Foot Splay / Eversion – Correct it or Leave it?

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Foot splay…we’ve all seen it….it’s when the feet ‘splay’ out to the side. Otherwise known as duck feet or eversion for those of you who are anatomically minded. Many people see it as a major problem that should be fixed at all costs. Others don’t see the point. The question for me lies in whether this is in fact something that can be corrected. There’s no doubt that an everted foot sets up a chain reaction of inefficient movement. Even the most, non-mechanically inclined person can recognize that the design of the foot is just simply not intended for rotation (about the toes) that is not perpendicular to the metatarsal’s axis. With this in mind I DO try to correct it when possible but very rarely through any aggressive intervention and before doing that I’ll try to distinguish between something that might be purely anatomical in nature due to bone structure (which might not be easily correctable) and something that is due to length-tension imbalances in the leg and hip musculature. The biggest error I see in people trying to correct this issue is by trying to fix the problem at the foot or ankle. Even the worst duck walker can consciously invert the ankle and make it look as though they’ve solved the problem. This is akin to cutting off a weed but leaving it’s roots and will only lead to more problems down the line. In most cases, the problem lies much further up the kinetic chain in the balance of the adductors and abductors of the leg.
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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

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Mike Young
Mike Young
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