Types of Feet: Can Foot Shape Determine Your Ancestry or Personality? (2022)

Types of Feet: Can Foot Shape Determine Your Ancestry or Personality? (1)Share on Pinterest

With the proliferation of genealogy companies offering us a chance to discover more about our heritage through DNA analysis, our fascination with ancestry is growing.

MIT Technology Review reported that nearly 26 million Americans took at-home ancestry tests last year. Curiosity about the heritage in our DNA has lots of people asking questions about how ancestry shows up in the rest of the body.

Is there, for example, any truth to the idea that we can tell something about our ancestry by looking at our feet?

Ancestry websites contain archaic-looking charts with foot types labeled “Greek,” “Egyptian,” “Roman,” “Celtic,” and “Germanic.”

The charts suggest that the angle of your toes reveal the region from which your ancestors originated. Other websites declare that the shape of your feet can determine your personality type.

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Does science support this idea? The answer is a clear no.

There’s no evidence to prove that ancestry determines the shape of your foot.

Human feet are highly individual. Your right foot and your left foot aren’t even identical. The angle of your toe descent or the length of your second toe doesn’t reveal either your heritage or your personality traits.

Keeping reading to learn more about differences in feet shape, and what the shape of your feet can reveal. Namely, the way you walk or run, and your potential risk for certain foot and leg conditions.

Foot arches

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One of the most noticeable ways in which feet differ from person to person is the arch. What most of us call the arch — the medial longitudinal arch — is one of three arches in the foot:

  • The medial longitudinal arch runs from the end of your heel to the ball of your foot, right down the center of your foot.
  • The lateral longitudinal arch runs along the outside edge of your foot.
  • The anterior transverse arch runs from side to side, just behind the ball of your foot.

The three arches work together to help your foot absorb shock and adapt to differences in terrain as you walk or run.

Your arch provides a lot of support for your body as you move through the day.

If your arch is either very high or flat, it could cause extra stress on your muscles and joints, especially if you’re involved in high-impact or endurance sports activities, or if you stand on your feet for long periods.

That’s because the height of your arch affects the way your foot moves. If your arch is too high or not high enough, it’s more likely that you’ll overuse certain parts of your foot, and overuse can lead to injuries.

Arches are usually characterized as either low or flat (pes planus), medium, or high (pes cavus).

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To figure out which type of arch you have, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say you can try this simple test. Wet the bottom of your foot, then step on a piece of cardboard or construction paper.

If the wet print shows the entire bottom of your foot, it’s likely that you have low or flat arches. If you see about half of the middle section of your arch on the paper, you probably have arches that are medium, or more typical, in height.

And if you see just the imprint of your toes, your heel, and the ball of your foot on the paper, you probably have very high arches.

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Pronation and supination refer to the side-to-side motions your foot carries out as you move. Pronation refers to an inward roll. If you look down at your foot as you take a step forward, you’ll see your ankle dip toward the inside arch just after your heel strikes the ground.

A certain amount of pronation is normal. When you take a step, your foot absorbs the shock by rolling slightly inward and downward.

Your arch flattens briefly, then your weight rolls to the outside of your foot and up toward the ball as you move forward. Then, you push off using your toes, with your big toe and second toe exerting most of the force.

A tiny amount of supination is also a normal part of walking or running. As you push forward, your foot naturally rolls toward its outside edge so it can redistribute the push-off pressure to your toes.

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(Video) WHAT YOUR FOOT SHAPE REVEALS ABOUT YOU

Too much of a good thing

Low arches commonly cause overpronation, while high arches typically cause oversupination. If your arch is very high, your foot might not pronate enough, which may mean too much of the push-off is being done by your small toes.

A 1994 study found that runners with very high arches absorb foot-pounding shocks poorly compared to runners with lower arches. Those biomechanical tendencies can eventually injure the ankle, iliotibial band, or Achilles tendons. The extra stress can also cause plantar fasciitis.

The shape of your foot — particularly your arch type — can cause you to develop certain conditions. These conditions usually develop as you age, or as physical activities put repeated stress on the bones and soft tissues in your feet.

Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump on the inside of your foot near the base of the big toe. Bunions are quite common. Around 23 percent of the population has them, and they’re particularly prevalent among older women.

