The Curse of the Flat Footed Floogie
Here are a few facts about me: I am 28 years old, I live on the East Coast, I am ethnically Indian and I have flat feet. Many Indians have the curse of the Flat-Footed Floogie where our arches are non-existent and the soles of our feet completely hug the floor. I was only recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2010 but my lovely feet were a problem long before that.
Flat Feet and RA
I still have nightmares from track in elementary school. I high-tailed it out of the mandatory sport as soon as I reached freshman year of high school (faster than I had ever run, mind you!) I remember taking Indian dancing lessons (the dancers are barefoot) and wanting to cry because my feet hurt so badly. I wore very specific trainers because a long stint in sports class meant my feet twinged by the end of it.
Without proper arches, my poor little feet couldn’t support my body and I struggled a lot with them. I was pre-disposed to foot pain so imagine what happened when my Rheumatoid Disease came on. The pain magnified, by a lot.
Finding the right shoes
At the beginning I just wanted to keep my feet off the floor, all the time. Of course, that couldn’t fly since I was a vet tech and stood most of the day. I tried innumerable sneakers hoping for the magic pair that took the pain away. No such luck. I came home every afternoon in agony and no hope of continuing my day.
I soon gave up my favorite high tops as their platform was completely flat and unhelpful. I even said goodbye to some of my sandals (though, I still sneak them into rotation during the summer).
I managed the discomfort with warm baths, medication and a husk pillow. They helped but not enough. I needed an extreme overhaul (whether by getting arthritis-specific shoes or orthotics).
To the dismay of my piggies, I still go style over comfort. I wear very basic clothes (ie. A tee and jeans) and spice up the outfit with accessories. I am especially known for my taste in shoes! Needless to say, RA appropriate footwear is not usually very stylish so I shy away from them. I know I should wear them but I just can’t bring myself to buy them yet (did I mention I’m in my 20s?). Here’s where it gets a bit tricky for me. I can’t walk around barefoot anymore. It’s quite uncomfortable which is not only an issue in the shower but also in the climbing gym. I thankfully don’t have an issue with my climbing shoes because they do have pretty good arch support!
Given my newest symptom, I was on the verge of giving up summer sandals for good when I happened upon a brand who used yoga mats for the sole of their shoes. On a whim I purchased a pair and WOW. They minimized my foot pain to almost zero and looked quite cute doing it! I purchased a couple more pairs so I had a healthy rotation for the summer months.
My feet are now in need of something to support them and minize the pain. What's next in my saga of the Flat-Footed Floogie? Will one of my toes fall off? Yes, that's probably an exaggeration but actually, will it?
Do you have foot pain? How do you subdue it? What kinds of shoes do you wear?
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?