Will my child need special shoes or inserts?
Probably not. Your child's foot development will be the same whether arch supports are worn or not. High-top or special orthopedic shoes, "cookies" or wedges are only useful to keep the shoe on your child's foot. If your child has foot pain, your doctor may recommend a heel cup or a shoe insert.
Will some activities make flat feet worse?
No. You don't need to limit your child's activities. If flat feet become painful from overuse, your doctor may recommend rest. Wearing a certain style of shoe, walking barefoot, running, doing foot exercises or jumping will not make flat feet worse or better.
Can surgery help?
Surgery is not helpful for most patients with flat feet. If your child's flat feet are caused by fused foot bones, and if shoe inserts and casts have not helped, surgery may be considered. Your doctor can help you make that decision.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff