How To Choose The Best Orthotics For Flat Feet 2016

Flat foot is one condition. Studies find that only about 10% people in this world have neutral or normal feet that do not need any support or special care to maintain its shape when carrying body weight. People suffering from flat feet need to be extra careful when buying shoes.

They should actually look out for orthotics or orthoses or foot insoles or footbeds within the footwear to hold the feet’s natural structure. Feet being the foundation of the entire skeleton, support the entire body.

Currently, these insoles are the best cure for flat feet and they provide arch support for flat feet. They do not hurt the users. Also, users may wear their finest shoes or boots or sandals using orthotics without any hassle or worries. They are available in a variety of features, materials and cost also varies alongwith features and quality. Generally, they are cheap and do not cost a bomb. There are a number of benefits of orthotics which we shall delve into.

Who need Orthotics?

Most of us do not have perfect feet, so there is greater probability that we do require one. First of all, we have to determine the kind of foot that we have and then figure out the type of attention it requires, if any.

There are various forms of flat feet which we are reviewing ahead and mentioned as under:

  • Pronation or Pronated Feet:

Pronation is the most widespread of all foot structural problems. A pronated foot is simply a foot that has a falling arch. It is mistakenly called flat foot; mistakenly as the foot is not straight flat it simply flattens out when carrying weight. In majority of cases, the foot appears flat as the leg is rotated towards the inside, in effect causing the foot to also roll on the inside and causing the arch to collapse. It can be due to an unstable heel that rolls to the inside. It can also be due to a few tight that pull the front of the foot towards the inside. Sometimes, a few nerves are not functioning correctly and make some muscles weak.

Read more: How to fix flat feet?

However, the end result is that such deformity may cause aggravated problems such as misalignment of foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and also the back. For athletes, runners, basketball players and sports enthusiasts, this implies probable long-term injuries and probable atypical wear and tear of joint surfaces and surroundings.

For testing for pronation of feet, perform this swift test:

Raise the bare foot and look beneath to observe if there is an arch. If there is no arch, it means that the feet are feet. If there is an arch, put the foot down upon the ground and slowly transfer the entire weight on that foot. Is the arch still visible or does the foot go flat or flatter on the surface? If the foot does go flat, there exists a pronated feet.

  • Flat Feet:

Flat foot is a condition in which the inside arches of the foot is flattened or in simple words, the complete foot sole touches the ground while standing. Flat foot is also known as fallen arches or pronation of feet or per-planovalgus or pes-planus. This condition can happen in a single foot or both feet of an individual. An estimated 20 – 30% of the population suffers from this condition.

It is a natural and pain-free phenomenon during upbringing where the foot arch does not build-up. Usually, if a mother has flat feet, there probability of having flat feet in children increases. Sometime, it is also caused aged wear and tear and sometimes from injuries. If not treated on time, flat foot condition may worsen and create extra problems with knees and ankles as they modify the legs alignment. If the sufferer is not having aches, he can avoid treatment. Flat feet result in a very large number of cases of ankle and knee pain.

An effective way to cure this is by using orthotics for flat feet.

  • Supinated Feet:

Supinated feet are not as simple to locate and diagnose. Generally, the arch is very well defined. When the user walks a few steps barefooted, she feels as if she is walking on the external border of your foot. His running shoes or boots will be worn out on the outer side of the sole. This will show that he has supinated feet. Further even if the heel counter is deformed and leaned to the outside, then this is a sign of supinated feet.

  • High Arch:

A few persons have a high arch. When they place their foot on a surface, the middle part of the foot has no contact with the floor. The person needs to check his footprint on sand or simply making feet wet and placing them on dry floor. If the entire middle portion of the footprint is missing, it indicates a High Arch or Pes Cavus.

  • Neutral or Normal Foot:

Neutral of normal foot looks similar with arch irrespective of whether the foot is in air or placed down on the ground. Even the foot-prints appear normal. The sole wears down starting from the centre or on the outside of the heel and gradually moves to the centre of the foot, or slightly to the inside.

There are certain other foot conditions that need to be mentioned in this article due to their widespread impact nowadays:

1. Bunion:

A bunion is a sore enlargement caused by big toe joint swelling. Sometimes, surgery is required to rectify severe bunions. Wearing orthotic insoles and well-fitting shoes reduce progression of bunions and mitigate discomfort. Cushioning helps alleviate discomfort further. People having bunions must wear shoes having wide toe box so that the toes are not crowded.

2. Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis is the ache and inflammation of the plantar fascia (connective tissue across the bottom of the foot, from the base of the toes to the heel). It arises due to an abrupt severe increase in mileage without use of correct arch support or damaged shoes. At times, pain can also arise due to tight calves. Utilizing orthotic inserts or insoles designed for added arch support and a supplementary exercise program

One can solve the problems of bunions and plantar fasciitis with the help of orthotic insoles or inserts.

Even normal footed persons may get some relief with off-the-shelf insoles or orthotics insoles. These insoles provide additional support to parts of the sole such as heel when trail running on rocky surface.

In case person has pronated or supinated feet, the misalignment implies that certain joint surfaces do not have a perfect match. Over time, this can result in early degeneration of particular joint surfaces, also known as osteoarthritis. This problem can be solved using orthotics for flat feet. Best custom fit orthotics does assist to restore alignment.

Persons having real flat feet are very lucky as they do not need any additional support. The entire foot surface comes in contact with the ground surface providing superb support.

Persons having high arch foot do not have misalignment of feet. Their difficulty is that they get no support from shoes and also from over-the-counter orthotics. The arch is very high even if insoles are provided within the shoe. These people might encounter foot fatigue problems or an overstretched soft tissue that agonizes. Also, these people may get early osteoarthritis in the centre of the foot due to the overhanging bones. Customized orthotics does assist for high arch feet.

All feet specialists advise use of getting appropriate footwear. After buying good shoes, if one does not sense improvement in two weeks, she must consider orthotics or shoe inserts – off-the-shelf or custom made as per the health specialist’s recommendation.

Even if one does not suffer from any pain or chronic injury, correct footwear and support is still essential. It ensures healthy feet and good posture for long periods of time.

Whom should one see?

People can refer their family physician or any specialist such as physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc. They will determine whether one requires orthotics. In that case, one should subsequently consult a foot specialist (podiatrist, certified pedorthist, orthotist) to locate the exact cause of the problem and determination of the solution. They may recommend orthotic devices or insoles alongwith suitable exercises for flat feet.

What types of Insoles are available?

1. Comfort Insoles

People who sense tired feet and pain from walking or standing on hard surfaces for prolonged time periods may get relief from shock-absorbing, comfortable insoles.

These can be shaped or flat and may be constructed using foam or gel for flexible feel. They come in options of ¾ length, full length and heel or arch inserts. In case a comfort insole fails to provide relief, your foot needs firmer support and user must shift to support style insole.

2. Support (or “Sport”) Insoles

Support insoles or sport insoles are constructed using a harder material for structural stability and support. Comfort come from enhanced stability and not as much from direct cushioning.

Supportive insoles are best for the following conditions:

  1. Structural misalignment: Structural misalignment not only causes foot pain but also discomfort in the ankles, knees hip, back, neck or head.
  2. Plantar fasciitis:Doctors routinely recommend using supportive insole due to the painful condition caused from tears in the plantar fascia.
  3. Supination or over-pronation:Support insoles restrain feet tendency to supinate (roll out) or overpronate (excessive rolling in) when running with support insoles or walking.

Though they are not custom fit, support insoles come in different profiles and editions to go with majority of foot shapes or footwear types.

Insole Volume

Insoles can alter footwear volume – the internal space within the shoe.

High-volume insoles are ideal for high-volume shoes such as hiking boots, running shoes and ski boots.

Low-volume insoles go well with low-volume shoes such as a cycling or casual shoes, ski skate boots and in-line skate boots.

There are a number of great orthotic insoles available from reputed companies such as Dr Scholl’s, Lynco, New Balance, Superfeet and Walkfit. Also, the insoles by Samurai insoles have superb quality and are quite popular nowadays. They are available in a wide range of features, quality and prices. Some are available for extremely cheap prices. Options are also available for wide feet. They are very helpful to mitigate problems caused due to flat feet and pronation. A few good reviews are also available on the web. You must understand your own requirement and study various reviews and then decide what is the best orthotics for flat feet?

Where to buy best Insoles for flat feet?

Foot Insoles are great for better foot experience while doing daily activities, sports and work. They are worth their price and grant good value for money. Check them out, find out how much are the different prices and select the correct one best suited for you. Your joints and feet will remain in perfect health. Give respect to your feet and legs as they support you along your entire life.

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