Since becoming aware that I have (nearly) flat feet, I’ve switched my running shoes to Brooks Beasts, started doing some simple exercises to strengthen my arches and generally paid more attention to how I walk and run, feeling how my feet strike the ground and trying to correct my stride. It had gotten so bad that I gave up wearing about three pairs of shoes (Rockports so they were not cheap shoes) and switched to shoes that were roomier (wider and more toe room). The old pairs felt as if they were squeezing my feet and I frequently removed them at work because of the discomfort.
One of the exercises I’ve been doing over the past three weeks is what I call “tiger claws.” In my bare feet, I curl my toes and then release them under for sets of 20 repetitions. Several sets of instructions called for me to stand on top of a towel and try to pull it up under my feet, but I found that I did not have the strength or flexibility to pull a towel so I just claw the ground my my toes.
Well, today I tried on one of those shoes that did not seem to fit me anymore and, low and behold, the shoe felt fine. I wore it for a day and did not have any more discomfort than you’d ordinarily have from a days of walking. The next day I tried out another of those discarded shoes and they also fit fine. I don’t know whether it’s my exercise that have reverse the deterioration of my arches or whether it’s the supportive running shoes.