How to Find Your Foot Type with a Simple Wet Test

If you are struggling to find the right running shoes, try wet testing your feet. The simple 2 minute DIY at home test will show you whether you have high arches or flat feet (low arches).

Looking closely at your feet could guide you to the right type of shoe. There are two main things you should know before choosing your running shoes: these are the pronation pattern and the arch type. While the pronation type is a bit trickier to determine and evaluation requires special training and equipment, the arch type can be easily determined at home. It would give you a good start in choosing you running sneakers. There are three basic foot types according to the height of the foot arch: normal arch, low arch (flat feet) and high arch.

Which are the Arch Types?

There are three arch types – low, high and normal arches. Usually having normal arches means you have normal pronation pattern. People with high arches tend to underpronate. People with flat feet tend to overpronate. And whereas it is best that you pronation pattern is determined by specialist in a specialized store, this simple test would at least give you a direction.

photo courtesy of fit50.info

The Test

You shall need:

  • basin
  • water
  • piece of paper (preferably dark for better prints)
  • your bare feet

Fill the basin with water and place the paper on the floor near the basin. Step into the basin and then step on the paper. Stay there for 1-2 seconds and step off the paper. Look carefully at your prints and compare them to the following scheme:

High arch

If you see only your heel, the ball of the foot and almost no arch at all, that means that you have high arch feet. This foot type is the rarest of all. This can be a sign that you are underpronator. The arch of the foot does not collapse enough to absorb shock when you run. The best shoes for high arches are shoes without added stability. You need neutral-cushioned shoes which would encourage pronation.

Low arch

If you can see almost your entire foot on the paper, that means that you have flat feet and that you tend to overpronate. The best shoes for flat feet are stability shoes – for mind to moderate overpronation or motion-control shoes, for the severe cases. People with low arches usually has significantly longer arch length than other two types. According to recent research for Foot arch characterization, this difference is approximately 1 cm.

Normal arch

If the print shoes about half of your arch, that means that you have the normal foot type. As a normal pronator you will be able to choose among all available shoes. However, the neutral-cushioned ones, without any stability support may be best for you
Remember, this fun test is just to give you basic idea and direction. By no means is this a recommendation for buying. It is possible to still overpronate even if you have high arches. For most accurate results see a specialist and test your shoes to make sure they are comfortable.