The C QUAD Foot-Type is sometimes referred to as a Subtle Pes Cavus foot or an under-pronator, which means that the foot is not able to roll-in enough for ideal foot function but it’s not as severe as in a high arched foot. This foot-type has a fairly normal looking arch, they don’t have excessively flat feet or an arch that is too high. A key distinguishing feature of this foot-type is an obvious toe-out gait pattern. We call people with this foot type the “John Wayne walkers” and it is one of the most common foot-types, with over a quarter of the population having this foot-type.
People with this foot-type walk very toe-out. Picture how a gunslinger from an old western movie made his entrance into the local saloon. If you’re not a fan of the westerns, think of a penguin or a duck! Anyone who is walking toe-out to a large degree is probably the C Foot-Type. Furthermore, if a person with this foot-type attempts to stand with their feet straight ahead, they will complain that their hips hurt! Why? Because of the way this foot functions, loading the inner aspect of their feet is extremely difficult. As a result they will attempt to acquire the necessary motion by externally rotating at the hips and walking toe-out. The muscles that externally rotate the hips become chronically shortened as a result of this gait pattern. Thus, standing with their feet straight ahead is extremely uncomfortable.
Common complaints from people with the C Foot-Type include hip and back pain, this is because of the slightly rigid nature of this foot and its poor shock-absorbing characteristics, though it’s not as severe as the A. For every step you take, your feet have to work as shock-absorbers and a force equivalent to one and a half times your body weight goes pounding through your feet and then up the body if the feet don’t absorb that impact effectively. When you’re running, it’s a force of about three times your body weight. Therefore, the development of hip and lower back pain is common because these feet aren’t able to absorb the impacts and forces associated with very step you take. Because this foot tends to roll out more than it should someone with this foot-type is very prone to ankle sprains and anyone with a history of ankle sprains is probably going to be either the A or C foot-type.
Another common complaint is bony bumps or swelling on the backs of the heels which are commonly known as ‘pump bumps’. The toe-out nature of C gait means that the backs of your heels are rubbing against your shoes in the wrong place, plus there tends to be some extra sideways motion in the heels during walking. The toe-out gait pattern also can lead to callus formation under the big toes.