The Feat of our Feet!

Conkers Non-Run Report - August 22, 2020

I’ve returned to my roots this weekend with a trip to my late grandfather’s childhood home, Malborough. I would never ordinarily run when I’m away- I’m a proud Conkers parkrun purist- but because the legend that is Dennis Dickinson looks for non-parkrun results on Strava, I’ve been doing more holiday running than ever!

Anyway, while running through Malborough this morning, I had a thought. Relieved to stop at 5km, I did a cool down walk back to the Premier Inn. My thought was this: I think about (and sometimes do) warming up, stretching and cooling down - all for my legs- but I never really think about my feet.

So, I’ve trawled the Internet and found some interesting (well, I think they are) facts about feet. They are in no particular order (and some might not even be that accurate) but they tickled me and I hope you enjoy them too.

1. The human body is made up of 206 bones and 52 of these are found in your feet- that’s 26 in echo foot. That’s a quarter of your bones - housed in your feet!

2. Each on of your feet has 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons in.

3. Why are your feet so ticklish? This is because we have 8,000 nerves in our feet.

4. Why are your feet so smelly? Your two feet have 250,000 sweat glands that are capable of producing half a pint of sweat in a single day!

5. Morton’s toe is the name given to the condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe. It affects 20-30% of the world’s population. Does that include you?

6. The average person walks 110,000 miles in their lifetime.

7. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body.

8. It takes 12-18 months for a toenail to completely regrow

9. Over the course of a day, your feet take a cumulative force of a couple hundred tons.

10. Shoe sizes were originally measured in barleycorns. This unit of measurement originated in the UK during the 14th century and is still being used today. Based on the length of a grain of barley, each shoe size adds a third of inch, corresponding to the fact that there are three barleycorns in an inch.

11. Each foot takes 1.5 times your body weight while you walk.

12. When running, your feet take up to five times your weight.

13. The first shoe dates back to 3,500 BC. Made of a single piece of leather (sorry vegans), it was recently found in present-day Armenia.

14. Did you know your feet can keep growing? Even though your feet will settle at around age 20, their shape and size will continue to change over the rest of your life. In fact once you hit 40, your feet grow by as much as half a shoe size every 10 years! This is because feet flatten and elongate with age. Your feet may also grow slightly if you become pregnant!

15. Your foot’s sole has more sensory nerve endings and sweat glands per square centimetre than any other part of your body.

16. Compared to fingernails, toenails grow much slower-about 1mm/month.

17. Foot Cheese is an actual thing. If anyone’s ever told you that your feet smell like stinky cheese, rattle off this piece of trivia: It’s totally possible to make actual cheese with bacteria from foot sweat. In fact, Ireland held a Foot Cheese Exhibition in 2013 that featured several varieties of foot cheese, as well as varieties that evolved from belly buttons and armpits. Yum! (Don’t worry, the exhibition didn’t feature a tasting room).

18. Who needs feet? In the absence of arms or hands, many individuals have learned to do some pretty amazing things with their feet. In 2008, Jessica Cox became the first pilot to fly a plane using her feet.

19. The grasping toe helped our predecessors climb trees. Thanks to modern science, if you lose your thumb, you can now replace it with a toe: toe-to-thumb transplants.

20. If you’ve got this far, you can’t be suffering from podophobia- that’s the name for having a fear of feet.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this feeture and it wasn’t too cheesy! I think I’ve nailed it... (see what I did there!) Would love to hear who can follow in my footsteps with more feet-related puns in the comments.

Can’t wait to see you, and your amazing feet, all back at Conkers soon.