When having flat feet, it can be hard to find shoes that work for you and it can be even harder to know what to look for.
Flat feet is a common problem, affecting up to 30% of the population. Most people who suffer from it complain of pain on the feet themselves or even on the hip, lower back or knee area.
So... How can you buy footwear that suits you and even reduces your pain? What characteristics should you be on the lookout for?
1. Wear structured shoes.
Flat footed people should try to avoid wearing shoes that are to soft or cushioned and stick to a harder more structured design. This is important to reduce the pains because the cushioning makes your feet sink as a whole and not only the tip and heel as it would with people who do not have flat feet.
In order to see if the shoe you are looking at is rigid enough, you just have to pick it up and try bending it. If it bends on the toe area it is a good sign but you need to make sure ti doesn't on the middle since your feet require more stability than most.
2. Avoid wearing flip flops
While they might seem like the only option for a beach day, they are not and can be very harmful if you suffer from flat feet, this is due to the lack of arch support provided by this sort of footwear. An alternative can be semi-closed sandals or closed rubber shoes which just happen to come in lots of different fun designs and colours.
3. Take your orthotic or insoles to the shop.
Something that tends to get overlooked is that most shoes are too narrow to fit insoles or other orthotics. When shopping always bring yours with you and ask if you can try the shoes on with it, or at least if you can check whether it fits inside them. This will save you a lot of disappointment and discomfort when you realise you can't wear them and have already thrown away the box.
4. Let the salesperson know that you have flat feet.
This might seem like the obvious thing to do but for some reason most people don't do it. Salespeople usually know a lot about the different models they have on sale and can save you plenty of time, especially when you've never shopped that brand before or are at a multi-brand store.
5. Consider buying from specialised brands.
While this might not be an option for everyone due to the fact that some claim these brands don't have the best when it comes to how their shoes look, if what you are looking for is to lessen your discomfort and pain, this might just be the thing you need to do. Specialised stores can have a wide variety of models and will be quick to hook you up with the exact thing you need for the activity you want to do.
6. Try to change the sneakers you use the most frequently.
Changing your sneakers and buying new ones might be expensive but it is the best way to make sure your efforts pay up. What is the point of spending three hours choosing a pair of shoes that make you comfortable if you won't change them once they stop doing that for you? Worn out soles are a big problem for people with flat feet because they lack the structure and support.
You should pay attention to this tip especially if we are talking about running or gym shoes, which are the fastest to wear out.