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What are the three arches of the foot?

bare foot arch

The design and production team at Start-Rite is committed to delivering fitted footwear that supports the growth and healthy development of children's feet. One crucial aspect of this is understanding the formation and significance of the tarsal and metatarsal bones that, when strengthened by ligaments and tendons, form the foot arches. In this guide, we will introduce you to the three arches of the foot and explain how they play a vital role in children's foot health and overall well-being.

How many arches are there in the foot?

Proper foot support begins with an understanding of the three arches that make up the foot: the medial arch, the lateral arch, and the transverse arch. Most babies are born with flat feet that develop as the foot takes more pressure from increased body weight. Our feet arches help to maintain balance, absorb shock, adapt to different surfaces and enable us to have a ‘spring’ in our step.

The Medial Arch is located on the inner side of the foot and shaped like a triangle. It absorbs shock, distributes forces and helps to maintain balance.

The Lateral Arch, positioned on the outer edge of the foot, plays a crucial role in stability during activities like walking and running.

The Transverse Arch, running horizontally across the midfoot area, provides strength and flexibility.

What is the function of the arches of the foot?

The three arches that make up the foot - medial, lateral, and transverse - play a vital role in stability, balance, and shock absorption, among other functions. The Medial Arch absorbs shock and maintains natural alignment, reducing strain on joints and muscles. Lateral Arch support promotes proper alignment and reduces injury risk. The Transverse Arch provides flexibility and strength, enabling the foot to adapt to different surfaces and absorb impact.

Start-Rite Shoes prioritise children's foot health, incorporating specialised support for all three arches to promote unimpeded foot development and reduce the risk of future foot problems.

At what age do foot arches develop?

During childhood, foot arches undergo important development. From infancy to toddlerhood and beyond, the arches gradually form and strengthen. In babies, the arches are mostly flat and begin to develop as they learn to stand and walk and bear weight. By toddlerhood, the arches become more evident, providing support and stability for walking and running. As children grow, the arches continue to develop, reaching their full potential by the age of six.

Having fitted footwear is crucial during this period as it supports the arches' growth and alignment. Regardless of the stage of arch development, it is vital that your child wears shoes with proper arch support to protect developing feet from flat surfaces and ensure the very best care is maintained at every stage.

If you have concerns about your child's foot development, we have an informative article on what causes flat feet providing further information and guidance.

Start-Rite Shoes - your expert in children's fitted footwear

At Start-Rite Shoes, we pride ourselves on being experts in children's fitted footwear, staying at the forefront of understanding how children grow and develop and how our feet and footwear are vital in this journey. Discover the fascinating world of feet and why we think feet are so fantastic and explore our award-winning Start-Rite school shoes collection, designed to support every child’s healthy foot development.