Freddy Rincón and Chonto Herrera, prominent Colombian footballers, had discomfort due to flat feet that improved with the simple use of templates.
These are just two examples that flat feet do not limit a person’s normal activity, much less their locomotion or sports, although there are myths about it, especially in weightlifting. Today, together with Shoppok, we will try to figure out whether it is possible to play sports with flat feet.
Flat feet have to do with a decrease in the longitudinal arch of the foot due to various factors, such as bone, muscular or neurological alterations. But the most common cause is laxity or increased elasticity of the ligaments, says José Ignacio Zapata, scientific director of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Institute, a center specializing in child and youth orthopedics.
One of the most common beliefs is that flat feet are to blame for knee, ankle, or spinal pain. This is not the case, with few exceptions.
One of these exceptions occurs in high-performance athletes who may have associated pain in the knee or feet, for which they must use special insoles, explains Juan Manuel Sarmiento, sports doctor, secretary-general of the Colombian Association of Medicine of sport.
The insole seeks to maintain adequate support and avoid undue loads on the foot. Of course, the template should not be used alone or exclusively during sports activities.
According to Sarmiento, if you have not used insoles during normal activity (work, study), do not start using them during physical activity because there is a greater load and as the foot is not used instead of a benefit, it can increase the risk of injury. First, accustom the foot with daily use.
And it is that the use of the insoles must be permanent so that the arch remains formed, even more so if sports such as soccer are practiced since it increases the predisposition to pain due to overload on the ankles, knees, and the foot itself.
In some athletes, there are retractions of the tendons (retraction) which predisposes them to suffer pain and therefore therapy is required so that there is not so much pain during physical activity. In other cases, pain occurs after doing exercises that also require therapy and, above all, an adequate routine of stretching, warming up, and cooling down.
For the rest, it is not true that athletes with flat feet are at greater risk of injury, although some studies show that those who do not use insoles are more prone to them.
Use your insoles Flatfoot occurs in about a third of children between the ages of 4 and 8 and persists for life in 3 to 5 percent of the population.
It can be internal longitudinal, which runs along the inside of the foot and is the best known; or anterior transverse that leads to having a wide foot, with bunions and with calluses on the soles and toes of the foot.
If left untreated, it causes aches and pains. Also, some problems such as deformities in the fingers, bunions in the big toe, being knees together and pats or walking like ducks, with the tips out.
If templates are recommended, these must be tailored to each person.
- Use footwear with a little heel as it is better than the totally flat one. The tennis shoes must be higher at the back than at the front and suitable for each sport.
- Check how you wear your shoes. If they finish more on the inside it may be because of the flat foot.
- Although its usefulness has not been proven, you can practice some exercises at home such as picking some beans between your fingers and placing them in a container or walking on tiptoe.
- If you are going to do sports, do not forget to do a good stretch. Likewise, heating and cooling.
- Avoid jogging on uneven terrain and mountains as this traumatizes the foot and knees. Trot on lawn or grass.
- If you use your insoles you can carry out your daily activities, including dancing and playing sports, without a problem.
Shoes for flatfooted weightlifters and other sports enthusiasts
The best shoe for flat feet
If you want to know what shoes for flat feet are like, you have to bear in mind that this type of footwear has to try to improve this alteration of the feet so that the pressure is distributed optimally. At Cari Falcó we recommend using insoles for flat feet that precisely what they do is create that arch in the foot that will regulate the weight of the body well.
You must bear in mind that flat feet do not usually cause very prominent discomfort in the feet, but the most affected area is the legs since the footprint is not well cushioned and the impact pressure is poorly distributed throughout the body. This can cause areas such as the hips, meniscus, knees, etc., to be affected by this condition.
To know how to correct flat feet you have to bear in mind that the use of specific footwear for this condition is essential. It should always be the podiatrist or the traumatologist who recommends the best type of shoe for each patient since, depending on the body of each one, they may choose one type of arch or another. The ankles are usually areas affected by flat feet, so normally, shoes are used to protect this area of the body.
Choosing the best footwear for flat feet
When choosing the best shoes for you, you have to take into account a series of recommendations that we offer you below. People with flat feet have to value the following:
- Put your foot in the shoe and press down. Feel the elevation of the footwear in the plantar area. Evaluate if that elevation is comfortable for you.
- Choose comfortable and soft materials that allow your foot to be comfortable inside the shoe
- It is important that you value the design of the shoe and that you opt for a model that has a wide toe so that the toes are comfortable
- The soles of the shoe have to be flexible and stable so that the foot is in good condition
They should have space for insoles since, in this way, you can use footwear that is fully aligned with the needs of each person. No matter how much you buy footwear for flat feet, it is recommended that custom insoles be used to cushion the footsteps well.
What you should do is check that your feet are comfortable inside this shoe and walk with them to assess that the position of the arch is appropriate for your condition.
Special insoles for flat feet, a good option
If you wish, you can also choose to buy insoles for flat feet that can correct the shape of your feet and create the plantar arch artificially. In this way, you can wear shoes of any type and place the insole inside to adapt them to the condition of your feet.
Of course: these templates should always be done professionally and should be designed by a specialist doctor. Each person has particular podiatric conditions and not all templates will work. Therefore, you should do an individualized study so that the best templates can be created for you.
Therefore, thanks to the insoles, it will not be necessary for you to only wear orthopedic shoes. You can wear conventional shoes (always quality) and correct your condition thanks to the insoles that are specially designed for you. This gives you greater freedom when choosing your look and choosing a good option for the health of your feet.
Whether you are weightlifting, running, or doing other highly physical sports, being flatfooted does not limit your ability to do your favorite sports.