What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet occur when the inner arch of the foot becomes flattened, meaning that the entire sole will come into contact with the floor. Flat feet are particularly evident when there is pressure applied to the foot when a person is standing. Often referred to as fallen arches, flat feet are characterized by having extremely low arches, or often there is no arch present in the foot at all.
A person can determine if they have flat feet by examining their shoes and looking at the wear pattern on the soles. People with flat feet will show more wear and tear on their shoes towards the inside of the ball of the foot and heel. This is known as overpronation, which means that the foot rolls inward when a person walks or runs, and using our Custom Sneaker Orthotics is a favorable solution to this problem. Another way to test for flat feet is to perform what is known as the wet test. This is when an individual wets the bottoms of their feet then steps onto a piece of plain paper and then examines the pattern that they see. A normal foot should show the toes and heel with a narrow strip where the outer edge of the foot touches the ground and an absence of imprint where the arch is raised. An individual with flat feet will see the entire width of their foot stamped on the paper with no space to indicate that their arch is lifted off the floor. A third method of testing for flat feet is to see a doctor who will examine the biomechanics of the person’s foot and the way their toes, heel, and soles of the feet come into contact with the floor.
Flat feet are a fairly common condition in the U.S., impacting a significant number of people across the country. While having flat feet can be painless for many individuals with the condition, and many of those people are unaware that they have flat feet or fallen arches, other people will experience uncomfortable symptoms that will indicate that they have a problem with their feet. These symptoms may be painful to live with, cause discomfort, and should be addressed as soon as possible. Some of these include:
- Sore, aching feet
- Pain in the lower body, including the knees, ankles, hips, and lower back
- Limited range of motion in the foot
- Pain when standing on the toes
- Feet that tire quickly
- Numbness or stiffness in the feet
- Foot pain as a result of daily activities
- Swelling of the area inside the ankle
- Pain in the heel or in the area where the arch should be, along the inner edge of the foot
- Foot pain that worsens with activity
- Wearing shoes out quickly
If a person is experiencing flat feet pain, it can have an adverse impact on their quality of life, making regular daily activities painful. Worse, it may impact an active lifestyle. This makes engaging in sports difficult or unbearable altogether.That is why we have come up with custom cleat orthotics, to help make sports more enjoyable. Symptoms of flat feel pain may become worse or more pronounced over time, feeling more intense towards the end of the day when a person has been standing or walking for extended periods of time. While it is normal for anyone to have tired feet at the end of the day, a person with flat feet will experience foot fatigue more quickly and will take longer to recover from the pain that they feel.
The positive news is that people with flat feet do not need to suffer. Footstar’s custom orthotic shoe inserts for flat feet will alleviate pain and support the arches of the feet so that a person can begin to enjoy a life free from flat feet pain and the limitations that result from having flat feet or fallen arches.
What Causes Flat Feet?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to an individual having flat feet. Babies are born with flat feet, and it remains a common condition for toddlers because the arch of the foot has not fully developed yet. Most children display what is referred to as "flexible flat feet" where an arch is present when the child is standing on their toes or sitting, and the foot only flattens when standing. Most children outgrow flat feet as they mature into adolescence. However, some will continue to have arches that remain undeveloped as they mature.
A normal arch is created when the tendons in the foot pull together correctly and attach to the heel and bones of the feet. When these tendons are not pulled together in the right way, it results in flat feet.
Some individuals have flat feet as a consequence of a birth abnormality or a pre-existing nerve condition. However, these factors make up the minority of flat feet cases. There are many more common causes of flat feet. Some of these causes of fallen arches include injuries where bones are broken or dislocated or where the tendons of the foot are pulled or overstretched, wear and tear over time, and age, as flat feet are more prevalent in older adults.
There is a broad range of risk factors that can increase the likelihood of a person developing flat feet. Some of these risk factors include:
- Inflammatory/ rheumatoid arthritis, where the disease attacks the supportive ligaments of the foot, causing it to become flat. Flat feet that result from rheumatoid arthritis can be especially painful.
- Pregnancy hormones relax the ligaments in the body, including those of the feet, which can lead to fallen arches.
- Obesity, which puts an overload of stress on the arch of the foot. The ligaments are not able to support the excessive weight, and the arches can fall over time.
- Diabetes, which can contribute to weakness in the foot’s tendons.
- High blood pressure, which can contribute to the amount of blood supplied to the feet which and impact the health of the foot’s tissues.
