Not all shoes are created equal. Because of this, there may be times when you could notice discomfort—short or prolonged—depending on which shoes you’re wearing or how much walking you’ve done. While there may be several reasons for feet discomfort, here are 7 signs you may need arch support:
- Arch height – The primary factor that determines whether you need arch support is your arch height.
- High arches – High arches form a visible curvature when your feet are viewed from the side. The pressure and body weight gets shifted to the balls and heels of your feet causing pain in the muscles and tendons. Arch support balances out the weight and reduces uneven stress distribution.
- Flat feet – On the contrary, flat feet also need arch support in order to improve mobility, balance, and posture. When the arch is not pronounced enough or close to nonexistent, there may be stiffness, foot pain, and reduced mobility.
- Painful heels and balls of your feet – When in an upright position, your body weight gets distributed to your feet and without sufficient support, your heels and the balls of your feet deal with the impact of it all. Pain may range from stabbing pain to sensations of numbness depending on how long you’ve been on your feet.
This leads to the next sign you need arch support…
- Swollen feet – Your shoes are well-fitting, you didn’t lace them too tightly, you’ve broken them in, and you didn’t walk too much… but your feet are still swollen. This may mean that muscles in your feet are compensating for lack of arch support. You may not notice it throughout the day as your body reflexively adjusts to support each step you take, but at the end of the day, the effort on your feet muscles compounds thereby resulting in swollen and painful feet.
- Radiating pain – Without sufficient arch support, feet pain can and will radiate to other body parts. Chronic foot issues caused by the lack of arch support may result in pain that radiates to your ankles, calves, and even your lower back depending on the severity of your condition. The type of pain may range from swelling, stabbing pains, stiffness, and feelings of numbness.
- Active lifestyle – If you frequently walk or run, you will definitely feel pain in your feet if your shoes don’t offer enough arch support. When running in particular, it is imperative to have supportive shoes to reduce impact shock and cushion your feet from the pressure. Arch support also helps overall balance and reduces the risk of foot-related injuries.
- Type of shoes you frequently wear – As fashionable as a pair of heels are, they are one of the top factors why people experience foot pain. However, it is important to note that all types of shoes can contribute to foot pain if the shoe isn’t right for you. Even flats and sneakers can contribute to foot pain if they lack proper arch support.
- Body weight – Being overweight increases the risks of foot-related injuries. Thankfully, supportive shoes and arch support can help alleviate foot pain related to obesity. Excess weight that would put more pressure on your lower extremities will be reduced with arch support which in turn alleviates pain that may radiate to your ankles, legs, and lower back.
If your feet are showing warning signs, this can be easily remedied by using arch support – such as custom orthotics tailored specifically to you. By paying attention to the signs noted above and making the necessary lifestyle and footwear adjustments, you can be well on your way to significantly reducing foot pain caused by lack of support for your arches.