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How to Tell If You Have Flat Feet

by
author image Sava Tang Alcantara
Sava Tang Alcantara has been a writer and editor since 1988, working as a writer and editor for health publications such as "Let's Live Magazine" and "Whole Life Times." Alcantara specializes in health and fitness and is a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. She does volunteer work regularly and has taught free public yoga classes in Santa Monica, Calif. since 2002.
How to Tell If You Have Flat Feet
Walking in wet sand at the beach can help you determine if you have flat feet. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

MayoClinic.com states that infants have flat feet and most will develop arches as adults, but not all do. The clinic states that flat arches may not cause physical pain for many people. Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Given that, flat feet may result from ill-fitting shoes or a fallen posterior tibial ligament.

Walk in Wet Sand

Step 1

Walk barefooted through wet sand at the beach. Examine your footprints closely. If you see that each footprint is “full,” meaning your entire foot has left an impression on the sand, you are flat-footed. If you notice your footprints show a “cut out” where your arch did not press into the wet sand, you are not really flat-footed.

Step 2

Sit on a chair and cross your bare right foot over your left thigh. Flex your right foot and look at your instep. If you can see a deep, unmistakable curve along your arch bed, you are not flat-footed. If you notice that your arched foot remains flat along the medial arch, you are probably flat-footed.

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Step 3

Step with bare feet onto a memory foam cushion that you can buy as a scrap from mattress stores. Step off the cushion immediately and see if your footprint is full — displaying no real arch, meaning you are flat-footed, or if you see a “reverse C” shape — meaning you do have an arch.

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