Although bunions can be caused by nonhereditary factors, like wearing narrow, high-heeled shoes, researchers believe that having low arches or flat feet increases your risk of developing them.

Hammer toes

Hammer toe is the common name for severe bends in your second, third, fourth, or fifth toes. It’s a condition that usually develops as you age, and it can make finding comfortable shoes a real challenge.

Research indicates that both very high arches and flat feet both increase the odds that you’ll develop hammer toes. Both foot shapes make the muscles in your feet work in off-balance ways, which can change the forces at work on your toes over time.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues that stretch from your toe to your heel. It usually causes sharp pains near your heel.

This condition has been associated with high arches and oversupinated feet, as well as with low arches or flat feet.

Shin splints

If your foot posture is overpronated, you have a higher risk of developing medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), also known as shin splints, according to research.

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Shin splints cause pain that runs from your knee to your ankle on the front side of your leg, alongside your shinbone. Most of the time, shin splints happen in people who are active in stop-and-start athletic activities, like tennis or soccer.

Ankle injuries

If your foot chronically oversupinates or overpronates because of the structure of your foot, you may be more likely to injure your ankle, according to a 2001 study. It may result in an ankle sprain, strain, or break.

Studies show that if you have high arches, your ankle may not be as strong or well-supported as people with lower arches.

Hip, knee, or foot pain

Studies have shown that the height of your arch — either pes cavus or pes planus — can cause pain in your lower extremities in addition to your feet. That’s because the way your feet move causes a ripple effect on the movements of your upper and lower legs.

Feet support and propel you throughout the day, whether you’re waiting tables, marching in protests, or booting the ball past the goalie on a soccer pitch.

One of the things feet can’t do is reveal your heritage or personality. There’s no evidence that the shape of your foot indicates what part of the world your ancestors walked through, and no research that proves foot shape is connected to personality traits.

The shape of your foot can influence the way you move, however.

It’s important to pay attention to your arch type and any tendency you may have to pronate or supinate as you walk or run. Those biomechanics can lead to injury or to painful conditions, like bunions, hammer toes, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis.

If you notice anything unusual in your gait, or if you feel persistent pain in your feet, knees, or hips, talk to a physical therapist or podiatrist to determine if the shape of your foot is at the root of the problem.

FAQs

What your foot shape says about your personality? ›

For example, those with small feet love life and like to have a very hectic job, while larger feet are characteristic of those with the greatest desire to succeed in new ventures. Crooked toes are a sign of surrender, long ones denote ambition, and a very large big toe symbolizes a high degree of rationality.

Do your toes Tell your ethnicity? ›

The claim that the lengths of one's toes can be used as a reliable tool to trace ethnicity is FALSE. Foot shape variations appear across populations and cannot be linked to particular ethnicities.

What determines the shape of your feet? ›

One of the most important differences between feet is in the curvature of the arch. Arches can be high, neutral, or flat; and while environmental factors play a part, the basic shape of your arch is most often determined by genetics.

What is the rarest foot shape? ›

The rarest foot is the Greek foot which is present in 5% of the population (but in 46% of Greeks). The Egyptian foot is the most common with a presence in 70% of the population. Finally, the square or Roman foot is found in 25% of the population.

Which type of foot is lucky? ›

Wide-Set Foot

Known as travellers' foot individuals with a large gap between their feet or with very stretched feet love travelling. They are happy go lucky people who love new adventures.

What is the personality of Egyptian foot? ›

Egyptian feet

Such people give high priority to privacy. They tend to escape from reality and are often impulsive and rebellious.

What is a Viking toe? ›

It goes by the name Morton's toe, Greek toe, turkey toe, royal toe, and Viking toe. They're all ways to identify the unusual condition of having a second toe that's longer than your first toe.

What is a royal toe? ›

A Morton's toe otherwise called Morton's foot or Greek foot or Royal toe is characterized by a longer second toe. This is because the first metatarsal, behind the big toe, is short compared to the second metatarsal, next to it.

What is a Celtic foot? ›

Celtic feet: the luck of the Irish

The Celtic foot shape is a combination of Germanic toes (one big toe, and all other toes of the same length) and a pronounced second digit like the Greeks, with descending toe size from the third toe onwards.

