High foot arches are much less common than flat feet. They are more likely to be caused by a bone (orthopedic) or nerve (neurological) condition.
Unlike flat feet, highly arched feet tend to be painful because more stress is placed on the section of the foot between the ankle and toes (metatarsals). This condition can make it difficult to fit into shoes. People who have high arches usually need foot support. A high arch may cause disability.
Shortened foot length
Difficulty fitting shoes
Foot pain with walking, standing, and running (not everyone has this symptom)
Signs and tests
When the person stands on the foot, the instep looks hollow and most of the weight is on the back and balls of the foot (metatarsals head).
Your health care provider will check to see if the high arch is flexible, meaning it can be moved around.
Call your health care provider if you suspect you are having foot pain related to high arches.
People with highly arched feet should be checked for nerve and bone conditions. Identifying these other conditions may help prevent or reduce arch problems.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.