Understanding and Coping with Flexible Flatfoot

4 min read

The lack of distinctive curve along the inner side of the foot is an indication of a low arch or sometimes referred to as a flatfoot. People with this condition are often prone to injuries caused by over pronation.

The term flatfoot is an ample description of the fallen or low arches of the feet, which are almost completely sitting on the ground.

Flatfoot Characteristics

Although it may sound simple, flatfoot is a relatively complex disorder that comes with various types of symptoms. The deformities and accompanying disabilities can come in different levels. There are different types of flatfoot, but the most common characteristics include:

  • Normally the front part of the feet, including the toes are pointing outwards;
  • The ankles seem to turn inwards while the heels are tilting towards the outside;
  • Tightness of the Achilles tendon results in the heels lifting off the ground earlier when you are walking; and
  • Appearance of hammertoes and bunions that are caused by the flatfoot condition.

What is a Flexible Flatfoot?

This is perhaps one of the most common types of the flatfoot condition. Normally, this starts during childhood or early adolescence and would continue on up till adulthood. People with flexible flatfoot will have it on both feet and will experience a worsening of the condition as they become adults.

Inflammation is a common result due to the stretching and tearing of the deformed ligaments and tendons of the feet.

The condition is called flexible because the arches appear when the person is not standing and disappear once the feet begin to bear the full weight or when standing. Common signs associated with flexible flatfoot are:

  • Pain in the arch, ankle, heel, or the outside of the foot;
  • Over pronation or rolled-in ankles;
  • Persistent fatigue or aching or the foot and may include the entire leg;
  • Pain experienced on the shin bone; and
  • Knee, lower back, or hip pain.

Attending to Flatfoot

This condition should never be left unattended. Although it is recommended to consult with a medical practitioner to determine the type of flatfoot condition you have and its severity, there are some things that you can do to help minimize the pain or lessen its frequency. Here are some things to consider:

Take it easy

Perhaps the most common way to alleviate the pain associated with having a flatfoot is to modify the activities you do. Cutting down on more strenuous activities will help to lessen the pain. As much as possible, limit the distance you walk as well as the length of time you remain standing. This gives the arches in your feet time to rest and relax.

Watch your weight

Being obese or overweight puts unnecessary strain on your feet and its arches. Losing weight can help assure that the pain would not worsen.

Orthopaedic devices

Custom made orthopaedic devices that are inserted into your shoes can help provide more support for your arches and minimize the possibility of experiencing pain aside from the additional stability they can provide.

Physical therapy

Going through physical therapy is another good way to provide temporary relief for the pain caused by flexible flatfoot.

Shoe Solutions

Since the problem is associated with your feet, and most people wear shoes during the day, it makes sense how choosing the right shoes can help minimize the pain caused by flexible flatfoot. Vital shoe characteristics you should be on the lookout for include:


For flatfoot runners, this is the most essential shoe characteristic to look for. Shoes that provide added support translates to more comfort and less pain.


Technology has allowed shoes to provide protection against over pronation. This feature can be found in most running shoes today. Look for shoes with dual density foam below the medial (inner) side.

Motion control

This feature is required for severe over pronators because they are designed to enhance the stability of the shoes while protecting your feet.

Understanding and coping with flexible flatfoot condition does not have to be complicated especially when you have the right pair of shoes. These can be made even more comfortable & be fitted to address your specific needs, when combined with accustom made arch support.

Call into a Foot Solutions UK store near you today & let us help you to choose the right footwear & arch supports for your needs.