What Would Happen If We Didn’t Have Our Toes?

Without our human toes, our entire mechanism for walking wouldn’t work; it wouldn’t be possible to tighten the plantar fascia, and our gait would turn into something that looks like a Frankenstein walk. The way our feet are designed requires toes to avoid placing a whole lot of weight and stress on other parts of the foot that aren’t designed to handle them.

(The plantar fascia is the tendon that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes.)

But, Why Do We Need Five of Them?

Ok, if all we need is something that’s pretty flexible on the front of our feet, why don’t we have just three or four toes or just one giant toe (like a flipper)? The question of why we have five toes is pretty much unanswered by science, but having several separate appendages at the front of the foot might give us slightly better balance.

Would Longer Toes Be an Advantage?

It has been discovered that even a modest increase in toe length requires much more energy in order to run. A study found that sprinters average much longer toe lengths than non-sprinters. Because longer toes help generate more force, they propel the sprinters forward at a faster space. But, because it take more energy to do this, it’s only advantageous for shorter distances, whereas shorter toes are more suited to long-distance running.

How We Use our Toes Makes us Human

After reading this, you might still swear the next time you stub your toe, but you might regard your toes with a bit more affection. If you have done more than just stub your toe (perhaps you have broken it this time?) come see us at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle. In fact, we can help you with any kind of foot or ankle problem so make an appointment today.

Do You Or A Family Member Need The Help Of An Experienced Podiatrist In The Caldwell Or Meridian, Idaho Area?

If you're seeking the help of an experienced podiatrist you owe it to yourself to speak with our doctors as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 208.855.5955 to schedule your appointment. We service all areas surrounding Meridian, Idaho as well as all areas in the Caldwell, Idaho area. We look forward to helping you!

Dr. P. Roman Burk
Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.