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High-Arched Foot (Cavus Foot)

A high-arched foot, or cavus foot, is a condition in which the foot has a very high arch. An excessive amount of weight is placed on the ball and heel of a high-arched foot when standing. This can lead to pain in the ball of the foot as well as excess shoe and sock wear. A high-arched foot can also be unstable and cause the heel to tilt inward, which can increase the risk for ankle sprains.

People with high-arched feet often feel discomfort when walking barefoot on hard surfaces and require shoes with thick, supportive soles. If you have high-arched feet, chances are your Achilles tendon is also tight, which can contribute to metatarsalgia. However, there are some people with high-arched feet who experience no symptoms at all.


Cavus foot is often caused by a neurologic disorder or other medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or stroke. A high-arched foot may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

Discomfort when walking barefoot on hard surfaces
Hammertoes (bent toes)
Claw toes (toes clenched like a fist)
Frequent ankle sprains
Haglund’s Deformity (bony enlargement of the back of the heel bone)
Calluses on the ball, side, or heel of the foot

Before putting together a treatment plan, the foot and ankle specialists at Ankle & Foot of Edmonds will review your family history, examine your feet, do muscle testing, and watch you walk. They may also study the pattern of wear on your shoes. X-rays may be ordered to evaluate the internal bone structure of your feet. If neuromuscular causes are suspected, you may be referred to a specialist for nerve or muscle testing.


If you have calluses, the podiatrist will trim your calluses and recommend ways to reduce the pressure and pain. Custom molded orthotics (shoe inserts) may be beneficial. Our physicians may recommend shoe modifications and bracing, if needed. If non-surgical treatment fails to adequately relieve pain and improve stability, surgery may be necessary, especially in cases that are likely to worsen.   

Treatment for cavus foot is generally more successful at an early stage, when the foot is more flexible. Regular stretching can also strengthen muscle tone and prevent the disorder from progressing.

Contact Our Podiatrists in Edmonds, WA Today

To get relief from cavus foot, schedule an appointment with the podiatry team at Ankle & Foot of Edmonds. Our clinic serves patients in Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Shoreline, and throughout the Greater Seattle Area.

Contact Ankle & Foot of Edmonds to schedule an appointment for High-Arched Foot (Cavus Foot)

We have convenient hours and always have a doctor on call for emergencies. Call us today at (425) 775-6996 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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