BACKGROUND: Previous studies have suggested that increased plantar surface area, associated with pes planus, is a risk factor for the development of lower extremity overuse injuries. The intent of this study was to determine if a single or combination of foot anthropometric measures could be used to predict plantar surface area. METHODS: Six foot measurements were collected on 155 subjects (97 females, 58 males, mean age 24.5 +/- 3.5 years). The measurements as well as one ratio were entered into a stepwise regression analysis to determine the optimal set of measurements associated with total plantar contact area either including or excluding the toe region. The predicted values were used to calculate plantar surface area and were compared to the actual values obtained dynamically using a pressure sensor platform. RESULTS: A three variable model was found to describe the relationship between the foot measures/ratio and total plantar contact area (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.0001)). A three variable model was also found to describe the relationship between the foot measures/ratio and plantar contact area minus the toe region (R2 = 0.76, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The results of this study indicate that the clinician can use a combination of simple, reliable, and time efficient foot anthropometric measurements to explain over 75% of the plantar surface contact area, either including or excluding the toe region.