Each pair of feet varies in form, shape, and size. Sometimes, finding the right shoes can be tough work. Nowadays, a lot of people usually choose style over comfort, a common mistake, which can have negative impacts on the health conditions of the feet. A better understanding of your foot type will help you take proper care of them and prevent tons of major foot problems.
So how to determine foot types? In this post, I will show you the guide to foot type classification.
First, I will introduce several methods that can help you determine different types of feet:
#1. The first method is called “The Wet Foot Test.” This test is quite common and you might have probably already heard of it many times. It’s very simple; you just have to wet your feet and place them on a piece of cardboard to create the footprint. Then just analyze the results from there.
Are you still confused? Check out this video to fully understand:
As you see in the video, it’s best to view the shape of that footprint before comparing it with others at the base of the page. Act now to if you want your shoes to work best on any surface. That’s cool! But how to know which one is non-slip or not?
Click here to start learning your best slip resistant shoes!
However, remember that this wet test just tells you how to find the correct shoe.
What does it mean? Well, if you’re one of those who owns flat feet that appear a bit stiff and have the high yet flexible arches, I recommend you to try them out and run them in. This is because there will be a lot of other elements coming into play, such as your running experience, body weight, biomechanics, and even your preferences. Does it sound convincing enough for you? Then What do you do next?
Let’s find a reliable running retailer to help you answer some complicated questions. It’s mostly about your own running history and previous injuries you used to have before. Doing so will let you learn if it feels right for your foot type, right?
Yes, sure enough. But more than that, some running stores would love to observe your old footwear and watch how you run with the shoes.
In case you’ve got some old injuries, don’t hesitate to consult a medical specialist (physical therapist) to get the most suitable treatment. What is it exactly? It can be a recovery training and then you’re given a precise assessment of the right running shoe your feet need.
#2. The second method is to check the heels of your shoes, especially if you’re a runner. Verify which part of the shoes is the most worn out. The most worn out part will determine which part of your feet endures the most pressure from your regular activities, such as walking, running… etc. From there, you can analyze the results.
#3. The third method is a little bit more complicated and requires the most work. In this method, you would have to video record your feet during a jogging session. The only possible way to do this is on a treadmill and you would also need to prepare a cam recorder to record your feet motions from behind. Even though this method can be very tedious, it is considered to be the most effective method to determine your level of pronation.
#4. Lastly, if you have already completed any of the methods above and have some understanding of your foot type, you can proceed with scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist or a shoe specialist; they will be able to provide you with a more thorough foot analysis with specific details about your foot type.
So, what is a “good fit”?
Don’t get the shoes that feel too tight!
You may not know that toes need to own a sufficient amount of wiggle room, especially when it comes to closed footwear. How about the high-heeled pumps? In this case, the toes must be flat nearby each other and not out of shape when lying together.
Different types of people will have different types of feet. So if you’re looking for a pair of dress shoes for men, ensure them to have a half an inch at least between your longest toes and the shoe’s leather. Want to move up or down its size? Let’s carry out a basic finger test, later on, to check out that fit!
Let’s check your fit!
Checking the fit is an important guide that helps you stand firmly and comfortably on the feet no matter how long the hours are. Are you ready? Now kick off with the heel grip:
Your heel grip: At the moment you’re sitting still, raise one of your feet up and hold that ankle with only one hand. Next, simply grip your shoe’s heel with the other hand. Pull it down three times to see whether the shoe can grip your heel well or not. Lastly, repeat the routine on your other foot.
Your shoe upper: It’s time to stand upright and avail your fingers to move around the upper of your shoe. Doing this lets you know if there’s any gap between the footwear and your heel or not.
Your ankle: I recommend you to touch the ankle to feel it and learn if your shoes can touch that ankle or not since it can rub. It’s best to have a piece of footwear that owns padded collar for a much more comfortable fit around the ankle. This doesn’t only feel smooth but also padded when touching your bone.
Your foot width: You can feel that along each of the shoe’s sides by using only one hand. There’s no pressure you can feel at both sides, and the widest region of your foot needs to be in the widest part of your footwear.
Your shoe depth: Use your hand to rub across the upper of your shoe. In this situation, you need to feel the leather material with a bit of ripple effect. How to handle a pair of low cut shoe? Leave one finger under the top region of the shoe and ensure it not to be so tight or so loose. And it should have a large gap underneath.
