A condition of the feet in which the arch of the instep is flattened and the entire sole touches the ground.
All infants have flat feet because their arches are not yet built up (and their feet tend to be plump). This condition may persist into adulthood, or an arch may form as the child grows.
Flat feet can also be acquired, as in jobs that require a great deal of walking and carrying heavy objects.
Ball of Foot
The normal arch is made up of bones and joints which are held tightly together in a precise relationship.
When the arch flatten outs, the ligaments and tendons which hold the bones and joints together are excessively flexible.
This abnormal flexibility may be a result of hereditary patterns, the weakening of muscles and ligaments caused by advancing age, neuromuscular disease, and/or injury.
Injuries may include singular severe trauma or chronic periods wearing shoes with poor support (such as high heels).
Flat feet are caused by the foot’s dysfunction to uphold the weight applied to it. The insole upholding the arch must be strong enough to carry one’s entire body weight. The arch support also must fit the entire length of the longitudinal arch without sharp rises. The pressure to increase the arch needs to be spread out and have a gradual rise. Soft arch supports and/or flexible shoes do not help.
Shoes must be stiff and non-flexible throughout the arch area to the ball of the foot. This stiffness will help keep the bones from misaligning; additionally reinforced heel counters are very important for stabilization.