Flat foot is a deformity that affects around 8% of Americans over the age of 21.
If you’re not preemptive in your flat foot care, you can set yourself up for injuries. Aside from seeing a podiatrist, you should perform a therapeutic stretching routine. Stretching won’t cure your condition, but it can help ease the associated symptoms.
Finding the right footwear is key. Your shoes need to have the right components to make them a good fit for your condition.
There are several things to consider while you’re shopping for shoes for flat feet. Keep reading our guide to find out how to find the most appropriate footwear for your condition.
Here’s a little known tip for shoe lovers: don’t do any of your footwear shopping in the morning.
Your feet tend to swell as the day goes on. If you buy your shoes in the morning, your feet may swell later. Your shoes may not wind up fitting as comfortably then.
If you try your shoes on while your feet are already swollen, they’ll still fit fine the next day.
The swelling your feet encounter is marginal on most days. But the little size difference can feel huge for people with flat feet.
If you don’t already have a podiatrist, you may want to consider adding one to your medical team.
Your podiatrist can take measurements and perform examinations of your feet. They will then be able to tell you what type of shoes will work best for you. They can also determine if you should use orthotics.
People who have a more severe flat foot may need a hardier orthotic or orthopedic shoe. These have features like hard-heel counters and steel shanks for stability and support.
The downside of these sturdier options is that they’re not very comfortable. The firmness can be challenging to get accustomed to. You may need to invest in a foot massager to work out the kinks while you get used to these orthotics.
Any savvy shopper knows that a size 8 Nike shoe won’t fit the same as a size 8 Christian Louboutin heel.
Shoe sizes can differ wildly even when you’re purchasing from the same brand. When you’re searching for the best flat feet shoes, you must try them on. Size can mean the difference between a comfortable shoe and one that leaves you in tears by the end of the day.
Before you hit the shoe store, it’s worth finding out if your feet are broad as well as flat. Many shoe companies offer their footwear in wider styles. These variations can make a big difference in how comfortable the shoe is.
If you can’t find the shoe you want in a wider style, you may need to go up a size for the proper fit.
People with orthotics will need to take them into consideration. You may need to upsize to fit your insoles into your new shoes.
Give yourself plenty of time at the store to try different styles and sizes. Don’t forget to bring your orthotics with you if you have them.
Each footwear type comes with its own list of considerations.
If you’re searching for the best heels for flat feet, you’ll need to find out if your feet are rigid or flexible. If they’re flexible, it’ll be easier for you to find comfortable heels.
Women with rigid flat feet will have a more difficult time finding a heel that works. If you can’t even fit your foot comfortably into a heel, you’ll know you have rigid feet. With patience and specific exercises, though, you can increase the flexibility of your foot.
You may want to avoid high heels until you have more flexibility in your foot.
Active people know the importance of finding the right workout shoes for flat feet. You’ll need to find an option that has a very little (or no) drop. The drop refers to the difference in height between the heel and the toe.
Shoes with a high drop are more likely to encourage heel striking. This can cause knee injuries, especially for high-impact exercisers. Whereas low drop shoes create a more barefoot and natural feeling.
The problem with built-in arch support is that they’re not made for your feet.
When you go to a podiatrist, they measure your feet. This then allows them to fit you for orthotics that provide support where you need it. But shoes with built-in support don’t take your specific body mechanics into account.
Running shoes with built-in support may not be beneficial for athletes. These supports can disrupt the spring-like function of the feet. Runners wind up wasting energy and are less efficient during their races.
Flat-footed folks need shoes that can cater to their specific needs. Think of your foot arch as a shock absorber. When you have flat feet, you tend to roll your foot inward (overpronate) as you walk.
Overpronation hampers the shock-absorbing qualities of your arch. That’s why people with flat feet need footwear that provides ample support for their arches and heels.
People with flat feet are more prone to blisters as well as leg fatigue. They can experience lower back pain and ankles that roll in. Anti-blister sticks and medication can help, but getting the right footwear is key.
The best shoe for flat feet provides a balance of cushioning and pronation control. The goal is to find footwear that won’t encourage over- or under-pronation.
If you’re having a difficult time finding the right fit, you may need insoles or custom orthotics.
Flat feet can be a literal pain. But with our handy shopping guide, you’ll be on your way to relief.
Once you have the right shoes for flat feet, you can focus your attention on relaxing foot treatments. Check out our creams and lotions or salts and soaks for the most delicious at-home foot pampering session.
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