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In this article, we delve into whether minimalist shoes are good for flat feet find a better footing. Here we have collected different reviews about that minimalist shoes are good for flat feet
Are minimalist shoe is good for flat feet
Gone are the days when footwear was a simple utility or a shallow fashion statement. Whether you’re an athlete, someone that likes to get their ten thousand steps in every day, or just a regular Joe that would like to get as close to living the metaphor of walking on clouds as possible, you have considered buying shoes customized to meet your needs. so lets find out that are minimalist is good for flat feet.
Do you have flat feet?
Before we make recommendations, let’s find out whether you have flat feet or not.
Let us deduce the pronation of your foot, precisely.
Do you remember watching an animation of a suspiciously over clad detective with a magnifying glass in hand, following a set of precise footprints that, no doubt, lead him right to the suspect? Do you remember how those footprints were drawn?
The shape is slightly concave on one side and deeply so on the other.
There is a gap between the heel and the ball of the foot. That is the footprint of a normally arched foot.
Take a look at your soles. If the arch feels caved in, or if your heel seems tilted towards your outstep, you have a high arch. If your arch seems to be at roughly the same level as your toes,
you have flat feet. In this condition, your foot is solidly on the ground. That is to say, if you stepped into a puddle of water barefoot and took a step onto concrete ground, you would leave behind a more or less symmetrical footprint with no gap between the heel and ball of the foot.
Try it yourself! Next time you shower, place your wet feet on the dry ground and examine your footprint.
The medical reason behind flat feet is that your muscles and tendons, which work together to form the arch of the foot, are too lose to support the bones of the feet. This is mostly genetic but could be due to an injury in some cases.
Do flat feet require treatment?
People with flat feet have concerns about overpronation, which means overly flattening your foot.
The accepted approach has been to encourage an arch so the outer edge of your heel doesn’t hit the ground first.
In fact, if you search for ‘flat feet shoes’ on Amazon.com, the top results are orthotic inserts, which claim to provide pain and pressure relief for the heels, ankles, and knees.
They supposedly work for all kinds of feet and all kinds of shoes. And there’s more! They claim to prevent odor too. It seems like a pretty sweet deal.
Doctors up the game with custom orthotic inserts that gain them commissions. However, like with all industries and issues, the informed and affected have spoken about their preference for a more natural approach.
The solution — minimalist shoes.
Product name: XIANV Men Women Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes Gym Walking Lightweight Hiking Beach Water Shoes Athletic Slip-On Shoes
Are minimalist shoes the right option for you?
The top-rated minimalist shoes on Amazon make only modest claims about having zero sole drop and emulate the experience of being barefoot.
They do not specifically promise to treat flat feet. But in this case, the five-star rating suggests that less is more.
The lightweight means lesser strain on the legs and easier exercise experience. But are these shoes a remedy for all foot problems, particularly flat feet?
One must also question the accepted method of treatment. Do podiatrist-recommended orthotic inserts cause the muscles to atrophy further and worsen one’s situation?
Is it like when wearing a wig all day, every day, which aggravates hair loss? Should you be treating the symptom or the root of the problem by strengthening your arch muscles as much as possible?
The answers to these will vary from case to case, and on personal preference. If your flat feet do not cause you pain, what reason could there be to push your arch up?
Hit the ground bare in movement, but protected with rubber, and make your mark in the green and grey wilds, a mark admittedly bigger than the neutral pronator.
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What do the people say?
Let’s take a look at some personal accounts.
Reddit user crazymusicman recommends Vibram Fivefingers.
“Sorry, no research to back this up, just personal experience. I used to have flat feet, then I started running barefoot and in VFFs , and now I don’t have flat feet.
Shock absorption and flat feet can both be solved in one fell swoop by running properly.
the achilles tendon and the muscles of the bottom of the foot are the main muscles used to handle the impact of each step. Over time these muscles strengthen and change shape into the arch of the foot.”
“You are the technology when you engage the motion of bare feet with the ultimate training shoe from Vibram,” says Vibram’s company website.
The brand describes Fivefingers as having highly durable, flexible Vibram soles that contour to the shape of the natural human foot while offering the protection and grip for optimal all-around performance. The minimalist shoes stay grounded while hiking, trekking, working out, bouldering, running, and indoor or outdoor adventures.
Product name: Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe
Another reddit user, madwerrwoulf, goes into detail about their journey of finding the perfect footwear.
“I transitioned from ”regular” running shoes to minimalists, and I have completely flat feet. I was running in a pair of Asics Nimbus before. The first thing I did was work on my form in the Asics. I went from a solid heel strike to a midfoot/forefoot strike.
