You may have come across the term ‘flat foot’ but aren’t too sure what it means. In this blog, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about what it means to have flat feet, and provide you with an insight into the best insoles on the market that are designed to counteract the issues that accompany this common ailment.
What are flat feet?
The condition of flat feet, which is scientifically known as pes planus or fallen arches, is a deformity in posture in which the arches of the foot collapse and the entire foot touches the ground. It’s generally nothing to worry about, as around 20%-30% of the population suffer from it – however, it can cause severe pain if left untreated.
On the whole, being ‘flat-footed’ is in the genes and can’t be avoided. But in the small minority of cases, it can occur as a result of tendon damage in the foot, an injury to the posterior tibial tendon in the lower leg, or as a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
If being flat-footed is causing you tremendous pain on a daily basis, it would be worth investing in fitted insoles that are custom-designed to relieve pressure on the arch of the foot.
What is the difference between standard insoles and orthotic insoles?
While standard insoles and orthotic insoles may seem extremely similar to you at first glance, they’re completely different in how they work. Here is all the information you need to know about the two so you can draw your own conclusion as to which option is best for flat feet.
Normal insoles can be found in pharmacies and shops and are typically made from soft gel material, plastic or foam. Although they’re designed to help with conditions including fallen arches, they provide very minimal cushioning which can then lead to further discomfort. Their main purpose is shock absorption; however, they also provide a better fit when it comes to shoes that are too large, as well as the ability to control foot odour.
Unfortunately, the material they are made from is far too weak to provide the necessary cushioning for flat feet. They’re also mass-produced and designed to suit the wider population, rather than achieve a personal fit for individual wearers. So, while they may slightly help, you’re still likely to experience persisting symptoms.
Orthotic insoles are very similar to standard insoles in appearance, but have a clear emphasis on providing the best fit thanks to their custom-made design.
Orthotics realign and support the ligaments and bones that have been affected by the flat foot. Thanks to their patentend unique padding, your feet will be much more likely to function normally, with the added benefit of pain and pressure relief around the arch of the foot for optimised comfort.
Like insoles, inner soles for flat feet support with cushioning the arch of the foot, but they do this much more effectively. Not only are they beneficial for aiding conditions such as flat foot, but can also improve posture. Although insoles for flat feet are a little more expensive than standard insoles, they have longer durability of 5 years (in comparison to just 6 months) which makes them a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to tackle the condition head-on.