Flat Feet! Help! :-)

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by Le Tenis, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

    Sep 29, 2012
    Hi everyone
    My 7 year old son who has big tennis dreams ( like many kids his age) has flat feet. Will it be impossible for him to reach a high level in tennis or could it be corrected? If any of you have experience with this issue, I would greatly appreciate feedback before I take him to a podiatrist!

    From what I've gathered (google), some say jumping rope at this age can help to create an arch and ortho inserts could correct it since the bones haven't fully ossified ..
    Thanks in advance!
  2. TennisTaxi

    TennisTaxi Rookie

    Feb 18, 2006
    No worries Le Tenis...my son plays D1 tennis and his feet are flat as a pancake!! He wore orthotic inserts on and off, some fitted by a podiatrist and others by a chiropractor. Just make sure that if he gets them they are specifically made for sports...one pair he received where not padded well enough and killed his feet...so padding is the key. Also, it does take a while to get use to them...by son has not opted not to wear them now and he is doing fine ;)

    Good luck....
  3. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    From my limited understanding of flat feet, some people are born with them. As long as the foot is strong, a flat foot doesn't seem problematic. I recall reading about an Army study of trainees with flat feet that found they had fewer injuries.

    If your son moves well then I wouldn't worry about the flat feet. Just make sure the shoes fit and that the shoes don't have high arches that cause foot pain. Some children will develop normal arches as they grow.

    I'd have your son do some footwork drills, preferably on grass, with bare feet to make sure that his feet are strong.
  4. lala28m

    lala28m New User

    Oct 15, 2012
    New York
  5. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

    Sep 29, 2012
    Thank you so much! That is very reassuring! I dont feel distressed anymore knowing that your son plays D1 tennis with flat feet ;-)! Thanks again!
  6. Le Tenis

    Le Tenis New User

    Sep 29, 2012
    Thanks Wildvolley and lala28m! I really appreciate it!
  7. AYone

    AYone Rookie

    Nov 19, 2012
    Queens, NY
    I am an adult with flat feet that plays tennis and is very active in the gym. Flat feet should definitely not hold your child back. I went the orthodic route in my earlier years and did not like the feel. Perhaps the technology is better today. I eventually just found wide shoes that were comfortable enough for an active lifestyle. New balance has good options and so does Babolat. The things to look out for are tired feet, and sore ankles and knees from the rolling that takes place from taking steps without an arch. If my feet really take a beating, after playing I roll my foot up and down on a frozen water bottle and it is very soothing. Best of luck.
  8. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

    Oct 4, 2010
    Start him or her on the jumprope about 3 days a week for now about 300 to 500 twirls each time depending how good they are at skipping or lower it down to 100 to 300 twirls per workout , also start them on lite weight lifting to prevent injures in the future , best to you but skipping rope is the best to lighten the feet .
  9. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

    Jun 21, 2011
    Orthotic inserts may be way to go if he starts developing issues, which he may over time with lots of jumping type movements. If you need to go the orthotic route, make sure you go to a knowledgeable sports podiatrist preferable at a Sports Medicine group. Otherwise any podiatrist will try to get you in orthotics and they affect alignment so it is important you see the best. They make an everyday version and a sports version which holds up much better and is double the price but worth it for athletes. Warning, most insurance, even good PPOs don't cover the cost. Regular ones run 600-700 and the sport version can run $1000-1200. They are made out of material that lasts forever and stand up to sports activities. If you can hold off till feet are full grown that is obviously best, they last for years and years. Asiics, New Balance and Reebok are wider shoes with good support and may be more comfortable for him than Nike which traditionally are narrow with a steep arch support. But he will be fine with his tennis and his flat feet, good luck!
  10. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    I'd also add Prince to that list as far as tennis shoes go. I have a very flat foot and the Prince T-22's are extremely comfortable, great fit, stability and cushioning. Went straight of of the box to the court with no break-in needed.
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I'm just shy of 64, have the flattest feet of anyone ever. Full footprint out of the shower, when I walk on the beach, where my arch should be actually supports most of my weight.
    Flat feet equals longer feet than arched, so shoes need to be narrower.
    Problems....when he hits 60, his ankles and feet will bother him somewhat. When he hits mid 60's, he will need orthodics for comfort, but not necessarily for sports.
    I played 3 years of high school football, 2 varsity, one JV, and was scouted by both local colleges when I was a junior. Also played 3 years of varsity basketball for high school, always starting at least.
    Was a long jumper in junior high, baseball and basketball.
    No, it didn't bother me until I turned 60.
    I knew tons of players with high arches who had more problems with their feet. Most of my teamates in basketball, mostly black, had very flat feet, as did the DB's and CB's in varsity football.
    One noticable factor.....seems flat feet doesn't hurt sprint work, but kills you if you chosen sport is one of endurance, like marathons or 10k's.
    And swimming sucks, as people with flat feet can't point their toes to get a kick that pushes forwards, and most cannot ever possibly past a DUI test standing on one foot.
  12. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

    Mar 14, 2011
    I have a low arch and Superfeet insoles make a lot of difference. Google that product, they're fantastic.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  13. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

    Apr 24, 2010
    I am 60+ with flat feet. Have had other foot pblms through the years. Still playing tennis avidly. See a good podiatrist. Distance running despite foot pain ruined me. I don't think flat feet will stop a pro tennis career, but you need an excellent podiatrist.

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