How to Fix Flat Feet?

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Flat feet | Pes Planus | Fallen Arches

A person suffers from flat feet when there’s an observed absence or loss of the medial arch of the feet. While some people with flat feet do not experience foot-related pains, others experience severe pain and limited motion.

It is good if you do not experience pain amidst your flat feet condition. But it is highly recommended to do changes in lifestyle to prevent foot-related conditions in the future. With simple exercises and shoe changes, you can have a developed arch of your own.

Do not wait for a foot-related issue to come in the future. It is best to fix it by all means.

1. Noteworthy thoughts about flat feet

If you’re a parent and you’ve noticed your little kid have flat feet, do not panic. Flat feet for children up to 10 years old is normal. It is in the childhood days where kids would develop their own supportive arches. Bones, ligaments, and tendons are still under development during this age. Foot-related conditions for children with flat feet are very rare. Thus, there’s no need to worry about how to fix it.

While flat feet is normal for children, adults with flat feet must start to worry. Changes of foot muscles, bones, and ligaments sometimes do not take place as they grow up. Some consider it as a genetic factor, while some consider it as an environmental factor. The exact reason behind flat feet cannot be determined. Still, changes in lifestyle will supposedly help people with flexible flat feet.

Speaking of flexible flat feet, it pertains to the fixable type of flat feet through exercise and changes in shoe usage. Hence, not all flat feet are equal. You may fall into the unfortunate category of rigid flat feet. If you have rigid flat feet, your feet cannot totally form an arch due to the natural formation of your feet and development of your bones.

As a last note, too much weight may lead to loss of arches. Since your feet is the main support of your body, too much weight leads to overstretching of the posterior tibial tendon. While acquired flat feet responds well to therapeutic lifestyle changes, losing weight often fixes the problem.

2. Do a self-diagnosis first

You may have mistaken yourself with flat feet though your real foot condition is excessive pronation. Be still and take a photo of your foot. If no arch is present, then you have a flat foot condition. If you have an arch when you’re still yet you notice yourself with flat feet while walking, then you have an excessive pronation. Pronation is related to your gait. While some people have issues with excessive pronation, it is somewhat normal yet can be corrected by fixing the posture and gait mechanics.

If you are bothered by the flexible and rigid type of flat feet, do these assessments: stand on tip-toes, sit with your feet hanging, and flex the big toe up with your hand. If your feet forms arches with any of these assessments, then you have flexible flat feet. Otherwise, you have rigid flat feet if your feet is still flat. If you have flexible flat feet, continue reading as you gain knowledge on how to fix your foot condition. If you have rigid flat feet, surgery may be your last option. You may want to ignore surgery especially if you do not suffer pain. It’s time for you to decide.

As the last test for totally confirming your flat feet condition, get a clean sheet of paper. Moisten your foot and step on the sheet of paper. If the entire surface of your foot is imprinted on the paper, then you have flat feet. Results are better when you use colored liquids. Thus, you may want to add food coloring to the water.

3. It’s time to change lifestyle

This therapeutic lifestyle change is effective for people with flexible flat feet. On the short run, your feet will be more comfortable and most likely prevent foot-related pains. On the long run, your feet will be able to develop stable supportive arches. Do not be in a hurry as these fixes to flat feet needs patience on your part. It’s not a magical one-shot remedy. But you’ll surely notice positive changes as days passes by.

a. Change the way you choose your shoes

If you try to ask for advice from podiatrists, changing your shoes will be their first solution for you. “One size fits all” concept of shoes will not help your flat feet condition and may even worsen your condition. Thus, it is important to choose the shoes with arch support which artificially raises the arch of your feet. There’s always a right pair of shoes for your feet!

While podiatrists seem to automatically prescribe custom orthotics for flat feet, it still depends on your feet. Orthotics may help others while other do not receive relief at all. If you have the budget, you may wear foot orthotics specifically prescribed for flat feet condition. Though the efficiency of orthotics is still debated by researchers and users, it’s your choice if you want to invest on orthotics.

Sometimes, new shoes and custom orthotics seem to be effective. If you are not comfortable with the insoles from your new shoes, you must try using custom orthotics.

b. Be weight conscious

As noted a while ago, too much weight overstretches your posterior tibial tendon which leads to arch losses. Thus, this can be categorized as adult-acquired flat feet.

It is important to determine your Body Mass Index first. If you’ve got a result of overweight or obese, your weight may most likely be a factor for your flat feet. We cannot totally give you a proper diet plan as it differs for every person. But at least have a cut on your meals. This time, you need to discipline yourself if you really want to get rid of flat feet. Lastly, proper diet is best paired with exercises which are explained below.

c. Fix flat feet with these exercises

There are appropriate exercises to enhance strength and flexibility of your feet. You may find it disturbing to do all of the exercises listed here. So you must use the ones which satisfy you the most. While we recommend doing all of these exercises, we require you to include the first 4 exercises in your routine if you can’t do all of these.

