Did you know that a quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet? That’s 52 bones in a pair of feet. When these bones are not properly aligned, the rest of your body also suffers misalignment. So it’s important to know what to do, and more importantly, what not to do to ensure the proper functionality of your feet. Especially when it comes to finding the best sneakers for flat feet.
For some, the term ‘being flatfooted’ is nothing special but for others, it’s relatively new. Having a flat foot means exactly what it sounds like, a scenario where the soles of your feet are flat.
What is Flat Feet?
In the proper way a foot is structured, there’s usually an arch which prevents the entire sole of the feet from touching the ground. This arch helps the body to hold and evenly distribute body weight easily. As important as this seems, the absence of an arch in your feet doesn’t necessarily mean a deformity of any kind.
In the United States, one in every four persons has flat feet. For a lot of these people, there are no complications whatsoever but for many others, it can be a painful experience.
Flat feet or fallen arches can develop for a number of reasons which include; the wearing out of the posterior tibial tendon, being overweight or obese and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Some naturally occurring circumstances can also attribute to flat feet as it can be inherited, even the weight that a pregnant woman seems to carry during her gestation period can contribute to it.
The feet has 33 joints, formed from 26 bones that are supported by 107 ligaments and about 19 muscles and tendons. As a person ages, the use of the feet on a daily basis can naturally contribute to weaknesses in this system and bring about the formation of flat feet.
Picking the best sneakers for flat feet is an important factor in ensuring comfort and encourages the correction of the structure of the feet. This article will educate you on all you need to know about picking the right foot ware if you have a low arch or no arch at all.
How to Choose the Best Sneakers for Flat Feet?
Just like every other decision you make in life, there are certain processes you go through before making an attempt at buying comfortable shoes. Below is a list of important things you should consider in order to enable you to make the right choice.
The type of sneaker you want/need
Probably the first thing that comes to mind before setting out to buy a new pair of shoes, the purpose for which you are getting them will help you in determining what type you should purchase.
This is important because, as a flat-footed individual there are various options available to you based on the function the shoes are to offer. Your running sneakers can’t be used in place for your casual ones, can they?
Shop in the summertime or when it’s hot
Hearing that sounds strange right? Well, it’s very important. You probably don’t know but the feet will expand with an increase in temperature. You should try avoiding shopping for shoes either early in the morning or in the evenings when the weather is at its coolest.
Rather, make sure you go sneakers shopping when it’s the hottest time of the day or during the hottest season of the year. That way, you ensure that your feet are at their largest size and you get sneakers that are a perfect fit.
Always carry your socks with you
Yes, it’s quite important to do so for the sake of your comfort. Whenever you go sneakers shopping, take a pair of the particular pair of socks you intend to wear with such sneakers. You will need them when testing to see if the sneakers are a good fit for you.
Doing this will ensure you don’t buy the wrong size of sneakers which can cause serious discomfort to you in the long run. When you try the sneakers with the socks on, you have a better chance of finding just the right size. Remember to take the right socks though, you won’t want to wear winter socks to try out shoes you plan to wear during the summer time.
Identify your larger feet
There’s every chance that one of your feet is larger than the other. As a matter of fact, I could bet on that right now. This is by no means an abnormality, in fact, it’s how it should be. Identifying which of your feet is larger can help in making your experience with buying sneakers a lot easier.
I say so because trying out the shoe on that particular feet will enable you to tell right away if it’s the suitable one for you or not. This will also save you a lot of time from having to try out both legs of the same shoes. Hence, making your shopping experience a lot easier and faster.
Be knowledgeable about the brands you buy
Not all brands of shoes with the same size are actually the same size. For example, a pair of Asics size 9 sneakers might not have the same fit as a pair of Nike size 9 sneakers. Having adequate knowledge of each brand and their corresponding sizes, as they relate to you, will go a long way in ensuring you pick the right option for your flat feet.
Give enough toe spacing
Before you pick a sneaker, make sure there’s enough spacing between the tip of your longest toe and the sneaker. It doesn’t have to be so much space, just about a fraction of an inch. This spacing can be adequately measured by pushing your feet to the forefront section of the shoes, then trying to insert your pointer finger between your heel and the base of the shoe. If your finger slides in with not so much effort, you have the right size.
