Pes Cavus (High Arches)

What is it?

Pes cavus is characterized by a high arch that does not flatten with weightbearing.  Feet are relatively inflexible. This will often be associated with very tight calf muscles at the back of the lower leg. Some people with cavus feet also have curled-up “claw” toes. The Pes Cavus foot often has a reduced ability to shock absorb during high impact activities: this could lead to pathologies that may require specialist care or advice.


  • normal variant – some people just have higher arches
  • hereditary – it runs in the family
  • underlying neurological problem

How can we help?

  • Educate patients regarding footwear fit, function and support
  • Modify footwear as required
  • Fabricate custom made orthotics to provide alignment and support for stressed joints and soft tissues and decrease or eliminate the need for compensatory motions.

A high arch does not require treatment if there is no discomfort or compensatory motion.