  • Short Foot

Short foot exercise targets the small muscles supporting the arches of your foot. It shortens the distance between the ball and heel of your foot.

First, stand on the ground without shoes, slippers, or socks. Then, drag your forefoot backward whilst trying to make an arch. While doing this, you must be in neutral heel position. Also, your toes must not curl or lift off the ground while holding your position. When done properly, the ball and heel of your feet must stay in contact with the ground. Hold it for 10 seconds.

Repeat this exercise 5 times consecutively.

Do this routine twice a day.

  • Calf Stretch

Calf refers to the group of muscles found along the back of your lower leg which is attached to your heels. Hence, Calf Stretch exercise improves the flexibility of your ankle which prevents your arch to collapse.

Let’s start with your right foot first. Gently push against the rigid wall. Your hands must be perpendicular to the wall. Keep your right leg at the back while your left leg must gently lean forward until you’ll feel a stretch on your right leg. Hold it for 60 seconds.

While doing this, you must be in neutral heel position. Also, distribute your weight towards the edges of your feet. Lastly, put more force on your heels towards the floor.

Repeat this exercise 4 times consecutively for each leg.

Do this routine once a day.

  • Heel Raises

Heel Raise exercise targets your lower leg muscles which are responsible for supporting your arches.

This exercise is like doing a tip-toe. You must lift your heels as high as possible but the big toes must remain in contact with the ground. Hold it for 20 seconds.

As an added variation, you may do this while your hands gently push against the wall. You may also place a massage ball between your ankles and squeeze it throughout the movements. And if possible, you may want to do short foot first before raising your heels.

Repeat this exercise 15 times consecutively.

Do this routine twice a day.

  • Alternate Toe Lift

Alternate Toe Lift exercise aims to improve strength and control for your feet as it targets the frequently underused muscles of your feet.

First, lift your big toes. The other toes must remain in contact with the ground without curling. Next, your big toes must be in contact with the ground while your other toes are lifted. You must lift your toes as high as possible. You may do this while sitting or standing. Hold each lift for 5 seconds.

Repeat this exercise 10 times consecutively.

Do this routine once a day.

  • Releases

Release exercise uses a massage ball to be placed on essential parts of the body that support your motion, such as plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and peroneal muscles.

You may do it first for your plantar fascia. First, place your foot on a massage ball. Make sure your foot is exerting effort towards the massage ball. Next, roll your foot up and down slowly against the massage ball. Do this for 3 minutes on each foot.

You may deal next with your Achilles tendon. While sitting on the floor, place the back of your Achilles tendon on a massage ball. Make sure you are exerting pressure towards the massage ball. Next, rock your foot from side to side without losing contact with the massage ball. Do not let the massage ball slip over. Do this for 3 minutes on each foot.

You may deal lastly with your peroneal muscles. These muscles are located on the outside of your lower leg. While sitting on the floor, place the outside of your lower leg on a massage ball. Make sure you are exerting pressure towards the massage ball. The whole outer side of your lower leg must be covered. So you need to draw circles with your ankles. Do not let the massage ball slip over. Do this for 3 minutes on each leg.

Do this routine once a day.

  • Big Toe Exercise

The big toe is crucially important for fixing flat feet. It has the ability to extend and has the adequate strength to lift the medial arch of your feet. With the Big Toe Exercise, the muscles underneath your foot are targeted to make it contract firmly.

In front of a door frame, push your big toe against the frame’s side. Your foot must lean towards the wall to further stretch your big toe. Hold it for 30 seconds.

Repeat this exercise 3 times consecutively for each foot.

Do this routine once a day.

  • Step Through

Step Through exercise further enhances the arch contraction while you are moving. This is paired with Short Foot exercise. So you must master Short Foot first to obtain an optimum result.

Let’s start with your right foot first. Your feet must be in a staggered position where your right leg is leading. Then, do a Short Foot on your right foot. While maintaining the short foot, step your left foot forward. As the left foot is about to land, push your right big toe downward.

Repeat this exercise 30 times consecutively for each foot.

Do this routine once a day.

  • Spread and Squeeze

Spread and Squeeze exercise is best paired with Alternate Toe Lift.

First, spread all of your toes. Your toes must not bend, and your foot must not move. Next, squeeze all of your toes. Still, your toes must not bend, and your foot must not move. Hold each position for 5 seconds.

Repeat this exercise 10 times consecutively.

Do this routine once a day.


When you have flat feet, there’s always a remedy for you. With these therapeutic changes in lifestyle, you’ll develop arches for your feet.

While the problems associated with flat feet is not yet evident, it is best for you to do these changes. Now you know how to fix flat feet, it is time for you to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and healthy feet. Thanks for reading and we hope you’ll enjoy doing the process patiently.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.