Dale’s Daily Data: Toes
They’re made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and 112 ligaments all connected together by blood vessels, nerves and tendons and they support all of the weight of your body while getting you to where you need to go. It’s your feet and of all of the parts of the feet your big toe is probably the most important part. Every time you put a foot on the ground, the big toe, known as the hallux, carries the most weight of all the toes – 40 percent. It’s also the last part of the foot to push off the ground before you take the next step. Especially for sprinters it’s where they get most of their power.
It’s known as the big toe or great toe and on most people it’s the longest toe, but some people have a second toe that’s longer. People who go barefoot or wear open-toed sandals most of the time will have a big toe that separates from the other toes just like the thumb. For people who wear shoes most of the time their big toe will be squished toward the other toes.
The big toe also has the most common ailments – bunions, ingrown nails and gout attacks. People with diabetes are most at risk for losing toes thru amputation, but even without a toe or even all of them you can still walk. Most foot doctors consider losing toes a minor impairment. They have patients who walk just fine. It’ll take a little getting used to. You’ll have to work at it, do some training and practice keeping your balance. In fact, a South African sprinter with no toes or other bones below the knee just missed qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics using prosthetics.