The Best Woman’s Shoes For Flat Feet Comparison
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The Best Man’s Shoes For Flat Feet Comparison
Fallen arches or flat foot disorder is quite common to the extent that it affects up to 30% of the population. While some people are born with low arches, the condition usually appears naturally with age. In a nutshell, you are likely to acquire moderate to extreme symptoms of flat feet at some point, later in life. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize when the condition kicks in and they start suffering from pain in the hip area, lower back, knees or ankles. Therefore, before delving on the specific type of shoes to wear in order to deal with symptoms of flat feet, let’s have a look at the characteristics of the disorder.
Characteristics of Flat Feet:
As the name implies, a flat foot refers to when nearly the entire sole of your foot touches the surface you are standing on. Flat footed people usually have heels pointing outwards from the ankle or in medical terms; valgus heel. Such people also have suppler and floppier feet mainly due to the excess movement around the mid-foot area. That said, how does the condition come about? In other terms, why would some people have flat feet and not others? Here are some answers to these questions.
a.) Tight Calf Muscles – the first major cause of flat feet disorder is a tight and immobile calf muscle. When this happens, the foot tends to flex up through the ankle joint prior to facing some resistance from the tight calf muscles. Due to this inadequate upward flexing emanating from a limited ankle joint, your foot tends to rotate around the talonavicular joint, which is the joint in front of the ankle. The talonavicular joint not only moves up and down, but also outwards and what this means is that the front part of your foot will be rotated to the outside and in the process causing the arch to collapse over time. Tight calf muscles are usually hereditary, meaning most people born with flat feet have inflexible calf muscles to begin with.
b.) Medical column hyper mobility – the second reason why you can acquire flat feet over time is when the medial column – the inner part of your foot – has too much motion. In other words, when you have endured miles and miles of walking on a regular basis over extended periods. The inside part of the foot (medial column), refers to virtually every structure aligned to the big toe and when it becomes floppy, the base of the toe refrains from taking up its fair share of weight during gain thus leading to a collapsed arch.
The listed causes of flat feet above are to some extent related as both emanate from the evolution or lack thereof, of the foot. This therefore explains why most of the people suffering from the condition tend to have a grandparent or parent with flat feet. Now that you are aware of what exactly causes the disorder, it’s time to delve on the symptoms.
Symptoms of Flat Foot Disorder:
a.) While walking, the weight of the body going through your feet doubles up or even triples in some cases depending on the distance. The additional force creates some form of jamming which in return, acts through the joints, ligaments and tendons. As a result, flatfooted individuals are at risk of developing a plethora of health issues pegged to the continuous overload of the foot structure inside the arch and ankle. Such problems include:
- Posterior tibialis tendonitis – acquired flatfoot deformity.
- Plantar fasciitis – the terrible triad.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome.
b.) The continuous exertion of pressure towards the outside of the ankle of flatfooted individuals means that they are highly likely to acquire ankle arthritis at some point. This is because the compression forces pegged to flat foot disorder tends to damage the outer parts of the ankle and hence, leading wear of the joint. In equal fashion, affected individuals tend to suffer from a painful compression towards the outside of the subtalar joint, which is the joint right below the ankle. This condition leads to a common condition referred to as sinus tarsi syndrome.
c.) Due to the simple fact that the large toe cannot handle its fair share of weight with every step, suffering individuals may also encounter pain around the base of the second toe. The transfer of weight pressure from the great toe to the second can potentially lead to a second metatarsal stress fracture or overload metatarsalgia.
If you encounter any symptom from the above, it is highly likely that you have a flat foot disorder and should consider visiting an orthopedic for safe measure. That said, there are various ways to curb the situation and topping the list is the use of specialized orthotic footwear. The guide below is intended at helping flatfooted individuals make the right choice when it comes to footwear. Without any further ado, here is a guide on how to find the best shoes for flat feet men’s gear to help cater for the fallen arches.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Find the Best Shoes for Flat Feet Men’s Footwear:
If you’ve just realized that you have flat feet and never bought a pair of orthotic footwear before, it can really get overwhelming. You have to know whether your case is dire or mild, the size of arch support you need and so on. Here are some of the qualities and features that define the best shoes for flat feet women’s and men’s gear.
