Understanding Foot Anatomy

By gaining better knowledge of the foot’s anatomy, we can further enhance our understanding of various conditions and injuries. The foot is a flexible structure of bones, joints, muscles and soft tissues that allow us to stand upright and perform various activities such as walking, running and jumping.

Dividing the Foot

The foot is divided into three sections, the forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot. The forefoot contains the five toes—or phalanges—and the five longer bones called metatarsals. In the midfoot there is a pyramid-like collection of bones that form the arches of the feet, which include the three cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone and the navicular bone. The hindfoot forms the heel and ankle with the talus bone supporting the leg bones, which are the tibia and fibula, forming the ankle. The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot.

Muscles, tendons and ligaments run along the surfaces of the feet, which allows for complex movements to be completed for motion and balance. The Achilles tendon connects the heel to the calf muscle and is essential for running, jumping and standing on the toes.

By understanding the different parts of the foot, your podiatrist can easily identify problems. If you are experiencing pain, your podiatrist can also pinpoint what is connected to each part of your foot for a better diagnosis.