Flat feet

Foot with a typical arch
Flat feet of a child are usually expected to develop into high or proper arches, as shown by feet of the mother.
A woman in her thirties dorsiflexes, showing an absence of arches, over-pronated navicular and hallux valgus in the toes typically associated with flat feet.
Flatfoot in a 55-year-old female with ankle and knee arthritis.
Acquired Flat foot deformity with clinical soft tissue swelling.
Lateral X-ray of a flat foot with C-sign, which is a bony bridge between the talar dome and sustentaculum tali, in combination with a prominent inferior border of the sustentaculum tali. This represents a talocalcaneal coalition, which is an abnormal connection between the talus and calcaneus, and is thought to cause the flat foot deformity in this case.<ref>{{cite journal|last1=Zhou|first1=Binghua|last2=Tang|first2=Kanglai|last3=Hardy|first3=Mark|s2cid=16663986|title=Talocalcaneal coalition combined with flatfoot in children: diagnosis and treatment: a review|journal=Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research|volume=9|issue=1|year=2014|page=129|issn=1749-799X|doi=10.1186/s13018-014-0129-9|pmid=25499625|pmc=4276075}} (CC BY 4.0)</ref>
Dorsoplantar projectional radiograph of the foot showing the measurement of the talonavicular coverage angle.
Weight-bearing lateral X-ray showing the measurement of calcaneal pitch, which is an angle of the calcaneus and the inferior aspect of the foot, with different sources giving different reference points.<ref>Detailed explanations and references are located in the Calcaneal pitch article.</ref> A calcaneal pitch of less than 17° or 18° indicates flat feet.<ref name="uw-planus" />
Same lateral X-ray showing the measurement of Meary's angle, which is the angle between the long axis of the talus and first metatarsal bone.<ref name="uw-planus" /> An angle greater than 4° convex downward is considered a flat foot, 15° - 30° moderate flat foot, and greater than 30° severe flat foot.<ref name="uw-planus" />

Postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground.

- Flat feet

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Sole (foot)

Bottom of the foot.

Soles of a human's feet
Deep anatomy of the sole
Cutaneous innervation of the sole of the foot

The arches might collapse later in life, resulting in flat feet.

Arches of the foot

The arches of the foot, formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones, strengthened by ligaments and tendons, allow the foot to support the weight of the body in the erect posture with the least weight.

Skeleton of foot. Medial aspect.
Cross section of feet showing metatarsal bones forming anterior arch: A = normal position, B = flattened arch

Collapse of the longitudinal arches results in what is known as flat feet.


Medical professional devoted to the treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.

Structural deformities, including bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, high arches, and bone spurs


Barefoot means not wearing any footwear.

Barefoot person leaving footprints behind.
Barefoot woman wearing cultural anklet, denoting her marital status in traditional Indian culture
Hans Thoma Kinderreigen, 1872
Ancient Olympic discus thrower
Barefoot girl in Udaipur, India
Barefoot prisoner of the inquisition, Edouard Moyse L'inquisition
Demonstration of "bastinado"
Dancer Isadora Duncan performing barefoot during her 1915–18 American tour
Singer Joss Stone performing barefoot on stage
(Left–B) plaster cast of an adult foot that has never worn shoes displaying natural splayed toes (Right–A) cast of boy showing damage and inward-turned toes after wearing shoes for only a few weeks
A barefoot woman in a dance studio
A barefoot skier

Feet that have never worn shoes rarely exhibit problems such as bunions, corns, and "fallen arches", are not prone to more than ordinary foot eversion on standing and walking due to the associated weakness or stiffness of the joints of the foot and weakness of the muscles controlling them, as well as having a much reduced incidence of problems such as callouses.

Shin splints

Pain along the inside edge of the shinbone due to inflammation of tissue in the area.

Red area represents the tibia. Pain is generally in the inner and lower 2/3rds of tibia.
Magnetic resonance image of the lower leg in the coronal plane showing high signal (bright) areas around the tibia as signs of shin splints.

Flat feet or rigid arches

Ligamentous laxity

Ligamentous laxity, or ligament laxity, means loose ligaments.

Hypermobile finger

Those who have loose ligaments in the legs and feet may appear to have flat feet.

Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament

Complex of three ligaments on the underside of the foot that connect the calcaneus with the navicular bone.

Ligaments of the medial aspect of the foot. (Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament labeled at bottom center.)

A sprain to the plantar calcaneonavicular ligament can result in flatfoot deformity, which can impair mobility.

Pronation of the foot

Natural movement of the foot that occurs during foot landing while running or walking.

An illustration of pronation and supination of the foot from an anatomy textbook
Flat foot
Closeup of a person running barefoot

To complicate matters, one study done by Hylton Menz at the University of Western Sydney-Macarthur suggests that the methods for measuring arch height and determining whether someone is “flat-footed” or “high-arched” are unreliable.

Foot gymnastics

Foot gymnastics are games and exercises intended to strengthen the muscles of legs and feet, improve the motion sequences of walking and sports, support therapy of varicose veins and dorsal pain.

Foot gymnastic games
Knotting ropes with feet
Foot training with a stick

Such activities are recommended to improve flat feet especially of children and the gait performance of older adults.


Genetic condition caused by a deletion of all or part of the short arm of chromosome 18.

In situ hybridization. 18p (green) and 18q (red) with subtelomeric probes showing 18p deletion in the patient with De Grouchy syndrome type I (deletion 18p)
Cebocephaly, a form of holoprosencephaly, in a 4-month-old girl with 18p-

These include pes planus, clubfoot, scoliosis and/or kyphosis, pectus abnormalities, cubitus valgus, congenital hip dysplasia, spina bifida occulta, and genu valgum.