#1. Good Arch Support:
Most flat footers experience aching feet while walking or running due to some of the facts listed earlier above. As stated, the uneven weight distribution across the feet of suffering individuals is the main reason behind aching feet and this can only be solved by wearing fitting shoes, with proper arch support.
Also common among fellow flat footers is over-pronation; a condition where the foot tends to roll inwards while walking or running. When this happens, undue stress is exerted on the back and knees and after a while, you may begin to experience sharp pains in these areas. The only way to deal with over-pronation is by simply going for shoes with over-pronation correction or customized orthotics.
In a nutshell, flat footed individuals require more support in their kicks and in fact, the safest bet of avoiding injuries or pain. There are ways to tell whether a shoe features enough supportive features. Here are some tests you can use to separate comfortable shoes for flat footers, from “chuff.”
- Try bending the shoe towards the middle. If it bends only on the toes, it’s simply worth investing in. However, if it bends all the way to the middle, it technically doesn’t have enough support features to cater for your collapsed arch. In short, it is your mid-foot that needs support, not the heels.
- Talking about heels, the best shoes for flat feet women’s gear are those fitted with stiff heels. As important as the mid-foot area is, you certainly don’t want to twist an ankle just because you have arch support, now would you?
- Basically, the whole shoe should be stiff, meaning it shouldn’t twist around especially around the ankle joints. In short, stiff shoes with proper arch support.
The bottom line is, you want the most support features you can get – a rigid shoe to prevent pronation. Well, stiff may not seem comfortable enough at first, but it is worth noting that most shoes designed for flat feet are packed with sufficient padding all round. Contrary to common perception, additional support doesn’t translate to reduced comfort.
#2. Orthotic Inserts:
Sometimes, designer shoes may just not seem to change or do much and in such cases, the disorder is usually dire. The prospective shoe in question simply doesn’t have enough support features to cater for the low arch. On the outlook, the new shoes may seem to have arch support mechanisms for flat foot individuals. However, after wearing it for a while you will experience some of the symptoms we went through above.
If you are really attached to the shoe, there is always the option of changing the original foot bed and replacing it with custom aftermarket orthotics. Generally speaking, orthotics are designed to help distribute weight in uniform fashion, besides relieving pressure with extra arch support. With custom orthotics in your shoes, standing, walking or even running shouldn’t be that much of a problem as it once was. They work tremendously well in reducing pain for people with disorders and generally, the best shoes for flat feet men’s foot gear come equipped with orthotics.
#3. Always Wear New Shoes:
Due to obvious wear and tear and continuous use, every shoe gets out of shape and slowly loosens virtually in every area. Being that flat footed individuals need every support they could get, this is obviously not good for clear health reasons. If you suddenly notice some form of padding or comfort deterioration, it is probably time to invest in another pair. To break it down for you, the recommended life span for quality running shoes is approximately 300 miles and anything above that is not healthy.
While this may seem as a high figure at first, it’s mathematically not for daily walkers, joggers or runners. On the outside, telling a shoe that has achieved the – 300 mark – milestone is virtually impossible. Leather shoes for instance can last for years without showing any indications of wear and tear, however, it ultimately boils down to the interior. Think of it as a sauna; what counts is the interior and the health benefits pegged to being inside. The bottom line is, it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve been wearing the best shoes for flat feet women’s footwear; if it’s past 300 miles, it’s about time you let go.
#4. Stabilizing Features:
Flat footed individuals find great relief in wearing stability shoes. Stability can translate to a lot of things and in this case it is basically the cushioning or padding around the mid-foot area to provide a snug, yet easy fit, alongside the heel design. To provide stability while standing, the best flat feet shoes women’s footwear are fitted with orthotics along the mid-foot, to help the arches distribute weight evenly.
When it comes to the heels, you require a stable, rigid back to resist the pressure from your body and while at it, prevent your feet from rolling forward and back to prevent pronation. The main idea here is to hinder constant movement around the heel while running or walking. As much as you require a stiff heel, it is worth remembering that the heel edges should be comfortable. In short, nothing too tight and nothing too loose – right there in between. Sure, striking the perfect balance can certainly provide an uphill challenge, but most flat feet footwear designed by podiatrists should fit as expected.
