Do you have flat feet and you want to pick up roller skating? Or maybe your flat feet cause some pain problems during roller skating?
Well, you don’t have to get scared and quit roller skating just yet. About 2 in 10 people have flat feet on average, so it’s not that much of a rare case. Flat feet problems can be fixed by different non-surgical treatments.
So can you roller skate with flat feet? If your flat feet make your roller skating life hard and you need help, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll show you ways and recommendations to relieve pain from flat feet.
So let’s get right into it.
Table of Contents Hide
- What Does It Mean To Have Flat Feet?
- Can you Roller Skate with Flat Feet?
- How Would Flat Feet Affect My Roller Skating?
- What To Do If I Get Foot Pain From Flat Feet?
- What Kinds of Conditions Can I Get from Flat Feet?
- Don’t Leave Roller Skating Just YET!
- Tips To Getting Rid of Flat Feet Problems in Roller Skating
What Does It Mean To Have Flat Feet?
Flat feet or flatfoot is a condition, when the arch on the bottom of the feet is missing. Meaning that the bottom of the foot is flat instead of being curved upwards. You may be able to see arches when you lift your feet up. However, they disappear when you stand.
The arches support the legs for better balance. So people with flat feet have increased risk of other problems like arthritis, bone spurs etc.
Babies are born with natural flat feet and they develop arches later in their childhood. However, a lot of children fail to form arches in their childhood and teenage years.
One of the reasons is simply genes. Flat feet run in a lot of families. Another reason may be a prior disease that can increase the risk of flat feet like diabetes, pregnancy, high blood pressure, obesity etc.
Different sports put different kinds of stress on your muscles, bones and tendons. Roller skating is no different. The engagement of certain muscles can trigger different kinds of foot pain from flat feet.
Can you Roller Skate with Flat Feet?
Chances of Flat Feet Problems are Slim!
Most of the time, people with flat feet can go roller skating easily without facing any problems. Their roller skating experience is no different from people with normal arched feet.
How Would Flat Feet Affect My Roller Skating?
However, some people may have to go through different kinds of foot or leg pain. Though the pain is mild most of the time, it can get really annoying. So putting in some effort is worth it.
What To Do If I Get Foot Pain From Flat Feet?
The first step is to determine what variation of foot pain you have. Understanding the injury is the first requirement to treat it.
So figure out your pain condition and location, and put in the effort to relieve pain in that specific area.
What Kinds of Conditions Can I Get from Flat Feet?
Flat feet make muscles curl upwards putting unusual pressures on different areas of your foot and lower leg during roller skating.
Here are some kinds of foot pains and conditions you can get from flat feet.
A leg cramp is a sudden gush of pain in a certain leg muscle due to its involuntary contraction. Leg cramps most often happen in the calves. They can also occur in the thighs.
Leg cramps last for a few seconds, however, those few seconds do not feel like candy. You’ll just have to endure it the best you can and not cry.
If you get a leg cramp all of a sudden while roller skating, sit down, take off your roller skate, move your leg carefully here and there, and point your toes in upwards direction to relieve pain.
Ankles are the joints that support your entire body and help you balance. Roller skating requires a lot of balance and hence puts a lot of pressure on the ankles.
And on top of that, flat feet also strain the ankle, which can result in ankle pain.
Icing the painful area and resting for a bit is the best possible solution. You could also stretch your ankles a bit and apply anti-inflammatory cream to relieve pain.
Do not push through the pain or it might become serious.
Heel is extremely common among roller skaters, roller bladers and skate boarders. At this point, it’s inevitable. Flat feet also boost the pain.
It’s not that painful and can be relieved, with a bit of rest. Most people don’t even notice the pain in their heels. They’re so used to it.
The treatment is almost the same as any other foot pain. Ice the area and rest for some time until the pain heals before picking up your roller skates again.
Shin splints are common among athletes. Flat feet may mean getting shin splints more often than usual. You may feel a sharp pain pinpointed on some area of the shin between the knees and the ankle.
Shin splints can be healed simply by icing and resting. You could also use KT tape to prevent shin splints.
However, you should not push through the pain to prevent it from developing into a serious injury.
Lower Back Pain, Knee Pain or Hip Pain
Pain in these areas is a natural side effect of flat feet. Flat feet temper with a person’s support and balance, and hence a slightly uncomfortable stingy pain.
Roller skating may trigger the pain a bit, as it requires movement of all these joints and muscles.
The best way to deal with this is to exercise and stay healthy. Get your fair share of nutrients to keep those bones healthy. Stretches can also help relieve pain in these areas. And you should also take care of your weight.
Read our article on hip pain and how to fix it.
Bunion is a foot condition when a bump forms at the base of the joint of the first bit toe or the last small toe. Flat feet and other injuries do increase the risk of you getting bunions.
