Flat Feet

Do I have flat feet?

Which shoes should I buy?

Are the more expensive pair better?

If you watch the elite marathoners, those covering the 26.2 miles near the 2 hour mark.  You’ll see a variety of runners with different running styles and foot positions.  Some of these would be described as flat footed.  These highly trained athletes roll over on their feet while completing marathons without problems or injury.  So if it doesn’t bother these runners should we be concerned with it?

It’s all about comfort.  When searching for new runners take your time, try a few pairs hop about in them and see how they feel.  This is not the time for rushed shopping or panic buying, leave enough time.  If the shoe can bend and twist easily it will offer little support when pounding the pavements.  Different brands will have different widths, cushioning and support.  Within brands styles will differ usually across stability, cushioning and minimalist.  The cushioning types will tend to suit a high arch foot with stability suiting more the low arch.  The majority of people will have low arches.  Minimalist footwear is the lowest of support, for most of use we will need to build up to this type of shoe.

What about minimalist shoes?  There have been many debates around barefoot running, some claiming it reduces injury while others say it is not suitable for the modern runner.  We run on roads and trails, you need a sturdy to support this activity.  Some transition well to minimalist shoes but it takes time.  Our feet need time to adjust from the supportive footwear we are used to.  Runners wishing to change should do so gradually, start by wearing the shoes for day to day activities before using them for running.

Tips for picking runners:

  • Go in the afternoon after you have been on your feet for a few hours as they will be slightly bigger than first thing in the morning
  • Bring and wear the socks you’ll wear running
  • Check can you bend or twist the shoe.
  • Spend time walking, jumping, hopping to really check how they feel.
  • Check the name or number of the particular brand you liked. Often there may be last season’s colours but the same level of support for a reduced price.
  • Change runners according to usage, if you’re covering high miles then you may need to change every 6 months.