After about 300miles in the Asics, I bought a pair of Brooks PureConnect. These aren’t totally barefoot shoes but have a lower heel-to-toe drop, something like 5mm compared to 12mm for the Asics.
For a while I alternated between the two, using the Brooks for shorter runs and eventually discarded the Asics when I hit about 500miles on them.
Then, again when I hit about 300miles on the Brooks, I got a pair of Merrell Barefoot Run Bare Access. These have a 0mm drop but still offer a bit more cushioning than most minimalist shoes.
Same as with the Asics/Brooks, I alternated the Brooks and Merrells building up my mileage on the Merrells.
Right now I run exclusively on the Merrells, and will probably transition to the Road Glove next time. I average about 25-30 miles a week and my longer run is about 8-10 miles.
The whole transition too me just under a year, and I never had any major injuries along the way. Nothing that even kept me for running for more than a few days.
I’ve heard anecdotal accounts of people actually developing arches when they start running minimalist but sadly that did not happen to me. My feet are as flat as ever :)”
So, you see, it will take walking a mile in your new shoes to know if they are the right fit.
Product name: Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe
Reddit user, clawbber, has tried orthotics ranging from $50 pairs at Walmart to a $600 custom pair, but none have helped.
“I want to try wearing minimalist / “barefoot” shoes or sandals, but most seem very narrow. I mainly want these for trail running and road running.
Can anyone with experience please point me towards a good pair of shoes or sandals that will fit me well?”
The response with the highest points comes from GoNorthYoungMan, who suggests prioritizing comfort and keeping a focus on getting all the joints moving correctly for a while before introducing the more demanding footwear.
“If you get your midfoot, ankle, tibia, and hips working right – it won’t matter what shoes you wear, your feet will get stronger because you’ll be walking and running with correct gait
mechanics. And that’s more important for you than others, because minimal shoes will put more demands on your body.
I can’t recommend minimal shoes with joint movement thats not all that great, as you may risk injury to some other part of your body that will get overloaded – usually the feet, knees or back. That often occurs a few months up to a year or two later….and almost everyone has bad joint range.
Consider looking into functional range conditioning, or kinstretch. These are techniques specifically designed to improve the end range movement of your joints.
If your knee wasn’t working right, you’d expect problems – but somehow its ok for the tibia, midfoot, hips to not work ok?! When was the last time you evaluated hip joint range, much less worked on it? Or tibia or midfoot?”
They recommend tapering into the usage of minimalist shoes.
“I tapered into them, 10 mins at a time, and it took about 6 months before I could wear them all day just around the office/home, and even then was sore.
And then another year before I could hike 6+ miles, and another year to run 2-3 miles.
It took years to get where you are, be realistic about how long it will take to unwind the way your body works.
Based on what works for my foot style, I’d suggest Soft Star (street sole), Freets, or Vivo Primus Trail FG. Other Vivos may be more demanding, and a good choice for later on.”
Reasons not to wear minimalist shoes
Others have expressed a dislike for some brands that include the toes in the design of the minimalist shoes, some for aesthetic reasons and others, because they may not be considered closed-toe by gyms with strict dress codes.
Flipflops are a staple of life all over the world. This is a clear indication that we prefer only protection from gravel, grit and the like when relaxing.
But did you know that artisan-made footwear is still popular in third world countries, for routine walking, trekking and running?
Top athletes from these countries are known to have trained barefoot.
You need not worry about being an outlier by donning minimalist shoes. You won’t stand out, and if you do, at least you will definitely stand more comfortably.
But chances are, if you’re paying a foot doctor a visit, it is not for cosmetic reasons.
Not a lot of people worry about the look of their feet, barring some foot-obsessed outliers that we have no business discussing on a website dedicated to shoes. Or do we? Let’s ponder that another day.
If you’re experiencing pain, then your tendons are torn at worst, and weakened at best. Going trekking in your minimalist shoes will be akin to someone exercising a torn muscle or fracture with repetitive motion to help it heal by ‘strengthening it’. We do not recommend masochistic rubbing of salt into wounds by ignoring your doctor’s advice.
Listen to your doctor
Whether it is icing your foot, following through on physical therapy, diligently doing your recommended stretches and exercises, or in some severe cases, surgical intervention, it should only be supplemented and not replaced with lifestyle hacks, which is what minimalist shoes are.
Once you are confident that your flat feet are not a medical concern in danger of causing or worsening your pain, the choice to ponder is one of lifestyle and aesthetics.
There is no pressure to wear only minimalist shoes if you have flat feet.
You can rock those brogues, oxfords, and stilettoes just as comfortably as the next person, or well, as comfortably as anyone can be in stilettoes.