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The Wet Foot Test: Find Your Foot Type

by Mackenzie Lobby
July 13, 2009

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


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
Motion Control


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

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.