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Step up your game: Unlock your potential as an athlete with flat feet!

Approximately 12% of people in the United States have flat feet, whether they were born with it or developed it later on in their life. Learn methods on how to combat flat feet as an athlete.

Specific Insoles

 

To promote arch growth in flat feet, ask your Podiatrist (foot doctor) to create insoles that have arches and are molded to the specific shape of your feet.

Padded Shoes

 

To reduce pain in the sole of the foot, calf, ankle, and hip, search for shoes that have extra padding in the insoles that cushion the feet more.

Strengthening Exercises

 

Because the insoles and padded shoes act as extra "crutches" for your feet, your muscles surrounding the feet need to be continually strengthened or else they will atrophy from the lack of use.

Helpful Videos

The Importance of Exercise of the Feet's Intrinsic Muscles

 

         Exercise is the best thing you can do for flat feet. Considering your flat feet lack arch support, and therefore lack the structural support for the surrounding appendages, such as the ankle, calf, knee, and hip, it is best to create muscular support to make up for the structural instability. Additionally, wearing orthotics and specialized shoes without maintaining proper exercise on the Intrinsic Muscles of the leg can hinder your feet's stability. For example, after wearing crutches for months after injuring your leg, you notice one leg is stronger than the other. This is because your crutches help assist your body with moving your legs without actually utilizing your leg muscles. Having flat feet is similar. If you have specialized tools, such as orthotics, that support your arches and replace the role of the intrinsic muscles in your feet, the intrinsic muscles in your feet will gradually weaken over time, which is why exercise is necessary to keep them working for your feet's stability. You can find exercises for the intrinsic muscles of your feet in the video above

         Not only are the intrinsic muscles necessary for stability, but the main muscle groups of your leg too! The mighty muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves all work intensely to keep your knees flexible and stable, but they can also fall victim to something called patellofemoral stress syndrome, or PESS. Commonly known as runner's knee, the kneecaps rub against the lower part of the femur, causing pain, which can result from the weakness of the muscles that help keep your kneecap in the correct position. In this blog, I spoke about how improper running form, caused by having flat feet, may put unnecessary stress on other parts of the leg, and having flat feet can exacerbate PESS. Although you may have strong muscles that keep the kneecap in its correct position, since your feet may angle when it touches the ground as you run, its altered impact puts stress on other parts of your leg that you may not know about. This is why it is so important to strengthen all the muscles surrounding your legs, to reduce the stress placed on your leg caused by potential weakness in the surrounding muscles and to correct your running form so your feet don't angle irregularly. You can find these exercises here.

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About Me

As a kid growing up with flat feet and countless trips to the podiatrist, I've seen it all. My name is Andrew Parakhoodi and I am a rising senior in a small school in Maryland who will be running Track and Cross Country for my fourth year during the 2023-2024 school year! Since I was ten years old, I have had prescribed insoles for my shoes and have had to grapple with having flat feet in various sports, such as soccer, basketball, ice skating, cross country, and track and field. This journey and the knowledge I have learned about my feet these past eight years is irreplaceable; from observing doctors and personal trainers, I have improved my own athletic ability and speed, and reduced the amount of soreness I experience from day to day. I hope to share this knowledge with you to hopefully reduce the pain in your lower limbs and to improve your athletic ability to be the Archless Athletes of tomorrow.

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