Effects of Orthotic Insoles on Adults with Flexible Flatfoot Under Different Walking Conditions

This study measured the data of subjects with flexible flatfoot under different walking conditions to evaluate the effects of wearing orthotic insoles and to further determine if conservative treatment is needed for flexible flatfoot.

Fifteen adults with flexible flatfoot and fifteen individuals with normal feet were recruited for this study; for subjects with flatfoot, the arch was missing in a load-bearing position, the proportion of the mid-foot print between the hollow area and solid area was 1/2, or the hollow area was missing.

Due to the arch of the mid-foot being the main difference between a flatfoot and a normal foot, this study focused on only the load rate and contact area of the mid-foot.

The subjects were asked to walk on horizontal ground, and to walk up or down 10cm or 20cm stairs at one step per second in socks while not wearing shoes.

The subjects with flexible flatfoot were asked to wear shoes containing the orthotic insoles 8 hours per day for 3 months, and plantar pressure was measured again after treatment

Once recording of data was complete, the data were divided into the following 3 groups: flatfoot before treatment, flatfoot after treatment, and normal feet.

This study measured the dynamic load rate and contact area by RSscan force plate in subjects walking under different conditions.

Because the arch of the foot is decreased in individuals with flatfoot in a weight-bearing position, the structure of the bones of the foot is further deformed, which makes both the contact area and load rate of the mid-foot larger.

After treatment, load rate and contact area were significantly improved in subjects with flexible flatfoot.

All the results of the study indicated that although there was still a difference between subjects with flatfoot after treatment and those with normal feet, the data for load rate and contact area were significantly corrected under the different conditions, especially when walking down stairs.


  1. Zhai N. J., Qiu S. Y., Wang J. (2016) Effects of orthotic insoles on adults with flexible flatfoot under different walking conditions. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science: July 2016, Vol. 28, No. 11, pp. 3078-3083

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