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As soon as the weather warms up, sandals, slides and thongs come out of the closet and become our footwear of choice over the summer months. Unfortunately, they aren’t doing any favours for our feet. Suddenly we are walking a stack km’s in footwear with very little support and it’s our legs, hips and spines that often feel the impact.

Who knew that a sore shin, calf, pelvis (looking at you preggies!) or low back could be related to unsupportive/poor footwear? If this is ringing true, it might be time to give your feet some arch support.

 We all have different arches and they impact our walking and loading patterns uniquely.

Source: https://archiesfootwear.com.au/

High Arches: Those with high arches tend to load on through the balls of their feet and heels and have a tendency for excessive supination (loading on the lateral edge of your foot).

Low Arches: Those with a more shallow arch, which results in less than optimal support for the feet. This can often lead to overpronation (the foot rolls in more than is optimal).

Flat Feet: If you have flat feet, you will have little, to no discernible arch. This will often result in excessive overpronation.

We also experience changes in our feet and arches during pregnancy. Due to increase in weight on those foot ligaments as well as some of the hormones of pregnancy (Relaxin), the ligaments in the feet, including our arches, become more stretchy and we often see a reduction in the height of the arches. This can reduce the stability of the foot (as well as other areas of the body) and can be a cause of pelvic girdle pain in some women. Add improper summer footwear in to the mix and you have the perfect storm for onset of pelvic girdle pain.

Thankfully there are some quick and easy ways to increase the support through our arches and feet and potentially decrease some of the issues mentioned above.

  • Superfeet inserts (available at BeActive): These are perfect for flat closed toe shoes, or more structured open-toe shoes. They come in a few different sizes and can be trimmed for a custom fit.
  • Archies thongs (available at BeActive – range of colours) : Archies have built in support that works for most arch types, no extra inserts required so they win for convenience.

Unsure if you would benefit from arch support? Book an assessment with one of our physios to discuss your individual concerns, or give Archies thongs a go over summer. They are a low cost option, work for most feet types and come in a variety of colours and sizes, making them the perfect upgrade to your standard issue (and no support!) thongs.

Special offer – 20% off all stock in-studio, including Archies and arch support inserts until December 24th, 2021. Buy for yourself or give as a gift for the active person in your life who could do with a more supportive summer footwear option.

 

Colleen Mahony
Exercise Physiologist (AEP)