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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Know Your Arches to Run Your Best Race

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This Thanksgiving Day the Feaster Five Road Race takes place in Andover, MA. This tradition is fun for the whole family. Whether you are a seasoned runner or are brand new to the sport, it is important to know what type of arches you have. Avoiding arch pain will make your life as a runner so much more enjoyable.

Being aware of your arch type will help you choose proper footwear and determine whether or not an orthotic is necessary. The quickest and easiest way to find out is by doing the “wet test”. You do this by simply placing your foot in some water and then stepping down on a brown piece of paper.

If you can see your entire foot you have low arches, or flatfeet. If you can see about half of your arch down the middle you can consider yourself a normal pronator. If you can only see a very thin line you have a high arch—and likely underpronate when you take a step.

People with flatfeet need something to help stabilize their gait so that they don’t engage in too much foot movement. You are likely to sustain an injury when your foot rolls to the inside more than it needs to. Stability or motion-control shoes can do the trick.

If you have a normal foot type you can simply choose the type of shoe that feels best. You may prefer cushioning or none at all. Consider yourself lucky because you have the luxury of options.

Those with high arches will need shoes with neutral cushioning. This will help the foot to pronate the way it should. Stability footwear is not needed in this case, as it can cause more harm than good.

If you need help determining your foot type or suffer from arch pain, you can call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our North Andover, MA office.

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