Not infrequently, when someone takes a look at our Watelves Shoes, whomever I’m speaking with will say:“I wish I could wear barefoot shoes, but I can’t do that.“I have flat feet!”
Are barefoot shoes good for flat feet? Wearing barefoot shoes are good for flat feet.
Here’s what I mean: with flat feet means your arches are fallen, and your feet are pronated (In medical speak). So wearing barefoot shoes gives your feet a chance to function the way they were designed to be with no more ill effect that with normal shoes
In this article, I will go into it a lot more and tell you all you need to know.
WHAT ARE FLAT FEET
Simply put, having flat feet is a condition where the aches of your feet have fallen and touch the ground. This could be either hereditary or as a result of an injury. The easiest way to tell is as you stand upright, the entire arch of your foot touches the ground. In some cases, this means that the foot arch touches the ground all the way, in others, it is partially touching. A simple way to tell is to have a look at the footprint you leave behind when you step out of the shower. Do you leave a full imprint of your foot or a partial imprint? If you have left behind a full imprint, then you have flat feet. If you have partial, then you have partial flat feet and so on.
Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Flat Feet?
This is good news for those interested in barefoot-inspired (or “minimalist”) shoes, or even trying barefoot running.
One of the things about walking or running naturally, the way our ancestors did, with a bit of protection (like you get from barefoot shoes), or even in bare feet, is that you engage the muscles of your foot in a way you don’t in “traditional” shoes. That’s because “normal” shoes have thick soles with lots of support that limits the movements of your feet. Stiff arch support inserts limit motion even further.
What happens to muscles that don’t move? They get weaker, as a study of the effects of orthotics on foot muscles demonstrated.
The idea that going barefoot or wearing barefoot shoes helps develop foot strength isn’t just my speculation. A study by Dr. Sarah Ridge in 2019 found that merely walking in minimalist shoes strengthens foot muscles as much as doing a foot strengthening exercise program. (By the way, Dr. Ridge says you should get the same benefits wearing Xero Shoes as the shoes used in that study.)
Another study confirmed muscle gains with minimalist shoes and also noted increased arch stiffness.
How do I start?
If you haven’t been paying much attention to your feet, I assure you that will change now 🙂 Because our feet are extremely varied and their shape, length, width and volume have a key influence on the choice of the right shoe model.
1. Know your feet
Although barefoot shoe manufacturers try hard to make models that fit as wide a range of people as possible, not all barefoot shoes are suitable for all foot widths and shapes. What fits your friend may not necessarily fit you.
2. Measure your foot
Always measure your feet before ordering shoes. Have someone close to you help you take the measurements. Manufacturers use different ways of measuring shoes (there is no standardised method), but usually the internal length and width of the shoe are given in the size charts.
You can find out more about measuring your feet in our products pages.
3. Find a model that suits you
To start, I recommend choosing a shoe model that you wear most of the time (maybe sneakers or, in summer, sports sandals?) and gradually adding more barefoot models to your wardrobe. Don’t be too hasty to buy several pairs, as your feet may expand or you may get confused about the right amount of space in front of your toes.
4. Choosing the right size
As mentioned in the introduction, barefoot shoes are not sized according to our ‘normal shoe size’, but always by comparing the length and width of the foot with the values of the internal lengths and widths of the shoe in the manufacturer’s chart.
Sizes may vary between brands, so you won’t necessarily have the same shoe size in all brands.
If you still don't know how to choose your water shoes, come to chat with us, more personal service will be provided.