However, most of the time, bunions are hereditary and do not cause much problems. You could ease any discomfort by buying good fitted shoes and . However, the only absolute treatment is surgery.
Corns And Calluses
Corns and calluses are rigid pieces of skin or bumps that form on the bottom of the foot due to the rubbing of the skin. When you start a new sport, it’s highly probable to get calluses.
Roller skating is the same. These calluses put pressure on the nerves causing an unpleasant sharp pain.
Flat feet also increase the risk of getting corns and calluses. More skin touching the ground means more skin to rub and hence more calluses.
Arthritis is a common problem everywhere and not just for people with flat feet. However, flat feet do increase the risk of arthritis a bit. Roller skating can trigger arthritis in the lower body.
Arthritis has different forms that need different treatments. Arthritis means ‘wear and tear’ of the joints. It may develop in the feet, hands, ankles, knees, hip, spine etc.
If you have this problem, you should take care of your bones, drink milk, and visit your doctor for a therapy session.
Don’t Leave Roller Skating Just YET!
“Okay, I admit, all the above ‘injury’ and ‘pain’ talk may have urged you to throw your roller skates in the dumpster. However, don’t do that just yet. Because, if you follow the tips I’ll give you below, your chances of getting flat feet problems are zero.”
Tips To Getting Rid of Flat Feet Problems in Roller Skating
Here are some helpful tips to not let your flat feet hinder your fun from roller skating.
1. Purchase Good Fitted Skates
90 percent of the time, the root of every injury or foot problem in roller skating is the boot. Roller skates can make or break your roller skating experience.
When choosing roller skates for yourself, you need to take your foot size into consideration. Most brands follow the general shoe sizing system so it’s convenient. When testing out your roller skates, if your toes slightly touch the top of the boot, then the size is perfect. But if your toes curl inwards, change your roller skates as they will cause problems later on.
You should also opt for shoes that have a comfortable and cushy build on the inside.
2. Tighten Up Your Buckles
Tightening your buckle can do wonders for your foot support. A lot of times, people skate with loose buckles putting unnecessary pressure on your ankle and hence causing pain.
If you’ve got flat feet, then there’s all the more reason to have sustainable foot support. If the buckles loosen after some time, or can’t tighten more even if needed, replace them.
Be careful not to tighten them too much so that it blocks the blood supply to your foot. Find a sweet middle point for the buckles.
3. Loosen Up Your Laces
Do you know the biggest reason for lace bite in roller skating? It’s tight laces. Tight laces put a lot of stress on the veins and nerves, causing pain and numbness later on. This problem is very common in roller skaters, rollerbladers and ice skaters.
In people with flat feet, it may awaken additional problems. Better be careful than sorry, right?
4. Avoid Vibrations and Rough Surfaces
Loads of vibrations in roller skating can cause foot problems in anyone. Flat feet just double the risk of that happening.
A skate rink is your best friend. The smooth surfaces really are nice to skate on. Nowadays, there are skates available with an Anti-Vibration System that minimizes the shocks by absorbing them.
If possible, you could opt for skates with a nylon fabric frame that really help with the anti vibration purpose.
If you have to skate outdoors, use the road instead of the foot path.
5. Wear Thick Socks
I repeat: Wear thick socks that reach all the way from your feet to your shins.. You’ll be surprised to know how thick socks increase the comfort level of your socks by ten folds. For people with flat feet, it’s a must.
Thick socks not only improve boot support but also act as an additional cushion that protects your feet from shocks and vibration. Your boots also fit better with socks on.
The benefits of thick socks do not end here. You’ll also notice a considerable decrease in ankle pain, heel pain, calluses and shin splints.
6. Opt For an Easy-going Skating Style
Okay, if you’re picking up roller skating as a workout routine, you don’t have to run 10 miles everyday. Similarly, you don’t have to perform a backflip on or do a handstand within your first few months of roller skating.
If your flat feet have been causing problems in the past, I recommend staying away from aggressive roller skating tricks. You should also refrain from jumping too much in your skating sessions.
Instead, you could opt for lighter and easy going tricks like skating backwards, backward cross, one foot, eagle, moon walk etc.
Hanging out with friends and jamming to some music while roller skating is the most fun thing in the world. And guess what, you don’t have to drop down a 10 foot vert to do it.
7. Visit Your Doctor
Lastly, the final tip is to visit your doctor. Consulting a specialist for advice is never a bad idea. They’ll give you the most reliable piece of advice there is.
They may ask you for your sports interests and daily routine. They may prescribe medications or recommend adjusting other inserts in your shoes making them more comfortable for flat feet to walk or roller skate in.
My final recommendation would be to not get discouraged, and skate carefully. You’ll be surprised to know how much fun roller skating can be. I hope this article can help you optimize your roller skating experience to max and free you of any flatfoot medical conditions holding you back from having your fun.
If you want more skate related content and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, check out our guides.
Good luck and happy skating!