If you are flat-footed, it means your arches are extremely low. Some individuals are born with this foot deformity while others develop the condition over time. However, all kinds of flat-footedness share one common characteristic, partial or total loss of the arch. In some cases, individuals with flat feet do not suffer any symptoms at all but many experience flat feet related issues like overpronation and foot pain. There are numerous ways to alleviate pain due to flat feet, including strengthening and stretching your arches as well as wearing shoes that provide adequate support for your arches.
Flat Feet Information, Shoes & Arch Supports
What are the Causes of Flat Feet?
Current scientific research indicates that inherited genetic factors are the main reasons why some individuals have flat feet throughout their lives. Nevertheless, the condition can also develop later in life due to environmental or lifestyle factors. This is commonly referred to as fallen arches or acquired flat feet.
Major Factors that Cause Flat Foot:
- Genetic factors – Having flat feet might be within your genes. Every baby is born with flat feet however as the child gets older, the arches form as part of the usual ligament, bone, and muscle development. At times, the foot’s ligaments, muscles, and bones do not develop properly leading to poor arch formation.
- Aging – As your feet get older, the tendons and ligaments in your foot may stretch and lose their elasticity. This will cause your arch to drop leading to flat feet.
- Pregnancy – The feet, like other parts of the body, can change in the course of pregnancy. The foot’s arch flattens out, perhaps because of the additional weight and amplified looseness of the foot ligaments.
- Injury – Strains and bone dislocations within the foot can result in flat feet.
- Obesity – Your feet carry the entire weight of your body thus being overweight can increase the chances of your arch flattening.
- High blood pressure – When the tendons within the foot do not get sufficient blood supply, they may become less effective at supporting the arch and that can lead to flat feet.
If you suspect that your arches are falling, you should speak with your healthcare professional to ascertain the cause.
Do Flat Feet Need Arch Support?
The simple answer is yes. If you are experiencing pain due to flat feet, then proper fitting shoes can help. Custom-engineered arch supports may alleviate strain on your arches and decrease pain if you overpronate.
Can arch supports reverse flat feet?
Unfortunately, arch supports are only a temporary fix. They will not reverse flat foot; however they can lessen your symptoms as well as alleviate strain on your heel bone.
Your podiatrist can recommend arch support devices to help alleviate pain associated with flat feet. However, you can buy some of the finest arch support devices for flat feet over the counter. Arch supports sometimes referred to as insoles or orthotics are designed to provide enormous relief from a range of discomforts and pains.
Finding the best orthotics for flat feet begins with ascertaining the kind of flat feet that you have – flexible or rigid flat feet. Generally, if your feet are totally flat on the ground when you stand or sit, then you have rigid flat feet. For flexible flat feet, your arch will show when you are sitting (when your feet are not supporting any weight). It is critical to ascertain whether you have flexible or rigid flat feet as the finest flat foot orthotic arch height differs for each arch.
See also: Best Nursing Shoes for Flat Feet
Flat Feet Shoes: What to Look Out for When in the Market for Shoes
- Go shopping early evening or in the afternoon. Many times, your feet will swell up as the day progresses. Buying shoes late in the day when your feet are enlarged will help ensure you get shoes that fit you the best as well as provide optimum comfort.
- Look for footwear with supportive insoles and ample support around the arch. When your feet strike the ground, the orthotic footbeds in these shoes soak up the shock of your foot landings. This decreases strain on your ankles, hips, and calves whilst reducing rubbing.
- Most individuals have one foot larger than the other so it is a good idea to wear both shoes as you test walk them.
- Bear in mind that sizes may vary between brands. For example, wearing a size 6 Adidas does not mean a size 6 New Balance will fit your feet. Differences have been observed even within similar brands so take into account the actual measurements of the shoe you intend to buy.
- Ensure there is sufficient wiggle room between your large toe and the front perimeter of the shoe. If you are flat-footed, you want footwear with a spacious toe box that will not aggravate foot disorders like calluses, corns, bunions, and hammertoes.
Remember, if you are suffering from flat feet deformity, most of the discomfort caused by this disorder can be controlled by wearing appropriate shoes that provide the right degree of arch support.