Foot Facts

  • The human foot has 26 bones, 52 bones in each pair of feet; this is almost a quarter of all the bones in the human skeleton.
  • The foot also has 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • By school age a child’s foot contains 45 separate bone centre’s. These bones fuse together continuously until at least the mid teens forming the 26 bones in a normal adult foot. The bones have not fully ossified (become completely hardened) until around the age of eighteen.
  • Two and a half times our body weight is imposed upon some joints of the foot at each stride we take, for an average of ten thousand paces a day.
  • It is estimated that we walk the equivalent of three and a half times around the planet in a lifetime.
  • Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems. Ill-fitting shoes and lack of proper foot care are normally the cause of most common foot problems.
  • 20,000 women a year in the UK are hospitalised due to their footwear!
  • The foot is the furthest structure from the heart’s circulatory system, therefore it is the first part of the body to be affected by decreased circulation and many health conditions, for example diabetes and arthritis, will first display themselves in the feet.
  • A pair of feet has approximately 250,000 sweat glands.  Each day, your feet will excrete as much as half a pint of moisture.
  • The feet can contract a number of unpleasant infections from communal showers and changing rooms – Verruccas, Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm.
  • With all the attention that shoe designs get these days, it’s rather hard to believe that the shoe sizing system is still rooted in 14th century measurements. The British shoe sizing system was created by Edward II in 1324 and that sizing system is still used to manufacture footwear for the UK. The King’s system is based on the size of a barleycorn.  The barleycorn is an old English unit that equates to ⅓ inch (8.46 mm). Half sizes are commonly made, resulting in an increment of 1⁄6 inch (4.23 mm).
  • Doctors of old diagnosed diabetes by ascertaining whether there was sugar in the patient’s urine. And the only way to test for this was to taste it!  Thank goodness today for the invention of dip sticks!
  • The name Achilles’ heel comes from Greek mythology. Achilles’ mother, the goddess Thetis, received a prophecy of her son’s death. Hearing this, she dipped him into the River Styx to protect his body from harm. However, she kept hold of his heel, meaning that the water did not touch this part of his body and it was therefore vulnerable. During the Trojan War, Achilles was struck on his unprotected heel by a poisoned arrow shot by Paris, which killed him. In the same war, Achilles is also said to have cut behind Hector’s Achilles tendons, having killed him, and threaded leather thongs through the incisions in order to drag him behind a chariot.
  • Robert Wadlow (USA, 1918 - 1940), the tallest ever man, wore US size 37AA shoes (UK size 36 or approximately a European size 75), equivalent to 47cm (18½ in) long.
  • The tallest man living is Sultan Kösen (Turkey, b.10 December 1982) who measured 251 cm (8 ft 3 in) in Ankara, Turkey, on 08 February 2011.  The part-tme farmer was the first man over 8 ft (2.43 m) to be measured by Guinness World Record in over 20 years.  Indeed, GWR only knows of 10 confirmed or reliable cases in history of humans reaching 8 ft or more.  Sultan also holds the records for widest hand span and largest feet on a living person
  • If cases of elephantiasis are excluded, then the biggest feet currently known are those of Brahim Takioullah (Morocco, b.1982) whose left foot measures 38.1 cm (1 ft 3 in) and right foot measures 37.5 cm (1 ft 2.76 in). The measurements were taken in Paris, France, on 24 May 2011.
  • Elvis foot’ or ‘Elvis legs’ is climbing jargon for when a climber’s foot trembles on the rock due to fatigue or panic.
  • Speaking of Elvis, apparently he had a well documented foot fetish, stemming from having to massage his mother’s feet as a child (or “rub her little sooties,” as the King chose to say). Presley’s handlers would screen women on the basis of their feet before they could have a romantic encounter with the rock and roll icon.


Happy Feet Footcare is a member of the
Accredited Register of Foot Health Practitioners





Happy Feet Footcare is a registered member of 
The College of Foot Health


Happy Feet Footcare is on the
Register for Foot Health Practitioners