A markerless technique is proposed and applied to estimate the two-dimensional joint kinematics of the shank and foot complex during the stance phase. Image sequences were acquired with a single camera from three healthy subjects while walking barefoot and with socks. Automatic segmentation of the shank and foot was performed to isolate the moving body from the background. A multi-rigid body model for the shank and foot complex, with the relevant segment anatomical axes, was defined and an image cross-correlation technique was applied to detect the anatomical axes locations throughout the movement. The proposed markerless technique was validated by acquiring the same trials also with a stereophotogrammetric marker-based system and a simple marker set. Differences in the joint kinematics estimates obtained with the two techniques fall in most cases within the intra-subject variability showing that, in selected applications, the markerless technique may replace more expensive and more experimental time demanding marker-based techniques. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.