Understanding the Rigid Flat Foot

rigid flat foot


Based on the StepStrong Foot Quiz it was determined that you have a rigid flat foot.  

With our feet as the foundation to our body alignment and function, having a rigid foot means that there is a component of stiffness or structural rigidity in your foot.   This rigidity is often related to structural changes in the joints and bony alignment of the foot joints.   

Sometimes people with rigid flat feet may say that their feet fatigue easily or that they experience pain along the inside of the ankle, into the great toe joint or even the knees.  

Before you start to panic about your foot type, do not worry!

We have some great tips to help you offset for these structural changes that are present in your foot and to bring some mobility to the foot and ankle.


Tip #1 – Sensory stimulation builds foot awareness

Strong feet needs to start with foot awareness.  Do you feel your feet?   Are you aware of your pressure distribution?   

Integrating at least 30 minutes of daily barefoot stimulation is a great way to improve foot awareness and foot strength. Barefoot stimulation could mean walking around your home barefoot, or taking a barefoot class such as yoga.

Want to kick it up a notch? Walk on different surfaces such as outdoors, pebble baths or even textured mats.


Tip #2 – Daily foot release can provide great relief

Releasing the feet for at least 5 minutes is a great way to release tension and stress from the small muscles of the feet. Standing on a golf ball or lacrosse ball can bring a massage to the muscles.  

Don’t stop there though.  Incorporate a simple foot release at the start of the day or before you workout. 

Tip #3 – Ankle mobility is key to foot function 

Ankle mobility is how energy is transferred through our body when we walk, squat and jump.  Being able to flex and extend our ankle is a requirement of functional movement.  

Incorporate daily foam rolling or massage to the calves, followed by a simple calf stretch such as down dog or dropping the heel off a step.  


Tip #4 – Foot exercises lead to a strong foundation

Just like any other group of muscles in our body, our foot muscles needs to be strengthened and worked out. One of the best go-to exercises for strengthening the feet is called short foot.

Short foot exercises is engaged through the action of pushing the toes down into the ground. The action of pushing the toes down can be experienced from a forward lean.

Start by standing tall with the feet shoulder width apart.  Keeping the body stiff, start to lean forward.  As you lean forward, you should feel the toes pushing down into the ground.  Keep that contraction of the toes pushing down but lift the body so you are standing straight again. 

Once you understand the action of pushing the toes down, you can do this throughout your day. Whether you are squatting at the gym or doing tree pose in yoga, push the toes down to activate your foot muscles.