Your feet, just like the tires of your car, are arguably one of the most important parts of your body but often overlooked.
When people think of vehicles, they think of the engine, interior, etc. When people think of their bodies, they probably immediately think of the heart or brain.
But your feet are always in contact with the ground. Whether you're walking, running, sprinting, weightlifting, etc., your feet are your main source of support and balance.
Flat feet can cause a lot of problems and roadblocks to a healthy and happy lifestyle, though.
If you're an active person, you may be looking for the best shoes for athletes with flat feet. We're going to take a look at some important aspects to look for below.
What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet, or pes planus, describes a foot that almost (or entirely) makes contact with the ground from toe to heel. Its name is pretty descriptive in that regard, but it can be a real pain for an athletic person.
Flat feet can come about in a number of ways:
- Injury or trauma
It's something you can be born with, it can turn up due to an injury, or even just naturally happen over time due to age.
Regardless of how flat feet are acquired, they can be painful and damaging to an active and healthy lifestyle.
A normal or proper arch of the foot allows the weight to be distributed evenly between the balls and heel of your feet where your body is truly supported.
Flat feet don't distribute your weight properly and put the stress of your exercise in all the wrong places.
The repercussions of flat feet go beyond just pain in your feet, too. It can lead to problems in your hips, spine, and other joints.
Like we said, feet may get overlooked compared to other parts of your body, but you're on them all day, especially as an athlete.
So beyond medical help, what can you do? One answer is to find shoes with arch support. We'll look at this in a little more detail.
What to Look for in the Best Shoes for Athletes With Flat Feet
Before even shopping for the right shoe, it may be important to consult a doctor.
A lot of experts agree that consulting a doctor for flat feet can be helpful and give you peace of mind.
Through the use of x-rays, MRIs, or methods like analyzing your gait and measuring your arch, you can have an exact view of what the issue is.
It's also a good idea to know whether or not the shape of your feet is coming from another issue in your body that may need to be treated.
Still, at some point, you're going to want to look for the best athletic footwear for flat feet.
If your feet are flat and your soles touch the ground evenly, it's crucial to find a way to mimic good arch support. This will create that natural arch for you that feet should have.
This arch will allow your feet to have the normal distribution of weight, and the stress from exercising and working out will properly go to the balls and heel of your feet.
Without consulting an expert, a shoe salesperson, or a trainer, you can look for some key aspects and characteristics all by yourself.
Test Where the Shoe Bends
When looking for comfortable shoes for flat feet, start by placing the toe of the shoe on the ground with the heel pointed upward.
Apply pressure until the shoe bends.
If the shoe bends in the middle of the shoe (around where a normal arch would be), then the shoe is not supportive enough.
Twist and Turn the Shoe
Holding the shoe with both hands, twist and turn it in all different directions.
This isn't an exact science by any means, but if you want shoes with arch support, they won't bend as easily as other shoes. You're generally looking for a more rigid shoe that will provide a lot of support.
Feel and Test the Outer Sole
The bottom of the shoe itself (the outer sole) should be rigid, stiff, supportive, and made of quality materials.
This will not only help support your feet, but it will make the shoe more resistant to wear and tear over time. In some cases, this is good for any athletic footwear, regardless of your arches.
Confirm a Proper Fit and Feel
This is going to sound like a no-brainer, and it applies to anyone purchasing shoes, regardless of if you're athletic or have flat feet.
You need to make sure that the shoes fit right and are comfortable. You can test and measure your feet all day long, but the reality is that you know your own body best.
You should know what feels right and works well, so always make sure to give them a test spin.
Orthotics are custom foot supports, usually in the form of insoles meant to give you extra support. In some cases, orthotics can be uniquely designed for your feet even.
Some of the best sneakers with arch support for flat feet already use good materials and have generously supportive insoles.
In a lot of cases, though, you may find that the stock insoles for many athletic shoes just don't cut it. This may be especially true if you have an extreme case of flat feet, as well.
Consider a good orthotic to replace generic insoles. Just make sure that they fit not only the size of your foot, but the interior of your chosen shoe as well.
Choosing the Best Shoes for Athletes With Flat Feet
If you have flat feet and are an athletic person, your daily activities might be painful or even lead to major issues in your back or hips down the line.
It shouldn't deter you from living a healthy lifestyle, though, and thankfully there are options available for you out there.
If you go shopping for the best shoes for athletes with flat feet, hopefully, you now have some tips and tricks that you can apply yourself.
If you think that supportive insoles are right for you and a good addition to your new shoes with arch support, feel free to take a look at some options we have available!