Your walk: One of the essential things to do here to check your fit is walking. You should do this comfortably and naturally. And the footwear shouldn’t slide off your feet as well as there is always the sufficient amount of gaping at both sides.
Tips for measuring your feet
Furthermore, if you are interested in measuring your own feet, remember these following tips:
- The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day because your feet are usually larger after a full day of walking around.
- Always remember to wear your regular socks if the shoes you’re planning to buy require wearing socks.
- Measure your feet while sitting on a chair instead of standing (if you’re measuring on your own and vice versa if someone is measuring for you).
- Your feet are not symmetrical, so remember to measure both feet and buy shoe size based on the larger foot.
For more details as well as the foot size chart, check this link.
That’s all I have for methods, now let’s learn how to analyze the results that you got from the tests.
Understanding Your Foot Type
To fully know your foot type, you need to understand the following 5 elements:
The size of your foot does not only include the length but also the width. For more details, check out our latest post about foot and shoe sizes.
The arch is the middle section of your foot. The word Arch originated from Greek, which means, “curve structure,” so the reason why the middle section is called an “arch” is that it also has a curve. The arch of the foot is classified into three types; learn which type you have:
- Low arch or flat feet
- Normal arch
- High arch
Pronation occurs at the subtalar joint below the ankle. It describes the natural motion of the foot, how it rolls inward to distribute the weight every time the foot lands on the surface when you walk or run.
A person’s arch shape (how curvy it is) can affect the foot’s ability to roll and cause overpronation or under pronation; therefore, it’s important to choose the right shoes that fit your pronation pattern and support your feet.
There are three types of pronation:
- Overpronation which usually goes along with a low arch (choose shoes that are well structured and offer maximum support).
- Neutral pronation, which usually goes along with a normal arch (usually compatible with most shoes).
- Under pronation or supination usually go along with a high arch (only wear shoes with a lot of cushioning to prevent injuries).
Note that the word “usually” is being used because there can be unusual exceptions, sometimes people with over pronation could also have a high arch.
But how to know your pronation type?
There will be a video taken about your feet while you’re running on a certain treadmill. This footage tends to be slowed down and then analyzed carefully by an expert at a running store, or a physical therapist. These specialists can tell you what your running type is so that you can choose the right pair of shoes.
Also, in this video, the specialist will carry out the 3D foot mapping in which the lasers and some micro cameras would be used. This is meant to draw out a detailed image of a foot. You’ll get some useful information after it’s scanned, and feel free to use it to determine your shoe. Or simply use it to identify what might cause your injuries.
4. Foot Shape
Know your foot type will help you find the ideal fit
The foot shapes also vary; there is a total of four different shapes.
- Angled forefoot – the big toe is the longest and the other toes slant downward.
- Square forefoot – the first three toes are equal length and the other two are shorter.
- Rounded forefoot – the second toe is slightly longer than the big toe and the little is similar in length with the big toe, which makes a nice curve.
- Morton forefoot – the longest toe can be the second or the third and the rest of the other toes are shorter and narrow down.
The final foot shape is the same as those who have Greek foot, which is known to own a long look in general. By looking at them, you can see how they’re like the shape of the arrowhead in which the second toe is larger than your big toe. And if having this foot type, don’t choose any pointed shoe since it will cause you some discomfort. But how come?
A pointed footwear owns a less room for your toes, so your toes easily stick to each other. Besides, these pointed shoes can add length to the feet and then make them look a bit larger. To fix this, get those with the rounded toe box.
5. Foot Health Problems
There are a lot of common foot problems, such as bad odor and pain that result from improper care and can lead to serious diseases/ disorders.
There are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, which produce about a pint of perspiration a day; sometimes the material of the shoes can be a huge factor that contributes to bad feet odor.
The most common foot problems are Achilles Tendon, Bunions, Heel Pain and especially Plantar Fasciitis. These problems are usually extremely painful and can lead to or can be used as indicators of other serious diseases, which include diabetes, circulatory disorders, and arthritis.
Did you get hurt after putting on those sneakers? That’s because you’ve just worn the wrong shoes for the feet. In this case, you should learn how to determine your foot types! Are they normal, flat, or high arch? Doing so well can determine the right sort of footwear you must buy.
Last but not least, you can take the wet foot test to explore your own foot shape, and then tell the salesman the shoes you desire next time. I highly recommend the highly-cushioned and flexible shoes with great arch support. They can take the stress of your limbs effectively.