Running Advice for People With Flat Foot

What are Flat Feet?

Just because someone has problems with their feet does not mean they are unable to exercise on a regular basis. The condition of flat feet is common, but there are things that athletes can do to avoid pain in their joints, muscles and tendons after exercising. Anyone wanting to run on a regular basis needs to take excellent care of their feet to avoid injuries. Problems with the feet due to exercise can also affect the ankles, knees and hips. Fallen arches or flat feet occur in up to 30 per cent of the population worldwide. This is a physical deformity of the feet that occurs in one or both feet.

How Flat Feet Cause Runners Problems

The condition of flat feet causes the soles of the feet to rest totally on the ground, disturbing the natural biomechanics of the feet. Without an arch in one or both feet, the bones of the legs receive a stronger force while someone is walking.

lateral-archRunning with a flat foot causes more force on joints and long bones than walking does, leading to frequent injuries unless an athlete takes precautions. The best time to begin taking care of flat feet is in childhood, but the condition still persists, requiring teenagers and adults who run to take proper care of their feet.



Wear Proper Footwear

Orthopaedic specialists devise exercise plans for children to help them increase the arches in their feet, and runners can also perform exercises to strengthen muscles, ligament and tendons. An adult can develop flat feet as they age due to gaining weight, chronic illness or trauma. Whatever the reason for having flat feet, the effect of running places an enormous amount of force on bones and joints of the legs and feet that are not cushioned by a natural arch. Most runners know that taking proper care of their feet is essential to avoid permanent damage that leads to needing supportive braces or surgery. Serious runners make sure to buy the best athletic shoes and socks to protect their feet.


Prevent Foot and Leg Injuries

The goal of flat foot exercises is to increase the flexibility and strength of the ligaments and tendons to prevent pain and injuries. Some of the injuries that can occur to runners include:

Hamstring strains 

Shin splints 

Heel pain 

Plantar fasciitis 


Achilles injuries 

Quadriceps strains 




Strengthen Feet and Legs

Because an injury to the foot, ankle or leg can make exercise such as running impossible for weeks or months until the condition heals, runners need to protect their feet with a variety of methods. A runner can perform an assortment offlat foot exercises, including:

One: Toe Curls


Without wearing shoes, stand with your feet flat on the floor and curl the toes on each foot without moving or lifting the feet. Do this exercise three times a week for 20 repetitions to strengthen muscles in each foot.


Two: Foot Lift

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Sit on the floor before placing your hands behind you to maintain a sitting position during this exercise. Lift one foot at a time while keeping its heel on the floor. As the foot is in the air, curl the toes tightly to strengthen and flex the muscles in the back of the leg. Complete this exercise three times a week for 10 repetitions.


Three: Crisscross


Stand for this exercise before lifting your right foot to place on top of the left foot to stretch the muscles on the inside and outside of the leg. Alternate this exercise with your left foot on top of the right foot three times a week for five repetitions to improve flat feet.