High arch feet or pes cavus is a type of foot posture characterized by abnormally high arch height along the inner side of the foot. This foot type is also described as “supinated” feet or walking with excessive supination. A person with high arch feet will notice that their footprints have greater curvature and less surface area touching the ground.
High arch feet are mostly congenital (inborn) but can also be due to underlying neuromuscular conditions such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and post-poliomyelitis syndrome.
Unlike a normal arch foot, high arch feet have a lower contact surface area when standing. This means that the body weight or load is distributed over a smaller area, resulting in higher forces and pressure acting on the foot.
A person with a high arch foot would normally have a restricted range of motion of the foot and ankle, reducing the lower limb’s ability to absorb shock. These forces translate up the lower limb and cause several musculoskeletal conditions over time.
Conditions that are caused by high arch feet include:
The management for high arch typically involves increasing the contact surface area of the feet when standing and providing sufficient ankle stability when walking.
Management options for high arch feet include: