What is Arch Support?
When people talk about supporting the arch of your foot, they are talking about the medial longitudinal arch that spans between the ball of your foot and your heel bone. The support in these two areas must also support weight in the open space between them.
If your arches are not properly supported, you may experience pain down the length of the foot and too much stress or weight on your feet may lead to injury.
Do You Need It?
Some people have low arches but do not have any problems. Others have problems that are often related to overpronation. If you have mild symptoms, purchasing arch supports may be an easier and cheaper solution, but those with moderate to severe symptoms should consult a professional.
In most mild cases, proper footwear can help.
What To Look For:
There are many forms of arch support, including insoles and custom orthodics.
Many athletic shoes are designed to reduce overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of the foot that is often caused by flat feet. Look for stability technologies for mild to moderate pronation, and motion-control technologies for severe over-pronation.
Some suggest that the best way to support your arch is to build up foot muscles slowly and wear shoes that allow your feet to sit naturally. Zero-drop shoes with wide toe-boxes are often recommended for this purpose.
There are a lot of factors that go into relieving foot pain. You should discuss these options with a podiatrist or other medical professional to see which is the best option for you.
Another common cause of foot pain is wearing the wrong shoe size. Stay tuned next week for more on choosing the right shoe size!