Flat feet tennis players require the type of shoes that will provide extra arch support, and will not encourage pain but handle impact during a rebound. Players, therefore, need to find shoes that protect their heel from shock, which materializes from impact. Given the problems associated with flat feet, different companies have dedicated their efforts to create the best tennis shoes for flat feet tennis players.
However, before we sample some of the best flat feet shoes for tennis players, let us understand the genesis of the problem, the cure or preventive measures if any and how people can best manage the condition without making it worse. There are various recommended therapy procedures that can be adopted, which will be discussed below.
What is a flat foot?
Pes Planus is the scientific name for flat feet and as much as it is a condition that should give you Goosebumps, there is quite a huge number of people who were born with flat feet and live without experiencing any problems throughout their lives. You are determined to have a flat foot when the entire sole of your feet is in complete contact with the surface that you are standing on.
The condition is not curable but can be managed; many people have fallen arches in one or both of their feet caused by an underdeveloped arch, a condition that begins from childhood when the arches fail to develop after you have sustained an injury or fail to transition as you mature from childhood. And as people grow older, the wear and tear would result in the stretching of the tendon leading to fallen arches.
The most common method used to determine if players have flat feet is by carrying out the wet test, where you dip your foot in a bucket of water and stand on manila paper placed on the floor. After you’ve gotten your footprint on the paper, walk away and study your foot type.
Doctors, on the other hand, will determine your foot type by looking at the wear pattern of your shoes, ask you to stand on your toes or observe the entire length of your feet. Though a good number of people rarely have problems with flat feet, others do experience pain in the heel area or at the arch. And when engaging in an activity the pain is bound to increase and the insides of your ankle might be inflamed.
In case of too much pain in the foot, players need to consult a doctor and do imaging tests to identify the problem. An ultrasound will detect an injured tendon via the sound waves, which will give a detailed image of the body’s soft tissues. An MRI, on the other hand, will give you a detailed image of both the soft and hard tissues.
CT scans will provide images of your foot from a number of angles via an x-ray, a simple x-ray can thus be used to determine the problem with your foot, but the procedure is normally effective in detecting arthritis.
You will notice that toddlers tend to have flat feet, so it is safe to say that we are all born with flat feet but as we grow older the arches develop, however, not for everyone. And as stated earlier the tendons that are found on the inside of the ankle and which support the arch can be weakened with years of wear and tear.
Therefore, of interest is that there are certain health conditions which may lead you to develop flat feet, some you can avoid but others are not controllable. Diabetic players are at risk of developing flat feet, or if they sustain an injury in their foot or ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis and obesity would also lead to the development of flat feet, and the last one that is completely out of anyone’s control is aging.
How best can you manage your flat foot?
So we already established that there is no treatment for flat foot but in case it becomes too severe, surgery may be recommended but will not be done solely because of the flat foot. Another problem that is associated with the condition is the tendon rupture or tear, which could necessitate the need for an operation.
Individuals with these conditions could, however, adopt some therapeutic measures under the doctor’s advice such as the tendon stretching exercise. Tennis players could thus, be asked to do stretching exercises that help stretch the shortened Achilles tendon, which is a characteristic for many people with flat feet.
Another option is buying the orthotic devices, which help ease pain caused by flat feet, and in special cases, custom made arch supports could be recommended by the doctor. This type of orthotics usually contour with a player’s foot, physical therapy could also be effective, because of the overuse injuries that are caused by flat feet.
Lastly, we have the structural supportive shoes which provide comfort to the feet. Though not every flat foot individual experiences pain, those that do might want to adopt some home self-care remedies to ease the discomfort and these include the use of over the counter painkillers. The second point might not sit well with tennis players or athletes in general, because it involves avoiding high impact activities.
Obese individuals can relieve the pain in their feet by reducing their weight, which will, in the long run, pull the stress off their feet. Shoes that individuals with flat feet wear should also have enough space on the inside (Wide) and a low heel that will help get rid of the stiffness or pain.
When is the right time to see a Podiatrist?
There are a number of foot problems that you might experience if you are a flat-footed individual and which will indicate it is time to pay the doctor a visit. One is if you just discovered that you have flat feet but initially you didn’t.
