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Our Foot Care Blog

An ongoing series of informative foot health articles

Tips on How to Pick Shoes for Flat Feet

April  2021

Flat feet are one of the most common foot ailments, but there are plenty of options to help reduce pain and make living with flat feet easier. One of the best things you can do to reduce pain is choosing a shoe that lifts and supports your arches, especially if you spend much of your day on your feet.


Remember that by definition if you have flat feet your arches roll inward, causing over pronation. This makes it difficult for your arches to absorb the shock of everyday movement, leading to added stress throughout the body––but especially your feet, ankles and knees––which could lead to long-term health problems. Choosing the right shoe that provides support to your entire foot and arches can easily remedy the problem and reduce the chances of further damage down the road.


While people often think of orthotics as ugly, clunky shoes, there are plenty of modern options today ranging from sneakers, to boots and yes, even heels offering orthotic support. If you need expert advice, the professionals at Oakville Hospital Footcare and Orthotic Centre are ready to give your feet the care they deserve. With over thirty years of experience, they remain the top provider of foot care services in Oakville, Ontario and are the professionals you can trust.

Here are some smart tips and tricks on how to choose the perfect shoe for flat feet, without ever having to sacrificing on style:


Observe the arch support

There are plenty of casual to dressy options that may work for flat feet. The number one thing to consider is the arch support insoles. The arch should be well-defined and firm, along with a well-padded heel counter. Another thing to consider, is the insole completely removable? This may be a great option for someone with custom orthotics or even an over-the-counter orthotic insole. If you have a custom orthotic, we recommend bringing it with you while shoe shopping to test how comfortably it sits within the shoe.


Try a Stability Running Shoe

This is an ideal option for avid runners and everyday wear. Stability running shoes are built to provide firm arch support, which helps promote ankle strengthening and rolling of the foot––leading to far less pronation than the average sneaker. The upper section of the running shoe often comes in a soft, synthetic fabric that will mold to your foot with time and provides some extra padding for any foot abnormalities that may come with flat feet, like bunions. While they sound heavy duty, they are typically lightweight and stylish, available in an array of colours for any and all occasions.


Look for Orthopedic Specific Shoe

While these may not be the prettiest shoe in your closet, sometimes nothing will compare to the comfort and stability of a fully orthopedic shoe. These differ in that they offer steel shanks and an extra hard heel bed for ultimate support of the arch. For those with flat feet, these can be slightly uncomfortable at first, as you may not be used to the full support of your arch––but after a short while nothing will compare. This type of shoe is especially ideal if you spend most of your day on your feet, or will be walking through more strenuous environments.


Avoid Sandals with “Arch Support”

Sandals can be great for around the house, but those with fleet feet should ultimately avoid sandals as much as possible. While there are plenty advertised as sandals with arch support, the reality is that nothing works as great as an enclosed shoe with overall foot stability. The shoe needs a backing and sometimes lacing in order to keep the foot properly inline and releasing the pressure on your knees. If you still want to wear sandals, be sure to wear them for short spurts of time to ensure your arches feel supported enough and change if you feel any pain.


To chat with an experienced staff member or Chiropodist, visit oakvillehospitalfootcare.ca or call us at (905) 618-0162.


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