Flat feet, also known as pes planus or fallen arches, occurs when the arch of the foot is low enough that the entire foot is in contact with the ground.
While it is oftentimes not associated with other medical issues, it can be the source of irritation in the feet, ankles, and knees.
The number one way to combat pain associated with flat feet involves purchasing the appropriate footwear.
The best shoes for flat feet offer increased support in the heel and ankle to combat the improper weight distribution that comes as a result of flat feet.
However, such shoes can often be very expensive, and with a wide variety of options on the market, it may be difficult to find a brand that works right for you.
What Are Flat Feet?
Feet come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the major ways that feet differ is through the various arch shapes. There are actually three different arches that can be found on your foot:
- The medial longitudinal arch: This arch runs down the center of your foot from the ball of your foot to your heel.
- The lateral longitudinal arch: This arch also runs from the ball of your foot to your heel, but on the outside edge of your foot.
- The anterior transverse arch: This arch runs behind the ball of your foot from side to side.
Contrary to popular belief, the shape of your foot and these arches has nothing to do with ancestry.
While there are names for different foot shapes such as “Greek”, “Celtic”, and “Egyptian”, scientists have found that there is no solid correlation between ancestry and foot shape.
At the same time, flat feet have been found to run in families. If your parents have flat feet, you may be at a much higher risk of also having flat feet.
Occur when the arches in your feet are flattened
The bottoms of your feet touch the floor. Babies are naturally born without arches in their feet, and they tend to develop between two and three years old.
In some children, these arches never develop, and the feet stay flat for their entire life.
Flat feet may also develop even in someone who has arches in their feet as a result of a variety of other factors, such as:
- Foot or ankle injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Overuse or strain
- The weakening of the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle and supports the arches of the foot
In most cases, flat feet are entirely harmless and do not contribute to any further health issues. However, in severe cases, flat feet may contribute to pain in the ankles and knees.
In such cases, flat feet can be treated with a variety of remedies, including specialized footwear and physical therapy.
How Can I Tell If I Have Flat Feet?
Flat feet are ordinarily fairly easy to identify. Find a surface that will easily show wet footprints, such as a broken-down cardboard box.
Lightly wet the bottoms of your feet and walk over the surface, being careful not to slip. Step away and examine the footprints that are left behind.
If your footprint appears complete and does not show any visible arch, you may be suffering from flat feet.
If you believe that you have flat feet that may be contributing to knee and ankle pain. You can also make an appointment with your doctor to be officially tested.
Your doctor may conduct a series of tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, in order to closely examine the bones and joints in your feet.
At the same time, your doctor may also look to see if there is an underlying injury that may be contributing to your pain. Such as damage to the tendons and tissues of your foot and ankle.
In these cases, your doctor may suggest a more intensive form of treatment to resolve the issue.
What Causes Flat Feet Ankle Pain?
The arch of your foot is designed to absorb the shock and hold the weight of the body when you are walking.
Arches are naturally stronger than flat surfaces because they increase the maximum load that a surface can handle before it begins to fracture.
Because your feet bear the brunt of your body weight when you walk. They must be able to support your entire weight for an extended period of time.
When there is little to no arch in the foot, the amount of weight that your feet can handle without sustaining damage is significantly reduced.
Flat feet ankle pain comes as a direct result of this and can be a severe hindrance to a person’s ability to stay on their feet for an extended period of time.
Ankle instead of in the feet themselves
But why does pain manifest in the ankle instead of in the feet themselves? While you may experience pain in the feet, pain that is directly caused by flat feet can also be felt in the ankle and knees.
When your foot is unable to properly support the weight of your body, this excessive stress can be then transferred to the ankles and knees, both of which are also responsible for bearing the weight of the body.
Furthermore, flat feet can also cause the improper distribution of weight, which may contribute to further injuries of the ankles and knees.
Flat feet ankle pain is not something that should be ignored. While the shape of your foot may be determined by factors that you have no control over, it may be an indicator of further health issues.
If you are experiencing flat feet ankle pain, consider making an appointment with your doctor to begin discussing possible treatments.
This can range anywhere from simple lifestyle changes, such as purchasing special shoes and insoles, to losing weight.
