How Your Feet Shape Posture & Spine Health During Walking


Have you ever been told by a healthcare specialist to start walking more? Or to work on better posture?   You're not alone! Walking, often overlooked as a simple activity, plays a pivotal role in good posture and spine health, but it all starts with understanding your foot mechanics.

Poor posture leads to limited mobility in the spine, which could lead to poor posture and pain during walking.  According to the CDC, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Let's unravel the essential elements and recommendations for cultivating good walking posture starting from the ground up.


Why Walking Matters


Walking is linked to many health related benefits including reducing all causes associated with death. While 8000 steps per day seems much, think of walking as “posture in motion” It engages various systems: brain & nervous system, balance, joints, muscles, and heart health. The foundation of it all? Your feet.


The Foundation: Your Foot


The feet serve as the literal foundation for every step you take, influencing your posture and, consequently, your spinal health. Understanding foot mechanics is crucial in maintaining a harmonious relationship between your feet, posture, and spine.

1. Foot Placement & Ground Contact  

Optimal posture begins with how your foot makes contact with the ground because it impacts your body and joint positions throughout. Proper ground contact forces (the force of landing on your foot every time you step) and prepares for the next step forward. Proper stepping ensures that your foot lands heel-first, allowing a smooth transition to the midfoot and toes. This promotes a more balanced weight distribution, reducing the impact on your joints and enhancing stability. 

2. Arch Support & Weight Distribution

Imagine your feet as dynamic structures with arches that act as natural shock absorbers. Maintaining the arch support by evenly distributing your weight across the foot minimizes strain on the arches and stabilizes your posture, from the ankle up to the head. Now that we understand the foundation, let's explore how to refine your walking posture starting with your feet.


Fine-Tuning Your Walk


Refining your walking posture involves paying attention to subtle details and making mindful adjustments. You may not even be aware of some of the things that could be hurting your posture. Over time, strength loss is common as we age, including in the foot, affecting those arches. The foot and the spine work off one another to accomplish a quality walking performance.

1. Landing Right: Optimizing Foot Strike

be sure you are landing on the slightly outside area of your foot when landing with each step. Your toes may be pointed SLIGHTLY outward, but not too much and the position would be similar or a little closer inward than your position of how you stand in good posture.

2. Maintaining Balance: Perfecting the Flat Foot

This position involves your full foot supporting your weight while the other foot is about to go into the air (known as swing). Although the bottom of your sure is likely flat, the inside arch should still be there as though making a footprint in the sand at the beach. Standing tall with chest out, hips and shoulder back and head held high will help your foot remain in good position. However, sometimes that is not enough, and we may need to correct the foot directly.

3. Powerful Push-Off: Propulsion Tips

As the heel lifts transition your foot towards the first and second toe. During this time, your other foot is about flat on the ground. Again, your body position is impacting this process as your foot is also impacting your body position because propulsion is both a foot and hip activity that requires a good spine position. If you do not have a good body position for some reason such as low back pain or weakness, this propulsion will occur primarily because of the foot, creating an imbalance in the process.

4. Prioritize Symmetry

Symmetry plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal posture and promoting spine health during walking. Achieving symmetry involves ensuring that both sides of the body are working harmoniously and evenly throughout the walking cycle. Focus on even foot strike, balance, and propulsion with both sides of your body. Visual cues like treadmills or patterned floors help maintain this harmony, reducing strain and injury risk.


The journey to good walking posture and its positive impact on spinal health begins with understanding foot mechanics. As with monitoring other aspects of your health, you should be monitoring your walkingUnlike other wearable, Smart shoe technology (like baliston shoes) tracking your foot and walking outcomes, providing valuable insights to improve your walking posture! The smart sensors in the Baliston shoes along with the Baliston Connect App provide you with all of the crucial activity data to improve your walking posture! 

Back to blog