High Arched Feet: Symptoms and Treatment Options

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At some point in your life, you may have been told by a doctor or an athletic trainer that you have high arched feet. Quite possibly you have noticed the excessively rounded insides of your feet, or are struggling with foot pain and wondering if it’s related. High-Arched or Pes Cavus (cavus foot) don’t sound particularly concerning, but many people do not realize the issues and complications that can come from this common foot condition when left untreated. If you want to know all about indicators of high arches, the foot pains that may be related, and ways to treat them, continue to read on.

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An Overview of High Arched Feet

High arched feet are exactly as they sound: the plantar arch is excessively high which can create a host of issues. When you have Pes Cavus the weight of your body is not distributed evenly throughout the entire sole which causes pain and other foot problems over time.

Sometimes you might have an asymptomatic version of the condition, but more often than not you will have at least one of the symptoms during your lifetime.

Foot Pain Symptoms due to High Arches

As its name suggests, you can recognize that you may have a cavus foot due to a higher than average arch. If the arch in your foot is apparent, even while it’s planted on the ground, you may have High Arched Feet. Of course, it’s important to have a proper exam and diagnosis by a podiatrist, but there are some common indications that you are dealing with cavus foot:

  1. Foot pain when walking, or standing, for long periods of time.
  2. The presence of calluses on the feet
  3. Poor posture and instability
  4. Excessive pain in the heel or ball of the foot
  5. Toe deformities such as hammertoes and/or claw toes
  6. Sprained ankles can be a sign that you are dealing with high arched feet
  7. A visibly high arch of the foot, especially while standing
  8. Soreness in the shins, commonly known as shin splints
  9. Pain in your knees and hips

Treating Cavus Foot Condition

To determine that you have high arched feet, a podiatrist could ask about your family history; Pes Cavus is often hereditary. Your doctor will also test for strength, weakness, and deformities that are a sign of cavus foot. If necessary, your doctor may order x-rays to check for extensive damage before moving forward with a treatment plan.
There are a few different ways to treat this common foot condition such as:

  • Orthotics: This is one of the most common and effective ways to treat people with High Arched Feet/Pes Cavus. Custom orthotics provide proper arch support to evenly distribute the pressure on the bottom of your foot which should help to alleviate many of the symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Callus Removal: Your Podiatrist will be able to complete a debridement which will remove excess skin built up to help alleviate foot pain almost immediately. This is often completed in addition to wearing orthotics.
  • Orthopedic Shoes: Often a proper orthopedic shoe that will better support your unique foot shape will be recommended. This route will typically provide the best result in addition to an orthotic device.
  • Foot Surgery: In very severe cases of foot pain due to High Arched Feet/Pes Cavus your doctor may recommend surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will perform a customized surgery to make the foot flatter. This can be done by surgically adjusting bones and tissue of the foot to best relieve foot pain symptoms. 

Living with high arched feet doesn’t have to be painful and uncomfortable. If you have any of the symptoms above or recurring foot pain that you cannot seem to relieve, contact our team of experienced podiatrists. To Healthy Feet has two locations in Manhattan to serve you, contact us on our online contact form, or by calling 917-398-3998.


Can exercise help high arched feet?
Most cases of Pes Cavus are best treated with orthotics, but completing an exercise routine with stretching and strengthening of the feet and ankles can be a good idea to remain limber and strong. Some you can try are:

  • Yoga for feet
  • Toe curls and extensions
  • Rolling the arches on a lacrosse ball

Can you flatten out a high arch?
You can flatten out an arch surgically, although it is uncommon to have surgery for cavus foot- it would only be recommended for severe cases that are not being helped by more moderate treatment options such as orthotic devices and custom shoes.

What causes high arched feet?
Most often cavus feet are caused by genetics, but sometimes they can be from a trauma or a neurological condition.

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