What are Cavoid Feet (High Arch Feet)?

‘High Arch’ is a common term used to describe a foot that supinates or rolls out too much at the ankle and midfoot. High arches are often thought of as a great alternative to flat feet. However, high arched, or cavoid feet, can cause plenty of their own problems.

A high arched foot is unstable, as the body is balancing on just the heel and the ball of the foot. This results in high pressures in these areas as the arch of the foot are not taking any weight. The patient will have to bulge at the outside of the ankle joint and increased wear on the lateral (outside) of the shoe. This causes strain on the muscles in the legs and feet as they try to stabilise the body on the foot.

Problems associated with Cavoid Feet (High Arch Feet)?

High arches can lead to problems such as chronic lateral ankle sprains, peroneal tendinitis (a tendon that runs down the leg on the outside of the ankle and into the foot), balance problems, midfoot pain, and poor shock absorption during gait, possibly leading to foot, ankle, knee and lower back problems. This foot type often leads to hammer and claw toes, as the toes grip the ground to increase stability.

Because high arch feet have less surface area contacting the ground, high pressures can occur in these areas of the foot. This can result in excessive callus or corn development in these areas, often at the ball of the foot and heels.

Conservative Treatment

  • Orthotic Therapy to re-stabilise the lower limb, along with re-distributing pressures evenly throughout the whole foot. Reducing high-pressure areas can reduce the risk of developing callus and corns.
  • Footwear advice
  • Physical therapies such as strengthening, stretching and balance exercises can help reduce the risk of associated problems such as ankle sprains.