S.O.S.!!! I got flat feet! /S.O.S.!!! Mam ploche nohy!!S.O.S.!!! I got flat feet! | Czechmatediary
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S.O.S.!!! I got flat feet! /S.O.S.!!! Mam ploche nohy!!

foot-x-rayOK, from the heavenly issue of Easter to the earthly issues of flat feet. The Czechs are really BIG on flat feet. Or rather obsessed about how to NOT have flat feet. All of the kids’ shoes there have arch support – without a question. Even most of adult footwear comes with it. That is why the shoes in Czech (and Europe in general) are so expensive.

If you say the words “flat feet” here in America, you will come across blank faces, like if you said that you drink a mushroom tea instead of coffee every morning. Like you are one of those crazy health freaks. Out of politeness they usually ask about what exactly that term means and how does one know whether he/she has flat feet. I explain it to them, hoping they will become followers of the Healthy Footwear god and next time I see them they wear those evil flat shoes again! True, I have a few of those devilish pairs myself but I really just drive in them (otherwise I would suffer later for it).

Both of my kids have very flat feet, even their American pediatrician pointed that out. Yet, to advice me on what to do about it, that was another ordeal. Basically, he did not have much to say. I had to take the initiative and do a research on the internet, what products are even out there. At first, I googled the term “orthopedic shoes” and got a list of shoe-like braces for people that break their feet or have some kind of malformation.

After days of searching in stores and on-line I managed to sniff out some good shoes, which made me happy as a clam.
Yet the question that lingers in my head still persist. Why are Americans so oblivious to this health issue? Do they not suffer with it as much as we or other nations do? I see kids and adults wearing trendy, flat feet everywhere and they don’t seem to have flat feet (from what my uneducated eye can see). Or the other option is that they do, but it never really effected their postural health. Are the threats we grew up with just scam??!! I remember my dad (a doctor) was forcing me to walk barefoot whenever possible (ouch!), otherwise I would ‘end up with a screwed up back later on’.

What’s even more weird, that there is not much info on the negative impact of having flat feet. One military study  suggests that flat feet are NOT an impediment, at least in soldiers who reached the age of military recruitment without prior foot problems. Instead, in this population, there is a suggestion of more injury in high arched feet.

Mayoclinic.org is more conservative: “Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter optimal alignment of your legs.”

Wouldn’t it alter the alignment of your whole body, not just your legs??

The truth is that today I don’t have flat feet anymore so maybe those days walking barefoot on rocky soil and wearing arch-footed shoes worked. So there is my one-person controlled experiment :).

CZ: Neni vam divne, ze Americane se vubec nestresuji s plochymi nohami? Vsechny deti tu nosi naprosto ploche boty, vlastne i rodice, a vubec je nevzrusuje, ze to pro ne neni zdrave. Nebo je to vsechno jen fama a mit ploche nohy proste tak velky problem neni? Ja nevim jak vy, ale moji rodice jako malou nutili chodit bez bot, ze pry je to zdrave pro me ploche nohy a ze pry nebudu mit zkazene zada (z plochych nohou). A samozrejme, vsechny boty ktere jsem nosila – vcetne Jarmilek – mely ortopedicky tvar.

Obe me dcery maji ploche nohy, tudiz jsem tu ztravila nejaky ten patek hledanim zdravych bot. Nejake jsem nasla, ale holky se na ne divaji trosku s odporem, protoze nejsou tak hezke, jako ty odporne ploche strevicky. Ale neda se nic delat, nosit to budou muset ;).




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7 comments… add one
  • Katerina April 26, 2014, 2:11 pm

    I think this is a very individual issue and flat feet aren’t really as big of a problem as it was made out to be. I, for instance, was born with pretty high arches and have major knee problems now and had a double knee surgery already. I didn’t walk excessively barefoot as a child and know that I feel much safer and stable wearing a good shoe now. From experience, Americans wear flip flops all their life, at least here in California, and have no problems at all. I think it’s something out parents grew up with and passed it onto us.

  • Tanja April 26, 2014, 2:15 pm

    Right?? Here too. Flip flops everywhere and no painful feet connected with that. I wonder what these Cali dudes would say if you made them walk in real shoes (Birkenstock style). I bet they would love it but would be too embarrassed to admit it.

  • Greg April 26, 2014, 10:37 pm

    I agree with Katerina. I believe it is a personal issue as I know some people with flat feet and they have no issues either. Walking barefoot does have benefits to your feet though for several reasons. It does help with posture as it allows your foot to naturally stretch an support the contours of your body. It is also good for your skin to breath and remain healthy. Of course this should be done at home in a sanitary environment. I find it disgusting to see people who walk barefoot in public places or hotel rooms…etc. And then they wonder why they get fungal infections. I think like anything else, each person just needs to react to what their body needs for proper health There is no universal solution to the human body ailments

  • Sean April 30, 2014, 1:32 am

    Bones are not static things, they respond to stress by getting stronger, which is why rugby player have the thickest bones (bicyclists the weakest) of all athletes. The idea behind the minimal shoe running movement is that thick, padded running shoes ended up causing more problems by allowing heel striking which transmits stress up through the ankles, knees, hips.

    The human foot is designed to walk barefoot, and the shock absorption to be compensated for by landing on the toes which is logically going to strengthen the front and middle (arch) of the foot. The reason orthopedic shoes have fallen out of fashion somewhat is probably related to the fact that there is really no clear evidence that they help, and they might actually be counterproductive. As someone with an engineering background I see no clear argument how artificially supporting arches are going to strengthen them, though I suppose it’s possible that they could somehow help reconstruct fallen arches if they push up the arch while still forcing enough stress on the front of the foot to keep the arch strong. My feeling is that kids are better off with as much barefoot or minimally supportive footwear as possible.

  • Tanja May 1, 2014, 10:35 am

    Interesting Sean….I have to do some more research on that. It is true, how can artificially supporting arches strengthen real arches? Perhaps they don’t strengthen them but avoid damaging the body by those nonexistent arches?
    Either way, when I wear flat shoes my back starts to hurt. Why is that? Is it just a psychological symptom? 😉

  • Jana S. May 9, 2014, 2:45 pm

    V Čechách se stále sleduje u dětí, zda mají ploché nohy. Pamatuji si, že malý syn kamarádky měl ploché nohy a dostal kromě jiného návod, jak je procvičovat, např. při sezení válet míček nohama po zemi, zvedat prstama předměty ze země atd. Myslím, že na internetu určitě bude seznam cviků pro ploché nohy. Také hodně běhal bos venku, hlavně po nerovném povrchu, po oblázcích a písku. Moc mu to nepomohlo, ale určitě ani neuškodilo.
    Byla jsem v jedné školce a tam měli pro děti udělán přímo chodníček pro bosé nohy. Vypadalo to asi tak:
    Mezi Valticemi a Rakouskem byla také vytvořena 5kilometrová turistická trasa pro chůzi naboso:

  • Tanja May 10, 2014, 3:35 pm

    no vidis, jak je to tam porad jeste bere. To je sranda s tou turistickou trasou!! Skoda, ze to neplati take pro ruce, jako kdyby clovek chodil po rukou, tak je bude mit sikovnejsi 😉 To spis vetsi mozoly :))

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