Fallen Arches - Anatomical Pes Planus

Anatomical pes planus is a genetic condition where flat feet and fallen arches have developed over the course of generations, or someitmes due to lifestyle.

Anatomical Pes Planus

What is Anatomical Pes Planus?

When the bones of the feet are pitched up around an inclination of 21° from the heel and therefore a matching declination of the metatarsal bones of 21°, the foot profile has a pretty average looking arch. Certain ethnic groups do have a lower average degree of inclination and declination, and there is some indication that the European foot of 21° a little abnormally high.

However in a lot of people the bony angle is set much lower. This can be due to genetic or developmental factors, and is often due to a bit of both. Obese children often develop a low foot profile, but other people just have a very strong family history of low foot profiles.

Anatomical flat feet in marathon runners

How do I treat Anatomical Pes Planus?

A low profile foot is not necessarily a problem. We call these feet anatomical pes planus, because it is just the bony profile of the foot, which cannot be changed. Many good athletes have anatomical pes planus, especially those with African heritage.

Such anatomical flat feet are usually quite robust, have a little less movement in them overall and often feel more comfortable when walking on hard flat surfaces if a shoe with a 1cm plus heel lift is used, rather than totally flat shoes. We advise that totally flat deck shoes are best avoided when on hard flat ground, but generally these feet don’t need any treatment.

Rehabilitation Advice - Videos

They can be prone to increased risk of big toe joint osteoarthritis so giving them a little extra exercise - such as the simple ball exercise or heel raise exercise - can keep anatomical flat feet in good condition and perhaps reduce the risk of big toe osteoarthritis.

The following simple exercise videos (available on YouTube) can have a really positive effective outcome for fallen arches:


Healthystep YouTube channel

View our Orthotics for Fallen Arches

Each of our orthoses has been developed with specific medical conditions in mind. We offer primary products per condition, though several others have been found to help patients given the biomechanical engineering behind them.

X Line TPD orthotic X Line 70 - High Density orthotic X Line RIF orthotic Vectorthotic customisable orthotic
X Line TPD
X Line 70
X Line RIF