Last year at BlogHer 2011 in San Diego, I received my most recent pair of comfort insoles from Dr. Scholls. I have had flat feet since I was a child. I remember my parents bringing every pair of shoe I owned, including soccer cleats, to the cobbler in town for an arch support to be glued inside. When I raced competitively as a skier in high school, my coach suggested I get custom made orthotics for my ski boots, which I loved. So why did it take me 15 years to actually get another pair of inserts? I learned from an early age that stiletto heels and unstable shoes were just not my friend no matter how hard I tried. I found Brooks running shoes that I adore and am completely loyal too, as they have additional arch support for flat feet where I don’t get shin splints. Formal occasions come and I hunt high and low for those chunky, stable heels and I have 2 pairs of Dansko’s that are my go-to work shoe. Fashionable designer shoes and heels are just not my thing for obvious reasons. As I have learned this overtime for myself, because I’m sensitive to it, when buying shoes for my son it’s about comfort and support while he’s growing. He moves quickly and trips a lot when he’s not wearing a supportive shoe, needless to say Crocs were a disaster for him. I’m not a researcher, but when two flat-footed people procreate such as my husband and I, let’s just say I don’t think the odds are in Gavin’s favor to have a beautiful arch.
When babies are born they do not have an arch in their feet. Time spent bouncing up and down, pulling to stand, cruising furniture and walking is how these little muscles in the feet develop over time. When I worked in Early Intervention with young children though, there are just some kids who despite the fact they shouldn’t have an arch, have weakness in their ankles and lack stability which impacts their ability to achieve their gross motor milestones within a typical timeframe. At that point we often recommend to parents to visit an orthopedic doctor to discuss the possibility of orthotic inserts. My own son was very bowlegged as an infant and was diagnosed with tibial torsion, which is a curvature in his lower legs due to positioning in utero. Though it never impacted his developmental skills and he wasn’t recommended for orthotics, I had envisions of Forest Gump running through the fields with lots of hinged metal when thinking about the type of orthotics he could be prescribed. Many parents have told me over time they prolong making the orthotics appointment for fear that their child will look different, but in reality what I have seen is that sometimes most kids just need a little insert, like these Arch Angels comfort soles, that fit inside a sneaker or shoe that no-one ever sees. Though they aren’t considered an orthotic, they may be enough to keep a child’s foot and ankle in better alignment. As not all orthotics are covered by insurance, prompting parents large out of pocket fees, for under $20 available online or in certain stores, the Arch Angel comfort insoles may be something to consider for kids with flat feet.
Arch Angels a sent a sample for my consideration. The opinions in this post are my own.