Having flat feet does not mean you are off the running squad. So the answer is yes, you can still run with flat feet. Our arches are fragile in supporting your weight with flat feet and hence cannot absorb shock. Having a flat foot can occur because of genetics, injuries to the foot or ankle, medical conditions like arthritis, muscular disorders, pregnancy, or even aging. You can still be a great long-distance runner with several intelligent choices, training, and equipment.
Why Flat Feet Can Be Bad for Running
Are you a runner who experiences pain and discomfort on your leg, knees, back, and hips? Ever wondered what causes much pain? There are two types of arches: flexible arch and rigid arch. If your foot has a rigid arch, it makes running complex as the arches cannot absorb shock; hence the much pressure you put on your feet is transferred to the muscles and bones over the feet and legs.
Secondly, with flat feet, your outer hedge of the heel touches the ground first, hence moving the ankle inward to the arch. Overpronation delays running as the arc moves first and adjusts to the weight. This, in turn, increases the stress and pressure on your feet.
How to Keep Running (Even with Flat Feet)
Having a flat foot means having a low or collapsed arch in the foot. Now that you know you can run, there is still some risk associated with it, there are some tips that you should follow:
Exercise More Often
If you prepare for that big race, ensure that you keep stretching your ankles and calves. After your run, too, try stretching them for at least a few minutes every day to keep them strong. Get advice from a health professional and how best you can run without hurting yourself. Do proper warmups before the start of the race.
Get the Right Kind of Footwear
Get the right kind of shoe that is comfortable enough for your runs. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a particular type of shoe if you can wear any kind and be comfortable while running. However, if your arches are too rigid, wearing a pair of stable shoes will help control your motion. Always ensure to replace them before they wear out, too, as they don’t provide you with the same stability over time. Talk to a physical therapist and get advice on the correct pair of shoes for your flat feet.
Need for Orthotics
Add custom orthotics to your soles to make your feet more comfortable. Orthotics support your arch preventing your feet from overpronating when you run. Different people will need various kinds of orthotics depending on their condition. Ensure that you choose the best that works out well for you.
Change of Terrain
If you are practicing and your feet are hurting, you don’t need to put much pressure on them, leaving you hurting. Train for a few minutes that your legs feel comfortable to handle. You can also choose a different route to cut mileage. Flat feet love flat terrain, so you must consider it before running.
Running on hard surfaces like concrete or pavements will put much pressure on your feet, causing injuries. Running on soft surfaces like a grass field or a running track will ensure your feet are relaxed and there is no risk to it.
Learn the Correct Running Technique
It would be best to get advice from a physical therapist on which part of your foot lands first while running. Learn which type of running is the best for you compared to the foot type. A good physical therapist will advise you accordingly.
Don’t Ignore Pain
The most important lesson when it comes to running with flat feet, or really any kind of activity causing foot and ankle discomfort? Don’t wait to get help.
For one, the pain that keeps you from doing what you love should always be addressed as quickly as possible.
Two, stubbornly running through pain anyway will only cause more pain and increase your risk of a serious injury.
And three, there is a great chance that we will be able to help you, usually with proactive and conservative care options.