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Arch Support in Shoes - Good or Bad?

Arch Support in Shoes - Good or Bad?

Truthfully, there's no clean-cut answer for this question. Is wearing shoes with arch support necessity? Let's take a look at both sides of the argument and see which kind of shoe leads us to the ideal everyday option.

Potential Causes of Foot Pain

One side claims that our everyday footwear needs arch support to help lift our arches so we don't become flat footed or end up with chronic foot pain. Wearing poorly designed footwear such as flip flops, sandals or heels with no back, can damage our footbed. This damage is caused because our feet clench the bottom of the shoe to ensure grip and therefore with each step, we are changing the form or our foot if we wear these style of shoes for long periods of time. Another contributor to foot pain is any shoe that has a narrow toe box. If our footwear has our toes tightly closed, leaving our foot cramped and unable to properly expand with each step we make, then this also can have negative affects on our arch support.

Lazy Feet

The other side of the argument claims that by wearing shoes with arch support, we take all the work and strength out of our feet so while our foot is supported, it's also becoming weakened by the arch support doing all the work for our foot. Essentially, arch support shoes, if worn for long periods of time, can make our feet lazy.

Our feet were designed with a whole bunch of different bones that help us to be balanced and supported while standing, running, jumping etc. These small bones also affect the rest of our body and its structure such as our hip and back alignment. When wearing shoes with an arch support, our shoes end up doing all the work so it actually weakens the muscles that support these bones and ends up weakening our natural arch support. The arch support in shoes keeps our feet in one static position instead of allowing our feet to flex and move as we move. So when we wear arch support shoes often, we may find increased foot pain when not wearing these specific arch support shoes. It's not our shoes that are causing the foot pain, it's our weakened arch that's complaining.

How It All Began

Let's take a step back in time to look at why we started wearing shoes in the first place. The main reason was to protect our feet from the outside elements. Our ancestors created and introduced leather moccasins made out of animal hide and the design had nothing to do with arch support. Overtime, shoes then evolved for different reasons - Some for appearance, others for work and then there's the ones that claim they provide the perfect alignment for our feet. By and large though, traditional moccasins are the basic shoe that has stood the test of time.

The classic moccasin design has not changed for years. They serve their purpose in protecting our feet from the outside elements and allow our feet to strengthen their own arches with no built in arch support. The toe box in natural moccasins is not too narrow so it allows for the expansion of our feet so the muscles and bones can naturally support themselves by moving and flexing as we move about our day.

At Moccasins Canada we have traditional moccasin shoes and slippers that will strengthen your arches at work or at home. Our real moccasins are also quite stylish moccasins so if you are looking for a shoe for appearance reasons, you don't have to sacrifice comfort and strengthening for style. We have fast shipping, informative customer care and handmade Canadian products. Visit one of our many product pages to find a pair of leather moccasins that will help strengthen your arches, today.
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  • Thorny

    I agree with the blog post, and lean towards no arches. I even ran marathons without them, and went on extensive wilderness trips.

    But, there are people born with fallen arches or pronation problems which the blog post doesn’t address. In their youth, going without arch supports is probably not a problem. It wasn’t for me. But later in life when the body recovers more slowly from the strain of flat arches, arch supports are very beneficial. This is not an issue for house slippers or trips to pick up the newspaper, do tai chi, and retrieve the mail. But for hunting, hiking or shopping in mocassins, arch supports may be necessary later in life for those of us born flat-footed. Be nice if someone came up with an earthing arch support for earthing moccasins. Wood? Very dense rabbit fur felt? I dunno.

  • The Brown Bear

    In response to Bradley: The 137597 is crafted from Eugene Cloutier – the brand Laurentian Chief. These boots are Native inspired footwear. Although the founder “Eugene Cloutier” was of Native descent he employs Canadians, not necessarily only Native Americans. Their products are 100% Canadian made in Roselins, Québec which is about 5 minutes away from the Wendake Native reserve. I believe if you were to see which tribe their moccasins were inspired from, their name presents the answer. “The St. Lawrence Iroquoians were an Indigenous people … They spoke Laurentian languages, a branch of the Iroquoian family”

  • Bradley Dow

    I recently purchased a pair of your boot style mocassins #137597CKM. These are what I have been searching for, for many years, since I was a kid ( now 70 ). I have flat feet and these mocassins are the most comfortable foot wear I have ever worn! I love the look and feel of them, and the authentic Indian construction. I only wish they were made a bit wider as I have wide feet (EEE), but the are form fitting with wear. What Indian tribe makes these? Wish I could contact them. Thank You Very Much!

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