Many people don’t realize that if their feet are stiff, and that stiffness is located throughout their entire foot, it could be a problem with lack of arch support. There are actually two arches in the feet, so if either one of them collapse, you’ll have foot pain.
When an arch collapses, it looks like your mid foot region near the medial side of your ankle is closer to the ground than it should be. This is flat feet. You don’t need to guess at determining whether or not you have flat feet. Just step onto a piece of cardboard the next time you step out of the shower, and then step off the cardboard almost immediately. Towel yourself down and examine the footprint on the cardboard. What does it look like?
If you have flat feet (and need an arch support), it’s the medial longitudinal arch that flattens out when a person walks. During this process, the foot overpronates. Both these actions on the feet tire them out. The feet are not structurally sound when they are flat feet.
Thus, when you step on the cardboard, what you’ll see is the results of the feet flattening out. The footprint will look wider than what it should be.
Because flat feet contact more of the floor, there’s a greater tendency for someone with flat feet to develop calluses, corns or skin redness. Stiffness is one of the primary signs and symptoms. The stiffness results because the muscles are getting overworked; it’s similar to what happens when you’re working out for the first time in several months.
The stiffness may be accompanied by pain in the feet as well.
Another sign of flat feet and a need to get an arch support and never wear a shoe without that arch support is shoes that wear out in a ‘strange’ pattern. The strange pattern is that the inner part of the shoes are wearing out faster than the outer part. So be sure to check out our insoles for flat feet.