Are Barefoot Shoes Good For Flat Feet?

Are Barefoot Shoes Good For Flat Feet?

Probably the #1 asked question in regards to barefoot shoes..."are barefoot shoes good for people with flat feet?" Ah yes, the "dreaded" flat foot. People have been lead for many years to believe it's a bad thing to have a flat foot. So first, let's clear that up..

What your foot visually looks like is not important. The height of the arch of the foot gives no indication of the foot's strength and function. A foot that visually looks flat is no point of concern. It's when that foot is unable to change positions within the gait cycle that people can start to experience issues. We want a dynamic foot that can change positions.

Now, if that's you, let's look at the traditional ways flat feet are treated: slap a pair of inserts in the shoe and send you on your wear in your shoes probably until the end of time. Usually when a flat foot has become dysfunctional it means there's underlying weakness that needs to be built back up. The issue is that an insert/orthotic will only further weaken the foot as it takes the job of the musculature to support the foot.

All of this considered, a barefoot shoe can be beneficial for someone with a flat foot because it increases the strength demands put on the foot rather than relying on an insert. However, it is always beneficial to seek out a gait specialist to evaluate your specific needs because often the dysfunction has been going on for a while and may require corrective exercises. 

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