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.
- Get the bottoms of your feet wet.
- Step on a piece of newspaper or paper towel.
- Check out your wet footprints and compare them to the foot types below.
- 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.