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How to do trekking with flat feet?

In truth, people with flat feet face a lot of problems when it comes to trekking. Trekking is the game of walking for long distances on uneven slopes. First, the pain develops because of exhaustion. Second, if you already have uneasiness, it gets worse. Third, if not paid attention, it can result in knee and back pain. 

I have flat feet, and that is why I know how important it is to take measures. To understand how to do trekking with flat feet, let us first learn the basics of the part that holds the feet: arch. 

The foot’s arch is an area along the bottom of the foot between the ball and the heel. It helps in walking, running and jumping. Along with these, it helps the body in maintaining the correct posture and balancing the weight. 

Functions of the arch

  1. They distribute body weight to weight-bearing areas of the sole.
  2. The arches act as springs, which helps in running and walking.
  3. They act as shock absorbers.
  4. The concavity of the arches protects the soft tissues of the sole. Without these, the leg is pressurised against the flat surface that cuts off the sufficient blood supply in that region. 

A foot is not called complete without these. Abnormal feet miss this. There are two ways in which these vanish from their position.



  1. Genetic. Arches develop way before we are born.
  2. This arch falls off from one or both feet due to a sudden mishap like an accident, athletics, etc. 

Myth – As mentioned above, arches develop before we are even born. If these are missing or lowered, these can be generated if we wear tight shoes – It’s a myth. Practically, there is no way to cure it. 

What problems does it cause in your body?

Without the arches, all the above functions are missing. This causes imbalance, pain, stress and sometimes change in the shape of the body posture. 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Over time, as we walk with flat feet, the leg muscles turn inward, giving the extra knee rotation. This might cause knee pain. Plus, this pain further accentuates to hip region.

How to treat this?

Arches cannot grow. Although, some other techniques help in supporting the feet and giving them that balance. 

  1. You can wear custom made orthotics.
  2. Or, there are shoe soles that you can fit from outside. 
  3. Make a conscious effort to pay attention to how you stand and move. Keep your feet straight while standing. 
  4. Keep your weight according to your body needs. The lesser the weight, the lesser the pressure on your legs when you stand, walk, run.
  5. Involve in a couple of exercises that keep your blood circulating. Stretch your hamstring and calf muscles from time to time. This improves the flexibility of the leg overall, which increases blood supply to the foot. 

Trekking is a ‘high’; once I have had instances when I have trekked in pain. Once you start, you cannot stop. I have made this blunder myself. This did not help but worsen my condition whatsoever.

Don’t do this. Try to take as much rest as possible. It helps in rebuilding those hurt muscles and tendons and cures them gradually. 

Cold Therapy

There is one other therapy that you can try. I was in Sonamarg for KGL Trek. One week before, while I was running to get in shape, my pain started for the first time. It did not get better even after giving it much rest. What to do in such a situation? 

I know, for a trek, you prepare for a long time. You never want that pain to stop you. In Sonamarg, only God knows how much I was scared with this pain even to begin my six-day journey. But the next day, I wake up, I find the pain is gone. Later, I figured out this was because of the cold therapy. I had heard about it but never knew it was that effective.

If your foot pain is due to an injury or overuse, rest combined with cold therapy will primarily help. To do this, put ice on your foot for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day. 

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications will also help with pain and may help in healing it.

Along with all other things, keep in mind that exercises that improve stretchability are a must and will significantly aid it. That’s all for now. Let me know in the comments about your ways of treating it. 

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About the author

Supriya is currently based in Bangalore who loves the art of observing things. She wants to fill all her days with poetry and travel. Her works have been published in 2 books namely - The Fragrance of life and Ikigai. Her articles have also reached the audience through Women's Web, Asailor and Tripoto platform.

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