Foot Bones Anatomy

Author: Scott A. Sheffield MS

Last update:

Introduction

The human foot is one of the most anatomically complicated structures, consisting of 28 bones and over thirty joints constructed in the form of arches which helps it with its unique functions of weight support and walking.

Anatomists divide the foot into three parts:

  1. Hindfoot (talus and calcaneus).
  2. Midfoot (navicular, cuboid, and cuneiforms).
  3. Forefoot (Metatarsals and phalanges)

This tutorial will glance at these bones and their general features.

Hindfoot

Talus

The image descriptiontalus is the bone that articulates with the tibia and fibula, contributing to the ankle joint. It also articulates inferiorly with the significantly larger calcaneus (or calcaneum).

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with talus and highlighted with green
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Calcaneus

Also called image descriptioncalcaneum or heel bone, It is the foot’s largest bone, articulating with the talus superiorly and the cuboid anteriorly. Unlike the talus, several vital muscles attach to the calcaneus.

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with calcaneus labeled and highlighted with green
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Midfoot

Navicular 

This small bone name came from the Latin word navis, meaning boat. It image descriptionarticulates proximally with the talus and distally with the cuneiform bones.

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with navicular and highlighted with green
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Cuboid

Located between the calcaneus and the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones, the image descriptioncuboid bone is the most lateral in the midfoot. It got its name due to its roughly cubical shape.

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with cuboid labeled and highlighted with green
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Forefoot

Metatarsals

The metatarsal bones are five long bones that comprise the image descriptionmetatarsus of the foot. They are analogous to the metacarpal bones of the hand, and they play a crucial role in forming the arches of the foot.

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with Matatarsals and highlighted with green
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Phalanges

image descriptionPhalanges form the most distal part of the forefoot and are divided into three rows; proximal, intermediate (missing in the large toe or the hallux), and distal. Although they resemble the phalanges of the hand, they are much shorter.

Difficult to remember all the foot bones? Learn them with interactive quizzes and video tuorials.

An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with Proximal phalanges and highlighted with green
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with Middle Phalanges and highlighted with green
An illustration showing a superior view of foot bones with distal phalanges labeled and highlighted with green
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Test yourself

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