- Inactivity in old age, where the muscles of the feet deteriorate and do not support the feet as they once did, placing more strain on the tendons and ligaments when the individual stands or walks.
Presenting one or more of these risk factors does not guarantee that a person will have flat feet, but it does increase the likelihood of fallen arches developing. While these factors are beyond a person’s control in many cases, if an individual has any of these risk factors it is a good idea to begin wearing supportive orthotic foot inserts as a proactive measure to aid in preventing arches from collapsing.
There are things that individuals can do that will make their flat feet pain even worse. Wearing unsupportive shoes that are either very flat or have extremely high heels will exacerbate the problems that result from flat feet. Both thin, flat-soled shoes and high heels are problematic for people with flat feet because neither type provides any of the arch support that is needed. Footstar creates flat feet orthotics options for every type of shoe, including high heels, sandals, and dress shoes so that individuals with flat feet can find cushioning for their arches even when wearing footwear that is unstable.
There is no cure for flat feet, and no way to reverse the damage once it occurs. However, wearing cushioned shoe inserts for flat feet will help to reduce some of the burden and pressure on the foot and can provide much-needed relief for people who are plagued with the pain caused by fallen arches. Footstar’s custom made orthotic shoe inserts for flat feet will alleviate the fatigue and soreness resulting from fallen arches and will start to provide relief as early as the first time they are worn.
How Do Flat Feet Affect Overall Health?
Flat feet can have long-term consequences on a person's overall health and wellbeing. Having flat feet can cause a dramatic decrease a person’s range of motion as well as impact the variety of activities they can participate in.
People who have flat feet may experience pain throughout the joints and muscles of the lower body including the ankles, knees, as well as the hips and lower back. Muscles in the calves, shins, quadriceps, and hamstrings may become tight and shortened, and they may experience pain as a result of IT band strain or tightness in the sciatic nerve that runs down along the exterior side of the leg. The Achilles tendons may become shortened and sore. While stretching may help to release some of the tension from these areas of the body, the results are not long-lasting. This type of discomfort from flat feet may make even simple daily motions painful. For many individuals, this can be enough to discourage them from doing the activities they enjoy and even from performing necessary household tasks or work duties.
Pain medication may be used to provide some relief from symptoms of fallen arches, but there are some concerns with taking anti-inflammatory medications on a regular basis. If a person is taking medications like ibuprofen or a prescription anti-inflammatory drug on a daily basis to treat foot pain, there are some associated risks, such as irritation of the stomach or increased risk for cardiovascular issues. While these are relatively rare conditions, they are preventable if a person can find relief from foot pain without the regular use of painkillers.
Flat feet can have an adverse impact on a person's long-term health. Inability to stand, walk or exercise without pain can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which puts a person at risk for weight gain, muscle loss, cardiovascular disease, the strain on the spinal cord and lungs, and mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. Regular exercise can combat these conditions, but when a person is unable to take part in physical activity, they can find themselves at risk of these health effects.
Being at risk for these serious long-term health conditions makes it all the more important to seek a more effective treatment for flat feet by using orthotic inserts to support the foot, allowing a person to carry out their normal activities and prevent long-term health effects. Footstar's range of custom shoe inserts for flat feet will provide people with flat feet arch support they need to keep up their overall health and wellbeing and enjoy their life without being plagued by foot pain and the results of fallen arches. Individuals can take a proactive approach to treating foot pain and avoid the serious long-term health effects that can come from having flat feet by wearing Footstar's orthotics.
How Do Flat Feet Affect a Person’s Lifestyle?
When an individual has flat feet, it can take a toll on their way of life, interfering with regular activities and causing pain when doing the things that they enjoy. Everyday movements such as standing or walking can become painful. Working at a job where a person is required to stand for extended periods of time can cause an overload of stress and strain on the feet and render a person unable to perform their job to the best of their ability.
Active people can experience a noticeable change in their lifestyle as they are no longer to carry out the activities and exercises that they normally would. Participation in high-impact activities that require running or jumping are particularly difficult to perform, and they may cause an individual's feet to tire quickly or cause a lot of pain as a result of taking part in these activities. Some of the types of exercise that place the most amount of strain on flat feet are running, tennis, basketball, soccer, track and field, and hockey. People who engage in these types of high-impact activities may need more rest and time to recover than they used to. An active individual with fallen arches may require ongoing physiotherapy to treat flat feet, or they may stop participating in their favorite activities altogether.
