Condition 101 About High Arch

What is the definition of High Arch?

High arch is an arch that is raised more than normal. The arch runs from the toes to the heel on the bottom of the foot. It is also called pes cavus.

High arch is the opposite of flat feet.

What are the alternative names for High Arch?

Pes cavus; High foot arch

What are the causes for High Arch?

High foot arches are much less common than flat feet. They are more likely to be caused by a bone (orthopedic) or nerve (neurological) condition.

Unlike flat feet, highly arched feet tend to be painful. This is so because more stress is placed on the section of the foot between the ankle and toes (metatarsals). This condition can make it difficult to fit into shoes. People who have high arches most often need foot support. A high arch may cause disability.

What are the symptoms for High Arch?

Symptoms include:

  • Shortened foot length
  • Difficulty fitting shoes
  • Foot pain with walking, standing, and running (not everyone has this symptom)

What are the current treatments for High Arch?

High arches, particularly ones that are flexible or well cared for, may not need any treatment.

Corrective shoes may help relieve pain and improve walking. This includes changes to the shoes, such as an arch insert and a support insole.

Surgery to flatten the foot is sometimes needed in severe cases. Any nerve problems that exist must be treated by specialists.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for High Arch?

The outlook depends on the condition causing high arches. In mild cases, wearing proper shoes and arch supports may provide relief.

What are the possible complications for High Arch?

Complications may include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty walking

When should I contact a medical professional for High Arch?

Call your provider if you think you have foot pain related to high arches.

How do I prevent High Arch?

People with highly arched feet should be checked for nerve and bone conditions. Finding these other conditions may help prevent or reduce arch problems.


Deeney VF, Arnold J. Orthopedics. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Norwalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.

Grear BJ. Neurogenic disorders. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 86.

Winell JJ, Davidson RS. The foot and toes. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 674.

Latest Advances On High Arch

  • Condition: Adults with Cavus Foot
  • Journal: Medicine
  • Treatment Used: Combining Static Stretching and Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation
  • Number of Patients: 68
  • Published —
This study assessed the immediate and short-term radiological changes after combining static stretching and transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the plantar fascia in adults with idiopathic cavus (high arch) foot.
  • Condition: Varus Hindfoot
  • Journal: Foot & ankle international
  • Treatment Used: Lateralizing Calcaneal Osteotomies (LCos)
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
This study determined whether osteotomies involving a wedge resection would achieve greater correction with less lateralization in patients with varus hindfoot.

Clinical Trials For High Arch

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.