How to Test Yourself for Flat Feet

Flat feet have a very little arch or no arch at all. If you’re not sure if your feet are flat, here’s a simple test you can do at home:

  • Find a smooth, flat surface such as a concrete sidewalk or a paved driveway. You can also use a plain piece of cardboard or colored paper.
  • Wet the entire bottom of your foot with some water.
  • With your whole foot, step on your smooth, flat surface.
  • Lift your foot and examine the imprint.

If your footprint looks something like a solid oval with some toes on top, that means the inside bottom of your foot is coming into contact with the ground. You’ve got flat feet. (If you see a curve on the inside half of your footprint, that’s a normal arch. A very large curve with just a thin footprint means you’ve got high arches.)

You’ve got flat feet – now what?

If you determine that your feet are flat, what should you do? Well, maybe nothing at all. If your feet aren’t in pain, don’t be concerned. Many people are born with flat feet, and others develop them as they age. Many of these people never experience any problems.

However, whether you’ve had them since birth or acquired them over time, flat feet can be the source of foot issues. Some of the side effects of flat feet include

  • difficulty standing on your toes
  • bunions
  • hammertoes
  • heel pain
  • arch pain
  • ankle pain
  • pain further up the body, including the knees, hips, and lower back

If your flat feet cause you pain, make walking difficult, or make exercise impossible, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center can help. State-of-the-arch treatments (pun intended) include many conservative approaches as well as surgery. You may be able to avoid surgery by allowing us to treat your symptoms promptly. Call us in Centreville (Fairfax County), Virginia at (703) 996-3000 or schedule an appointment online.

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