What are the 3 types of feet? ›

Foot Type & Pronation

There are three different foot types: neutral arch, low arch, and high arch. The height of your arch affects the direction and severity of the way your foot rolls – or pronates.

What does having Greek feet mean? ›

Greek foot is when the second toe seems longer than the big toe. It's very common: some people just have this foot shape and others don't. The Greek foot is aptly named, as 46% of participants in a study conducted throughout Greece had this morphological feature, which affects only 5% of the world's population.

What does having Egyptian feet mean? ›

The Egyptian foot is defined by the fact that the first toe is longer than the following ones. The different foot shapes: Egyptian foot, Roman foot or Greek foot.

Which nationality has wide feet? ›

6) Mongoloid populations including Japanese have a wider foot for foot length compared to Caucasoid and Australoid populations. 7) East Asian populations including Japanese have a smaller foot length for height compared to Southeast Asians and Africans. The causes may be both genetic and environmental.

What is the peasant foot? ›

Peasant Feet

The characteristic of the peasant foot is where all the toes are of the same length. Sometimes, the toes can be longer than usual. Because all the toes are of the same size, the foot may look like either a square or a rectangle. Therefore, Pleasant feet are also called “square feet”.

What does it mean if your 2nd toe is longer than your big toe? ›

If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you're in good company. One in five people have Morton's Toe, as it is called, and while it's no cause for alarm, it can lead to biomechanical problems that result in forefoot pain, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures.

What happens if 2nd finger is longer than toe? ›

1) It is said that the second finger of a boy is bigger than the finger of his feet, then he is very lucky and has a clean heart. With this, the sum of money is in their horoscope and they also enjoy all the pleasures in life.

What is a Roman foot? ›

Definition of Roman foot

: an ancient Roman unit of length equal to 11.64 English inches.

What is Egyptian toe? ›

1. Egyptian Toe. A pretty common foot type, the Egyptian toe is distinguished by a long big toe, followed by the other toes tapering at a 45 degree angle. The entire foot is at an incline, and usually longer and narrower than other shapes.

What your hands say about your personality? ›

If you have Short Fingers and Long Palms, your personality traits reveal you are energetic, enthusiastic, restless, and charismatic. You have excellent leadership qualities. You do not shy away from taking risks or ceasing opportunities. You love to be the center of attention.

What does your toe say about you? ›

According to Pedireviews, having a big toe that's far larger than the rest of your toes could be sign of creativity. On top of that, it could also indicate that you're a sharp thinker, while having smaller toes is seemingly a sign of being a good multi-tasker.

What does it mean if your middle toe is smaller than the rest? ›

Brachymetatarsia is a condition where one of your metatarsals has a significantly shortened bone, causing that toe to be much shorter than the other four. The fourth metatarsal, located next to your little toe, is the most common toe to be affected.

What is Morgan toe? ›

Here's our process. Morton's toe, or Morton's foot, describes the condition where your second toe looks longer than your big toe. It's very common: Some people just have it and others don't. In some people, Morton's toe may increase the chances of calluses forming on the sole of your foot and some other foot pains.

What is a Scottish toe? ›

The Celtic foot is believed to be a variation of the Greek foot with toes of different lengths that don't follow a strict descending order. A Celtic foot may have third or fourth toes that are about the same length as the big toe! Or the third, fourth, and fifth toes have a grouping of the same size.

What is Morton's foot? ›

Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton's neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.

Can feet tell ancestry? ›

One of the things feet can't do is reveal your heritage or personality. There's no evidence that the shape of your foot indicates what part of the world your ancestors walked through, and no research that proves foot shape is connected to personality traits.

What does it mean if your third toe is longer? ›

Third Toe. If your third toe is comparatively long, it means you are incredibly energetic and resourceful, especially at work. The longer this toe is, the more you are driven to succeed in your career. The Chinese associate energy, drive and willpower with the third toe.

What does having a Morton's toe mean? ›

If you have a second toe that's longer than your first toe (your big or great toe), you likely have Morton's toe. It is considered to be a kind of brachymetatarsia.

