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BACKGROUND: Static and dynamic assessment of the medial longitudinal arch (MLA) is an essential aspect for measuring foot function in both clinical and research fields. Despite this, most multi-segment foot models lack the ability to directly track the MLA. This study aimed to assess various methods of MLA assessment, through motion capture of surface markers on the foot during various activities. METHODS: Thirty general population participants (mean age 20 years) without morphological alterations to their feet underwent gait analysis. Eight measures, each representing a unique definition of the MLA angle using either real only, or both real and floor-projected markers, were created. Participants performed tasks including standing, sitting, heel lift, Jack's test and walking, and had their Arch Height Index (AHI) measured using callipers. Multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) with 10 criteria was utilised for selecting the optimal measure for dynamic and static MLA assessment. RESULTS: In static tasks, the standing MLA angle was significantly greater in all measures but one when compared to sitting, Jack's test and heel lift. The MLA angle in Jack's test was significantly greater than in heel lift in all measures. Across the compared dynamic tasks, significant differences were noted in all measures except one for foot strike in comparison to 50% gait cycle. All MLA measures held significant inverse correlations with MLA measured from static and dynamic tasks. Based on MCDA criteria, a measure comprising the first metatarsal head, fifth metatarsal base, navicular and heel markers was deemed the best for MLA assessment. SIGNIFICANCE: This study aligns with the current literature recommendations for the use of a navicular marker for characterising the MLA. It contrasts with previous recommendations and advocates against the use of projected markers in most situations.

Original publication




Journal article


Gait posture

Publication Date





118 - 124


Arch height index, Medial longitudinal arch, Multi-segment foot model, Multicriteria decision analysis, Navicular marker, Humans, Young Adult, Adult, Biomechanical Phenomena, Foot, Gait, Walking, Tarsal Bones