Suffering from flat feet can be cumbersome, particularly for runners. This condition involves soreness and pain in the back, legs, ankles, bunions, and heels.
However, famous athletes with flat feet like Said Aouita, Steve Plasencia, Alan Webb, Haile Gebrselassie, and Shawn Crawford succeed in their athletic careers despite their condition.
If you are an aspiring runner and suffer from a flat fleet, never lose hope. You can meet many living examples of athletes with the same condition yet have won games, races, and medals.
Keep reading to get to know these famous athletes with a flat fleet. Also, you will learn more about this condition.
What Are Flat Feet?
People with flat feet have no visible arches in their feet when standing. Arches start to develop during early childhood.
However, if arches collapse later in life or do not develop at all, flat feet result in pain, which can affect walking.
When a person with flat feet stands, the feet’s pads press into the ground. They usually cannot see arches on their feet. But in some cases, the arches appear when they lift their feet.
Flat feet do not cause issues for most people. Treatments can help this condition cause discomfort, pain, and other problems.
5 Famous Athletes with Flat Feet
Aspiring athletes often do not pursue their dreams because they have a flat fleet.
However, some flat-footed athletes proved that having this condition should not limit them from achieving their goals.
Here are some living examples of famous Athletes with flat feet:
1. Said Aouita
Said Aouita is a Moroccan track and field athlete who revealed he has dealt with a flat fleet. Despite having such conditions, he still became a world record holder and won multiple Olympic medals.
Aside from world records in 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs, he is also the second-fastest mile runner in history. He openly talked about his flat feet and vulnerability to getting tendinitis.
Aouita ranked as one of the 30 runners in the 800-meter run despite having soreness in his feet. He never showed that he was about to give up, and he kept improving his performance, thanks to his special footwear.
If you are also interested in wearing shoes dedicated to athletes with this condition, check out our top picks for the best running shoes for flat feet.
2. Steve Plasencia
Steve Plasencia was a famous long-distance runner with flat feet. He won the 1992 California International Marathon without minding his fallen arches.
Plasencia competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in the 10,000-meter discipline and achieved excellent results. He was once a 5,000-meter discipline record holder.
3. Alan Webb
Another famous runner with flat feet is Alab Webb.
According to the Born to Run book, Webb started with flat feet when he first began training, running, and running. However, he eventually developed foot arches because of intensive training.
Webb has a 3:46.91 mile run record and a 1-mile record holder in the US. He is also the first high school student to run a mile in under four minutes successfully. Since his arches had developed, he wore shoes from size 12 to 10.
4. Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance runner with a flat fleet. Despite having this condition, he became a two-time Olympic medal winner at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics in the 10,000-meter run category.
5. Shawn Crawford
Shawn Crawford is a famous sprinter who has revealed he has flat feet. He won 2 silver medals and 1 gold medal at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the 200-meter sprint.
He also managed to snatch plenty of silver and gold medals from the world outdoor and indoor championships. He became a 4-time champion in the 200-meter sprint in the US.
Flat Feet Types
Most people assume that there is only one type of flat feet. Bear in mind that your flat feet can be different from others.
So, here are the different flat feet types, and try to determine which type you are dealing with:
1. Flexible Flat Feet
This flat feet type is the most common. The arches in the feet are visible when you are standing. However, they disappear once you put weight on your feet.
This condition develops during childhood or teenage years. The ligaments and arches in the arches can swell, tear, and stretch.
2. Adult-Acquired Flat Feet
This flat feet condition is also referred to as fallen arch. The feet’s arches unexpectedly collapse or drop. Then, it causes the feet to turn outward, leading to pain.
In many cases, only one foot is affected. A tear or inflammation in the posterior tibial tendon (leg tendon) is the most common cause.
3. Rigid Flat Feet
People with rigid flat feet have no arches when sitting or standing. This condition typically develops during the teenage years. As people age, it gets worse.
Moving the feet side-to-side or flexing up or down can be painful. This condition can affect only one foot or both.
4. Vertical Talus
Babies with vertical talus cannot form arches. That is because the talus bone found in the ankle is wrongly positioned.
The foot’s bottom resembles the rocking chair’s bottom. So, this condition is also referred to as rocker-bottom foot.
How to Manage or Treat Flat Feet
Most people with a flat fleet usually do not need treatment or have significant problems.
However, if you experience stiffness, pain, or other issues associated with flat feet, your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatments. People rarely require surgery to treat flat feet.
Below are some of the non-surgical treatments:
- Ice, rest, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease pain and inflammation
- Different physical therapies to strengthen and stretch tight muscles and tendons, which help improve mobility and flexibility
- Supportive devices, such as leg braces, orthotics, or custom-made shoes.
For more information about orthotics, visit this link to learn more.
See? Having flat feet should not stop you from becoming a famous athlete. You can live a normal life and achieve your dreams with proper training, footwear, and treatment.