Do you find that your feet spread when you stand, to the point where your arches touch the ground? If so, you most likely have flat feet.
Effects of Flat Feet
Flat feet is a condition that an estimated one in five British adults have, and whilst it may not be causing you pain, it is highly important to tend to carefully as it can lead to the development of many other foot problems including overpronation and bunions. Not only this, but the impact that your feet absorb (especially when unsupported) can affect your whole body in joints such as your ankles and knees, and can even lead to neck problems. Hence, it is vital that you wear the right pair of shoes!
There are different types of flat feet because there is a wide range of causes for the condition. Flat feet is a condition that can be genetic or it can be developed over time by various physical and environmental factors. For some, the arches of the foot were not fully developed as children resulting in flat feet or extremely low arches. For many others, the arches have fallen at some point in their life for reasons such as weight gain, injury or diabetes.
Types and Causes
If you have a noticeable arch in your feet when pressure is not applied but this disappears when you stand on your feet, you have ‘flexible’ flat feet which is one of the most common examples and affects both feet. This tends to develop during peak growing years as a child or teen and stems from having flexible tendons and ligaments in the foot. Issues can arise from this as these ligaments can stretch and tear then cause inflammation.
‘Rigid’ flat feet opposes the latter and is when your feet are flat whether weight is put onto them or not. For many with this type, it can be difficult to flex the foot and may experience more foot pain. A rigid flat foot can come about after an injury but it is often developed as a child and the type generally indicates an abnormality in the structure of one’s foot- whether the foot was wrongly developed from birth or healed in a misaligned manner.
An ‘adult acquired’ flat foot differs from the previous types as it applies when the arch has collapsed as opposed to relating to the development of the foot. The fallen arch can occur in one foot or both and can be painful, particularly with strenuous activities. Often this occurs when the tendon that runs across the foot, ankle and leg (the posterior tibial tendon) grows too weak and can no longer support the arch. Obesity, diabetes and wear and tear are often associated with this type of flat foot.
The final and least common type of flat foot is called ‘vertical talus’. This type occurs when there is a defect at birth preventing the baby from developing arches. Considered to be a disability, the condition can be identified when the bottom of the foot resembles a rocking chair.
Managing Flat Feet
Having flat feet is a very common condition especially since there are many causes. It is always best to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing discomfort and think you have flat feet. It is rare to require treatment with flat feet, but there are some recommended treatments that can help ease the pain or stiffness.
Physical Therapy- This is particularly useful if your flat feet have been caused by injury or caused injury in the foot. This will help to strengthen the muscles and tendons within the foot and can soften the stiffness of the foot.
Stretching- This works very similar to physical therapy and can help strengthen tendons and muscles in the foot, consequently improving mobility and flexibility.
Arch Supports- One of the important remedies for flat feet. Arch supports can significantly reduce symptoms and relieve the pain that may come with having flat feet. There are some other braces and orthotic devices that can help similarly also. There are many different options for supportive devices, so it is best to speak to an expert and do research to find the most suitable one for you.
Shoes To Wear With Flat Feet
Shoes are an important factor in the correct maintenance of flat feet, so it is important to choose the right ones for you. Considering the footbed of your shoe is the most significant thing to consider if you have flat feet. Even if the shoe is deemed as a 'casual shoe', it should not automatically be associated with comfort, and should still be carefully picked.
All of our shoes are cushioned appropriately with Poron memory foam padding and most come with built-in breathable arch supports, a component that is highly recommended for those with flat feet.
If you require a heeled occasion shoe, but are worried about the impact it may have on your flat feet, look no further! All of our court shoes are great options as they come with built-in arch supports, however our Lola style is definitely worth looking at! Available in a variety of colours from a neutral sand to a classic black, they are sure to match your desired outfit. Secure and stable, the hybrid heel is slim enough to look sleek and elegant but thick enough to ensure good balance. The thicker heel helps to distribute your weight over a larger surface area also, meaning there is less pressure on the bottom of your feet. This helps to avoid uncomfortable strain.
Our Sylvie style encompasses the nature of a classic loafer, yet provides more comfort than normal. Remaining stylish, these loafers are extra-wide (EEE) fitting and feature a sublimely cushioned footbed. The built-in arch supports make them a great option for those with flat feet and overpronation as they shape the foot and support magnificently.
Every capsule wardrobe should have a pair of statement flats, even if you have flat feet. A dazzling option, our gold Venetia shoes are bold and brilliant. Like the previous styles, they feature smart technology built-in arch supports to correct and aid foot posture, as well as a soft cushioned sole. Our gold leather material was carefully selected, ensuring that we chose a classy shade of gold, whilst still having a delicate softness.
Another staple for your closet is a black ankle boot. Encompassing femininity and chicness, the silhouette never goes out of style. Lily is one of our favourite boots fitting the theme and is truly versatile, allowing for wear from day to night. Featuring the same smart technology as the others mentioned, you can expect to stride all day and/or dance the night away.
Whether you have suffered from flat feet for most of your life, or you have recently discovered it to be a condition for you, we want to assure you that there are comfortable solutions out there with options increasing as the years go on. Hoping that this guide has been helpful, we'd like to encourage the life of happy and healthy feet, and we can't stress enough the important of quality footwear!