My feet were very flat before I started training my arches. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how much improvement to expect. Now, I’m incredibly happy with my results both in terms of how my arches look and also with how I no longer overpronate.
Arch Height Increase
In the before picture, you can see the inside of my foot was completely on the ground. It also had a flabby appearance due to a lack of muscle tone in the arch supporting muscles.
My main reason for doing this was to build stronger feet and improve my overall physical health, but I was also unhappy with the way my feet looked.
It took about three months to reach the goal I set for considering my feet no longer flat. Even after that, though, my arches continued to show improvement as I found new exercises to work on and perfected some of the ones I had previously been doing.
Heel Position Change
At the start, the resting position for my heels was in a very turned out (everted) position and you can also see more of the foot bones protruding towards the inside of the ankle in the before picture.
Now, my heels naturally stay in a neutral position without having to think about it.
During the project, I tracked my progress a few ways including weekly pictures of my arches and footprints.
I used ink footprints both as a way to visually assess changes in my foot shape and also to take measurements to calculate the arch index. Now, the arch index value for both feet is comfortably within the normal range.
Improved Arch Stability
This video has before and after clips showing the change in how my foot responds to a few quick tests of arch strength.
Even though it took a relatively short time for my arch height to improve in standing, it took a bit longer until my arches were strong enough to stay stable during more demanding activities like squatting and running.
There were other benefits I saw from this program besides better arches.
My standing posture has improved. I stand straighter now with my shoulders level.
My walking mechanics look a lot better. Before, when I observed myself walking, something seemed a little off–but I could never figure out what I needed to change.
Decreased Shoe Size
My shoe size went down a full size. It had slowly been increasing since I was a teenager. Right before starting this I was wearing size US 12.5 which is sort of an odd size that can be hard to find. Now I usually find shoes sized 11-11.5 fit me well.
I used to struggle with balancing on my right leg, likely because of the inadequate foot tripod. Trying to balance on my right leg used to feel like a full body workout but now both sides are sturdy.