High-arched feet (Pes cavus) refers to an individual’s foot posture, in this case, the arch of the foot is raised, causing the middle of the feet to be higher than normal. This condition can cause issues in the heel and balls of the feet, as the excess pressure is redistributed to those areas.

ballet dancer massaging her foot


  • People often report that they are walking on the “outside” of their feet
  • Aches or pains in the balls of the feet
  • Aches or pains in the heels or arches of the feet.
  • Shoe-fitting problems
  • Ankle instability
  • Increased risk of stress fractures
  • Knee, thigh and hip problems.


  • Genetic factors: High arched feet can be hereditary.
  • May have an underlying neurological, orthopaedic or neuromuscular condition


Treatment of high-arched feet is not necessary if there is no pain associated with the lower limbs.

If high-arched feet are causing pain, however, it is important to go and see your local podiatrist to ensure you get the correct diagnosis.

There is a number of ways to treat foot pain depending on what that diagnosis is.

Conservative management of patients with painful high-arched feet typically involves strategies to reduce and redistribute plantar pressure loading with the use of foot orthoses and specialised cushioned footwear.

Other therapies include stretching and strengthening of tight and weak muscles, debridement of plantar callosities, osseous mobilization, massage and strategies to improve balance.

In severe cases, surgery may be indicated.

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