What is orthotics for flat feet? Flat feet or fallen arches, is a medical condition characterized by the arch of the foot appearing to have collapsed so that the entire sole of the footfalls is flat on the ground.
Knowing whether one has flat feet is pretty straightforward – merely looking at one’s feet if the arches have fallen.
Some people are born having flat feet (ever heard someone saying he or she is flat-footed?) while there are others who acquire the ‘deformity’ as they grow up. This article aims to educate everyone about this condition.
People who spend most of their working hours standing are prone to developing fallen arches, like salesladies in department stores and security guards. Years of standing without proper foot support, wearing high heels, and wearing ill-fitting shoes are some of the reasons why people acquire fallen arches.
Orthotics For Flat Feet: Our Top Picks
Properties of Quality Orthotics for Flat Feet
There are a lot of orthotics including insoles in the markets that give support against flat feet and reduce plantar fasciitis pain. How can you choose a good pair of insoles in case needed?
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance, the insole should have a 4-degree angle in the rear of the foot. It’s a right angle to help form a normal foot position and does not allow over-pronation.
The forefoot and heel area of the insoles, where most of the weight of your body is based and also bear the most pressure in movements, need extra cushioning. It will absorb the shock and reduce the pain to the feet.
There should be no gap between the heel and arch to the insole. The insoles should be contoured enough to have contact with 100 percent of the foot.
The insoles should be foldable in the forefoot to fit completely inside shoes, either in a business, dress, or athletic shoes, without stirring up pain and affecting normal activities. For some people who prefer high heels, a good insole should provide firm support to the heel area as well.
Last but not least, it should come with an anti-microbial, odor absorbing cover to keep the foot clean and smell-free, therefore not preventing you from performing normal social activities and most importantly, reducing the risk of foot infection.
In summary, the decision of taking any insole/ orthotic for flat feet is up to you, but in order to have a better choice, you should always consult with your doctor first. And don’t forget to uses insoles/ orthotics for plantar fasciitis in combination with stretching and strengthening exercise. That will help you overcome the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis and return quickly to a healthy, normal life.
How Flat Feet Can Be Excruciating For Some
Having flat feet can be painful to some, though the feet do not necessarily feel too much discomfort; the condition can bring about common medical conditions such as Achilles tendonitis and knee pain.
Obesity and pregnancy increase the risk of developing flat feet. The most common way to alleviate pain in obese people is to lose that extra poundage. For some who have a mild case of fallen arches, performing exercise and stretching routines can help improve the condition. However, for extreme cases (when the condition affects the normal functions of a patient), surgery is recommended.
There is another popular way of treating the condition – orthotics for flat feet. So what is orthotics? These are medical inserts that can be slipped inside your shoes. They relieve pain associated and correct the way a flat-footed individual walks.
Orthotics for flat feet are designed specifically to provide the needed support in all the four areas of a person’s arch that have to carry the body’s full weight when he or she is in the standing position. This pair of specially designed shoe inserts aim at improving balance when one walks or stands. Poor alignment causes a person to lean on one side while standing or walking which is not good for the back.
The advancement in technology has enabled manufacturers to come out with orthotics for flat feet in different materials, colors, and designs. There are orthotics that can be used specifically when one needs to wear high heels – these are those that can swing the weight to the heels instead of letting the balls of the feet carry all the weight.
There are orthotics that are firmer and have stiffer plastic covers while there are some that are soft and supple. Some even have spring actions. Choosing the one that best suits the user is essential. For example, if one opts to get the harder and firmer types, it is important to make sure that the inserts will fit properly to maximize the effect.
If there is a need to use orthotics for flat feet, it is better to consult with the doctor first so to determine the propriety of using the product.
Why Orthotics Are Important
People who are considered flat-footed have lost the support of the arch of the foot. It could be something that they were born with or it may develop because of being overweight or pregnant. Orthotics for flat feet will not cure the condition but they will help to alleviate the strains and stresses put upon the ankles and knees by not having a proper gait.
When it is considered, the foot is an amazing part of the human body; it is expected not only to support the body but act as the means of moving forward and absorbing the constant shock of the bodyweight as each step is taken.
When flat feet were first treated, the insoles that were available used to be made from wood and although they treated the condition well it was slightly uncomfortable for the wearer because of the rigidity in the sole.
Gradually through technology, materials have advanced sufficiently to allow insoles to be made from plastic or silicone which offer that little bit of flexibility while also supporting the foot as required.
Flat Feet Insoles For Running Shoes
Flat feet insoles are soft and rigid arch supports that may be used depending on the level of athletic activity that a person is involved in. Soft arch supports are made of varying widths of soft foam that comfortably supports the foot sole creating an arch.
This is often used in walking or other daily activity. Rigid ones are often used in running shoes that give the wearer comfort and support for flat feet. Rigid arch supports are often customized according to the wearer’s feet and are only available from a podiatrist.
Flat insoles for running shoes may be made of plastic, foam, or silicon; silicon is the most widely used type owing to its flexibility and durability. Flat feet insoles and arch supports must be worn accordingly and visits to a specialist must be done to assess any pain or discomfort while wearing them.