Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Fix Flat Feet. If you have a question that isn't answered below please email me.
How long did it take to build arches in your feet?
Visible changes in the height of the arch in standing were noticeable within the first few weeks. After 10 weeks my feet were no longer flat based on the arch measurements I was taking.
Can everyone with flat feet build arches?
Based on the changes I saw with myself and my experience working with clients with flat feet I think many cases of flexible flat feet are correctable. It's similar to improving posture. Most people don't need a brace or surgery to train themselves to sit or stand up straight. Posture is largely a habit. In my case, I knew I could form arches in my feet, but the arches would collapse as soon as I stood up. So basically this program was about training myself to hold a different foot posture.
There are some types of flat feet I don't think will change much with exercises, including:
- a rigid flat foot (very rare) where the bones of the foot fuse together making the foot flat in all positions--standing, sitting, up on toes etc.
- conditions that cause spasticity or contracture of the heel cord (e.g. cerebral palsy) or other neurological conditions
- flat feet that related to disease processes or injuries that alter the normal anatomy or functioning of the foot
Every case is unique and that's why I try to make it clear that what worked for me may not work for everyone.
How do you know if you have a flexible flat foot?
There are a few ways this is usually determined: looking to see if there is an arch present when seated with the foot dangling in the air, if an arch forms when standing on the toes, or if an arch forms with flexing the big toe up by hand.
Did the size of your foot change?
Yes! My shoe size went down almost a full size.
What made you decide to work on strengthening your arches?
I was lucky in that aside from one bout of plantar fasciitis I've never experienced much pain in my feet. What concerned me was the effect flat feet were having on the rest of my body--mainly my knees and hips. I like to exercise and with certain exercises (e.g. squatting, deadlifting) I could tell that having arches that collapse was putting stress on the joints higher up the leg. When I looked in the mirror it was obvious that my posture and the alignment of my joints was being thrown off by what was going on at the foot level. There's evidence that a pronated foot is a risk factor for a number of injuries and conditions that develop over time, including knee arthritis, so I saw this project as an investment in my long-term health.
Also, I just didn't like the way my feet looked which made my self-conscious about going barefoot.
Is there a complete list of all the exercises you worked on somewhere on the site?
This site is very much a work in progress as I've collected lots of material to present and dozens (if not hundreds) of exercise variations. Some of the basic exercises are listed here. I also talk about some of the exercises and strategies I used in many of the articles and pages throughout the site.
What types of shoes do you like?
I'm a big fan of minimalist or barefoot-style shoes. The main features I look for when buying shoes are:
- No heel (zero heel-toe differential)
- No built-in support
- Flexible sole
- Wide toe box
- Thin (minimal cushioning)
How long did you spend each day working on exercises for your feet?
At the start of this project, my goal was to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day working specifically on arch building exercises. On some days, I spent much longer than that, especially when I was experimenting with new exercises, and some days I didn't exercise at all. Many of the exercises only take a few minutes to complete. Of course, part of my success also came from paying close attention to the way I was standing and walking throughout the day.