The feet are the body’s foundation. The feet support us in standing and propel us in walking and running and act as shock absorbers for the rest of the body. Each foot has 26 bones, totaling 52 bones just for our foundation. An adult body has 206 bones all together.
The foot also has three arches which are used while walking. The medial longitudinal arch, the lateral longitudinal arch, and the transverse arch. The medial longitudinal arch consists of the first three phalanges, metatarsals, three cuneiforms, navicular, and talus. The lateral longitudinal arch consists of the last two phalanges, metatarsals, cuboid, and calcaneus. The transverse arch is formed in the metatarsals.
There are two parts to the foot while walking, the landing part and the propulsion part. We should be landing on the lateral longitudinal arch, mainly the cuboid bone. We should not be landing on the calcaneus or the heel of the foot. As we are on the lateral longitudinal arch of each foot, the weight will shift through the transverse arch to the medial longitudinal arch. Once in the medial longitudinal arch, the big toe is used to propel the body forward.
Try this mindful walking exercise to activate each of the three arches of the foot. Notice how your foot will land softer with your attention on the cuboid bone and how much force your big toe has to propel the body forward.