The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-05-2005, 10:34 PM
iwakura43 iwakura43 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
What is it to have a "high instep"?

I have a hard time finding comfortable shoes because, apparently, I have a "high instep." Can somebody tell me what that actually means? Also, do people have suggestion for brands of shoes that might be comfortable given this condition?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-05-2005, 10:35 PM
iwakura43 iwakura43 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Hm, while the first question is GQ, my second question definitely falls into IMHO territory. Mods, please move if appropriate.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:46 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
I know my mom had a *very* high arch of her foot, and wore a size 6. It was very hard for her to find slip on shoes, or boots which fit her feet. As far as function, she had problems later in life with her little toe, which did not speak so much to her high arch as to wearing too many high-heeled small-toed shoes.
YMMV.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-06-2005, 07:33 AM
milquetoast milquetoast is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Apple Valley, MN
Posts: 591
I've always thought of the instep as the top of the foot. However, Dictionary.com tells me there's more to it:
Quote:
The arched middle part of the human foot between the toes and the ankle.
So it included the meet of the foot, not just the top of it. Either way, I think a "high instep" means the top of your foot just past the ankle is higher off the ground than the average measurement.

This means loafers are going to feel tight because there is not enough material that goes from the sole on one side of the foot, over the top of the foot, and down to the sole on the other side of the foot to fit your instep. Shoes that lace should be more comfortable.

I have a similar problem, in that I have wide feet. So I also need shoes that allow for more material (or more flexibility) across the instep. I just shop around until I find shoes that are comfortable. While I prefer the ease of loafers, laced shoes tend to offer more comfort because they adjust to the width of my feet.

And Ladies, you know that they say about a man with wide feet...




...his shoes are always coming untied!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-06-2005, 07:55 AM
Sattua Sattua is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I thought it was the opposite of flat feet--a very high arch, as opposed to no arch.

Which is basically what has been said already.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-06-2005, 08:09 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
I have that too.
It is indeed the opposite of flat feet. It means that there is more pressure on the ball of your foot and the outside edge of your heel than there should be. It's not really about brands of shoes so much as styles.

If you're a guy, you're fine, but you can get orthotics if you feel you need them.

If you're a girl you'll find that when you wear a high heel your foot is smaller than it should be, as the middle part is more raised, and will lift further away from the middle part of the shoes. You might need to go a size smaller in heels than in flats. Shoes with ankle straps and straps over the instep will be much more comfortable and secure than shoes without straps. You'll find it harder to walk in heels than most people because you weight is thrown even more over your toes than usual...get some of those gel cushions for the balls of your feet, and wear lower heels.

I need to get my shoes re-heeled often as the outside edge wears down very quickly, you might find that too. I find shoes with a slightly shaped inner lining, and ankle support like trainers and hiking boots to be much more comfortable than heels or ordinary flats, YMMV.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:00 PM
Cub Mistress Cub Mistress is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 2,540
My understanding of "high instep" is like milquetoast's : it is usually a high arch but most importantly the area on top of the foot between toes and ankle is higher than average, when measured from the floor. All my shoes have to either be a lace up or be very low cut, even to showing toe cleavage. My high heels are all very low cut. Adjustable straps are ok sometimes if they allow enough adjustment to be comfortable.

It's just a variation in foot shape. I have never had serious trouble with my arches, even though the arch supports in athletic shoes never come anywhere near my arches. If and when I do have trouble, I'll get custom arch supports.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-06-2005, 01:17 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 30,330
In anatomy terms, it means your metatarsals (the bones that make up the "foot" part of the foot -- below ankle, before toes) are strung up in a higher position by all the tendons and muscles and myofascial tissue that actually make up the shape of the foot. The extreme of this is a club foot, or the tightly bound foot of a Chinese woman of a century ago.

Foot massages are great for dealing with the tension and pressure Irishgirl speaks of. Massage your foot in long strokes from the ankle down to the toes. Next, grab your foot just above the big toe and the second toe. Feel those bones? Those are the metatarsals. Scissor them up and down in opposition to one another - they will move slightly to start with, and more when you get all that fascia loosened up. Now grab the bone above the second toe and third toe. Repeat the scissoring motion. Keep going with the rest of the metatarsals. Pull gently on the toes and scissor them, as well. Gently pull on toe over the one next to it, and then under. Twist a little if it feels good.

If you have a really tense foot and high arch, doing this every night will actually cause your arch to drop a bit. If you have a flat foot, it will sometimes help to put an arch into it. Either way, it feels really good!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.