Updated: Jul 14
Flat feet vs normal feet? Well, let me tell you this...There's no such thing as "normal feet". If you suffer from flat feet symptoms or flat feet issues of any kind it is always best to invest in seeing a specialist or investing in insoles specifically designed to reduce flat feet pain. Learn a few simple ways to help improve your flat feet and make wearing smart dress shoes and heeled boots a walk in the park.If you suffer from flat feet, it can make wearing smart dress shoes and heeled boots quite uncomfortable at times. But don’t fear, you’re not alone. It’s believed that around 20% of the world’s population has flat feet issues or fallen arches.
What does flat feet mean?
Flat feet means (in relatively simple terms), a condition in which you lose your longitudinal medial arch, either partly or in its entirety. Those who suffer from it the worst may find that the bone of their arch touches the ground while walking – making the foot appear flat. In contrast, a healthy arch will allow you to slide your finger underneath without having to lift your foot. A lot of people with flat feet just don’t develop an arch from day dot due to an unexplained reason or possibly because of genetics. However, there are some people that get flat feet symptoms after damaging tendons in the feet, tearing/inflaming the posterior tibial tendon, breaking or dislocating bones and as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. Flat feet are either rigid or flexible, with the former being a lot harder to fix due to it being caused by a bone deformity. Whereas the latter usually happens as a result of putting weight on.
Is having flat feet really an issue?
Well, flat feet not only causes pains and aches while walking in certain shoes, but in the long-term, it can also lead to a whole host of other issues. For instance, according to Dr Victor Prisk, an expert orthopaedist in the United States; “You can have problems with ankle arthritis that can result from the foot being flat.” “You can have knee problems. You can end up having stress fractures”. One common solution for this is to wear flat feet shoe inserts and choose quality dress shoes like our range of men’s leather Oxfords. Dress shoes are often misinterpreted as rigid or uncomfortable, however, we have worked especially hard to provide a shape for all our footwear which is inclusive of a little extra width. Those who suffer from an uncomfortable fit, won't struggle in Percy Strides. (Below Percy Stride Black The Professor Oxfords £215)
However, it’s also essential to carry out regular exercises to help improve them. To give you a few examples to get you started, here are a few simple ways to fix your flat feet.
Exercises for flat feet
Roll out your feet For this exercise, place a ball under your feet and roll it from the base of your toe and down the arch to the heel. Repeat this the opposite way, going backward and forwards for around three minutes on each foot. Towel crunches If your other half is a nightmare when it comes to leaving wet towels on the floor, this exercise will come as second nature to you. Instead of picking a towel up with your hands, do it with your feet. Drop it and repeat 50 times on each foot. Toe spreading While you sit there watching TV, lift your foot up and wiggle your toes from top to bottom. This will contract and activate the muscles used to control your toes. Pen-penny exercises The final exercise you can try is the pen-penny challenge. Place a pen under the centre of your arch and a penny coin under the big toe joint. To complete the challenge, you must push down on the penny without doing the same to the pen. Only use the big toe to complete the task, keeping the others relaxed.
We’re here to help
Hopefully, these exercises will give you a nice starting point to help you improve and fix your flat feet issues. Just remember, choosing the right shoes is very important as well. So when you are shopping for your next pair of dress shoes, don’t cut corners. Our range of men’s Oxford shoes is built for comfort and promotes good foot health. A flat foot can tend to cause width issues when it comes to finding the appropriate footwear, however since our shoes tend to be on the wider/larger size, we don't think you'll have any issues. Most of our clients complain they struggle with conventional men's width sizing (it's a very common issue) however in our Men's Oxford Shoes we encourage our clients to try the size below their usual due to extra width. Try our blog: Are you wearing the right shoe size? for more information or contact us directly with any footwear/foot concerns, if we can help, I'm sure we can recommend someone who can aide you.