All children are born with flat feet. A study by the Department of Track and Field, University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland, entitled “Structural asymmetry of foot arch formation in early school-age children”, and published in the July 2015 edition of Biomedical Human Kinetics, set out to compare foot shapes in early school-age boys and girl to gauge symmetry in growth.
The study focused on data culled from a group of 90 boys and 98 girls aged 7-9. For the purpose of the study, the shape of the foot was examined including longitudinal arch and transverse arch. Longitudinal arch was analyzed according to the Clarke angel value on the basis of Kasperczyk’s classification. The transverse arch was analyzed according to the Wejsflog index. The method of examination was through the use of a podoscope. Further, a post-hoc LSD test, an analysis of variance, and a chi-square test were performed.
The data gathered from the analysis found that 84% of the examined children had normal transverse arches in both feet. Logitudinal arches occurred in both feet of 44% of children. An assessment of the average value of the Wejsflog index demonstrated that it is similar and within limits in all of the test groups regardless of gender or age. The average value of Clarke’s index in school age girls was within normal range, but functionally flattened foot was apparent in both seven- and eight-year-old boys.
The researchers concluded that gender has no effect on the foot build or arch type in either foot. Almost 90% of boys and girls show that changes in foot structure occur symmetrically: if one foot is normal, the other is normal as well. The majority of children in the study demonstrated symmetrical structure in their feet.