The muscles of the human foot are the abductor digiti minimi, the extensor digitorum brevis, the extensor digitorum longus, flexor digiti minimi brevis, the flexor digitorum longus, the interossei-dorsal, the interossei-plantar and the four lumbricals. Together, these muscles facilitate human actions such as locomotion and balancing by absorbing shock and redistributing weight as the body moves and the muscles flex and relax.
Many of the muscles of the human foot are mirrored in the human hand. These include the interossei-dorsal, the interossei-plantar and the lumbrical muscles. Feet have substantially less dexterity than hands but are similar in principle and layout, sharing a basic anatomy of five digits, a heel and a palm or sole.
The muscles of the foot also control the flexion and relaxation of the toes. When toes curl it is because of muscular action, giving them a limited ability to grip so that humans can gain traction on difficult surfaces. Toes can flex at multiple joints in a limited fashion.
The mechanics of the ankle interact with the action of muscles of the foot like the extensor digitorum longus which extends the foot from the ankle as a point of motion, allowing the foot a greater degree of stability at the cost of mobility at the joint.