Flat feet occurs when one foot or both feet have a flatter-than-normal arch, says the Institute for Preventive Foot Health.
About 18 million adults in the United States have the condition. The institute says cases that aren’t inherited may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-designed footwear.
- Looking for wide toe boxes in the front of the shoe.
- Looking for solid heel counters in the rear of the shoe.
- Avoiding high heels and shoes that stress the forefoot.
In some cases, the institute says, orthotics or arch supports may be effective.