Always get the advice of your doctor before doing any exercise program, especially if you’ve had any preexisting conditions with your feet. This article is for informational purposes only.
There are numerous advantages that having flat feet can do to your body in which I will discuss shortly. But among them provides support and balance. It is also considered the foundation of the entire body. If your feet are strong, it will give you more stability and that you are able to perform well.
Some of the advantages that can occur with flat feet are shock absorption, balance, and stability. The mechanics of flat feet mean they roll inward naturally. This can help some people with jumping and running.
Are you still worried if you have flat feet? It’s natural to want to know why your or other people have flat feet. Although, if you are experiencing some pain in your feet after activities, then you might wonder if it’s your lack of an arch. In this article, we will examine the advantages of having flat feet and some causes.
Advantages Of Having Flat Feet
Don’t be disappointed if you have flat feet. In fact, you should turn this condition to your advantage. If you are active in sports or you love running, walking, hiking, and other activities that heavily involve your feet, having a flat foot may be an advantage.
- It Naturally Absorbs Shock – Because of the flat anatomical structure of the foot, it will naturally absorb the shock caused by jumping or running. Given that flat feet smoothly roll inward and take the shock effectively compared to high arched feet.
- Flat Feet Makes More Contact On The Ground – A flat-footed person is more likely to propel his body faster. It is because the flat feet naturally make contact on a surface providing more stability and support. This is very advantageous especially for runners than people with high arches on their feet.
- Having A Flat Feet Is Ideal For Swimmers – If you are a flat feet swimmer, don’t fret about it. Actually, having a flat feet condition will make you a better swimmer. Given that your foot’s shape is like a flipper which might make you swim faster.
- Provides Better Balance And Stability – This is good news for basket players and people who are into combat sports as well as strength training. Because having flat feet will give you better balance and stability. This means you can draw more force from the surface especially for kicking, weightlifting, and jumping allowing you to have a stable position.
Disadvantages Of Having Flat Feet
Of course, having flat feet does not mean you have perfect feet and that there are no disadvantages regarding this condition. While in reality, this foot type is a double-edged sword foot condition. There are both advantages and disadvantages.
- Prone To Back Pain – Because flat feet don’t have a higher shock to absorb shock, the weight of your body is transferred to your lower back. While it may not take into effect instantly, in the long run, you might develop back pain due to the overbearing on the lower back.
- Lacks Stability – With a flat feet condition, you are more likely unable to have a stable position more specifically when running or walking. It will also consume more energy.
- Choosing The Right Shoe Can Be A Chore – People with flat feet know this experience very well. And because of a flat feet condition, you can be meticulous with regards to comfort feel that has to cushion insole or arch correcting. That’s why choosing the right shoes can be a chore especially for running.
What Does It Mean To Have Flat Feet?
If people find it strange that you have flat feet you can always tell them that there are actually many benefits and it doesn’t will limit your abilities. It’s just an anatomical difference mainly due to genetics and race.
You can explain that some people develop it later in life because of muscle weakness, being overweight, or injury.
In fact, 80 percent of Asians (wsj.com) are flat-footed and have lower arch profiles compared to other races. Given that every person’s foot has its unique shape and design, it is also because of race that plays a major contribution in having a flat feet condition.
On a closer look, a person who has flat feet has a low arch or sometimes it has none. As a result, the soles of your feet completely touch the ground when you stand up. You can refer to the image below:
Flat feet are normal for infants and toddlers because their foot’s arch has yet to develop. It will later develop as a child grows. Some people have a chance to develop flat feet, but it depends on several factors.
How Do You Know If You Have A Flat Feet?
Fortunately, determining your feet if it is flat or high arched is so simple. Although most of the time, we don’t care about the type of foot we have and it is not something we think about regularly.
After all, why bother spending the time figuring the foot type you have when you are just used to it ever since you were born?
But finding out if your feet are flat, high arched, or normal should be taken into consideration especially if you are experiencing some pain. Because this will help you figure out the root cause.
This is why giving importance to figuring out your type of is useful especially when it comes to foot treatment. Knowing that you have flat feet and understand the flat feet pain will make sure you know how to deal with it.
The best way to know whether you have flat feet or not is to see a podiatrist. They will conduct a series of tests in examining your foot type. Commonly, you will undergo through wet footprint test (see wet footprint test at runnersworld.com).
Causes Of Flat Feet
Besides genetic factors, there are other causes of the flat fleet. It’s often connected to bones and tissues, particularly in the lower legs and feet. While it is normal for infants to have flat feet; for adults, it can pose certain problems.
Among the common causes of this condition are illness or injuries.
- Lifting Heavy Weights – Doing some of these increases the chances of having flat feet especially if you’re lifting heavy weights for a long period of time which can flatten your foot’s arch.
- Barefoot Running Or Walking – Same with lifting heavy weights, running or walking barefoot for a longer period of time can increase the risk of having a flat feet.
- Obesity – Due to the overweight of the body, your feet have the tendency to flatten the arch over time, especially if the obesity developed at a younger age.
I think that every foot type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Flat feet that you are naturally born with and develop into can benefit you in many ways. Those who have pain with flat feet may have developed it later in life.
So, are there any advantages to having flat feet? I think it depends on your circumstances, but it can be. Having flat feet may help in some situations, but if your feet hurt there are ways to help such as with shoe inserts that give you relief and comfort.
If you’re like the many people who don’t even think about their flat feet, I believe you can think of them as an advantage, not a disadvantage.
However, there are plenty of treatments available in case you feel some discomfort and pain in your feet.
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