It might not be easy to know if you previously had a flat foot or if you just developed one if you never carried out any of the flat foot tests. However, this does not apply to tennis players because to find the right type of shoe, they have to know the types of their feet thus they can discern whether they have just developed the condition.
Pain in one of your foot also necessitates the need to visit a doctor, or If you are having problems walking or balancing yourself. Consistent injuries on the feet or ankle are a clear indication that you should visit a podiatrist; also if you experience stiffness in the feet or feel like they are numb or very weak then make an appointment with the doctor because your feet need to be treated.
Comparison of the Best Tennis shoes for Flat Feet
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The ASICS Gel Dedicate 5
Fore foot gel technology, Synthetic overlays, Breathable mesh, Trusstic technology.
The Asics Gel Challenger 11
Flexible upper, Toe protector, Rear and fore foot gel technology, Incorporated TRUSSTIC system.
Nike Air Zoom Prestige
Durable upper part, Torsional Stability, Herringbone Sole, Ergonomic external heel cup.
Asics Gel Court Speed
Removable footbed, P Guard toe protector, Rear and fore foot gel technology, Cushioned sole.
Mizuno wave Inspire 10 running shoes
Flex groove, Blown rubber forefoot, Dynamotion fit technology, Breathable and flexible mesh.
Babolat Propulse Blast All Court
Power straps, Outsole Michelin performance, Midsole Kompressor technology, Breathable Mesh.
Having a flat foot can be a thorn in the flesh at times but it definitely does not discourage high performance in sports and tennis in particular. To this end, we will sample some of the best shoes that support and cushion your feet.
Asics Gel dedicated has been made with the characteristics suitable for tennis players with flat feet; the arch construction on the shoe is lower making it comfortable for players with overpronated feet. The upper part is a blend of durable synthetic leather and mesh, which offers breathability, and flexes with the foot while in the court.
Asics has also incorporated the use of resin TRUSSTIC, in the middle part of the sole that encourages a player’s stable movement, and because of the reinforcement in the middle area, a player’s foot is supported. The TRUSSTIC shape is customized to fit the type of shoe and the motions that will be used in the sport thus a player’s foot will be protected from twisting.
The outsole is made of rubber, which is durable and provides stability and good traction in the court. The gel cushioning at the forefoot helps in shock absorption during attenuation, and lastly, the shoe comes at a pocket-friendly price with a variation of colors.
- Forefoot gel technology counters the shock impact
- The synthetic overlays on the upper part, support the feet
- Breathable mesh incorporated at the top
- TRUSSTIC technology discourages foot twisting
- Runs narrow for wide feet
- The sole adhere to clay
The Asics Gel Challenger 11 features improved technological features, such as the toe area, which has incorporated the P Guard technology that enhances durability given the sudden starts and stops. The upper part is a flexible fit that offers support to the foot, the midsole is made of solyte material, which is a bit light in weight than EVA, but with comfortable cushioning and is highly responsive.
Flat feet players have been equipped with a personal heel fit, which offers support to the foot without exacerbating the existing medical conditions. The layers of memory form utilized in the collar molds to a player’s foot thus a snug fit. What’s more, is that the rear and forefoot gel technology enables movement in different planes and counters shock during impact.
The outsole is made of high abrasion rubber for traction thus an ability to be adapted to different courts. The TRUSSTIC system is perfect for midfoot support and ensures a player’s foot does not twist when making the lateral moves. A player’s confidence is boosted by the fact that the AHAR outsole has been strategically placed to enhance durability.
- The upper part is made of a flexible material
- Features the Toe protector technology that enhances durability
- Rear and forefoot gel technology for cushioning
- Incorporated the TRUSSTIC system
- Narrow toe box
- Features a wide heel cup
Nike is a reputable company that has been producing shoes that cater to the different needs of players, and the flat feet tennis players have been provided with an external heel cup that has been molded to offer them support while securing the heel and the foot in its proper position inside the Nike air zoom prestige.
The shoe also features a supportive internal low arch specially designed to offer overpronated tennis player’s ample support, and the outsole has incorporated the use of the herringbone sole that is not only durable but also offers superb traction in the court.
The upper part consists of a breathable and durable mesh to allow for foot conditioning, so your feet don’t become sweaty and slippery. A distinctive feature with the Nike Air Zoom is that the upper overlays have been made with lightweight rubber material, which encourages flexibility and durability.