Fell your shoes
Sounds cliché doesn’t it? Feeling your shoes goes a long way in ensuring you make the right choice as regards comfortability. Sliding your fingers down the inner section of the sneakers helps you get a feel of how comfortable it will be. Doing so also makes you have a feel of the inner contouring of the shoes. This will help you evaluate the level of comfort you will experience from wearing them.
Buy sneakers with arch support
There are a lot of sneakers out there that are manufactured taking into consideration those with flat feet. These shoes have an interior foot support structure that helps enhance comfort and in some cases, helps correct the structure of the arch. These are the types of shoes flat-footed individuals like you and I should spend more of our money on.
Invest in insoles
There are a lot of sneakers you might want to buy but can’t because they offer no comfort for flat feet. That’s where insoles come to your rescue. Insoles are removable soles that can be placed at the base of a shoe’s interior. There are a number of insoles available which are specifically made to aid the comfort of flatfooted individuals.
Investing in one will make sure you get to enjoy the benefit of comfort no matter the type of shoe you buy. However, ensure you buy the right size of insoles, as they can add to the feeling of discomfort when they are either get one that is too big or too small.
Wearing the shoes around
One effective way to ensure you choose the perfect sneakers for your flat-footed self is by trying them on. Wearing the sneakers around the house and familiarizing yourself with it helps you get accustomed to it. Doing this will help you settle into them properly before taking them out for a spin.
Top 10 Best Sneakers for Flat Feet
To ensure the process of shopping for the perfect sneakers for yourself a lot less time consuming, we have taken our time to list out the top 10 best sneakers for flat feet. This list was compiled taking into consideration the comfort of the shoes, their price, as well as reviews from others who have made a purchase.
Made with a rubber sole and other synthetic materials, this foot ware has a shaft that measures approximately low-top from arch. It also comes with a removable sock-liner and rear-foot gel cushioning, both to accommodate medical orthotic individuals and shock absorbance respectively. This sneaker also comes with benefits of a trail-specific outsole and an ASICS high abrasion rubber feature.
- This sneaker has high traction
- Highly durable
- Very flexible
- Redesigned upper and midsole
- Made with extra reinforcement
- Also affordable
- Lacks responsiveness
This highly comfortable and lightweight sneaker also has its sole made from rubber. Not only does it come in a comfortable design, but can also be worn to travel long distances because of how much comfort it provides. This shoe is highly breathable and provides a lot of traction and flexibility for its user.
- Ample cushioning within its compartments
- Very comfortable
- Protective midsole compartment
- Highly durable
With enough holes in its mesh-like toe compartment, this sneaker has excellent aeration. There aren’t many words that can be used to describe a sneaker with Premium Cushlon Foam and its personal air-bag system in the form of its Air Zoom feature. Both ensure the shoe is lightweight and has added cushioning for comfort for your feet. This sneaker also comes in a variant for men.
- Versatile pair of sneakers
- Very affordable
- It also offers a lot of ventilation
- Excellent traction
- Stylish design
- The toe box may be a bit too narrow
- The laces easily get undone
This particular sneaker boasts of providing one of the best arch supports, which is good news for us flat-footed lot. But that’s not all, it’s also very lightweight and due to its structure, has enough room to accommodate leg space. It also has adequate cushioning in place and can be worn for a long duration without fear of discomfort. It can be found in both men and women variants.
- Enhances orthotics
- Comes with the availability of different widths
- A lot of traction
- Well-cushioned and comfortable
- Tighter toe box than its predecessor model
- The upper part lacks true structure
The predecessor of the Gel-Venture 6, this sneaker has enough arch support which has been known to correct supinated foot motion. It is also quite durable as it is made with high abrasion rubber. The gel cushioning system present in this shoe makes for ample cushioning to absorb impact from striking your foot on the ground. The grip and traction provided on the outsole are quite commendable as well.
- This sneaker offers great stability
- Lghtweight EVA sole that’s very responsive
- Rear-foot gel cushioning
- Comes with a detachable sock liner
- Not waterproof
- Hard to maintain
This particular sneaker is quite aesthetically appealing to the eyes. They are perfect to use as running shoes as well as for casual purposes. Made with a rubber sole and 100% synthetic mesh upper section, it comes with good cushioning and adequate ventilation. Its midsole 1.0 Performance encourages better energy transfer and extra cushioning for your feet.
