How is adult acquired flatfoot diagnosed?

Adult acquired flatfoot is usually diagnosed by a visual examination and with plain radiographs of your feet. Your doctor should be able to see if you have flatfoot, or just "flexible flatfoot," by looking at your feet while you are standing with your full weight on your feet. He or she will also ask you to try to stand on your tip-toes or on your heels to see if an arch appears.

If your doctor diagnoses you with adult acquired flatfoot, he or she will then try to determine the cause of your condition. This will determine your treatment plan.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/02/2019.


  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Adult acquired flatfoot. Accessed 3/4/2019.
  • Lee MS, Vanore JV, Thomas JL, Catanzariti AR, Kogler G, Kravitz SR et al. Diagnosis and treatment of adult flatfoot. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2005 MarApr;44(2):78-113.
  • DeHeer P, Taulman J. A guide to conservative care for adult flatfoot. Podiatry Today. 2011 Jan;24(1).

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