This overview shows the foot arch heights of Museum visitors. The vertical axis shows the range of heights. Why do people have such different foot arches? Researchers are investigating whether activity level, age, or sex affect arch height. The graph shows the results of 150 Museum visitors.
You are born with flat feet. As you grow up, you develop foot arches, like bridges, under the middle part of each foot. These arches help spread out the stress from your body weight when you walk, run, and play.
What about flat feet?
Some of us keep our flat feet as we grow up and can walk just as well as people with arches. Scientists do not know exactly how flat or arched feet impact how we walk. Many studies have tried to answer this question, but there is much we do not understand. Foot arch height depends on DNA and how the foot bones grow. Arch height may also depend on what shoes we wear or what sports we play.