How to get arch support in ballet flats?
Posted: Oct 28, 2020
Ballet flats are a type of footwear that are inspired by the shoes that ballet dancers wear. They are shoes that are minimalist in design like the ballet shoes and have no design features that do anything more than cover the foot. They do not have a raised heel and they do not have any support features in the arch. The minimalist design also means that they need to fit the foot snugly to stay on the foot. The design means that they do not interfere with the way the foot moves or develops. There is nothing inherently wrong with these types of shoes and they are popular.
What happens if you do need some sort of arch support? There are many clinical conditions of the foot in which some type of support under the foot is needed. Sometime that is only needed in the short term and other times it is going to be a long-term requirement. The types of problems that may benefit from shoes with more support in them could be something like fatigue in feet and legs, especially in those who are on their feet all day at work on hard floors. There could be pain in the arch of the foot from conditions like plantar fasciitis or problems with the tendons, such as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Sometimes, people prefer to wear shoes with some sort of arch support as they just feel more comfortable wearing them.
What if you like wearing ballet flats and need some arch support? The first option is to stop wearing those types of shoes and wear other types that do have some arch support built into them. This may only be a short-term change and you can go back to the ballet flats later. Foot orthotics are probably the best way to deal with biomechanical problems of the foot and use them if you need support. The problem with ballet flats is that there is no room in the snugly fitting shoes to fit the foot orthotics into. The custom-made types of foot orthotics can be cut down to remove a lot of bulk and might be able to fit in the shoes if they are not too tight. There are self-adhesive pads such as instant arches that can be stuck in the ballet flats to provide some sort of arch support. These will not be as good as a full foot orthotic but are a compromise that may help. If the problem is relatively minor, the use of these instant arches to provide arch support in the ballet flats may be all that is needed. However, if the biomechanical problem that needs that support is more severe the compromise may not be as helpful.
At the end of the day, if you want to keep using the ballet flats and need support, you are really only going to get it if you are prepared to compromise. You also need to possibly change your footwear to a different time in the short to medium term if you want to get over the problem that you have.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.