Are you passionate about serving your country's Military? Do you want to fight beside your countrymen against the enemies of peace? Do you love the military lifestyle, wearing that uniform, and having a higher responsibility on your shoulder? Those dreams could come to an end if you have flat feet.
For those who don't know what this foot condition is, this article is going to explain everything and help you choose the right military boots for flat feet. Why should it stop anyone from choosing the career of their dreams, when we already have a solution? Read through to know more about flat feet.
Top 7 Military Boots for Flat-Footed People Reviewed
Bates - Waterproof
These are the kind of boots when you see anyone wearing them you subconsciously think they are in the Military or some elite class of police. The height and the look make you think that they may be too harsh on the feet, but the reality is completely the opposite.
This is a summary of my experience with the Bates boots.
Durability – since the brand is dedicated to the development and manufacturing of uniform footwear for all branches of the Military and civilian police forces, durability should've been their most essential feature. Well, after using them, most customers agree that they've done quite a good job on this front.
Protection - The heel and toe seem to be semi-rigid to provide some protection in an accident. It's nice that there is some abrasion-resistant fabric mixed in as well and thicker than most would expect around the ankle.
Comfort - It is very comfortable and not highly rigid. They can be used as hiking boots. You can wear these all day and feel very relaxed. Also, the side zip feature is superb.
Even though they are semi-rigid, I like how they still make me feel the ground as well as the gear shifter of the bike. They might take around a month or even less to break in, but after that, you'd love spending hours wearing them.
Difficult to Break-in
Garmont - Desert Sand
These boots feel a little heavy when they haven't broken in with your feet. They take about two weeks to break in, but once they do, they stop feeling heavier.
For someone with flat feet, these are very comfortable yet pretty solid. They are best bought in the same size as running shoes.
They go along quite well for long marches and difficult terrain. I would highly recommend them.
Great for Flat Feet
Difficult to Break In
Tactical Research - Lightweight
These boots have the best tread pattern I've ever seen, and they come in handy at tough terrain as they dig in and protect from sliding.
Belleville has always been a reliable brand for anyone who likes combat boots. All their products are durable and comfortable, even for long military drills.
By adding an insole, my flat feet felt even more comfortable and broke-in very soon without any discomfort. I like their softer shoelaces compared to the normal combat boot speed laces. It wouldn't be wrong to call them the best tactical boots for flat feet.
ROCKY - Uniform Compliant
I had to try this boot because of the good reviews I was getting about them, and I discovered for my self that they were all true.
They are very supportive for the feet and comfortable as well. They fit right in, even though I have a flat-foot condition. I love them due to their flash and water-resistant leather.
Although they are heavier than the other boots (Danner and Nike) but much more supportive around the ankle and sturdy at the sole. I would always prefer them over the boots issued by the Army. They are great for fields and rucks.
A Bit Heavy
Rothco - Lace-Up Closure
A very close friend of mine recommended these to me, so I tested their comfort and material first and then bought myself a pair. The level of protection I felt at the moment I first used them was great.
They have a slip and oil-resistant outsole for preventing the naughtiest accidents and a smart lace system that is also rustproof.
The ISO 9001 certified work boots are very good at achieving comfort for your feet. They have ergonomic features that are great if you have flat feet. They have padded leather uppers, and a suede leather collar that combines to their breathable mesh gives the worker's feet an incredible level of comfort and support.
Finally, I can, without a doubt, tell you that these deployment boots are a great option if you are looking for the best work boots for flat feet given the support and comfort previously mentioned.
Oil and Slip Resistant
Smart Lace System
Not AR 670-1 Compliant
Stellar Military - Minimalist Design
Anyone who has bought these shoes has first felt as these won't be a good match for them, but after wearing for a day or two, they fit right in.
For someone with flat-feet, they're extremely comfortable. Bikers have recommended them as their favorites.
They are durable and protect the feet quite well. I heartily recommend the Iron lace laces and Unisex 8 eyelet zippers (both available here) to make these a snap to get on and off.
Not Too Durable
Danner - Removable Insole
I recommend these boots for anyone who has a flat-foot problem, works in the Military, and has to trek on tough terrain. These boots match perfectly with camouflage uniforms.
