Foot Types Overview

Education and understanding are critical to quality care. Please browse below and learn about the types of feet. Each foot type has a special type of orthotic (insole) and shoe. Finding which is right for you is guided by the information below.

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Foot Type 1

This is the “high arch” foot type. The heel is commonly in varus and the arch is quite exaggerated. This is common to cause hip and knee problems because of the lack of flexibility to the foot. There is very little pronation during walking. Some pronation is normal while walking acting like a shock absorber on a car. People often comment that this person walks very heavy and shakes the floor because their foot strikes the floor very hard.

 

Foot Type 2

This foot type is commonly associated with a decreased arch but the toes point strait ahead during stance and a decreased arch. The heel is typically in slight varus and the forefoot is in valgus. The foot is required to twist so that the 1st and 2nd toe are able to leave the ground. This can cause a lot of 1st toe issues. There is a strong association with a leg length discrepancy. This foot type is somewhat rare.

Foot Type 3

This foot type usually has a heel is generally neutral with a moderate arch. There is very little pronation during walking. Some pronation is normal while walking acting like a shock absorber on a car. This foot type requires the foot to rotate outward during walk to compensate for the lack of flexibility and often causes hip, knee and low back pain due to this rotation. People with this foot type have difficulty standing for any length of time in one spot.

 

Foot Type 4

This foot type is commonly associated with “pancake” feet. These feet have a heel which is neutral but the foot has no arch at all. There is a flat footed walk. This is common with plantar fasciitis, 1st toe pain, and bunions. The foot may act like it is slapping the floor.

Foot Type 5

This foot type often has a slight valgus appearance when standing. The forefoot is in a varus attitude. The heel moves a lot while walking leading to a very common association with heel pain and “growing pains” in the heel. Tendons of the ankle are required to twist the heel and can cause shin splints. Exaggerated hip motion is common due to the excess motion of the heel leading to hip pain. Control of the heel is key to improving walking.

 

Foot Type 6

This foot type is the most problematic and damaging foot type of all. This foot type looks like it may fit better if the shoes are on the wrong foot because the arch has fallen so badly. This has a valgus heel and a varus forefoot causing twisting within the foot. There is commonly ankle pain at the outer part of the ankle. There is also knee pain due to the stress. Tendons are often stretched to their limits. Advanced arthritis is common in old age.

 

Glossary:

Valgus - Tipping to the center

Varus - Tipping away from the center

Rearfoot - Heel area of the foot

Forefoot - Area near the toes.

Pronation - Tipping of the foot towards the center