People with Flat Feet Get a Lift
Can people with flat feet get help by using taping to support the arch? That is the focus of this study by physical therapists in Australia. They measured pressure through the bottom of the foot in 60 subjects. Each subject naturally had more than normal pronation. Foot pronation is the medical term for flat feet.

Then the researchers used a special taping technique called the low-Dye taping (LD) method. Taping supports the arch, reduces stress through the foot, and improves muscle activity around the foot and ankle. LD taping is named after Dr. Ralph Dye, who first used and reported on this method in 1991.

Pressure through the foot was measured again right away after putting on the tape. The researchers were looking for changes in pressure before and after taping. All testing was done barefoot with tape in place. Each person walked over a special pressure-sensitive platform.

The researchers found a big difference when using the tape. Decreased pressure was seen under the heel and along the inside edge of the foot. Pressure was increased under the toes and along the outside edge of the foot.

They concluded that LD taping can decrease the amount of foot pronation while walking. Pressure under the foot is redistributed right away. Using LD taping may be a good way to see if a permanent shoe insert called an orthotic would help in the long term.
Belinda Lange, BSc, B Physiotherapy (Hons), et al. The Effect of Low-Dye Taping on Plantar Pressures, During Gait in Subjects with Navicular Drop Exceeding 10 mm. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. April 2004. Vol. 34. No. 4. Pp. 201-208.