For some reason (or perhaps no reason at all), many people, including much of the medical profession believe that we can only make the arches in our feet strong and healthy by supporting them, and not allowing them to flex and exercise. Which, if we followed that advice for other parts of our body, we would all be living in body casts!
Every human is born with flat feet. Arches do not develop until the feet are allowed to exercise!
But, we need some sort of mechanism to protect us from over-use and excess strains.
If you begin while truly barefoot, then you will have the advantage of being able to feel exactly, instantly, and emphatically when you are standing, walking, or running in a way that is not gentle (less strain and stress on the feet as well as the body). Before you begin running, learn to be gentle on your feet. Listen to your soles and your body. Pain is a message to change the way you are standing or moving.
Over time your foot arches should strengthen with exercise. As you build gradually and gently they may or may not become more arched, but that, we have discovered from many people with little or no foot arches, does not seem to be important. The important thing is that the foot is allowed to flex and exercise, and that the sole can feel all of the stresses and strains , so that we can eliminate those stresses and strains BEFORE causing long-term injury.
- Two year long case study demonstrating an increase in arch height from running in minimalist shoes
Posted in: Deformity?