What Is Arch Support Shoes
Pain in the feet, ankles, and knees can be caused by several reasons, and many people a lot in their daily activities. It is known today that one of the most effective ways to combat these annoyances is through the use of arch support shoes. These kinds of shoes help distribute the load and fix the arch of the foot in the correct position. In this post, we will tell you more about this and other arch support shoes features.
What Exactly Is Arch Support Shoes?
The arch support shoes help lift the arch and maintain its shape at all times. Wearing such shoes promotes the formation of an arch, which naturally leads to a foot that is less painful and less stressful.
The shape of the arch can absorb the impact from the ground. So, if the shape is maintained, cases of inflammation will be rare. However, when the arch collapses, the impact from the ground gradually increases, which puts a heavy burden on the foot and makes it easier for inflammation to occur.
Causes of pain in the feet, ankles, and knees
There are several factors that cause pain in these regions, from factors that cannot be changed, such as sex, age, and type of foot, to behavioral factors, such as weight, standing time, physical activity, and type of footwear. In the following, we will explain each of these factors in more detail.Type of foot
There are three types of feet: neutral arch, high arch, and low arch. Each of them has a different height of the plantar arch. And depending on which one, the structure can make the foot more prone to injuries and stress.
- Neutral arch: Has the height of the arch compatible with its length and width. It is the most common and best to perform the movement that distributes the load imposed on the feet and absorbs the impact.
- High arch: Has a higher and more pronounced arch. Consequently, its support area is smaller and has a more rigid structure. With less support area during walking, the pressure put on the foot is concentrated in the metatarsals (the region close to the toes) and in the heel. The plantar fascia in this type of foot is shortened and tense, which favors its inflammation.
- Low arch: Has a large support area since almost the entire sole of the foot is in contact with the floor. This type of foot has less load absorbing capacity when compared to the normal foot. This is because the longitudinal arch that should absorb the shock is collapsed. With the collapse of the longitudinal arch of the foot, the fascia is overloaded, favoring inflammation.
Different types of shoes can cause pain in the feet, especially high-heeled shoes with pointed toes or with hard soles. The shoes are made on a large scale and therefore are straight on the inside to fit any type of foot. Thus, they do not have plantar arch support and ideal support in the curvatures of the feet, which affects weight distribution during walking.Age
Another important factor that contributes to the occurrence of pain is age. Older people have more pain in their feet due to muscle atrophy, stiffening of the joints, and natural wear and tear on the body. They are also more likely to develop other diseases, which can lead to wear and structural misalignment, such as osteoarthritis.Gender
The biological difference between female and male bodies directly affects the likelihood that individuals will develop pain in the feet, ankles, and knees. The female sex is more affected than male sex in all age groups.
The high difference between men and women may be related to the fact that women wear high-heeled shoes, a pointed toe, and tighter shoes, as well as biomechanical and hormonal factors. In addition, women are more prone to arthritis, a group of diseases that affects the joints.Overweight
Weight is directly linked to foot pain. Our feet are responsible for supporting the entire weight of the body. Therefore, the more weight, the greater the pressure the foot will have to withstand. In addition, constant overload can cause tissue damage or even diseases such as heel spurs.Standing time
Many people report that foot pain increases when they spend a lot of time standing. This happens due to the constant overload on the feet, with no recovery time for the tissues, which leaves the region vulnerable to injuries.Sedentary lifestyle
The practice or not of physical activity is another factor that is related to the presence of pain in the population. People who practice physical activity have less pain in their feet when compared to those who do not. This is due to the lack of physical preparation and muscle strength of non-practitioners, who have less stable joints and are more prone to injuries.Diagnosis of pain
Many of the pains in the lower limbs can represent a specific pathology, which usually occurs due to continuous stress on the ligaments, fascia, and bones of the foot, causing inflammation and pain. The most common pathologies are:Plantar Fasciitis
This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue that extends from the heel to the base of the toes. Symptoms are pain in the sole of the foot and in the heel. This discomfort worsens with physical exercise. To avoid them, the fascia must be lengthened, the foot aligned, and the plantar arch supported.Calcaneus Spur
Bone protuberance arises in the heel due to excess pressure. Spurs are very common in obese people and people who are hitting the heel on the ground, because these factors increase pressure in the area. In these cases, it is normal to feel stitches in the heel, especially in the first step of the day. The discomfort affects the tissues in the heel region because the spur itself does not cause pain.Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia is a pain in the bones of the metatarsus caused by excessive pressure. Usually, this discomfort is described as pain in the "chubby" area of the foot, on the front of the toes. For these cases, the arch support of the foot should be improved in order to remove pressure from the metatarsals. An elevation is also placed next to the bones to improve the positioning between them.Morton