Torsional stability, which is the ability of a shoe to withstand the twisting load during a tennis game, has been enhanced by the incorporation of an external TPU shank. The feature works well when a player engages the aggressive sudden starts and stops.
- Durable upper part made with lightweight rubber
- Torsional stability enhanced by the TPU shank
- Incorporated Herringbone sole for traction and durability
- Comes with an ergonomic external heel cup that holds the foot in place
- Upper part not very durable
- Toe box runs a bit narrow
As usual, the Asics Company has done it again for the flat foot players; the incorporated TRUSSTIC technology not only reduces the weight of the sole but also retains its structural integrity and protects the foot from twisting when in a game. The padded footbed is removable and users are therefore free to utilize orthotics.
Sports shoes tend to wear out fast at the toe area but with the ASICS P Guard toe protector, the intensity of a tennis game will not have your shoes with holes at the toe area. More important is that the forefoot and rearfoot gel technology enhances shock attenuation.
The Gel court speed has incorporated a seamless construction on the insides, which ensures that a player’s foot is not irritated, the upper part consists of breathable fabric and the lace-up encourages stability and flexibility. The rubber outsole enhances traction in the court, whereas the padded collar provides comfort at the Achilles.
- Features a removable footbed
- Incorporated the P Guard toe protector
- Rear and forefoot gel technology for shock absorption
- Cushioned sole for comfort and stability
- Hill cup runs a little too deep
- Narrow toe box
The Mizuno wave Inspire running shoe supports flat foot players via the dynamic fan plates at the soles. Dynamotion fit technology is a term used to describe the upper flexible eyelets and the incorporated mesh, the features are necessary incorporation for the shoe, which encourages a natural motion during a court game.
The Dynamotion fit bends, twists and stretches with the foot, and the stretchable mesh has been included to deliver a contoured fit to counter the lateral moves, the sliding, and the sudden aggressive stops, by ensuring that the feet are comfortable from the heel strike to the toe-off.
The shoe has been constructed to offer support and stability to overpronators and the forefoot has been made by the blown rubber technology, which is an air injected rubber, light in weight and soft thus providing users with a nice feel. However, it is not very durable when compared to a carbon rubber.
The soles of the shoe have been made with a synthetic material, which is commonly available as either EVA or PVC, and closely resembles the properties of leather or rubber. The outsoles made of the above material do not offer the required support but are otherwise light in weight when worn. The shoe also features engineered flex grooves, which encourage the flexibility of the forefoot across the metatarsophalangeal joints.
- Features a breathable and flexible upper mesh
- Incorporated flex grooves
- Have been made with a blown rubber forefoot
- Dynamotion fit technology takes on the shape of the foot
- Not durable
- Toe box runs narrow
The Babolat Propulse features a dynamic response system that provides support to the ball of the foot and the toes during movement. It is also equipped with a chassis style foot belt, which aligns the foot with the shoe. The shoe cushioning design not only offers comfort but also reduces the impact on the arch in the court.
The incorporated Kompressor technology comprises of the thermoplastic rubber filled tubes located in the inside of the midsole, the feature provides users with a multifaceted cushioning, which is firm and responsive because of the use of the TPR tubes.
The Michelin performance outsoles in the Babolat shoe are resistant to thermo abrasion, and also encourage a superb performance and traction for players who spend long periods in the tennis court. They are adaptable for use in all three types of courts (turf, clay, and hard court) and the outsoles are made of a rugged design, which offers high levels of traction and abrasion.
- Made with power straps
- The outsole is a Michelin performance
- Features a midsole Kompressor technology
- The upper part features a breathable mesh for cool feet
- Shoe runs narrow
- Lacking u or V Achilles support
Individuals, who don’t have flat feet, can avoid the condition by keeping off high impact games and by not becoming obese. However, tennis players who have flat feet and are experiencing pain should seek advice from a Podiatrist and adopt some of them to do it yourself therapies to ease the pain. Orthotics and specially made shoes to handle the condition can also be sought such as the ones discussed above.
The shoes are made by different companies and their level of performance varies with regards to the position of play, some offer lateral support while others have been made to cater to the baseline and serve and volley players. Tennis players can, therefore, buy the best that supports their play position.