My feet were very flat before I started training my arches. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how much improvement to expect. I’m incredibly happy with the results both with how my arches look and also 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. My arches continued to show improvement for at least a year after that 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.
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 within the normal range.
This next picture compares both the resting position of my foot and how the arch looks when performing the short foot exercise.
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 besides better arches, including:
- improved standing posture
- improved walking mechanics
- decreased shoe size
- better single-leg balance
- increased ankle flexibility
I often get asked if these exercises work for other people with flat feet. Since every individual is different, I limit the scope of this site to my experience because I don’t want to suggest that anyone else can expect similar results.
You can read more of my thoughts about this is this post: Can Anyone with Flat Feet Improve Their Arches?