The best thing about these boots is that the moment I got them, I felt like I had been wearing them for a long time. Otherwise, boots take a long time before they break in with my feet.
The Coyote tan color is the best one. The dirt and sand here fade the color nicely, and they take on an even more attractive appearance.
Lightweight, comfortable, breathable – Its been over six months since I started wearing them, and I feel as if they have paid for themselves. Either I'm in the office or the field, they have been very comfortable, breathable, and lightweight.
Durability – Although these boots are light and the material is very thin in some places, they haven't shown any signs of deterioration.
Difficult to Break In
What are Flat Feet?
Well, it's a medical condition and, therefore, called pes planus or fallen arches. This condition is a postural deformity in the feet such that the medial arch is fallen.
A human foot is composed of 33 joints, 26 different bones, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The arch is important because it provides a spring to the step and lets the whole body's weight to distribute across the entire feet and legs.
How a person walks is mostly determined by the structure of his foot's arches. Sturdy and flexible arches allow the feet to adapt to stress and a variety of surfaces.
The condition can, however, be symptomatic or asymptomatic. That means it may or may not affect the movement of the person just because they have a flat-foot.
The condition is mostly genetic, but in some cases, adults develop flat-feet quite late in their lives, which is primarily due to massive weight gain and appears four times more in women than men.
In some cases, children that are born with flat feet tend to develop medial arches by the time they reach age six or seven.
Estimates show that every fourth person is affected by flat-foot, but the condition is not that serious. Flat-foot is neither life-threatening nor restricting anyone's abilities.
For the past two centuries, military forces around the world were skeptical of hiring individuals with flat feet because of their ability to run long distances or perform strict military duties. However, much of that has changed. Many flat-footed people have not only joined the services but reached heights in the sports and fitness industry.
Possible Symptoms of Flat-feet
It was observed that not all people with flat-feet show any symptoms. However, if you have flat-feet, observe if you experience any of these symptoms from mild to severe cases.
- Even a little walk makes you tired
- You feel pain in the areas of arches and heels
- Sometimes, you have a swelling on the bottom of your feet
- You have difficulty in moving your foot
- Or you might have pain in your leg, knee, hip or back for no reason
If you do experience these symptoms, it should be clear to you now that strenuous exercises or even easier but enduring ones, like long walks, may not be the right thing for you.
Can You Be in the Military with a Flat-feet?
Yes, if you do not show the symptoms mentioned above. In case you do, then you might not be allowed to join the Military because:
1. Service members are required to first go through years of training where each individual physically and mentally challenged. They have to walk while carrying huge loads of weight, march in hot weather, which also involves standing for hours as well as thumping feet on the ground very hard. For anyone with symptomatic flat-foot, these might cause severe pain and eventually affect their performance.
2. Soldiers and officers are made to perform drills to keep their fitness in check and to make sure they perform best in time of any disaster or war. Therefore, people with symptomatic slat-feet might not be able to perform best.
In most of the Armed forces around the world, candidates are not rejected solely based on their flat-feet unless it causes them pain in the lower joints, hips, and the back.
Therefore, those that display symptoms are usually not selected or disqualified later on, whereas those considered asymptomatic are advised to wear standard foot inserts or orthopedic or recommended footwear. They may be disqualified, too, if the pain causes discomfort in performing the duty.
Why Doesn't the Military Accept Flat Feet?
The condition was also seen as a sign of poverty and weakness, whereas having a medial arch was a sign of high class and full of vigor. These were probably traditional stereotypes. In the past, men who can fight were respected, and those who couldn't were seen as weak.
However, in times of prolonged war, when there was a shortage of soldiers, every man was required to fight.
As it was seen in the Vietnam war, most Americans were against the war and tried to avoid enlistment. The Military needed soldiers, but families were seen bribing doctors and other medical professionals to save their men from enlisting in the Military. Therefore, the U.S. military decided to strip off the condition to increase enrollment.
However, it's also worth noting that not getting enrolled in the Military due to symptomatic flat foot is not only good for the Military but also the best option for you because you could be the one going through pain during military drills and duties.
