Finding Comfortable Shoes Can Be Difficult With Flat Feet
Rethinking What Shoes Work for my Flat Feet
Shoes and I have an interesting relationship. I’ve said before that I seem to be much more susceptible to blisters, but my flat feet are a different issue.
Like many people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), I’ve always had flat feet. That was one of the many things doctors noticed about me growing up, but they didn’t put it all together until my diagnosis at 22. Other signs included excessive bruising, easy injury, and gastrointestinal issues.
When I was younger, athletic trainers and doctors sometimes told me that because my feet were so flat, I should wear arch supports in my shoes. They hoped that this might help my back, neck, and shoulder pain. I tried that, but rather than helping, it caused intense pain and cramping in my feet. Not to mention the fact that it did nothing to help my other pain, which I now know had nothing to do with my flat feet, but was rather a symptom of my EDS.
I quickly ditched the arch support and went with the most comfortable shoes, which generally have minimal to no arch support. I like Birkenstocks, but I can only wear them for short periods of time before their arch support causes me problems. I’ve found that many Skechers shoes work well for me. Not only do they tend to be very soft and not cause blisters, but they usually have pretty basic arch support.
Because I live on a farm, the dogs tend to track in a lot more dirt than in your typical household. As a result, I always have some kind of soled slippers or house shoes that I wear downstairs. Upstairs, where it’s a dog-free zone and just my cats and me, I can relax without them.
I needed a new pair for this summer, and after some research, I ordered a pair of Crocs-style clogs called Bobs from Skechers. (As an avid animal lover, I love the added bonus that the company donates a portion of the proceeds to animal welfare organizations.)
I was surprised to find that these clogs actually have some arch support. I was even more surprised to find that this moderate support isn’t causing me the same issues as it has in the past. I’m not sure if this is because my body is in a much better place than it was before my diagnosis, if it’s the style of these particular shoes, or if it’s a combination of both. But it’s definitely gotten me thinking about how our bodies change. What once seemed like an absolute may turn out not to be.
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