|Artery:||dorsalis pedis, medial plantar, lateral plantar|
|Nerve:||medial plantar, lateral plantar, deep fibular, superficial fibular|
For other uses see Foot (disambiguation).
The foot is an anatomical structure found in many animals. It is the terminal portion of a limb which bears weight and allows locomotion. In many animals with feet, the foot is a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg made up of one or more segments or bones, generally including claws or nails.
The feet of land vertebrates are characterized as either plantigrade, digitigrade, or unguligrade. In plantigrade animals, such as humans, frogs or bears, the bottom of the entire foot supports the weight of the animal. In digitigrade animals, such as cats, wolves or birds, the toes bear the animal's weight, while the upper regions of the foot, the ankle and wrist, remain elevated. Finally, in unguligrade animals, such as cows or horses, even the toes are elevated, the animal standing only atop its nails, which have evolved to bear weight and are called hooves.
The human foot is of the plantigrade form. The major bones in the human foot are:
The bones in the toes are called phalanges.
The bones in the middle of the foot are called metatarsal bones.
There are three bones in the middle of the foot, towards the centre of the foot between the navicular bone and the 1-3 metatarsal bone(the three bones are the intermediate, lateral, medial cuneiform bones.)
The bone sitting adjacent to the cuneiforms on the outside of the foot is called the cuboid.
This bone sits behind the cuneiforms.
Also called the ankle bone, the talus sits directly behind the navicular.
Also called the heel bone, the calcaneus sits under the talus and behind the cuboid.
An anthropometric study of 1197 North American adult Caucasian males (mean age 35.5 years) found that mean foot length was 26.3 cm with a standard deviation of 1.2 cm.
Worldwide, different cultures treat and perceive feet very differently:
Customs about footwear while indoors vary significantly from place to place and usually depend on climate, weather, and other factors:
One way to measure short distances on the ground is by placing one foot directly in front of the other; this led to the adoption of the foot as a unit of length, even though not all human feet correspond to this measure.
It is a myth that the Imperial "foot" (304.8 mm) is about the length of the average European male foot. The average today is less than 280 mm and 90% of the population is within 20 mm of that. Although many men today have feet that are 11.5 inches long (size 12-13): most are less than size 11. In the past, the average length would have been even less. The overall length of most shoes however, is above one "foot". Tradition has it that the Imperial foot was based upon the size of Hercules' foot or the size of the king of England.
Due to their position and function, feet are exposed to a variety of potential infections and injuries, including athlete's foot, bunions, ingrown toenails, Morton's neuroma, plantar fasciitis, plantar warts and stress fractures. In addition, there are several genetic conditions that can affect the shape and function of the feet, including a club foot or flat feet.
This leaves humans more vulnerable to medical problems that are caused by poor leg and foot alignments. Also, the wearing of shoes, sneakers and boots can impede proper alignment and movement within the ankle and foot. For example, high heels are known to throw off the natural weight balance (this can also affect the lower back). For the sake of posture, flat soles and heels are advised.
A doctor who specializes in the treatment of the feet practices podiatry and is called a podiatrist. A pedorthist specializes in the use and modification of footwear to treat problems related to the lower limbs.