Not only does wearing the wrong shoes for your foot shape feel discomforting, but it is also hazardous to your feet. It can worsen existing foot problems and add tension to your bones and supporting tissues.
This is where the wet test comes in. It helps you figure out what your foot shape is and pick the right shoes needed for it. Find out more in the following post.
1. BEFORE BUYING SHOES, KNOW YOUR FEET
Before buying new shoes, be familiar with your feet. Know their mobility, symmetry, technique, and arch.
When you’re buying new shoes, have some prior knowledge of your feet. There are 4 important keys to keep in mind: mobility, symmetry, technique, and arch.
Foot mobility is how your feet move. It is crucial to determine the right shoes needed to aid you with movement. Symmetry is the contact your feet make with the ground. Technique determines which part of your foot (heel, midfoot, and toes) hits the ground first. You can go to a podiatrist (a foot doctor) or a specialized shoe store in order to find out more about these three points.
The wet test will help you with the fourth point, your foot arch or the curve between your toes and heels. They keep your balance when walking and aid your feet in absorbing shocks. Determine your foot arch type in the comfort of your own home with the wet test. Let’s go to the next point to find out what is the wet test and how to do it.
2. WHAT IS THE WET TEST?
The wet test is a procedure that figures out your foot shape by revealing the arches. It’s vital to take it to get the right shoes with the necessary comfort and support required for your foot type.
Just like its name, you need to get your feet wet. Fill a bowl or container with water and prepare a paper towel or regular towel to step on. Dip one of your feet into the water and stamp your wet foot on the towel. Now you can see your foot arch marked.
The steps involved in the wet test. Determine your foot shape by stamping your wet foot on a towel.
3. FOOT SHAPES: FLEXIBLE, NEUTRAL, AND HOLLOW
The three types of foot shapes: flexible flat, neutral, and hollow feet.
After taking the wet test, you’ll see one of the three common foot types: flexible flat, neutral, and hollow.
Flexible flat feet (or flat arches) mark your entire feet on the towel with little to no curves. They increase in shoe size every time you stand. With a flat arch, your feet move inwards (or overpronate). This means you’re prone to moving too much and getting your feet, legs, and knees hurt often. But there’s a silver lining. Flexible flat feet take in shocks (energy transmitted between your feet and the ground) as they spread out when your soles contact the ground.
Neutral feet (or neutral arches) are common in most people. With their half-curved arch, your well-balanced feet roll out flawlessly. This means you can walk and do physical activities with ease. Neutral foot types can also absorb shocks very well while in motion.
Hollow feet (or high arches) are the less universal foot shapes. The wet test only displays your heel, the top of your foot, and a thin curve cut in half. Since hollow feet are underpronators, your feet move outwards and take a lot of shock to your legs. This makes you trip easily, giving your feet the inability to absorb shocks.
4. THE RIGHT TYPE OF SHOES FOR YOUR FOOT SHAPE
Get the right type of shoes needed for your foot shape to comfort your feet.
First things first, NEVER FOCUS ON FASHION OVER COMFORT. If you’re buying a pair of Nike shoes because their design caught your attention, then you’re making a big mistake. If they don’t work for your foot shape then your feet may hurt like crazy.
For those with flexible flat feet, avoid overpronation by getting a pair of shoes with low heels. They restrain your feet from excessive motion. Make sure they include good arch support to stop your feet from flattening when you walk.
Shoes for neutral foot types are sold the most in stores. Get shoes with dense soles, comfortable cushioning, and enough backspace to keep your heels well supported. Wearing the wrong shoes can make your feet get blisters and other foot problems.
If you have hollow feet, the right shoes are those with good cushioning and a high collar (the shoes’ upper part). They absorb more shock, add more weight to your feet to avoid tripping, and make room for your high arches.