What does Germanic toes mean? ›

2) The Germanic Foot

With this type of foot shape the big toe is longer than all the other toes forming a straight line that steps down from the big toe, with the pinky often times much smaller. Folks with a Germanic foot are known for being tolerant and sympathetic, with an unwavering loyalty to family and friends.

What are the 5 types of feet? ›

A survey of more than 5,000 people found that most people's foot type falls into one of seven categories: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, peasant, square, stretched or simian. The three most common types of feet were Egyptian, Roman and peasant.

How do I know if I have Celtic ancestry? ›

A DNA test by iGENEA provides you with evidence of whether you have Celtic roots. Based on your specific genetic characteristics, we can identify your origins and state from which line the Celtic descent is (paternal, maternal or both lines).

What are the 3 types of feet? ›

Foot Type & Pronation

There are three different foot types: neutral arch, low arch, and high arch. The height of your arch affects the direction and severity of the way your foot rolls – or pronates.

Is Greek foot rare? ›

It's very common: some people just have this foot shape and others don't. The Greek foot is aptly named, as 46% of participants in a study conducted throughout Greece had this morphological feature, which affects only 5% of the world's population.

What is a Celtic foot? ›

Celtic feet: the luck of the Irish

The Celtic foot shape is a combination of Germanic toes (one big toe, and all other toes of the same length) and a pronounced second digit like the Greeks, with descending toe size from the third toe onwards.

What does it mean if your middle toe is longest? ›

If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you're in good company. One in five people have Morton's Toe, as it is called, and while it's no cause for alarm, it can lead to biomechanical problems that result in forefoot pain, plantar fasciitis and stress fractures.

What are the 5 types of feet? ›

A survey of more than 5,000 people found that most people's foot type falls into one of seven categories: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, peasant, square, stretched or simian. The three most common types of feet were Egyptian, Roman and peasant.

What does having Egyptian feet mean? ›

The Egyptian foot is defined by the fact that the first toe is longer than the following ones. The different foot shapes: Egyptian foot, Roman foot or Greek foot.

What does it mean when your 2nd toe is longer? ›

However, what is medical fact: having a second toe longer than the big toe is perfectly normal because the metatarsal or the long bone connected to the second toe is normally the longest metatarsal of the foot. In medical terms, possessing an excessively long second toe is called Morton's toe.

What is a Viking toe? ›

It goes by the name Morton's toe, Greek toe, turkey toe, royal toe, and Viking toe. They're all ways to identify the unusual condition of having a second toe that's longer than your first toe.

What is Egyptian toe? ›

1. Egyptian Toe. A pretty common foot type, the Egyptian toe is distinguished by a long big toe, followed by the other toes tapering at a 45 degree angle. The entire foot is at an incline, and usually longer and narrower than other shapes.

What does a Roman foot mean? ›

Definition of Roman foot

: an ancient Roman unit of length equal to 11.64 English inches.

What is a royal toe? ›

A Morton's toe otherwise called Morton's foot or Greek foot or Royal toe is characterized by a longer second toe. This is because the first metatarsal, behind the big toe, is short compared to the second metatarsal, next to it.

Which nationality has wide feet? ›

6) Mongoloid populations including Japanese have a wider foot for foot length compared to Caucasoid and Australoid populations. 7) East Asian populations including Japanese have a smaller foot length for height compared to Southeast Asians and Africans. The causes may be both genetic and environmental.

What does Germanic toes mean? ›

2) The Germanic Foot

With this type of foot shape the big toe is longer than all the other toes forming a straight line that steps down from the big toe, with the pinky often times much smaller. Folks with a Germanic foot are known for being tolerant and sympathetic, with an unwavering loyalty to family and friends.

What does Morton's toe say about you? ›

Morton's foot, long second toe, short first metatarsal, is said to be a sign of nobility and is sometimes referred to as the “aristocratic foot type.” If your second toe is longer than your first toe and you are an athlete, you are frequently doomed for failure.

What is Morton's foot? ›

Morton's neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton's neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.

What does it mean when your second and third toe separate? ›

Have you noticed a slight gap between your 2nd and 3rd toes? You may be suffering from a plantar plate injury. The plantar plate is a thickening of the joint capsule found under each of the bases of the lesser toes.

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