While out shopping for the best shoes for flat feet men’s or women’s footwear, it is always advisable to find an experienced shoe salesman or bringing along an experienced person with sufficient knowledge on the disorder. The reason is because flat foot disorders vary greatly, meaning some conditions are mild or serious, than others and with this, the experienced salesperson would have to measure your feet before recommending a particular shoe.
In the long-run, you will find it way better and cheaper of course, compared to using hearsay as your main basis of judgment. Rather than trying to stack your shoes with a bunch of unhelpful shoes, it is better to use past experiences or consult with people who’ve been there. Avoid bias salesmen and women with endless talk about specific brands or models. As a fellow flat footer, you obviously know where the shoe pinches and the pain pegged to not wearing the right fit.
#6. The Outsole:
Of course, the interior is always as good as the exterior with most products, meaning you can’t expect much from a shoe with a flimsy outsole. As emphasized throughout the article, flat footed individuals require as much support as possible and it should start and end with the primary base. Stiff outsoles prevent the entire shoe from caving in to your body’s weight and while at it, also prevent the feet from rolling inwards.
If you’ve checked out flat feet footwear, you will notice that most of them pack extra thick outsoles, and for good reason. In a nutshell, reinforced outsoles translate to numerous hours of wear and tear, thus enhancing durability alongside keeping you safe from injuries. Any durable shoe worth its salt has a rigid outsole.
In short, finding the perfect shoe as a flat footed individual is no mean feat to achieve even for experienced buyers. This is mainly because the shoes are designed for different purposes and below, we delve on these differences to help you out in your quest.
Difference between Running and Walking Shoes for Flat Feet:
The main difference that distinguishes running shoes for flat feet from walking footwear is the former are more popular and come in a wider variety than the latter. On the outlook, it is also possible to distinguish the two by simply looking at the design features. Basically, running shoes pack thicker outsoles to begin with. This helps provide sufficient cushioning from the surface’s impact. Secondly, running footwear for disorders, sport a number of shock-absorbing features, which begin with the outsole as well.
Conversely, walkers for flat-footed individuals come bearing orthotics or specialized padding inside. This is intended at enhancing seamless toe-to-heel distribution of weight while walking as compared to runners, which focus more on the ground and impact. Generally, the best walking shoes for flat feet disorders are way more comfortable than runners.
How to Pinpoint the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet:
As you may have already gathered, the best walking shoes for flat footed individuals are those that provide extra padding along the interior and especially, the mid-foot area. You need adequate support to cater for the collapsed arches. Such shoes are usually labeled as having “added support” meaning it shouldn’t be that much of a hassle identifying the ideal walking shoes as a flat footed person.
How to Identify the Best Runners for Flat Feet:
Indeed, running with flat feet is not as easy as it seems with fellow neutral-arched counterparts. Fortunately, there are running shoes specifically designed for this sole purpose, which is running with ease. If you seek to lead a healthy lifestyle as a flat footer, it certainly would be in your best interest to go for running shoes for flat feet.
Unlike walking shoes in the niche, the runners take more of an all-rounded approach where they focus on a number of features rather than the interior only. The best running shoes for flat feet pack plenty of stability technologies, additional padding, motion control features and sturdy outsole. In short, the perfect shoes for running are minimalist shoes or barefooted shoes for that matter.
Wrapping it Up:
In short, there is no shortage of shoes for people with flat feet regardless of whether you are looking to run or walk on a daily basis. In fact, there are specialized flip-flops for flat footed individuals as well. To identify such flip-flops, just have a look at the mechanism and if it includes some pronation correction features, these are the flip-flops to go for. In basic terms, the product should consist of a reinforced toe-post and properly contoured foot bed to maintain normal gait.
However, it is paramount to always keep in mind that flip-flops for flat feet don’t pack equal comprehensive support features as shoes in the niche. It would therefore be in your best interest to wear them for short periods as well as avoiding hiking in flip-flops. The long and short of it is that the best shoes (or flip-flops) for flat feet are those filled with extra support features. Having a low arch can be quite frustrating at times and until only recently, it was hard to find a place in the military with such disorders. Fortunately, the fact that we now have walking and running shoes for flat footed individuals makes it possible to exercise with ease.