The embodiment of physical compliance in humanoid robots, inspired by biology, improves the robustness of locomotion in unknown environments. The mechanical implementation using elastic materials demands a further combination together with controlled compliance to make the intrinsic compliance more effective. We hereby present an active compliance control to stabilize the humanoid robots for standing and walking tasks. Our actively controlled compliance is achieved via admittance control using closed-loop feedback of the six axis force/torque sensors in the feet. The modeling and theoretical formulation are presented, followed by the simulation study. Further, the control algorithms were validated on a real humanoid robot COMAN with inherent compliance. A series of experimental comparisons were studied, including standing balancing against impacts, straight walking, and omni-directional walking, to demonstrate the necessity and the effectiveness of applying controlled compliance on the basis of physical elasticity to enhance compliant foot-ground interaction for the successful locomotion. All data from simulations and experiments related with the proposed controller and the performance are presented, analyzed, and discussed.