Good Walking or Workout Shoes for Flat-Footed People

Good Walking or Workout Shoes for Flat-Footed People

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Choose workout shoes with motion control for flat feet.

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The arches in your feet -- formed through a special alignment of the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons -- help support and distribute your weight. If you have flat feet or low arches and experience achy feet, shins splints or sore calf muscles when you walk or do another form of workout, it might be time to take a second look at the type of shoes you are wearing. Flat-footed people require less cushioning in their workout shoe and need more support in the mid-foot.


If walking is your preferred type of workout, your feet need to adapt to the type of surface you walk on. The shoes you wear should be designed specifically for walking. Walking shoes are lightweight and provide shock absorption if you're walking on hard surfaces. Choose a walking shoe that has a wide heel base for lateral support and stiff rubber in the heel for support. A snug fit in the heel is important as is finding a walking shoe that is comfortable in the forefoot. With flat arches, you need a walking shoe with motion control that helps stabilize your foot.


If you enjoy running or jogging as a workout, buy shoes that are designed specifically for the forward movement of running, says the American Council on Exercise. Running shoes are lightweight, have a narrow heel base and have cushioning in the forefoot. If you have flat feet, choose running shoes with support for motion control. With flat feet, you'll need less cushioning than someone with high arches.


If you are participating in other activities such as aerobics or racquetball, your workout shoes need to be different than the shoes you wear for walking or running. Choose training shoes -- formally called "cross-trainers" -- that are designed to provide protection for a variety of different workouts. Training shoes give stability for your feet and ankles, have cushioning and allow for side-to-side movements. For other sports such as basketball, wear shoes that are designed for that type specialized activity. For example, high top basketball shoes protect your ankles from sprains. Regardless of the activity, look for shoes that give you maximum support for your flat arches.


The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends you become familiar with the structural needs of your feet and suggests finding the style of shoe that feels best for you. The shoe that feels best for your walking buddy may not feel right for you. Work with a professional at a shoe store to be fitted properly for shoes. In addition to your flat arches, your gait and range of motion will determine the shoe style that's best for you. Once you find a pair of shoes that feels good, keep track of how many miles or how long you've worked out in them. After 300 to 500 miles of walking or running -- the equivalent of 60 to 100 hours of being on your feet -- the support and cushioning start to break down in your shoes. That means it's time to replace them, even if they still look to be in good shape.