You have probably noticed that when your child is standing, his/her feet
appear flat, without an arch. The physician has diagnosed your child as having Flexible
Flat Feet or Pes Planus. This is a very common, normal, painless condition, which does not
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat Feet, or the lack of an apparent arch when standing, may be due to
lax ligaments in the feet or a family history. Babies generally have fat pads over the
instep of their feet, giving the appearance of a flat foot. With development, the soft
tissues of the foot tighten, creating an arch. Most flat feet disappear by 2-3 years of
A very simple test will help determine if your child has flexible flat
feet. Have your child stand on his/her toes and observe for the arch to appear. If an arch
is not present, your child may have "rigid flat feet".
What Is the Treatment for Flat Feet?
Flexible flat feet require ONLY observation and time to correct. For
older children in whom flat feet persist to teens, soft arch supports may be worn. These
provide only comfort and do not correct the foot. Corrective shoes and bracing also do not
correct the foot. Rarely is surgery ever needed.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:
1. Flexible flat feet are a common, painless condition.
2. Corrective shoes or supports are an UNNECESSARY expense and will not
improve flexible flat feet.
3. Shoe sales persons may tell you expensive shoes will help your child
walk better, but this is not true. Regular, inexpensive shoes may be worn.
4. Flexible flat feet will not interfere with your child's ability to
learn to walk.