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First of all, it is important to understand what is actually meant by “flat feet” and can walking barefoot help flat feet. stick to this article for the next few moments and you will be cleared about can walking barefoot help flat feet. Also some valuable points are mentioned below of walking barefoot which will surely help your flat feet.
Flat feet is the condition in which toes of a person does not develop proper arches in their feet.
Their feet seems to be flat, which means whole feet touches the plain ground and there is not even little gap between ground and feet.
Also, it may occur that a proper feet converts into flat feet over a period of time.
The statistics show that 8 percent of U.S. adults ages 21 and older (about 18 million people) have the condition.
Another 4 percent, or about 8 million U.S. adults, have fallen arches.
This data is driven from 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted by the NPD Group for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. It means there are lots of people suffering from this condition.
-This condition is normal in newborn babies, toddlers:
Flat feet are normal in a toddler; as they get older the tendons in the foot strengthen and tighten to form the medial longitudinal arch, often by the age of three to six.
Some never fully develop this arch in the foot, most often due to poor footwear, so they develop FFF.
A childhood disease or injury could result in RFF.
When they walk they will quietly land and roll off their foot and when they run they will naturally land mid or forefoot, efficiently dispersing shock and generating power, strength, and balance.
There may be various reasons for this ‘flat feet’.
Some of them are like: –
1. hereditary issues
2. always wearing shoes which do not have proper arc support
3. no proper time given to walking from childhood, when babies wear shoes their feet may not develop correctly
4. loosening of feet muscles
5. weakening of feet muscles with aging
6. Weakened foot muscles due to obesity
7. Wearing heels, sandals for most of the time
8. Injuries to the muscles that support the arches
9. Unwanted pressurize the feet for long periods
How can one overcome from the problem of flat feet by walking barefoot?
- To overcome flat feet and develop proper arches it is very important to take proper care from the causes which can lead to flat feet stated above.
- Many studies suggest that walking barefoot, that is without wearing any shoes or slip-ons may help to overcome from flat feet issue.
- Therefore going barefoot occasionally when it is possible to do so will indeed be exercising the muscles in his feet a little more by doing so, and, in time, that may lead to an improvement in the ‘severity’ of your flat feet.
- Whenever walking in home, garden make it sure you are barefoot.
- When in-home – Kicking off your shoes, and keeping them off, when you get home at night is a good idea for more than just the health of your flat feet.
- Letting your feet ‘breathe’ and yes, exercising those foot muscles a little – making sure that you – and everyone else – removes their shoes when indoors will extend the life and the good looks of your flooring as well.
- Standing and walking barefoot are two easy ways to start treating flat feet naturally.
- Balancing on one leg and light jumping while barefoot will further progress the normal development of the foot.
- Running while barefoot is the ultimate way to naturally and most effectively strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the lower leg and foot.
At least 5 minutes walking is necessary for improving arches in flat feet.
This is a great foot muscle builder and actually specifically targets strengthening the arch area muscles, so it may indeed really help improve the condition of your flat feet.
Barefoot running people may also tend to adopt a different running style than when wearing shoes.
Barefoot runners often land towards the front of the foot–referred to as a forefoot strike or midfoot strike.
if not interested in walking barefoot then you can try minimalist shoes that are helpful for flatfeet.
Also Read: Are Birkenstocks Good for flat feet?
One can prefer the given ways to walk for flat feet improvement:
1. Toe Spreads – Starting in any position – sitting, standing or even lying down – starting with bare feet, ‘fan’ your toes out as wide as you can, separating them from each other as much as possible.
Hold the pose for ten seconds, relax your feet and then repeat nine times more for each foot on a daily basis.
2. Toe Points – Again, starting with bare feet, consciously choose an object in your line of vision and, from a sitting or standing position – point your toe at it.
Flex your foot as you do so and hold the pose for ten seconds. Repeat ten times daily for each foot.
3. Tippy Toe Walking – This one does look a little strange, so is perhaps best practiced when home and alone.
4. With a forefoot or midfoot strike– The front of the foot touches down before the heel.
This puts greater demands on the foot and lower leg muscles that, over time, may result in a better arch shape.
For people who go to work outside:
A person who is busy working outside home is very much necessary to wear a good shoe which supports barefoot and helps to overcome this condition.
For those suffering from flat feet spending their day in pain or being unable to participate in everyday physical and sporting activities due to the foot pain – or even other injuries – it may cause without the proper supportive footwear is counterproductive.
A good supportive footwear – or supportive insoles – have helped you in the past you should almost certainly continue to wear them, ensuring that they fit properly and comfortably of course.
If you suspect you have flat feet and wanted to try to see if supportive shoes for flat feet might help you in terms of pain relief and injury prevention go ahead and find out.
The shoe should not have a significant, or any, heel to toe drop, there should be little to no cushion or padding in the sole, and the shoe should not be rigid anywhere – it should bend throughout the shoe and in any direction.
The shoe should also be wide at the toe box allowing the toes to naturally splay apart.
Benefits of barefoot walking/running :
Several reasons have been put forth for how barefoot running might increase the height of the arch.
When the foot is free from the enclosure of a shoe, it’s thought that the muscles in the foot get stronger. Stronger intrinsic foot muscles may result in a better arch shape.
The most straight forward benefit to barefoot walking is that in theory, walking barefoot more closely restores our ‘natural’ walking pattern, also known as our gait.
1.Better control of your foot position when it strikes the ground
2. Improvements in balance, proprioception, and body awareness, which can help with pain relief
3. Better foot mechanics, which can lead to improved mechanics
4. Maintaining an appropriate range of motion in your foot and ankle joints as well as adequate strength and stability within your muscles and ligaments
5. relief from improperly fitting shoes, which may cause bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities
6. stronger leg muscles, which support the lower back region
Walking barefoot is only good when you are inside your home. Otherwise one may lead to many dangerous conditions where being barefoot may result in injuries.
One should also consider the surface being walked on.
While it may be more natural to walk or exercise barefoot, without additional padding from shoes, you are susceptible to injury from the terrain (like rough or wet surfaces or issues with temperature, glass, or other sharp objects on the ground).
Things to be kept in mind while walking/running barefoot for people with flat feet:-
1. It should be practiced on a safe surface. Rough surface may harm the feet.
2. Minimalist shoes like soft pads shall be considered. One can choose them from the shoes suggested above in the footwear section above.
3. Starting slowly is very important. Otherwise, it may cause pain in the flat feet.
4. Walking shall be tried indoors.
5. Not only walking or running can be done barefoot. There are several activities like yoga, pilates, martial arts, etc. which can be done barefoot.
6. Experiment with balance exercises. Misiura recommends you start with simple balance exercises like standing on one foot or pressing yourself up onto your toes and lowering down slowly.
7. Every day examine the bottom of your feet for injury, as many have reduced sensation in their feet.
8. Proper therapies can be referred to whenever any severe pain or anything different occurs.
Going barefoot while walking and exercising have some benefits, as long as you follow the safety precautions and participate in moderation. And if going outside a proper kind of footwear shall be used to improve the flat feet condition.