Pes Cavus (Claw foot)

A claw foot or Pes Cavus foot is a genetic defect in the foot with a high arch. Claw feet are relatively inflexible. This will often be associated with very tight calf muscles at the back of the lower leg.

Problems caused by pes cavus feet

Pes Cavus of the foot can cause pain in the feet during running. The toes may be bent and cannot be be straightened easily without causing pain. It is unusual for a long distance runner to have a claw foot but not unknown.

Pes cavus treatment

Do plenty of static stretching, especially of the calf muscles and the sole of the foot. This will loosen the muscles and other structures in the foot making it more flexible and able to cope with the demands of running. Take steps to avoid injury such as correct shoe selection, strengthening and stretching exercises.

See a specialist who can fit orthotic inserts for a Pes Cavus foot. These are insoles which are worn in the shoes and help correct any biomechanical problems of the foot. They can be custom made or often bought off the shelf ready made. With a high arch it is probably best to see a professional for advice. Many off the shelf insoles are ideal for over pronation or rolling in but not so effective for supinating feet or rolling out which is more of an issue for high arch runners.

Neutral shoes have a midsole of constant density throughout the shoe. A motion control shoe will be harder on the inside of the shoe midsole to help prevent the foot rolling in or pronating.

If you have the wrong running shoes you will just make any problems worse. People with high arches are often supinators and will usually want a Neutral shoe with a lot of cushioning. See a specialist shoe retailer for specialist advice.