Ever wonder why people walk the way they do or how come some people have flat feet while others have high arches? Or maybe something in between? Or why some people resemble "John Wayne's" classic walk or more like "Donald Duck" or even "Fred Flintstone?" Gentle humor aside, there are reasons for why we walk the way we do and here is why. For starters, we inherit our foot type meaning the look, shape, and function are all characteristics that we inherit from phenotypic traits similar to eye color. So when curiosity has you wondering where you got your foot type, look no further than your ancestral tree. If parents or other family members have flat feet or there is a history of foot problems, then there is a 50% chance of passing along similar conditions to children. The benefit of inheriting our foot type is that we now have a proverbial "crystal" ball of sorts to forecast and appreciate wear patterns or changes that our feet will undergo from a lifetime of activity.
There are many unique characteristics of our foot type that can be understood through scientific evaluation and gait analysis however for simplicity sake we can classify foot types into one of three structural categories by determining arch height. A foot that appears to have an excessively high arch is classified as a pes avus foot, while a flattened arch is classified as pes planus, more commonly referred to as a flatfoot. The third category is a "Neutral" foot which is describes a foot that maintains an arch while absorbing impact while walking or running.
You can determine your foot type through (non weight bearing and/or standing) and dynamic assessments. A non weight-bearing assessment is done by observing the arch while sitting on a table without letting your foot touch the ground. A weight-bearing foot type assessment is performed while standing with an equal amount of weight on each foot. A dynamic assessment is done by observing the arch height while the foot is moving as in walking or running. This is the best way to assess not only foot type but how the foot functions during activity. Observing the foot in motion tells us how certain foot types behave an how it effects the rest of the body when it moves.
Foot types have specific arch heights, callus patterns, angles of gait and compensation patterns which can be noted by observing gait. Gross assessment of dynamic foot mechanics with the naked eye can be very difficult. Therefore, to ensure an accurate assessment of foot type and biomechanics , it is suggested that a thorough gait evaluation is performed by a professional using slow-speed filming.
Sole Remedy specializes in gait analysis, foot type assessment, musculoskeletal injury management and fall prevention.
Phone: 508-295-8800 or 855-FOOT RX 9 to schedule an appointment today!