?

Dan, Tread Labs
Dan, Tread Labs

May 03, 2018

Hi Socrates,
For flat feet we tend to recommend a LOW arch support. Using a higher level of support can sometimes cause discomfort and pressure points along the arch.
The tests above are a great way to help determine which arch support will work for you.
If you’d like to give us a call at 781-435-0662 we can also help you determine which insole is right for you.
Thanks,
Dan

Socrates Ibanez
Socrates Ibanez

April 25, 2018

Hello, I am trying to figure what arch height I need. I have really flat feet with no arch. Currently using Superfeet arch support. I have two knee surgeries and just want to make sure I have the best arch support for my feet. Thank you.

Dan, Tread Labs
Dan, Tread Labs

April 16, 2018

Hi Andrew,
I would recommend trying the High arch supports. If after using the High arches you find that more arch support would be beneficial to you we can always make an exchange for the Extra High.
Please let me know if I can assist in any way.
Thanks,
Dan

Andrew
Andrew

April 15, 2018

I did the wet-test and the narrowest part of my arch didn’t even leave a mark on the ground. I tried again and it looked like I have a high arch. Any recommendations?

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