How to Know If You Have a Flat-foot
Well, all medical conditions are best left to a medical professional. Identifying flat-feet should also be diagnosed by a general physician, physiotherapist, or, in special cases, a podiatrist because they use visual examinations, x-rays, and MRIs to confirm the diagnosis.
However, if you are too eager to check for yourself, you might want to take one of these tests.
1. Footprint Test
This test allows you to find the exact structure of your feet's arch. All you have to do is:
Step 1: Take a baking dish or a bathtub and fill it with roughly half an inch of water and keep a white and dry piece of paper beside it.
Step 2: Step into the water with your bare feet.
Step 3: Get out of the tub by placing your feet while they are wet on the white piece of paper.
If the print is a complete foot, that means you have a flat-foot.
2. Tiptoes Test
This is the simplest way of knowing if you have a flat-foot or not without any apparatus. All you need to do is
Step 1: Stand, barefoot, beside a wall or anything you can use as a support.
Step 2: Gently lean against it while placing your weight on it.
Step 3: Slowly stand on your tiptoes on both feet.
If you observe no noticeable arch, then you likely have flat feet.
Studies on Flat Foot and Military Enlistment
Multiple studies and observations have proved over time that having flat-feet is not enough to label someone as not-good-for the Military.
In a study conducted by the Royal Australian Air force in 2005, 230 flat-footed candidates showed no signs of baseline pain or injury. It was concluded that flat-feet are not a deterrent factor in enlisting in the air force.
Natural Teatments for Flat Feet
Although surgeries can be performed to fix the issue once and for all-natural cures and treatments should be adopted first. Such as:
- Heel Cord stretching
- Golf ball roll
- Well fitted shoes
- Fitted insoles
- Ankle braces
- Weight loss (for overweight individuals)
Any general physician will recommend these cures and treatments.
Tips in Dealing with Flat Feet During Military Trainings
In medical terms, these are called removable orthotics, and they are the best when it comes to giving support to your arch. Since they are detachable, one pair of them can be used for several shoes.
Boots With Arch Support
A lot of physiotherapists recommend boots with arch support, and it's a widely known and less painful treatment.
Lose weight (if overweight)
People who develop flat-feet symptoms later in life mostly do It due to excessive weight gain, and normal weight loss has been noticed to solve the problem.
Try Going Barefoot
This is a very controversial topic among experts and industry, but a lot of people have felt better by exercising and walking barefoot on a routine until they felt better.
Kinematic taping has proved beneficial in experiments and practical by many people. It involves wrapping a 5 cm DIY tape around your medial arch and then over the top. It applies pressure in such a manner that it relieves the stress from the fallen arches and distributes it to the heel and toes.
Exercise and Stretching
A lot of times, people start exercising when their muscles are cold and stiff. A better way to start exercising is to warm up and stretch all muscles.
For people dealing with flat foot symptoms, it's better to try the downward dog pose with a combination of other stretching to loosen the muscles. Other exercises, such as resistance band pulls, can be used to strengthen the muscles gradually.
Cure Related Injuries
There are many injuries related to the flat-feet condition, and not dealing with them beforehand could lead to more pain and suffering. Such as most flat-footed people develop blisters around the fallen medial arch.
Applying moleskin to this area is a cheap and easy way of protecting the skin from damage. Similarly, to deal with overpronation, night splints work best.
Consult a Physiotherapist
If none of the above methods work for you, its time you pay a visit to a qualified professional physiotherapist. By this point, your option of getting surgery is urgent.
Considering Foot Surgery
When none of those mentioned above cures, exercises, and techniques work, it might be time for surgery but only continue if you have the right doctors and their permission.
The surgery might be carried out in a day, but the patient will not be able to walk for two weeks because the procedure requires removing the damaged tendons and inserting a metal screw in the heel bone.
For another two weeks, the patient will be able to walk with crutches and without putting weight on the operated leg. For another couple of months, he/she will have to take regular sessions with a physiotherapist to fix their gait and another couple of months to bring their walk to normal.
If you are in the Military, you might be interested in switching to tactical shoes that give your feet comfort and the sole support that it needs. Even if you aren't in the Military but love wearing tactical boots, you don't have to give up on them because these brands are the best choice of tactical boots for flat feet.