location of arch support (Read 62 times)


Fight The Future

    long story short, I ran for about 7 years in ASICS 2100 series shoes, which are stability type, and they have a substantial medial post to support the arch. This past spring I got plantar fasciitis, which persisted. I finally tried all different types of shoes, and it finally went away when I switched to low profile, thin flat shoes. Unfortunately, then I developed mild/moderate pain at the base of fifth metatarsal, right where the peroneus brevis inserts. Feels quite a bit like repetitive stress, comes and goes, has an achey feel to it. Lately I switched to Hoka shoes to provide some cushioning, and that has helped it resolve somewhat, but It just doesn't completely go away.

    I was buying some new regular work shoes, and the shoe sales guy was really into explaining the foot mechanics of pain and comfort shoes. He measured my foot and also determined somehow that my arch is relatively short, compared to the length of the foot (so arch is closer to the heel than average). Never heard arch length discussed as an independent variable. Anybody heard of this being important before? What he was saying did make sense to me: in that he claimed that I had gotten injured not because of the arch support itself, but because the ASICS probably had the arch support too far forward for my particular arch. Thus, instead of supporting, it actually hit the front edge of the arch, and weakened it. If this is true, how then would one find the right shoe type? I guess just go test them all, and see if the location of the arch matches your foot....

    anybody with knowledge about this fine detail of footwear?


    (Edited to add: please do not recommend carrying baskets on my head)

    Latent Runner

      While not a huge issue for me, I have, upon occasion, worn shoes (running shoes and otherwise) which didn't match my arch location, and I've suffered both blisters and injury as a result.


      For the last 25 or so years I've been buying my shoes mail-order from a catalog (which is now online), and each time I was forced to transition into a new shoe either because my old shoe was discontinued, or my running needs changed (i.e. switching from road work to trail running), or because the shoes I was wearing were causing injury, I got on the phone with one of their running consultants, and so far at least, they have only missed a couple of times.


      The above said, this last September I got recruited as a last minute replacement on a 6-person ultra relay team where I'd have to run roughly 33 miles, on roads, in a little over 24 hours, and I didn't own a single road shoe.  Given the time constraints I was unable to order new shoes in time for the event and was forced to go to a running store to buy a pair.  The answer to question you asked, "... how then would one find the right shoe type? I guess just go test them all, and see if the location of the arch matches your foot...", is "Yes!"  When I went to the first running store I tried on over 30 pairs of shoes and didn't find one which fit properly.  Fortunately the second running store down the street had a slighly different array of brands, models, and sizes, and after another 20+ trial fittings, I found a pair which felt proper.


      As for the relay event, I wore the new shoes for three of my six legs totalling maybe 12 miles, and while I started feeling a minor pressure point at the front of my arch about 4 miles into the second leg (my fourth leg of the relay), I simply switched them out for a leg and wore them for my sixth and final leg.  All in all, I'm glad I spent several hours trying on over 50 pairs of shoes.  Smile

      Fat old man PRs:

      • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
      • 2-mile: 13:49
      • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
      • 5-Mile: 37:24
      • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
      • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
      • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

        The location of the arch IS very important.  In my clinic we see this all the time as being a contributor to many foot problems.  If the arch is too long or it hits you in the wrong place, it will dorsiflex or push your 1st metatarsal up and flatten your arch.  This flattening of the arch weakens the tissues in the foot and can lead to injuries and over stretching.


        Every shoe has a last or model in which it is made around.  This last determines where the shoe breaks and bends.  You need to find a shoe that bends at the ball of your foot AND gives you adequate toe space (the right last).  A less structured shoe may lend you more success due to the flexibility but if you are in a more structured shoe it may take some time to transition.


        Also getting and insole which places the support further back can help also.  This will force the support in the right place and reduce 1st ray dorsiflexion.


        Hope this helps and good luck!

          I wore the new shoes for three of my six legs


          Can you run as fast as a tiger beetle?

          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.