All right we all have done this growing up, remember after coming out of water we used to see the footprints that were made by water and wonder why my footprint is somewhat different from others. The difference is in the arches of the foot. Arch of the foot differ in individuals according to the positioning of foot bones (Tarsal and Metatarsal), tendons, ligaments and the amount of pressure being exerted on the feet over the period of time. The arch of foot plays a pivotal role in the health of feet on a long term. Ancient Indians used to take the footprints to determine the foot arches before making the footwear.

The arch of a foot is the curve like shape best seen on footprints.


Classification of arch (types of arch):

 The arch of foot is basically of three types. The Normal arch, Flat arch, and High arch. These three terms are generally used and are more known by normal public.

The normal arch: It is the most found type of arch in human feet and is thought to be the best in all the types of foot arches as it is less likely to induce any foot problems because the weight of the whole body gets easily spread in this type of foot arch. People having normal foot arch are more likely to get away with foot injuries.

The Flat arch: It is not found commonly, in this type the arch of the foot  do not bend over enough to absorb the pressure exerted by the body and hence is likely to cause injuries to the foot and cause pain and other problems. It is also called the low arch as the arch stays very low to the surface level.

The High arch: In this type the arch of the foot is quite high than normal and the pressure do not gets evenly spread, rather most of the shock is diverted to toe and heel portion of the foot and hence this type of foot arch are more likely to cause problems of toe and heel.

Anatomically the arches are of two types, longitudinal and transverse arch.

Longitudinal arch: longitudinal arch is the one which is length wise, from top to bottom of the foot.

The longitudinal arch is subdivided into three more arches namely, the medial arch, the lateral arch and the third one known as fundamental longitudinal arch.

Transverse arch: This arch is in transverse direction which is breadth wise involving three ligaments (plantar,dorsal and introsseous )and two muscles (Adductor hallucis and Peronaeus  longus).

 Knowing your arch of foot is very important, when you know your foot arch type you can easily find out whether you are using the right footwear or not and hence can eliminate most of your foot problems.  A very popular and simple test in which your foot prints are taken by stepping your wet feet on paper to find out what is your arch type is and your physician will advice you the right foot wear.