Flat feet, or overpronation, can be a real problem, and that is particularly true when it comes to making it through tactical and survival situations. Those who have flat feet will have arches that are lower than normal, or may not even be present at all. While some pronation is normal, it is overpronation that causes the real problem for people – particularly when they are carrying a heavy pack – regardless of whether they are walking, running, or even just standing. Due to overpronation, the feet are not capable of absorbing the shock properly, which can lead to added stress on the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and even the back.
As you can imagine, this can be a very large problem when you are in a tactical situation, which is why those who have severe cases of flat feet that cause a substantial amount of pain are not allowed in the military. Overpronation can lead to a number of issues including pain, shin splints, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and more. Many things can cause flat feet: tight calf muscles, a tight Achilles tendon, congenital foot abnormalities, loose ligaments, tarsal coalitions, or having legs that are not an equal length.
Regardless of the reason that you or someone you know is suffering from flat feet and overpronation, you want to know what you can do about it to make life easier, and to reduce its effects in tactical situations. Ultimately, you will want to be as comfortable as possible, and that means getting the right boots and properly shaped and supportive insoles.
Getting the Right Footwear
Investing in the right footwear can make all the difference in the world. This is the best thing that you can do when you have problems with flat feet. This is true of the tactical boots that you are going to be wearing every day for work, the footwear that you might use while rucking or training, and even your dress shoes.
It is essential that you take the time to ensure a proper fit for your shoes and boots. When you are making your purchase, make sure that there is arch support built into the footwear, as this will help you to stay more comfortable during your daily routine, and even when used for tactical applications.
If it does not have arch support, you need to look for insoles. The best insoles for tactical applications will have a hard bottom layer, a shock-absorbing foam layer, and will be heat-moldable to conform to the shape of your foot. Avoid drug-store insoles and any insoles made with gel. It’s not supportive enough.
If you are ordering your shoes online, make sure that the store will allow you to return or exchange them for another size if they do not fit properly.
Tips for Exercising With Flat Feet
Just because you have flat feet does not mean that you can’t get plenty of exercise. Keeping your body in good shape will ensure you’re ready for any tactical situation you might face, and you will know how your feet are going to hold up if you are exercising regularly. Of course, you need to make sure that your athletic footwear is fitted properly and will hold up well under the different types of exercise that you do. There are many kinds of workout shoes made for overpronators.
Initially, you will want to find exercises that will not put too much pressure on your feet. The best beginner workouts will include exercises such as biking, swimming, and even rollerblading. It is often possible to use elliptical machines as well, as they generally will not cause issues when used properly. As you get stronger, you can begin to incorporate other types of exercises such as running and hiking.
However, you will want to pay attention to how your feet feel, and you should of course consult with your doctor before you begin any type of exercise – especially if you’ve had problems with overpronation in the past.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.