Good arch support is essential to your foot health but not many people are aware of just how important it is.
The arches of your feet are supporting your weight and absorbing the shock of each step you make.
They are even more important when you do sports or adventurous activities, as the pressure we often put on our feet could be very strenuous.
This is particularly the case with water shoes. These shoes can vary in types and if not selected properly you may end up with an uncomfortable shoe.
Good arch support provides you with comfort, protection and endurance in cases when you are engaged actively in sports.
Good Arch Support Protects Your Joints
To protect our joints, the arch will take anywhere between 200,000 and 300,000 lbs. of stress, caused by the pressure which the body weight puts on our joints.
Some people have high arches, and others have low arches to no arches at all. In any of these cases you require good arch support to reduce the stress on your joints.
The affect which body weight pressure can have on your joints could also affect the health of your whole body.
Different Types Of Arches
High and low arches have a different effect on the way you step and walk.
- Low arches drive your foot to rotate inwards too much or over-pronate.
- High arches make your foot rotate outward too much or under-pronate.
This is the reason why it is essential for your footwear to provide the right support because the health and comfort impacts could be irreversible in the long-term.
Even if your feet have the perfect arches, you could still take advantage of shoes with good arch support.
More on your pronate pattern
This will help you proactively take care of your health and avoid injuries especially if you are using your shoes in water, rocky beaches, or even if you are doing water aerobics.
Check out our water aerobics article here: The Best Water Aerobics Shoes
How to Tell What Kind Of Arch You Have?
There is an easy DYI test you can take at home to see your arch. Just get the soles of your feet wet and walk on a flat surface that allows you to make visible traces with your wet feet.
If you have a high arch, you should be able to see a rather thin line stretching from the ball of your foot to the heel.
A low arch will leave a flat trace with a little curve noticeable from the ball of the foot to the heel.
We would suggest you always try and check with a health professional if you have an opportunity. These tests can be performed in clinics or specialist gyms.
There are shoe shops which offer comprehensive foot measurement to help you choose suitable shoes.
Depending on the height of your arch you also need to consider the size, width, design and materials your water shoes are made of.
Higher arches would usually require bigger shoes. You also need to consider if your water shoes have tight straps which can cause pressure on top of your feet.
It is worth investing time, effort and sensible amount of money to by an appropriate pair of shoes. In addition to the advice we provide in this article you can refer to another article we wrote on the topic: How To Choose A Great Pair Of Water Shoes?
Is there a difference between arch support for men and women?
There are certainly difference in the shoe design and construction to accommodate male and female difference.
For example, one of the primary differences is in the width. Female shoes, particularly in running shoes which can be used in hiking, river crossing and other water activities, are built wider in the forefoot whereas the heel is narrower.
There is a very interesting article by PubMed.org about the gender differences in adult foot shape and the implications of shoe design, if you’d like to go a bit geeky about the topic: Gender differences in adult foot shape: implications for shoe design.
In any case, whatever gender you are, your shoes will be designed and manufactured to address your needs.
Your Wellbeing First
Footwear which is specifically designed to support sports and adventurous activities are designed with the idea to specifically offer feet support.
No matter how much you enjoy performing your activities or playing your favorite sports, not wearing adequate shoes which are fit for purpose almost certainly will have an impact on your joints in the long term.
This is the reason why we recommend you speak with a professional if possible. This is particularly advisable if you suffer from any foot injuries or complaints.
You can check with a doctor, health professional, fitness coach, professional athletes or people practicing sports regularly.
Every piece of advice would certainly help with your research on choosing a great pair of water shoes.
You can also read regular customer reviews which we believe could be very helpful in providing every-day insights on what works and what you should avoid. These experiences are shared by people like you and could be very valuable to help you ensure daily comfort and protection.
Different models for different water needs
Water shoes are certainly multi-functional but you need to make sure you are using the right type for your chose water adventure.
Water shoes share common features, they are generally light, breathable, offer good drainage, water resistance and durability. However, there are many other technical features which you need to consider.
Hiking and trekking
One of the best to look at it is to focus on your sport activity. Are you planning to hike or trek somewhere in the mountains where you will be crossing shallow or deep rivers?
In this case you need water shoes with solid sole, light weigh, good breathability and durable materials. They need to provide protection from unforgiving sharp rocks on the river bed.
If you are a runner who tends to like to run outdoors in rainy or dry condition then your shoes would need to offer different qualities. They need to be light weigh, offer good grip and water resistance.
Above all they need to be comfortable and provide stability as running is one of the most strenuous sports to affect your feet and joints.
This being said, there are some water shoe brands which are very versatile and offer solutions for a range of different sports such as Merrell, Keen and Ryke. These are some of our very favorite brands.
Other activities which could be intense but not as dangerous for your joints or arches is water aerobics. The fact that you perform it in water by itself is already a good thing for your joints, bones and muscles.
Water aerobics shoes need to be light and offer snug fit. You don’t want your shoes filling with water and getting heavy – it is already heavy to do those rotations under water.
These water shoes need to offer good grip to help you propel comfortably under water.
What can happen on the beach? Well, there is plenty of sharp rocks and shells which can hurt your feet. There are beaches which are particularly rocky and walking on them is surely an unpleasant experience.
Beach activities require light water shoes which also offer sole protection from these sharp objects you may end up stepping on.
It also depends on whether you are just looking to have a casual swim with your family and loved ones or you like to do some extreme sports such as wind or kite surfing. In such cases grip and stability would come in very handy.
Your wellbeing is also an important technical feature. If you can find a model that seamlessly combines everything you need but also looks after your foot health then this should be a perfect solution for you.
Does this come with a price difference?
If you need water shoes to protect your feet an support your arches during intense water activities, or even during a casual stroll down the beach, you need to do good research and buy a high quality product.
By default, a high-quality product is often associated with an expensive product. This is often the case but not always.
There are plenty of brands which offer great protection, stability and grip. They are also caring for your arches and help you look after your long-term body health.
Good quality brands costs in the range of $50 to $150. However, this is not exclusive. There are some Ryka brands which are more affordable, under the $50 mark. There also others such as Merrell and Keen which are over $150 and they offer superior quality for strenuous hiking and trekking experiences.
It is all down to the type of activity you are looking to take. Make sure you read plenty of reviews online to compare the options available to you.
If you have health issues or are particularly concerned about your feet health then make sure you speak with a health professional or personal trainer – they can certainly offer you plenty of advice.
You can certainly try a DIY method of checking the depth or height of your arches. It is easy, works well and is also reliable. However, if you can, do try and get yourself checked properly by a specialist. This will certainly pay off in the long-term.
Finally, we are sharing a bunch of articles below which you may find useful.
We are also sharing a few selected good quality water shoes which we believe offer great support for a diverse range of water activities.
Good luck with your search and drop us a line if you have any questions.