Last week my sister came for a visit and we sat down for a cold drink and the usual discussion on ongoing problems in each other’s life. She shared with me that her fallen arches problem had worsened over the past few months and she required help. The main problem is that my sister is an active athlete and the strain she puts on her feet almost daily has led to her developing a more sever over pronation and she had to find a way to stop it. Usually people go with foot stretches and exercise to help them strengthen their feet and even form a natural arch but with my sister’s sports-oriented life there was no time for that. There was only one thing she could do and that was to find the best running shoes for flat feet!
It’s surprising how much in common the architectural arch and the arch of the foot have in common. They’re both designed to sustain the weight of the structure above them and concentrate the pushing force into compressive stress, relieving tension. Arches in general tend to push the supported structure outward as it pushes down which is usually restrained with internal ties. These internal ties for the foot are the tendons and muscles which keep feet arched; for people with fallen arches they are improperly developed. Usually when athletes run, their feet’s arches have to sustain an impact force that equals three times the athlete’s body weight. You can imagine how much stress that is for a flat foot to absorb! Eventually this leads to over pronation or when your ankle twists inwards and your knee starts to overcompensate. This in turn causes the runner a whole lot of discomfort and that’s the thing you need the least in sports.
Over the course of the next week my sister and I spent hours daily in researching different types of flatfoot running shoes. They work by providing the needed arch support artificially and, for a runner, additional support in shoes means they’re headed in the right direction. Stability in running shoes means that they are intended to reduce overpronation which is usually done by adding a layer of harder supporting material right under the arch together with the necessary raised arch inlet. Not all athletes go for the additional arch support though – it tends to get uncomfortable during runs as you can feel (and sometimes more than that) the raised supports under your feet. Stability shoes should suit those – they only include a hardened bottom part.
It took buying a couple of cheap pairs for my sister to test and soon after she decided the best running shoes for flat feet for her are the stability trainers. We discussed the matters with a friend of mine who is a podiatrist and he helped us pick the right pair of stability shoes for her. In a couple weeks’ time my sister was running more comfortably and faster than she’s ever dreamed possible!