Arches in the feet are necessary for distributing the bodyweight around the feet and legs. Plus, they also cause spring in the step, so they are supportive for walking. But some people lack these arches. This is called having flat feet and in this specific article you will get to know that Are Birkenstocks Good for Flat Feet Or Not?
Flat foot is a kind of medical malformation that people face when their feet lack a perfect arch. Medically, this condition is named fallen arches or pes planus. People may have a complete absence of the arch or a shallow arch making the feet unstable and very close to the ground.
The feet of the flat feet people roll to the inside while walking and standing. This condition is called over-pronation, and it makes the feet pointing outwards. 20-30% of persons in a population suffer from flat feet.
Birkenstocks are known to be suitable for flat feet. But to assess this, we should have an idea about flat feet. Thus, we can assess are birkenstocks good for flat feet?
Why Do People Get Flat Feet?
Flat feet are actually an abnormality with which people suffer from childhood. Because the arch develops during early childhood or infancy. The reason for flat feet is usually dislocated or broken bones. Any injury or damage may also cause harm to Posterior Tibial Tendon, thus causing fallen arches.
What Causes Flat Feet:
- Genetic defects cause flat feet, mostly in childhood.
- The feet of some people have week arches that diminish while walking. It is only visible while sitting.
- Injury to the foot or ankle may result in this.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Rupture, dysfunction, or damage of tendon of the posterior tibia
- Any muscle diseases or nervous system diseases, like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida, may cause flat feet.
- Sometimes the bones of feet fuse, a condition known as tarsal coalition, resulting in flat feet.
Flat Feet Disadvantages:
- Flat feet make it hard to walk.
- Flat feet cannot stand for long without getting tired.
- It is tough to run with flat feet.
- Flat feet cause ankle pain.
- It may cause shin splints and hammertoes.
- Due to flat feet, there can be uneven body weight distribution.
The military tends not to select people with flat feet because of these issues.
Body Weight and Flat Feet:
Due to the flat feet, the weight of the body is not evenly distributed around the legs. Thus it causes a problem in walking and maintains the balance of the body. People with flat feet often feel imbalance, fatigue, and breakdowns. They do not make good players as the body balance creates disturbances in playing and shifting.
Treatment for Flat Feet:
Flat Feet Exercises:
Podiatrists recommend several exercises to cure the problem of flat feet. Heel cord stretching is one of the exercises highly recommended for the cure of flat feet. It extends the Achilles’ tendon and muscles in the posterior calf, which causes rolling of the feet inward. To the exercise, face a wall and stretch your leg while placing your heel firmly on the ground. Now start bending your leg unless you feel the stretch in the back leg.
Another exercise is golf ball roll. One can easily do this exercise with the help of a golf ball and a chair.
Treatment for Flat Feet:
People who start experiencing symptoms must orient their legs in a way to prevent developing flat feet. People are advised to avoid strenuous activities and sports like football, basketball, tennis, or hockey. And in case if swelling starts in the feet, then use the ice to reduce it.
What Are Birkenstocks?
These are the shoes originating from Germany. They are a special kind of sandals manufactured by a German company. This brand makes clogs as well as these sandals which are famous for their shaped footbeds of cork. These footbeds consist of layers of jute and suede. These materials quickly adapt to the shape of the foot.
As we know this company is Germany-based Company. Thus a German named Johann Adam Birkenstock founded this company in 1774. Originally the idea was to prepare shoes that adapt to the foot shape of the wearer. They created the footbed in 1896.
They started selling these shoes across Europe by 1925. This company was introduced in America in 1966 by Margot Fraser. She has returned from a vacation to Germany and had become a fan of the shoes. But in the beginning, only health stores sold them, and by the 70s, they had become affiliated with hippies. But by this time, the company has gained fame for the comfort it offers.
Why Are Birkenstocks So Comfortable?
It is a widespread truth that Birkenstocks are famous for the comfort that they offer. But we wonder about the hidden secret that makes these shoes so comfortable. Let’s find the secret about their convenience.
The secret actually lies in the four layers laid during the making. These four layers are following:
- The layer which is the bottom-most is shock absorbent and textured.
- Above the bottom layer, there is a layer that regulates the moisture.
- And there is the same layer above the previously mentioned layer with the same function of moisture regulation.
- Then lies the layer of the famous cork footbed. It provides support as well as cushioning and insulation.
In the end, they give final touches with suede lining, which is quite soft. Plus, the company puts a lot of effort and detail into the design, ensuring the best quality. Also, this provides the highest level of comfort as well.
Fitting level of Birkenstock:
These sandals have straps that need to be tied. A question arises in the minds of the people that how they should be tied. They should keep these sandals at which level of fitting. Either a tight grip sandal or loose grip sandal it should be.
The company has designed it to be adjustable according to the preference of the wearer. The belt can be easily adjusted according to your preference. But we advise you to wear it with a loose grip; otherwise, that may cause discomfort.
Are Birkenstocks Good for Flat Feet?
Birkenstocks are perfect for supporting the arch of the foot. The toe finds a good grip in the toe bar and ensures proper health.
Benefits for Health:
- They offer good arch support.
- It stimulates a proper regulation of the blood.
- It evenly distributes the weight around the ankle.
- Offers better stability.
- It ensures the alignment of the legs and spine.
These all benefits make them suitable for people with normal feet but are they good for flat feet too?
Suitability for Flat Feet:
After reviewing both flat feet and Birkenstocks in detail, we can assess either these are good for flat feet or not. If you have started experiencing the symptoms of a fallen arch then these are suitable for curing that. They provide support to a fallen arch which is flexible too. They help your feet getting back their arch and shape.
But Birkenstocks are not a wise choice for people with rigid flat feet. They will not support the shape of your feet with rigid flat feet. You may feel discomfort and pain.
How to wear them?
Start loosening the belt and putting your feet on the footbed made up of cork unless your heel feels the heel cup. Now adjust the straps around your feet to the level you feel comfortable in. After buckling down your shoes, walk for few minutes to check either they are comfortable or not.
Few Tips for Comfort:
- Make sure while walking that your feet are not touching the end of the footbed.
- Always ensure the free movement of your feet while walking.
- To make your feet comfortable in the new Birkenstock, wear it for 30 minutes a day.
- If you feel comfortable wearing them, then wear them for a long time. If that is not the case, then cut down the time of wearing these.
- You can always wear them for a long walk. But never wear them for hiking because they do not support rough terrain. So it is better to wear them in a comfortable setting only.
Birkenstocks are a famous brand for their comfort level, but they support flat feet to an extent. They only support a flexible flat foot, but they are not good enough for rigid flat feet.