Friday, 20 September 2013

No Sore Feet on Holiday...

Why is it that my husband and son don't complain about sore feet on holiday but moan all the time at home? She asked.

Further investigation told me that these guys suffer from , flat feet. At home they wear traditional gents shoes with expensive orthotics inside that require regular expensive refreshing. On holiday they wear flip flops all day.

There are 2 possible answers.
1 They don't feel pain in Finland ( where they spent their vacation)
2 The shoes they wear at home with the orthotics hurt their feet.

I am not having a go at podiatrists who can do an amazing job helping people, but sometimes a weakness needs strengthened and not supported and orthotics are not the answer .

To simplify the biomechanics:
The bones of the foot make an arch, this arch allows the force of your bodyweight to be split along the flat joint surfaces just like in a bridge. But the foot isn't planted into the ground the way a bridge is so in time that force pushes the arch down flattening the foot. The body compensates for this naturally because tendons are attached to the bones in the foot and as the muscles contract when you walk those tendons pull the arch back up in a sort of windlass mechanism. This balances the structure perfectly....assuming you walk correctly.

For many, a walk is a heel strike, a foot fall and then the bodyweight falls forward and the foot is lifted by the leg for the next step. In flip flops you can't heel strike, they'd fly off. You can't just fall forward and lift the foot you have to grip and use the toes or you'd lose the shoe.

In short, in flip flops you have to work the foot, the movement pattern although not exactly the same as barefoot, is much closer and involves some positive muscle action, within the foot and ankle and calf.

Son and husband only have flat feet because they have weak feet. These guys need some barefoot movement in their lives.

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