How to Treat Flat Feet Ankle Pain
There are a variety of treatments that are specifically designed to address flat feet ankle pain. Most exercises are designed to strengthen the arch of your foot and increase your foot’s flexibility. There is a long list of exercises that can be used to begin treating flat feet, such as:
Sit in a chair with your bare feet flat on the ground. Then, begin to slide the front of your foot closer in towards your heel without flexing your toes. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each foot.
Stand facing the wall with your bare feet flat on the floor. Place your hands flat on the wall to keep your balance while you extend one leg behind you. Straighten the knee of the leg that is behind you and try to touch your heel flat to the floor.
If you are not able to, bring your foot a little closer to the wall until you can lay your foot completely flat.
Slowly lean your whole body forward with your foot still flat on the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in your calves. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat 4 times for each foot.
Place your bare feet about shoulder-width apart, and raise your heel as far up off of the floor as possible. Continue to stand on your tip-toes for 1 or 2 seconds, and then slowly lower your heels back to the floor.
Continue to do this for 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions. If you are having trouble balancing, place a chair in front of you that you can hold on to for support.
While these exercises could potentially improve the arches of your foot, there is no guarantee that they will eliminate flat feet ankle pain.
Most treatments are not designed to resolve the problem, except for in extreme circumstances.
Treatment is instead usually geared towards reducing symptoms and keeping the pain manageable.
To do this, most doctors will recommend that you switch your footwear to something that will offer extra support.
Shoes Designed to Reduce Flat Feet Ankle Pain
If you have flat feet ankle pain, you are going to need footwear that will provide extra support that would normally be provided by the arches of your feet.
Due to the fact that flat feet tend to be wider than feet with normal arches. These shoes will also need to come wider than normal shoes.
When searching for the best shoe to relieve your flat foot ankle pain. Arch and heel support are the first two things to look for.
With flat feet, the weight of your body becomes disproportionately distributed onto the ball of your foot. Which is oftentimes one of the greatest causes of foot and ankle pain.
Your shoes need to be able to redistribute this weight in a way that reduces the stress on your foot when walking.
People with flat feet are also prone to overpronation
n order to prevent this, your shoes must also be able to prevent this rolling. This is largely achieved through increased support in the sole and heel.
For those with flat feet, it would also be helpful to look for slip-on shoes. As opposed to those that tie or are otherwise fastened closed.
Due to the fact that flat feet ankle pain is oftentimes accompanied by swelling in the feet and ankle, slip-on shoes make it much easier to get your feet in and out of the shoe.
Shoes that claim to be designed to reduce foot and ankle pain also feature a thick layer of slow recovery memory foam at the base of the shoe.
When it is warmed up, memory foam is designed to change its shape to best fit the contours of your foot, providing a personalized shape for every wearer.
Not only does this provide extra support for both the arch of your foot and the heel. But memory foam can also help keep your feet warm when they are cold.
The GECKOMAN Promise
So where should you look when searching for shoes that can help relieve flat feet ankle pain? The search may seem intimidating; out of the hundreds of options on the market, how can you tell which style will best suit your needs?
In the early 1990s, a California surgeon named Cheryl was troubled by the lack of shoes. And accessories designed to address flat feet ankle pain.
In order to seek out a solution, she traveled to the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in China to find a better alternative.
After 2 months, Cheryl was finally able to convince WINGGOOD.CO. One of the largest shoe industry groups in China.
To cooperate with her in order to bring a better solution to flat feet ankle pain to the U.S. market.
These insoles are featured in every pair of GECKOMAN shoes
They are specifically designed with a deep heel cut to align your feet. In a way that eases stress caused by flat feet, as well as alleviates flat feet ankle pain.
These shoes are meant for long-term comfort. And help to reduce the pain that comes as a result of staying on your feet for long periods of time.
Coming in a variety of stylish designs, made from eco-friendly materials. And starting at price points significantly lower than the competition, GECKOMAN shoes are designed with the wearer in mind.
GECKOMAN offers a variety of designs for both men and women, including slip-on shoes and sandals with increased arch support.
Made with breathable canvas, these shoes are designed to last. The soft, breathable microfiber lining is also designed to retain heat and keep your feet nice and warm.