What are some of the best foot exercises and stretches you can do to help improve the flexibility and strength of your feet? What about stretches for reducing foot pain? Well, we’re about to find out thanks to another installment of the Tread & Butter Foot Health Journal!
For this article, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best foot exercises, broken them down into three overlapping sections (1. Flexibility/mobility 2. Strength-building 3. Foot stretches to reduce pain), and provided simple instructions for each.
Whether you’re experiencing foot pain, recovering from a foot injury, or understand the importance of foot health and want to improve range of motion and flexibility, the following list is destined to help you build foot strength and keep your feet healthy for the long haul. For each specific foot exercise or stretch, keep in mind that we recommend 3 or more days a week, or every other day (resting your feet is also important!)
Along with all the other useful information you’ll find inside our Foot Health Journal, we hope these easy yet essential foot health exercises help you continue your way towards optimal foot health, one step at a time (😉). And remember, depending on your needs, you may want to consult with a trusted professional before going all out with the following foot exercises.
Ah, the ol’ toe raise point and curl. A staple among every list of the best foot exercises for flexibility and mobility. Including this one.
This toe splay exercise can help improve control over your toe muscles, as well as strengthen the toe muscles themselves. For this at-home foot exercise, you can work with either one or both feet at the same time.
If your toes are accustomed to being squished together for long periods of time—in tight or pointy shoes, in work boots, hiking boots, trail running shoes, or bike shoes—this is one of the best toe stretches you can get into. It’s also excellent at helping prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.
For this foot and heel stretch, you’ll need a TheraBand (ie: one of those stretchy exercise bands that come in primary colors according to their resistance strength—have your pick!).
We already introduced you to the “toe splay” (it’s the second foot exercise in this list), but we wanted to add this one in for good measure. The first version is more for foot flexibility and mobility, while this rendition is more about building foot strength.
So, all you’ll need to do here is take the same toe splay exercise from above and add a hair elastic or rubber band around your toes. Doing this creates resistance, makes the exercise more challenging, and adds an element of strength-building to the equation.
This foot-strengthening exercise helps build up the muscles on the bottom of your feet and toes. Sweet!
This toe curl exercise helps build up the flexor muscles in your toes and feet, as well as improve overall foot strength.
Want to make this at-home foot exercise a little more challenging? Create resistance by weighing down the opposite end of the towel with an object.
At least some amount of barefoot walking is good for all of us, especially if it’s on sand. Walking barefoot on sand helps build foot and calf strength, as well stretch your feet, toes, and calves.
The details (which are pretty straightforward):
Strong feet give you wings. Photo: Adobe
This foot pain exercise is helpful for reducing arch pain, treating plantar fasciitis, and stretching/massaging your arches.
Keeping your Achilles strong is essential to maintaining good overall foot health—cheers to the Achilles tendon and this stretch!
For other great Achilles stretches, be sure to check out our article on shin splint prevention and treatment.
This foot health exercise is all about getting into your calves through a deep stretch. Enjoy the depth, friends!
And that’s a wrap for our take on the best foot exercises and stretches for improving foot health and reducing foot pain—we hope you got what you needed from our little list!
If you’re looking for more on how to improve foot health, don’t forget to cruise through our Foot Health Journal and discover all the foot-loving information you never knew you needed.
To learn more about how Tread & Butter can change your world from the ground up, check out our high-quality cork insoles, available in high arch or low arch, or send us a note about your specific insole needs. We’re always here to inform, support (literally), and help keep your feet strong, flexible, and healthy.