When a person stops doing the things that they love to do, it can be frustrating and lead to a decline in their quality of life. If a person's flat feet are interfering with, or keeping them from doing the things they enjoy, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Footstar's custom orthotic inserts provide support to athletes and active people so that they can continue to participate in the activities that they are passionate about, even if they have fallen arches. Our products are designed for everyone, not just people who play sports. Anyone with flat feet will benefit from wearing our insoles, giving them the ability to carry on with their daily activities free from the burden of foot pain.
There is no need for a person’s flat feet to keep them from living the kind of lifestyle they want when there is a help and innovative solutions available. Footstar's custom high-tech inserts for flat feet provide wearers the ability to continue the type of activities that are important to them, whether it's an intense regime of physical activity or simply walking and standing without suffering.
What are the Treatments for Flat Feet?
There is no way to cure flat feet once the arches fall. However, there are a number of things that a person can do to alleviate the flat feet pain. Many people attempt to reduce their foot pain by focusing on treating the symptoms. Some individuals may rely on pain medication for temporary relief, while others may do regular stretches to loosen the muscles in the feet and legs. They may also try exercises to strengthen the muscles in the surrounding areas such as the ankles and calves. These measures may be useful ways to treat the pain. However, they do not provide solutions to keep the pain of flat feet from reoccurring.
There are a number of changes in physical activity that a person can make to find relief from foot pain. Many people will begin regular physiotherapy sessions, which may be beneficial but can take up a lot of time and money, making this an inconvenient option that is difficult to sustain. Some people may change the type of activities and sports they partake in, choosing low-impact options like swimming or cycling. Others may opt to rest their feet more to take the strain off of their tendons and ligaments. Overweight individuals may begin a weight loss plan that will reduce the stress load on the feet. While these are all proactive and healthy ways to combat the pain associated with fallen arches, they will not complete prevent flat feet pain from returning.
How do Custom Flat Feet Arch Supports Work?
A more simple and direct way to effectively treat the pain caused by flat feet is to use supportive arch inserts that are worn inside the shoes, and there are a variety of insoles available. Some shoe inserts for flat feet are available over the counter at drugstores, and these can be somewhat useful. The problem with pre-made insoles is that they may not fit your foot correctly or provide the support in the right areas for your body. These products are designed to fit a typical foot, but they are not customizable to accommodate unique foot shapes, sizes, or the particular nuances of a person's fallen arches.
While pre-made arch insoles are a good starting point for many people, the best option to relieve pain and provide long term support is to wear custom-made orthotic inserts. Footstar’s orthotics for flat feet are designed to be worn every day. They can even be worn inside a pair of indoor shoes while at home so that there is arch support for flat feet throughout the day, no matter what activities a person is doing. Ensuring that your feet are constantly supported with insoles for flat feet will provide the relief needed for a person to live their life with a full range of motion and without the restrictions of foot pain from fallen arches. Custom shoe inserts for flat feet are the only true way to successfully treat the pain of flat feet on an ongoing, consistent basis. There is no need to wait for foot pain to come back before using orthotics again. When worn regularly, orthotic inserts will provide all of the cushioning and support that flat feet need.
What are the Best Flat Feet Orthotic Products?
Wearing orthotics for flat feet will provide sufferers freedom from pain and give them the ability to do the activities that they love as well as the capacity to perform the regular tasks that are required in their daily life. Orthotics can give people with fallen arches the ongoing relief that they have been looking for and can drastically improve their quality of life and overall health and wellness.
Footstar is the leading authority on custom made flat feet orthotics. Our patented mail-in measurement system is easy for anyone to use and will provide our team with all of the necessary measurements required to create custom orthotics for each individual. Our impression kit allows us to serve people from coast to coast without them having to leave home or make an appointment with a specialist. Our simple three-step process is quick and easy to use. We will send customers a foam impression kit with a pre-paid mailing label so they can take their impression and return it to us with ease. We then create your custom flat feet inserts and send them directly to your door.
Footstar uses cutting-edge technologies to create the perfect custom insoles for our clients. After receiving a customer's foam foot impression in the mail, we begin our process of making their orthotic inserts. Our manufacturing process relies on the latest technology to make each pair of orthotics. We use specialized software and lasers to scan the foam impression, which allows us to obtain the most accurate and precise measurements to create a pair of orthotic insoles that will fit the foot perfectly.
Footstar Orthotics create the highest quality orthotics on the market. Our products are made from EVA memory foam, which is durable and comfortable to wear, allowing our orthotics to provide all of the support and cushioning that our clients require. You will now be able to enjoy freedom from the pain of flat feet.