Foot arch collapse

I’m told that the arch of my left foot has collapsed (it’s noticeably lower than the arch of my right foot) and that this may be the reason I’ve been experiencing problems with my calf and Achilles tendon. What will have caused the arch to have collapsed and what can I do to help rectify this? Should I consider running with arch cushions in my shoes? When fit I'm a high mileage runner (50 or so mpw) with a tendency to pronate although not markedly.


  • My feet have also collapsed, I suspect courtesy of whatever it is that has caused all the other problems.

    Do you have sciatic problems in the leg that has the foot problems? When my sciatica is bad I lose a lot of feeling, and a lot of movement/control in the foot. I suspect that over a period of time, not using me feet very well has caused muscles to waste a bit, eventually causing arch to sag.

    Some things have helped.

    I do wear orthotics, 8%m ub all my shoes, not just my running shoes. This is by way of a prayer to preserve my knees. So far I have escaped any real knee problems.

    I do foot exercises, which seems to bring back a bit of life to my feet, and I hope may little by little restore some of the muscles which I think I lost, thus causing the collapse.

    I also use MBT footwear, again, to try and get some muscle action back in my feet.

    e-mail me if you want the foot exercises.

    You know well that I am not a high mileage runner, nor do I have any medical qualifications. I would suggest that you do get medical opinions, several in fact, and between them piece together your own opinions and consequent recovery plan.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I have a collapsed left arch too - probably caused by an injury as a child (cow stepped on my foot - don't ask!). I wear Superfeet insoles in my running shoes/walking boots and Orthoheel inserts in my "day" shoes. If I don't my ankles, knees and hips all suffer, as, eventually does my back.

    I also do some foot exercises, although I am a bit lazy about them as they don't have a huge effect for me, as my injury is so long standing. I can, however, now wear girlie court shoes for about 3 hours without inserts before my feet and legs start to complain, compared to about 10 minutes before I started with the inserts/exercises.
  • Thanks Stickless - I've been shown some foot exercises (much curling and scrunching of toes - has to be done correctly with foot properly positioned - can feel the muscles that support the arch working). Shall seek further guidance from physio'/sports masseur on the next of my increasingly frequent visits.

    I'm fortunate in that I've never suffered any sciatic problems - I'm just a typical ageing (mid forties) runner (like you I run as much with my heart as I do with my legs) - muscles shortening and tightening – fighting a constant battle to remain injury free.

    Nessie - I think I'll experiment with some insoles (local runners shop sell "Spenco" arch cushions which feel very pronounced - I'll look out for the other brands that you mentioned). If these make a difference I may look at getting orthotics as a more permanent solution.

    Thanks for the advice folks.
  • Nessie - interesting point about which orthotics you use. That's exactly the advice my physio gave me. (I've got plantar fasciitis). However, as the Orthaheels were 3 for 2 at Boots, I decided to try their sports ones. I find them really comfortable in my "shopping" trainers but when I tried them in my proper running shoes, they were comfortable but didn't stop my heel pain. What's the difference with the Superfeet ones? Are they more supportive? I may have to buy some for my running shoes but I'd appreciate your opinion before I splash out.

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