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Weekly Progress Update 7

It was another good and interesting week with this project. New stats are up on the progress photo page. The arch index of the right foot was 1.12 which is the best measurement to date. The left foot, both in the pictures and with the index, seems to be hanging out around the same place each week. I’ve been trying to figure out why this might be. The right foot is the one with the severe pronation so it’s certainly been more on my radar than the left. Whenever I’m trying out variations of exercises inevitably I’ll do the right first, so there could be an imbalance in the amount of exercise I’m doing with each foot.

I’ve thought of a few other reasons to explain what’s happening:

  • Yesterday while practicing the arch exercises I realized that although I’ve been doing the exercises on both sides, I’m a lot more coordinated on the right. I’m right handed so it could be that I’m right-footed too. There isn’t the same amount of control with the left foot. So starting yesterday I’m making it a priority to concentrate on the quality of the movements on the left and trying to match them to the right. There are games and exercises called foot gymnastics that basically involve doing coordinated activities with your feet that I plan on beginning soon. Although this might border on crazy I could also practice writing with each foot.
  • Something else that I thought about is that with the right arch improving as much as it has this may be changing the way I walk and stand, possibly shifting my center of gravity over to the right side and making the left pronate more.

Either way, I’ll be focusing on the left a lot more this week and hopefully will get things moving in the right direction. With walking it now feels a lot more natural to put weight through the outside of my right foot, whereas before it seemed like that outside edge didn’t want to accept any pressure.

I finally bought some new running shoes, the Merrell Trail Gloves. I used them for a 3.5 mile run two days ago and the muscles in my calves have been sore ever since. Yesterday was the worst. Going down stairs became a long and arduous process. I thought I’d be more prepared for wearing them but the zero-drop sole really does require some getting used to. This soreness is different from what I experienced after the first couple of barefoot runs on pavement. This soreness is higher up in the calf and just feels like those muscles got a really intense workout. I’ve taken it easy the last couple of days to allow the muscles to recover but I’m excited to get back into training with them.

The first phase of the project was about doing research, gathering information, and simple trial-and-error to determine the most effective way to correct flat feet.  Up to this point, I’ve varied the exercises from day to day trying to get a feel for what was having the greatest effect.  Now that I’ve gotten through most of that work, the next phase will be putting together some set routines addressing the different components of flat feet and over pronation. I now have a huge list of different exercises to choose from and will try to get all of that information posted sooner than later. If anyone has suggestions for what they want to see on the site I’d love to hear them. Either let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.

Thanks for reading!

Continue to Week 8…

Important: This post is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or physical therapy advice.

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James Speck
James is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience. He created this site to share his own journey toward better arches.

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