Most people don’t believe that it is posible to build arches in flat feet. I humbly disagree. The way to build arches in flat feet is to use the feet correctly when you walk.
The arches in the feet are built upon the demand of the muscles of the calves. When we walk well we employ these muscles as designed and their resulting tone helps to support the arches.
This doesn’t mean that everyone who walks badly has flat feet. Flat feet are usually the result of lax ligaments and poor muscle tone. Walking correctly gives you the opportunity to develop strength in muscles that often go unused through life.
There are three arches—inner, outer and transverse— in each foot. Four muscles of the lower leg are particularly important for their development and deployment.
And the feet’s arches aren’t just any old arches—they are spring arches meaning with every quality step we take the arches drop and then rebound to lift and send us to our next step. This only happens if the shin aligns optimally with the foot.
The outer and transverse arches are hoisted by the fibularis muscles that connect to the fibula, the smaller of the two lower leg bones.
The fibularis brevis attaches to the small bone towards the middle of the outside of the foot. You should be able to see it as a little bump. When this muscle engages the outer arch lifts.
The fibularis longus wraps around the inner foot to attach to the bones of the transverse arch and lift them when engaged.
The inner arch—the weight bearing arch– is mainly supported by the tibialis posterior with help from tibialis anterior and a couple of other muscles.
Someone who walks right lands the heel under the knee with each step. The shin in this perpendicular position facilitates the drop and lift of the arches.
When I say someone walks poorly in this instance I mean that the heel lands forward of the knee creating an obtuse angle of the shin and foot. That pattern won’t allow the arches to spring in the way they are meant to.
If you want to build arches in flat feet, learn to walk in a new way. You might be amazed by what transpires.