By using accessories like insoles, modifying the shoes, or using products that protect the feet, it is possible to use flat shoes all day if necessary without discomfort. By knowing about the different types of flat shoes, the potential problems they cause, and some solutions to common problems, shoppers often buy flat shoes to their heart's content without worrying about pain and blisters.
Types of Flat ShoesFlat shoes are divided into four basic categories. These are ballet flats, flat tennis shoes, sandals, and work shoes. Of course the design of the shoe has everything to do with the possibility of fixing it, if there is a problem.
Ballet FlatsBallet flats enclose the entire foot but provide very little support. The sole is flexible compared to other shoe types, and almost gives the feeling of walking barefoot. Ballet flats are a fashion staple, and are modifiable in many ways to make them more comfortable.
Flat Tennis ShoesFlat tennis shoes, like those made popular by Converse, are another fashion staple. These are generally made of fabric and rarely cause problems, although fallen arches may be an issue for some. Insoles are one easy way to modify flat tennis shoes.
SandalsFlat sandals like the "gladiator" style typically come along with leather straps that cross the foot and ankle look fantastic but are often uncomfortable. The thin sole causes heel pain and the lack of arch support causes swelling and foot pain. Open sandals are a little difficult to modify since nothing is hidden, but it may be possible depending on the model.
Work ShoesMany jobs require the use of flat shoes for safety purposes. Some examples are restaurants and hospitals. When flat shoes are mandatory for work, it is essential for them to be comfortable. Fortunately, the widest range of solutions is possible for flat work shoes which are generally fully enclosed. However, it may be necessary to buy them a half size larger than usual to leave space for insoles and other modifications.
Potential Problems with Flat ShoesFlat shoes cause pain in a few different ways and pain is often a warning that precedes more serious health concerns. It is common for wearers to report pain in the heels, arch, ankle, or even the back. Heel pain is probably an indication of inadequate cushioning in the insole. Pain in the arch of the foot usually means there is not enough support in the arch.
If left untreated, this could develop into fallen arches, a painful condition that makes it difficult to walk. Back pain also usually has to do with a lack of arch support. Ankle pain or other types of foot pain may indicate that muscles and tendons in the foot are getting stressed. This may lead to plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the tissues on the bottom of the foot get swollen and inflamed. Finally, pressure on the toes might cause corns, bunions, or blisters.
Eliminating Uncomfortable FlatsIt is possible to correct almost every problem from cushioning to blisters inexpensively, especially in enclosed shoes like ballet flats and work shoes. Using inserts to fix problems is usually not possible with open shoe types. However, other solutions like stretching work for any type of shoe.
Arch Support and CushioningThe most common solution for a lack of arch support is an insole. Gel insoles transform the feel of a shoe, add cushioning under the heel and the ball of the foot, and also support the arch. However, since they take up space inside the shoe, it is often necessary to buy a half-size bigger than normal in order to get the perfect fit. Different brands of insoles offer different thicknesses and sizes. Dr.Scholl's Gel Insoles are one popular brand. However, insoles do not fit in open shoe styles like sandals.
Blisters and ChafingWhile Band-Aids are one way to cover or prevent blisters, they do not do anything to change the shoe. Moleskin is a thick cotton fabric that is sold with an adhesive backing. Once it is clear where the shoe causes chafing, cut a piece of moleskin and stick it to the foot. Not only does the fabric protect the foot, it is also thick enough to exert some pressure on that part of the shoe. Moleskin helps "break in" a shoe without the painful blisters that are usually a side effect.
Tight or Loose ShoesShoes that are too tight all around may be a lost cause, but as a last resort, try stretching. Cobblers have special tools to stretch shoes lengthwise or widthwise and it is generally not expensive to have this done. Another way is to put a plastic bag of water inside the shoe and then put the shoes in the freezer. As the water freezes, it expands, stretching the shoe as it does. Be aware that some synthetic materials might not take cold stretching well and check the shoes periodically to avoid problems.
Fix loose shoes with an insole, heel grippers, or lambswool. Heel grippers are used when the heel of the foot comes out of the shoe with every step. The grippers stick to the back of the shoe and prevent the heel from slipping upwards. Lambswool is a material often used to stuff in the front of the shoe when there is too much space. Unlike tissue paper, it remains soft and breathable even after several hours. The table below summarises the possible solutions for problems with flat shoes.
|Arch support||Insoles||Enclosed shoes only|
|Cushioning||Gel insoles||Enclosed shoes only|
|Blisters||Moleskin||All shoe types|
|Loose fit||Lambswool, insoles, heel grippers||Enclosed shoes only|
|Tight fit||Stretching||All shoe types|
As the table shows, it is much easier to fix problems with enclosed shoes than with open shoe types. Enclosed shoes include ballet flats, tennis shoes, and work shoes. Examples of open shoes include sandals and flip-flops. For this reason, it is much more important to ensure a good fit with sandals than with enclosed shoes when shopping for flat shoes.
How to Buy Flat Shoes and Accessories on eBayeBay is a great place to look for flat shoes because of the wide selection and the great deals. Consumers shop from the comfort of their home, knowing that there is also a wide selection of footwear accessories like insoles to help you achieve the perfect fit in your new shoes. To find flat shoes on eBay, just enter a search term like "ballet flats" in the search box on any eBay page.
Then refine the search using the category options and criteria such as price and location. Be sure to check the seller's feedback score before making a purchase. This eBay feature makes every seller's transactional history and feedback public so that shoppers easily identify those who offer excellent products and service.
ConclusionFlat shoes are mandatory in many jobs for safety reasons. However, contrary to popular belief, they are not actually the best possible shoe type for posture. Flat shoes may lead to an uneven gait, bad posture, and fallen arches. These often turn into more serious health problems so making flat shoes comfortable enough to wear all day is a concern for many people.
Fortunately, there are many ways to fix flat work shoes, tennis shoes, and even ballet flats. Insoles, arch supports, moleskin, and heel grippers add cushioning, support, and comfort to shoes that are lacking in these areas. By learning to shop for these footwear accessories as well as for flat shoes on eBay, shoppers often find great deals from the comfort of their homes.