People have been walking barefoot as a way to let loose and get once with nature for centuries. It is a great technique to calm your achy feet down. However, the real question we are about to answer today is whether walking barefoot is good for flat feet!
What are flat feet?
Flat feet are usually developed when your feet have not developed fully or properly during your early childhood. While it is generally not a condition that hurts, over time, it can lead to issues.
Flat feet occur when the arches of your feet are completely or mostly flat. If this is your case, then your entire sole will be in direct contact with the ground at all times as you walk.
So, will walking barefoot help flat feet? Let’s find out in the coming paragraphs!
Is Going Barefoot Good for Flat Feet?
Many leading health experts and podiatrists have found that walking barefoot can be good for flat feet. Walking and running barefoot might aid in supporting and invigorating your arch muscles.
While the evidence is not overwhelming, there have been studies that prove walking barefoot may be good for flat feet. There has been one such study where they found that people who engaged in more barefoot activities had a real difference in the arches of their feet.
Although this study doesn’t conclusively work with individuals who had flat feet, it is a step in the right direction. While it also didn’t target people who were solely walking, it does provide much-needed insights into this issue. Other reports on whether walking barefoot is good for flat feet have been done on runners.
These studies have found that people who run with bare feet tend to have much less pronation in their arches overall. Since people who have flat feet get overpronation over time, going barefoot might be a good place to start their therapy. However, we also think that this all might be dependent on different factors such as the amount of overpronation or flat feet an individual has.
It would be unwise to disregard proper treatment such as wearing medicated and prescribed orthotics and shoes. Physical therapy is another important aspect to consider along with proper medical treatment via surgeries if necessary. Simply walking barefoot cannot fix your flat feet.
That being said, there are a few benefits to walking barefoot!
What are the Benefits of Walking Barefoot?
- Experts have found that when you walk barefoot for a while, it can help you align your feet with your body’s natural gait better.
- It also increases your control over the foot position as it hits the floor.
- It can also relieve you of body pain and also help increase body awareness.
While we have been talking about the positive side of walking barefoot, one can also wonder, can walking barefoot cause foot pain?
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Does Walking Barefoot Cause Flat Feet?
Fortunately, this is just a misconception that a lot of people hold. There is no reported evidence that walking barefoot will cause flat feet. On the contrary, since feet are very flexible parts, they can easily conform to the different landscapes and terrain you walk along when you are barefoot.
So, not walking barefoot will not cause flat feet since the most common reason is poor development as a child. However, as we will discuss further, it can cause foot pain due to several reasons.
What are Some of the Disadvantages of Walking Barefoot?
We have read that walking barefoot can work to correct a person’s natural gait which can ease the issues of overpronation. However, while the force is maintained, unfortunately, your feet will end up absorbing and taking the brunt of your walking or running activities.
All the pressure and force will go into your feet rather than the shoes. This can of course lead to serious problems with your feet and bones, especially if you have flat feet. If you have ever tried to walk across your garden with your kids and thought to yourself; my feet hurt when I walk barefoot. You should stop walking barefoot immediately.
If you don’t wear shoes, you might end up placing greater pressure on the heel, ligaments, and arch of your foot. If you do not give your feet the cushioning and support, they deserve, you might end up damaging the arch beyond repair. And getting left with serious conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Walking barefoot can also leave you vulnerable to bacteria and infections of all kinds. Ringworms for example can travel into the skin via bare feet. Other potential disadvantages of walking barefoot include getting cut.
So, what is the verdict about flat feet and walking barefoot? Let’s find out in our conclusion!
Therefore, in conclusion, to answer the question is walking barefoot good for flat feet. We believe that there is more evidence that points to walking barefoot dangers in comparison with the alternative.
You can walk barefoot for smaller periods to increase your foot perception or as a method to relax. However, the concrete and pathways we walk on in today’s day and age warrant protective footwear that can get us the support and cushioning that our feet need!
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