You want special running shoes for flat feet because that is what you have been told you need. Careful. Best Shoes For Flat Feet Women & Men Standing All Day that are meant to help flat feet almost always do so by providing additional arch support. The thinking behind that is our feet need an arch to operate properly. Flat-footed people, lacking that arch, will therefore need even more than average arch support.Instead of padding your arch, you may want to consider the benefits of strengthening the muscles in your feet. By propping up our feet in shoes, tendons tighten up and muscles atrophy. Without a work out our feet flatten and lengthen. When worked, arches will develop of their own accord.
In “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall, Dr. Gerard Hartmann explains, “Putting your feet in shoes is similar to putting them in a plaster cast. If I put your leg in plaster, we’ll find forty to sixty percent atrophy of the musculature within six weeks. Something similar happens to your feet when they’re encased in shoes.”Did you know that typical foot ailments such as corns, hammertoes, fallen arches and flat feet are all but nonexistent in countries where people go barefoot? According to Dr. Paul Brand at Louisiana State University Medical School, the solution to flat feet is to lose our shoes.
One of the best milers in U.S. history, Alan Webb, started out as a flat foot. But by doing foot strengthening drills and walking barefoot he went from a size 12 to a size 10. Why? The stronger his feet got, the higher his arches got.
Even the folks that orbit the earth in the space shuttle experience muscle atrophy and deterioration. They are not in a cast, just the opposite, but there is no effort required in the weightlessness of space. Without any work, our muscle development goes backward. No question what we put on our feet has an impact. Perhaps more than we realize. In the case of arch support in your shoes, however, less may be more. We want our feet to work.
When starting a running program take it slow and easy to start. Literally, start each run slowly and easily. Once you have warmed up, pick up the pace and the effort. Take time to slow down and take it easy as you wrap up your run. Do not be in a hurry to pile on the miles. Listen to your body. If your feet hurt when you run, take a look at your running technique and how far you are running.