The Anatomy of the Foot


We use our feet to walk every day. Often, they are barely a thought in our mind. Here at the New York State Podiatric Medical Association, educating you about foot health is our top priority. You can also browse our website to find a skilled podiatrist near you that is highly trained and who has treated everything from calluses and blisters to sprains and breaks. At the end of the day, their skills and passion all come down to one thing: the formation of the foot.

Anatomy of the Foot

The rear foot, the midfoot, and the forefoot are three separate sections that make up your foot. Each portion of the foot has its own function that plays a part in the way we move.

  • The rear foot contains the talus bones, the calcaneus bones, and the ankle joints. More commonly, it is known as the “heel.” When walking, your heel typically strikes the ground first and then continues to roll forward to propel your foot to its next point of contact, the midfoot.
  • The midfoot is the arch of your foot. This area connects the rear foot to the forefoot. It is commonly known as the Plantar’s Arch.  Those with a fallen arch tend to have more foot problems than someone with an average foot. If you are experiencing discomfort in the midfoot area, you should seek the help of a podiatrist right away.
  • The forefoot is the top of your foot. It houses the metatarsal bones and also the toe bones. These bones provide balance to the body. They also tend to strike last while running and walking.  The forefoot also gets a lot of pressure on a day-to-day basis and so is prone to calluses, blisters, and other conditions.

Each foot has 26 bones. There are seven ankle bones, 14 toe bones, and 5 other inside bones. The foot also has three arches. The main arch can be found in the midfoot area and is known as the plantar arch. The plantar arch helps absorb shock when walking, running, and partaking in other various activities that use your feet. When this arch is overused, it can cause a condition called plantar fasciitis. The Plantar’s Arch needs ample support in shoes in order to keep it in good form.

The foot is held together by muscles and ligaments. Without these, the foot would not be able to be mobile or house the shape that we are so used to seeing.

The foot is an essential part of the body and it’s critical to stay on top of your foot health so that you can continue living a full and healthy life. NYSPMA is dedicated to keeping you informed about all things podiatry. Browse our New York Foot Health website to learn more about foot & ankle health, find a podiatrist, our community health initiatives and more. You can also sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed or contact us for more information. We look forward to serving you for all your foot care needs!