A few days ago Carmen, who has an 8 year old son with foot problems, asked by email if she knew of any children who had recovered their arch with minimalist footwear.
According to her podiatrist it is possible to strengthen the foot and form the foot arch if use the right footwear.
I personally know people with flat feet, who after spending more time in pure barefoot shoes increased their foot arch.
Also the opposite experience.
People who, with a very pronounced arch of the foot, after a while made their feet more flexible and their arches lower.
In any case, the shape of the arch of the foot does not have to be associated with any pathology.
You can have healthy feet, even if they are flat or have high arches.
Maria's story happened years ago, in 2013.
Maria is a beautiful little girl who loved to run.
As a little girl she would run everywhere and her parents remember how she would run around them and how she would urge them again and again to catch her.
Maria had big feet and her parents bought her the "best running shoes".
With cushioning system, motion control, stability .... the typical thick athletic shoes.
In the afternoons, Maria would enthusiastically go to the athletics track to do what she loved most, running with her friends.
But little by little, Maria's running became worse.
She was more clumsy, she was hitting her feet, hurting her ankles and her heels hurt.
Her worried parents took her to a podiatrist, who diagnosed her with flat feet.
To correct her feet, he prescribed sturdy insoles for her shoes.
Maria tried to run with them, but she couldn't, her feet hurt and she lost her enthusiasm for running.
Part of her daily joy disappeared, and sadly, she blamed her feet for what had happened.
She wondered why she couldn't run.
At what point had she lost the ability to run.
But no one would give her an answer.
Her parents, in desperation, searched for a solution.
On the internet they found a lot of information about different remedies and types of insoles, but nothing was clear.
Tired and frustrated, they tried another podiatrist.
Contrary to what they had expected, the foot specialist did not agree with the use of insoles.
He recommended foot exercises and running in flat, wide, non-reinforced, non-heeled shoes.
One that would allow their feet to move freely and be as close to the ground as possible: minimalist shoes.
Her parents were not entirely happy with this solution:
"If he has weak feet, how can they take away its protection?
Besides, they had read everywhere that the solution was an insole.
At his parents' insistence, the podiatrist made him a thin, flexible insole, which had anything in comparation with the first one she was prescribed.
It's like if you go to the optician and instead of glasses he orders you some exercises for your eyesight.
You will probably complain.
You want glasses.
Following the podiatrist's recommendations, they visit our shop.
They look for some minimalist shoes for Maria where they can put the insole.
They tell me what the podiatrist told her.
And we talk about feet and shoes.
Shoes and feet.
After a long talk, the parents seem more convinced.
Apart from the exercises recommended by their podiatrist, I suggest a very basic, but very important one.
Walking and running barefoot.
Both before and after training.
As a warm up and cool down.
A few weeks later, Maria's father calls on the phone.
He sounds happy, relieved.
He says that his daughter is running much better.
And the most important thing:
She has regained the joy of running.
The sandals and minimalist shoes that Maria wore are no longer available.
Very similar ones are these:
Health and joy starts with your feet and your children's feet.