- An affordable pair of sneakers
- Comes with added cushioning
- Stylish design
- Very breathable
- Doesn’t come with any added stability support
- It isn’t suitable for any type of speed activity
These sneakers are 100% manmade. They offer support for low arches and provides ample foothold to prevent overpronation. They are highly comfortable and their full-grain leather upper section ensures durability. It comes with HydroFlow technology which enhances the midsole and gives an all-round cushioning and shock absorbing experience.
- Has a slip resistant outsole
- Quality leather upper section
- Comfortable and helps in reducing foot, leg and lower back pains
- Comes with a biodegradable midsole
- Very durable
- Lacks aeration for the feet
- Design might not be physically appealing to everyone
Probably one of the most comfortable pair of sneakers from this brand, the Excursion TR12 is a 100% synthetic foot ware. It consists of a rubber sole, a durable rubber outsole, trail-specific upper mesh and the shaft measures approximately low-top from the arch. The shoe also features grid cushioning to allow for additional comfort.
- Has ample cushioning which makes it very comfortable
- Aesthetically appealing
- Very stable
- Highly breathable
- Has a still feel
- Lacks arch support
- Really poor traction
- Isn’t durable
This foot wear has high support for stability and improves overpronation. It encourages more accommodation for your leg space with a spacious toe box. It comes with a BioMoGo midsole technology that provides additional cushioning for your feet. This beast is known for managing and alleviating certain soreness and pains felt around the ankles. These sneakers are of premium quality and design.
- High traction feature
- Very durable
- Has a three-rubber outsole
- Not too expensive
- Great comfort and aeration
- Perfect for people with flat feet and severe overpronation
- Seems to be a bit too narrow
With an elastic-like upper fabric, this sneaker has taken into consideration your comfortability. It provides a great grip over a wide variety of surfaces. Its sole is made of rubber and has an AT tread outsole. It also has a mechanism in its design specifically made to protect your toes from outer impact.
- Very affordable
- Available in a variety of colours
- Responsive midsole for greater comfort and stability
- The toe box might be a bit narrow
- The sneakers are not highly durable
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For those who are not yet used to shopping for sneakers because they are relatively new to the flat foot experience, things can be a bit unclear. This section contains some questions which come up regularly and should serve as a guide as the answers are also provided.
How do I know if I have flat feet?
The easiest way to find out is by putting your feet in some liquid, preferably water, and making a footprint mark on a flat surface. If your footprint shows the total area of the sole of your feet, it means you have flat feet.
How did I get flat feet?
There are various factors that could have contributed to that. You could have inherited it naturally from your parents. You could have gotten it from being overweight and in a few cases, having diabetes can cause flat feet. The aging process can also lead to the advent of flat feet as the joints and muscles in the foot become wary. Some pregnant women also develop flat feet as they have to carry some extra weight.
What disadvantage do I have being flat-footed?
None. Having a flat foot doesn’t mean you’re at a disadvantage as opposed to those who have high arches. Neither does it mean you can’t do whatever people with a higher arch can and vice-versa. You might have heard of stories in the past how individuals had been deprived of certain opportunities due to their flat feet, but that isn’t the case anymore. These days you see flat-footed individuals in the army or as famous gymnasts and sportspersons.
Can babies have flat feet?
Yes, they can. As toddlers, they are still in the process of development and don’t have fully developed features yet. With time, babies tend to lose the fat on their feet and continually develop muscle strength in them. Once they begin to get mature, the evidence of arches in their feet will become vivid.
Can I cure my flat-footedness?
Well, yes and no. First, I’d like to point out that being flat footed is not an affliction. Then there is no known definite cure for having a flat foot but it can be managed and improved significantly. There are stretching exercises and other physical therapy activities that can help improve your flat feet. Using braces as well as investing in certain types of shoes that can help you improve the structure of the arch of your feet will also go a long way.
I would end this article by reminding you that there’s nothing wrong with being flat-footed, except you experience some pains as a result of other complications from it. If you do, I advise you to see a doctor to help with that. There are measures you can take to rid you of such pains and have you live normally.
The importance of comfort can’t be overemphasized and that also extends to comfort for your feet. Learning what to do when you want to shop sneakers is just as essential for the general comfort of your body. If you follow the guidelines and make use of the information provided within this write-up, I can ensure you will have no worries with picking out the best sneakers for flat feet.