Morton's neuroma is an evolution of pain in the metatarsals caused by a thickening of the nerve that passes between the toes. The symptoms of this condition are numbness, discomfort between the toes, and pain when stepping or compressing the frontal part of the feet.Sesamoiditis
Inflammation of two small bones located below the 1st metatarsal. This injury is caused by excessive pressure in the region, usually linked to pronated stepping (when the foot deviates inward) or the use of high heels. For these cases, pressure should be removed from the first metatarsal, improving support in the plantar arch.Pain in the ankles
Generally, pain in the region is caused by misalignment of the feet and mistakes in stepping. For these cases, it is necessary to identify which way the step is misaligned. When the foot deviates inward, an internal elevation is placed on the insole to correct the deviation. And when the deviation of the foot is outwards, a lateral elevation is placed to obtain the ideal alignment of the ankle.Knee pain
Knee pain is common because this joint is constantly unstable. Usually, the pain is linked to the misalignment of the knee, which can occur due to an error in movement or by the deviation of the bones. The correction of misalignment is also done by identifying the direction of deviation and the lateral elevations (made with wedges).Bunion
This is a progressive misalignment of the thumb towards the other toes. In these cases, it is necessary to support the plantar arch to correct pronation and to improve the positioning of the metatarsals in order to avoid the progression of the deformity.Claw fingers and hammer fingers
This disease is a consequence of the misalignment of the fingers, caused by a collapse of the metatarsal arch. For these cases, support to the metatarsal arch must be molded through a pilot (subtle elevation below the metatarsals).The shoe problem
As mentioned earlier, footwear can be a major cause of foot pain. And the problem of shoes goes beyond uncomfortable shoes.
Biologically, we were "developed" to walk barefoot, and our feet were structured to adapt to different types of terrain. However, we have barely learned to walk and have already put on shoes to protect our feet from the ground and dirt. This custom meant that the musculature of the feet did not develop optimally, leaving the muscle tissue less active and more prone to injury.
Another issue is mass shoe manufacturing. This production model ignores the differences between the types of feet, age, weight, and pain. Today, there is still no option for shoes of different widths. This creates a problem, as people with wider or narrower feet find it difficult to accommodate them in the different types of footwear available.
In addition, most shoes are sold with only fashion and look in mind. People themselves, especially women, tend to buy shoes that are less than ideal, just so they don't look like big feet. And generally, men tend to buy shoes much larger than recommended. Ideally, your shoes always have a "gap" (from 1 to 1.5 cm in length) so that your feet are not compressed during your daily movement. If your work or physical activity requires more effort from your feet, choose shoes with shock absorbers.
For shoes that are too short, which cause pain, there is no solution, and people often need to buy another pair. For larger shoes, the adjustment can be made with insoles that better accommodate the feet to the shoes.
Why Buy Arch Support Shoes?
A solution to all these problems mentioned, and to the pain generated by them, is the application of an interface between the foot and the shoes. This interface is a custom Insole, which customizes the footwear. The insole eliminates pain and increases comfort, including those that appeared due to very long shoes.
The main benefit of the arch support shoes is the elimination of pains through the redistribution of plantar pressures. The insole has specific curves and elevations, called corrections. This increases the contact area of the foot with the ground.
Another benefit of the arch support shoes is the biomechanical correction. The tailored insole improves the alignment of the feet, ankles, and knees, keeping them in a neutral position. This allows a good load distribution throughout the lower limb, eliminating areas of compression.
How insoles are customized according to your foot
- Baropodometer:device that allows the identification of areas of hyper-pressure in the foot.
- 3D scanner:a device that captures all the curvatures of the sole of the foot with a tolerance of 1 mm.
- Computerized Aided Design (CAD):software that adapts the insole perfectly to the plantar arch and inserts the corrections that correct the step and redistribute the plantar pressure.
Common corrections made in customized arch support shoes
The most common corrections made are:
- Arch support to adapt and redistribute pressure in different types of feet
- Elevation behind the metatarsals to remove pressure
- Medial or lateral elevation wedges to correct and align the step
- Elevation of the heel to remove the concentrated pressure at the back
- Relief points to reduce friction between the foot and the insole in overloaded areas.
After a thorough assessment by a specialist, and complete scanning of the feet by technological equipment, the insoles are designed and sent to the factory, the place where they are made.
The insole is manufactured by technological 3D printers. This equipment ensures that the final product is the projected design. In addition, they have strength and flexibility that guarantee more comfort and durability.
Because they are made to measure for each person, the arch support shoes are able to promote the ideal positioning of the arch, avoiding overload during activities and thus relieving pain.
There are many types of arch support shoes, which you can find at geckoman.com and check them in more detail. Also, comfort, breathability, and deodorant effect are also important factors when choosing. Lastly, consider buying arch support shoes that suit your needs.