The relationship between foot posture and lower limb kinematics during walking: A systematic review

Gait Posture. 2013 Jul;38(3):363-72. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.01.010. Epub 2013 Feb 5.


Variations in foot posture, such as pes planus (low-arched foot) or pes cavus (high-arched foot), are thought to be an intrinsic risk factor for injury due to altered motion of the lower extremity. Hence, the aim of this systematic review was to investigate the relationship between foot posture and lower limb kinematics during walking. A systematic database search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Embase and Inspec was undertaken in March 2012. Two independent reviewers applied predetermined inclusion criteria to selected articles for review and selected articles were assessed for quality. Articles were then grouped into two broad categories: (i) those comparing mean kinematic parameters between different foot postures, and (ii) those examining associations between foot posture and kinematics using correlation analysis. A final selection of 12 articles was reviewed. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to heterogeneity between studies. Selected articles primarily focused on comparing planus and normal foot postures. Five articles compared kinematic parameters between different foot postures - there was some evidence for increased motion in planus feet, but this was limited by small effect sizes. Seven articles investigated associations between foot posture and kinematics - there was evidence that increasing planus foot posture was positively associated with increased frontal plane motion of the rearfoot. The body of literature provides some evidence of a relationship between pes planus and increased lower limb motion during gait, however this was not conclusive due to heterogeneity between studies and small effect sizes.

Keywords: Biomechanics; Flatfoot; Foot; Gait; Locomotion; Motion; Pronation; Running; Supination; Walking.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Foot / physiopathology
  • Foot Deformities / physiopathology
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Posture / physiology
  • Pronation / physiology*
  • Supination / physiology*
  • Walking