If you are suffering from having flatfoot syndrome then you know how buying shoes for flat feet is an ordeal. Approximately one-third of the entire population of the world have been diagnosed with flatfoot disorder. Most adults don’t even realise that they are affected by it. It is only after prolonged periods of walking or standing that they begin to notice the discomfort.
In adults, the acquired deformity can even entail deformities in the ankle and foot. Flatfoot disorder is also known as fallen arches. These arches serve as absorbers of shocks, helping to guide the foot while taking a step. Having a flat foot may also exert an added stress on the joints and ligaments. This condition is known as overpronation and different shoes exist for this subclass of flatfoot conditions. Hence it is important to consider a lot of things when you buy shoes for flat feet.
Causes of flat feet:
Some of the potential causes of flat feet include a family history of the same. It can also be caused due to nerve damage. In older individuals, a potential cause of flat feet might be arthritis or even weak arches. Flat feet can also be related to health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. It is common for pregnant women to develop flat feet as temporary changes in elastin levels may lead to it.
Shoes that do not provide correct support are one of the biggest inducers of flat feet in women. Very high heels with incorrect angles of elevation are one of the primary culprits. Age-induced flat feet is fairly common in older women.
Tips to consider when you buy shoes for flat feet:
- Stability of the shoes:
When you buy shoes for flat feet, it is important that you consider how stable the shoes are. Stability is the key for people who have a mild overpronation or a neutral walking manner. Podiatrists often recommend boots for walking when it comes to flat-footed individuals.
- Motion control:
This is a key feature for shoes if you are an individual affected by highly overpronated flat-feet.
Essentially comfort should be the first criterion to consider while buying any kind of shoes. But when it comes to shoes for daily wear, they should be equipped to support the arches. They should also be bent near the toe to facilitate natural foot motion than showcasing an extremely rigid sole.
- Removable insoles:
Shoes should ideally have removable insoles to enable insertion of medicated inserts. They should also have enough volume to accommodate these inserts as well.
- Consulting a podiatrist:
The first step of the guide to buying running shoes for flat-footed individuals is to consult a podiatrist. Being an expert, he can recommend good insoles or inserts that can reduce foot discomfort. It is a myth that people having flatfoot syndrome cannot indulge in exercise or running. With the selection of the proper types of shoes, a flat-footed individual can run as efficiently as a normal-footed individual.
- Consulting the attendants at the store:
Step two of the guide to buying running shoes for flat-footed individuals would be to consult the store personnel. Stores belonging to top brands have in-house consultants who would be able to properly assess the conditions of your feet. After that they can allocate the different types of shoes accordingly and even suggest some new variants. They would also be able to allocate the different types of shoes according to your requirements. It will certainly determine whether you need a neutral shoe, stability shoe or a motion control one.
- Buy shoes from top brands:
In order to purchase running shoes for flat feet, it is important to buy it from branded sellers. These sellers would offer shoes that provide good cushioning along with a low arch. These shoes are also deemed to be more stable than the ones from lesser recognised brands. For overpronators who are plagued with the problem of the foot rolling inwards, this might make a lot of difference. It is not advisable to be miserly when purchasing shoes for flat-footed individuals as it might lead to spinal damage.
Cross-trainers might be another good option for choosing training shoes for flat feet. Sports such as tennis and basketball put stress on the joints in your foot. Cross trainers have an added mid-sole that is meant for lifting the arch. These shoes provide added comfort while working out.
- Shoe-shopping times:
In order to buy shoes for flat feet, go shopping in the evening. It is a well-known fact that the swelling of feet increases in the latter half of the day. Going shoe-shopping in the evening would ensure getting the right size of shoes for flat feet. This would also ensure that the shoes would not be constricting- whether they are boots for walking or running shoes.
- Carry socks while shopping for shoes:
The fit of the shoe with socks might be quite different from the fit without socks. In order to ensure a correct fit, it would be a good idea to carry thick socks along. This would definitely come in handy when you go out to buy shoes for flat feet. It is imperative that the shoe does not restrict the circulation of blood in the feet.
- Space for movement:
It is also important to ensure that there remains some space between the biggest toe and the shoe tip. This would ensure flexibility of the toes and improve circulation as well.
- Be open minded about sizes:
While shopping for shoes for flat feet, it is important to not be rigid about shoe sizes. Shoe sizes vary not only from one brand to another but also from one range of shoes to another. Hence it is suggested that you should at first measure yourself on the sizing chart provided by the store itself. Even after measuring, if you feel the need to size up or down, then do so. Shoes are expected to fit according to the contours of our soles and any discrepancy can cause major discomfort.