Here’s the thing about flat feet. Chances are that if you have flat feet, or ‘duck feet’ as I call mine, then you probably don’t like running or struggle with it more than the average person. Even if you consider yourself a fit and healthy individual.
What I have found flat feet an advantage for however are squats! I do a good squat.
As some of you may already know, I have a funny relationship with running. I’ve never considered myself a ‘runner’ and it’s the one activity that requires a lot of external motivation to get me to do.
Occasionally a certain type of madness overcomes me. Yesterday was one of those occasions. What did I do? Only entered the ballot for London Marathon 2017. As you do. It closes tomorrow. As one of my colleagues said, “What did you do that for? You don’t even like running!”
Chances are slim so I’m not-so-secretly hoping that I’ll be let off the hook, but if I do end up getting a place it will be the ULTIMATE physical and mental challenge. The only thing that’ll probably keep me going is the fundraising element. Ideally I’d like to raise funds for 4 charities – Mind, Alzeimer’s Society, Shelter and Born Free. And I’m planning to call in the favours of every person I’ve ever donated to over the years.
This is the other part that’s laughable. Since my one and only race over a month ago, the longest distance I’ve run outdoors is 800m during CrossFit warmups. My legs really don’t like the impact of hard road surfaces and I’ve tried much of the advice already out there. This has included buying insoles to ‘correct’ for flat feet, as well as expensive trainers designed for them – ASICS Gel Kayano 20 at the time of launch. Neither worked.
The one thing short of a podiatrist (on my To Do list) that has worked so far, is visiting a specialist Running shop with expert staff on hand in California, one day before the trail run I did back in April. They asked me which shoes I was planning to run in, to which my answer was my Nike Free 5.0s (not the TR version), which I love. The lightweight split soles really work for me. No they aren’t the runner’s choice, but I don’t think those mainstream options will ever really suit me because of my anatomically-challenged feet. Due to the heel height of these I was advised to go for a slimmer version insole of this particular ‘Superfeet‘ brand. They weren’t cheap at $44.95 (around £32), but I was willing to try anything at that late stage.
I didn’t even take them on a short test run. They were cut down to size the night before and worn for the first time on race day. And they worked like magic. I expected the knee and shin pain to kick in at around the 7.5km mark but it didn’t happen. While others were flagging I suddenly got a burst of energy. I felt so happy. For the first time ever, I was able to run without the slightest twinge of pain!
My advice to those who do have flat feet and struggle with running therefore, is to try and visit a specialist Running shop where you can get expert advice. A great alternative if you can’t get to a podiatrist just yet.
I’ve also discovered that these particular insoles can also be bought in the UK too. On Amazon they’re listed as ‘Superfeet Unisex Supportive Insole Blue’.