The Wet Foot Test: Find Your Foot Type

Your foot’s arch—flat, neutral, or high—helps determine the amount of stability you need in your footwear.

At some specialty stores, a knowledgeable salesperson can check your gait and foot type to determine whether you over-pronate (roll your foot inward), supinate/under-pronate (roll your foot outward), or neither, and direct you to a shoe with the proper amount of stability, aka arch support.

If you don’t have a local expert to diagnose your gait, try the wet foot test instead and determine from the chart below whether you have a high, low, or neutral arch. 

  1. Get the bottoms of your feet wet.
  2. Step on a piece of newspaper or paper towel.
  3. Check out your wet footprints and compare them to the foot types below.
  4. You also can take a look at the wear pattern on the soles of an old pair of running, hiking, or walking shoes. If you wear down the inner edges of the bottom of your shoes, you likely over-pronate. If you grind down the outside edges, you supinate. Wear in the middle indicates a neutral arch.

 

Foot Type Wear Patterns The Issue The Shoe Type

Flat

Your treads show signs of wear on the inside and by the big toe.

Your foot is very flexible and you strike the ground on the outside of your heel and roll inwards, meaning over-pronation. You need some motion control to prevent that inward roll.

High Stability
or
Motion Control

Neutral

Your treads show signs of wear down the middle.

Your foot is neutral, meaning you don’t over-pronate, or you only pronate slightly, which is normal. No major correction is needed.

Moderate Stability or
Neutral/Cushioning

High Arch

Your treads show signs of wear on the outside and by the little toe.

Your foot is very rigid and you tend to run on the outsides of your feet, called supination or under-pronation. Your shoes should be well cushioned and flexible to counteract the rigidity of your feet.

Neutral/Cushioning

Filed under: Buyers' Guides

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Comments

Bill S
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,314 forum posts
July 13, 2009 at 7:32 p.m. (EDT)

Good demonstration in straight-forward terms of "foot behavioor". As mentioned, there are a few stores (mostly running stores, such as RoadRunner Sports out here on the Left Coast) that have electronic devices to measure your stride as you walk or run. This "wet foot" method is a lot simpler and you can do it "at home".

GaryPalmer
210 reviewer rep
4,219 forum posts
August 28, 2009 at 12:16 p.m. (EDT)

A good friend and hiking partner of mine tends to walk Pigeon toed or has her feet pointing inward when she walks, I have noticed this when we hikes and I see her foot print on the trail and onserve her walking.

Is this okay, or can she be hurting her feet and maybe need to rty to learn to straighten her steps?

Please email me at garyclaytonpalmer@yahoo.com as this section of the forum does not always show.

I also asked another question about food intake and its developement into fatty areas of my stomach and what I can do or eat to make this fat go on thru instead of building up in my stomach? Please answer if you can at the email above so I am sure to recieve it?

Thanks,

gary

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
685 reviewer rep
3,104 forum posts
August 28, 2009 at 9:04 p.m. (EDT)

Hi, Gary. I was a pigeon-toed kid, I even had to wear special shoes for a while (egad) around kindergarten age and wasn't supposed to sit cross-legged. I still have a slight tendency to toe-in, but it's not noticeable in any way and I don't think it's ever caused me an issue, though maybe that's why I'm prone to shin splints.

If it's severe and your friend has any other symptoms or pain between her feet and hips she may want to see a doctor (but she probably would have mentioned that by now in her life). Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. If it's not causing her a problem, I'd just consider it part of her unique gait.

Here's some info I found:

http://www.footankle.com/in-toeing.htm

http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/bonesjointsmuscles/bone3447.html

mike068
200 reviewer rep
649 forum posts
August 29, 2009 at 1:32 p.m. (EDT)

Nice article even though already I know that im flat footed as hell but others may find it very useful.

trouthunter
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,497 forum posts
August 30, 2009 at 5:48 p.m. (EDT)

Yes...a very informative article. Thanks Mackenzie.

I have nuetral feet, my soles wear evenly and not on one side or the other. I do seem to benefit from stiff boots when treking in rough rocky terrain. They are no fun to wear shopping for gear, but after days on rough trails my feet are not strained and sore.

I like superfeet greens for an insole and have found them to be worth the price.

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