Your Total Guide to Flat Feet

I Have Flat Feet. Why do I Have Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a common foot type that we see quite often. It is a genetic condition most of the time, but there can be some injuries that can lead to flat feet. Basically, flat feet are when your arch rolls inwards when you have full weight on your feet or weight-bearing. Flat feet are also clinically known as Pes Planus. Many people with flat feet may never feel any foot pain, but there are many other issues that can arise from flat feet.

Does Having  Flat Feet Cause Ankle Injury?

When your feet roll inwards due to flat feet, it can really affect many other parts of the body. Quite often an ankle injury can be caused by flat feet because as the foot continues to roll inwards, the surrounding ligaments and tendons get overworked.

How to Reverse Flat Feet Without Surgery or Orthotics? Or how can I Help my Flat Feet?

Theoretically,  you can work your arches to make them higher, but it is very hard to do a gait retraining. Many martial arts professionals do a lot of work on the muscles of their feet and they tend to have higher arches because of that. Most often, however, orthotics, insoles and good supportive shoes are a good way to support flat feet.

Flat Feet Exercises

The small muscles of your feet are called intrinsic muscles. These muscles can be worked on in order to create arch strength in your feet. There a few exercises we recommend:

  1. Place your barefoot in the middle of a towel. Scrunch the towel up to as small as you can using your toes.
  2. Pick up a marble with your toes from the ground and deposit it in another location a few feet away.

These exercises can be done for 5 minutes a day to really work the intrinsics. Don’t fret if they feel difficult to do! They are!

Running and Flat Feet

There is no reason that you should not be able to run if you have flat feet! The best running shoes for flat feet are ones that have a stability piece in the midsection of the shoe. Different shoe brands will have different materials. You must look for a shoe that says stability, or overpronation in its description. When you are running, your flat feet will roll inwards a lot so be sure to have insoles or good supportive shoes on.

All technical running shoes have models that are made specifically for flat feet. Asics has the Kayano or GT series, Brooks has the Beast or Adrenaline and Saucony has the Grid Hurricane. If you are wearing an insole as well you may be ok with a neutral shoe so be sure to get properly assessed.

Can Running Correct Flat Feet?

Running cannot correct flat feet, but there is no reason you cannot run with flat feet. Well back in the day, you would not be allowed in the army if you had flat feet, but not anymore!

Insoles vs. Orthotics and Flat Feet

  • What are the pros and cons of orthotics for flat feet?

Theoretically, it is always better to exercise the intrinsic muscles of the feet to strengthen the arches, but in reality it is very hard to do. Orthotics or insoles are good accommodations for people with flat feet. The insole holds up your arch so you don’t have to think about doing it. Some will argue that the foot gets dependent on the orthotics or the insoles for flat feet, but if it is helping you to do your activities pain-free then why not?

  • What are the best orthotics for flat-footed people?

You can either use off the shelf orthotics or custom made orthotics if your doctor recommends them for you. If you are using custom made orthotics, be sure to get assessed, have a gait analysis done, and then your foot is scanned via a 3D foot scanner to capture your arch profile.

  • What are the best insoles for flat feet?

If you are using off the shelf insoles for flat feet, the Superfeet brand is one of our favourites. Superfeet comes in many colours and each colour has a specific property associated with it. Visit Superfeet to learn more.

Shoes and Flat Feet

  • Shoes for flat feet

Most off the shelf shoes are not really built for flat feet. The sturdy orthopedic shoes are very suitable for flat feet. Sometimes, however, you can add an insole to a regular shoe to beef it up so that it can support you.

  • Best shoes for flat feet

Running shoes are the best for flat feet as they are specifically designed to work with flat feet. Asics, Saucony and Brooks all have a model that is designed to work with flat feet. Many well made orthopedic shoes like Drew, Apex and Anodyne work really well for flat feet.

Contact Us Today

To find out more about our comprehensive services and to obtain an assessment to address flat feet contact us at our Burlington clinic at 289-245-6624.

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