You may think we’re trying to be goofy when we ask the question, “Why do we have toes?” But think about it for a second. Unlike monkeys, we can’t grab objects with our toes or hang from branches with them. And unlike other mammals, we don’t have claws on our toes to protect ourselves or attack prey. So why, then, do our feet split into five separate toes? Surprisingly, it’s not just so you have something to show off when you wear your OpeToz® open-toed athletic shoes.

The Anatomy Of The Foot

The foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make everything work together. A foot is usually separated into three sections. The hindfoot is the rigid part of the foot that includes the heel bone and the ankle. While the ankle can swivel around, the hindfoot doesn’t really move much. The midfoot, near the arch, contains a mass of bones, helps the foot to be flexible and adapt to a variety of surfaces. The forefoot includes our toes and five longer bones called metatarsals. In fact, while on the outside, our feet may look like there is only a distinct separation between our short toes, the bone structure tells a different story. Almost half of out total foot length is made up of separated, independent bones.

These Toes Were Made For Walking

And that’s just what they’ll do! This one might seem obvious, but truly think about how walking would work without toes. Take a few steps around the room and really focus on what your toes are doing. Most people have a gait cycle as follows: heel strike, foot flat, mid-stance, heel-off, toe-off. As we finish those steps (pun intended), our foot swings forward and as our heel strikes the floor, we start the cycle over again. While toes are only mentioned in the last step, they play an incredibly important role in walking. The toe-off phase of our gait cycle helps to propel us forward. Your big toe is especially important for this, as it is exponentially stronger than the rest. In fact, your big toe can bear about twice as much weight as your other toes combined.

Finding Balance

Toes also play a vitally important role in balance. There is an old myth that people who are missing a few toes are constantly toppling over. While this isn’t the case, every myth has some truth to it. Balancing without the use of your toes is difficult, and people who lose, say, their big toe will usually undergo physical therapy to learn how to walk and balance again. If you’re able to do so, try jumping up and down on one foot… Now, try it while keeping your toes suspended in the air. Most likely, without using your toes, landing steadily on one foot is nearly impossible.

Our Toes Matter: Show Them Off In Open Toe Athletic Shoes

As you can see, our ten little toes play a big role in helping us walk and balance. So give them the spotlight they deserve! Our open-toe athletic shoes give your toes plenty of space to stretch and move like they need to to keep you on your feet. Shop our entire collection of OpeToz toeless athletic shoes today! And don’t forget your matching toeless socks!

Written by Ope Toz

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