Flat Feet

Flat feet are characterised by a position where the ankles are rolling inwards, and the feet or toes may point outwards. There is little to no visible arch on the inside border of the foot, hence the term ‘fallen arches’.

The term for rolling in at the ankle joint when walking known as pronation. While pronation is a normal part of walking that helps our feet absorb shock and adapt to uneven surfaces, it is excess pronation that can become problematic – and painful.

It’s important to remember that having flat feet is not uncommon and does not guarantee that you will develop lower limb pain or problems. Flat feet are, however, linked to a greater occurrence of foot problems because of the effect that prolonged pronation has on your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments.

What are the symptoms of flat feet?

When we assess a patient’s foot posture, we look for signs as opposed to symptoms. These include:

Bulging at the ankle on the inside of the foot

Toes facing outwards

Shoes wearing out quickly on the inside edge

The position of your heel bone

The shape of your arch

What causes flat feet?

Often, it comes down to the way that your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments are working together that results in the shape of the arch. Some people may have flat feet from birth and others may develop them over time or alongside other conditions. Causes may include:

Muscle weakness

Tendonitis, such as in the posterior tibial tendon

Ligament laxity


Bone or joint irregularity


Medical conditions

a Person holding their heel

How are flat feet treated?

If your flat feet do not cause you any problems or pain, then you may not need any treatment, unless something is concerning you. If your feet do become painful, uncomfortable or start interfering with your everyday life, then you need to see a podiatrist.

At Cartwright Podiatry, we start by completing a biomechanical assessment and video gait analysis to understand the extent of the effects that your flat feet are having on the rest of your body. We’ll then discuss:

Footwear – choosing the best shoes for your feet

Orthotics – using them to control and reduce excess pronation

How best to manage and alleviate the symptoms that your flat feet have created

Using strapping or bracing to help reduce your symptoms

Using stretching and strengthening to help restore strength and movement

Ready to feel great on your feet?

Book online or get in touch
with us today

Ready to feel great on your feet?

Book online or get in touch with us today