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Do I Really Need My Pinky Toe?

And without it, could I do everything a five-toed human does?
By Sally Zhang
Toes!

bare toes

Walking, running and skipping with just four toes may be easier than you think.

“If you’re born without a pinky toe or have an accident and it’s removed, you can completely do everything you wanted to do,” Dr. Anne Holly Johnson, instructor in orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says.

So why do we have pinky toes?

The answer goes back to the evolutionary history of humans, explains Dr. Anish Kadakia, assistant professor in orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University.

“Primates use their feet to grab, claw, to climb trees, but humans, we don’t need that function anymore,” Kadakia says. “Clearly we’re not jumping up and down trees and using our feet to grab. We have toes embryological, evolutionary for that particular reason because we descended from apes, but we don’t need them as people.”

While our feet no longer help us grab, they help us stand–especially important are the bones that connect our toes to our ankle.

We owe our balance to the 26 bones that make up the hind foot, mid foot and forefoot. The forefoot contains the toes. The big toe has two major bones and the rest have three little bones. The toes connect to the mid foot by five long bones called metatarsals, one for each toe. The metatarsals are similar to our knuckles. The hind foot connects to the mid foot by cuneiform and cuboid bones. These are connected to the ankle bone, the talus.

Though all the bones in the foot come together to form the structure of the foot, the main bones responsible for our balance are the metatarsals, explains Dr. Wenjay Sung, attending physician at White Memorial Medical Group.

“We walk like a tripod fashion, where the big toe knuckle, the fifth toe knuckle and the heel, have a tripod walking ability,” Sung says. “If you remove one part of that tripod, you lose balance.”

So even though the pinky toe itself has no functional value, removing the metatarsal would make running, walking and skipping nearly impossible.

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Podiatrists are a pain in the…

For the Podiatrists nothing is good, unless the shoe keeps the foot an inch or so above ground, let’s the foot hardly bend while walking, and is
specialty made with all sorts of add on to help with what they say is the problems with your feet. God forbid you tell them you walk barefoot, and they would immediately tell you about the shoes they think are better for you, instead of bare feet. Even the flip-flop are not good for you… shoes only.

Here is the view of a Podiatrist about the flip-flops, which I wear and still do, when barefoot is not an option.

The flip-flops
flip-flops Forgoing sky-high heels and toe-pinching boots for the freedom of flip-flops is giving your feet a much-need break, right? Not exactly. Turns out, your summer shoes aren’t doing you any favors. According to Jordana Szpiro, DPM, a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Boston, “Flip-flops and other unsupportive sandals, which have no arch support and give no structural support to the foot, can lead to stress fractures since your uncushioned feet become strained when they try to support too much weight,” she explains. “Extensor or flexor tendinitis is also a common problem that happens as a result of trying to keep your flip-flips on — the muscles on top or underneath your feet overexert themselves while trying to grip your shoes.” She also advises against walking around shoeless, even if you’re by the pool or in your gym’s locker room. “Aside from not giving your feet any support, going barefoot can also be challenging for those prone to infectious skin diseases such as plantar warts and athlete’s foot, which are easily spread poolside, in pedicure salons and in gyms.” But that doesn’t mean you need to spend your summer in closed toe shoes. Dr. Szpiro recommends comfortable sandals that also provide plenty of support, like styles from Fit Flops, OrthoHeel and Mephisto.

Interesting enough, walking with bare feet for three years, I had no arch support and no structural support to my feet, but even so, my feet grew stronger, and healthier, with no stress fractures, nor any of the mumbo jumbo she talks about.

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Things to do on cold days, barefoot

I found this blog by chance, and love the ideas it gives for doing things barefoot on cold days.

If you never tried going out on a cold day with bare feet, you are probably going to shake your head and say “this is crazy”
But don’t yet, try this first, and see how your feet like it. Dress warm, with hat to cover the head, but leave your feet bare.

It is fun, it will not harm you, and in case you don’t like it, get back inside, and at least you tried it.

here is the blog:
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Barefoot in snow

The holidays are upon us, and not too long after also the cold, the ice and the snow. Mother earth will make it hard for us to walk barefoot.

There are some of us who don’t like cold feet at all
There are some of us who can take the cold feet for short time
And there are those who can shovel their driveway with bare feet with no trouble

You might be mentally ready to walk out barefoot in the snow, but your feet may not, and they will let you know within a few minutes.

Be very careful going out there in the snow, with your footsies bare, listen to what your feet tell you, and watch the colors of your toes. pink is a go sign, white is a warning, and blue is get home and warm us up NOW.

If you dress warm, including hat, and gloves, keep your core temperature high, and keep moving, your feet will have good time.

Have a wonderful time barefoot in the snow.

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My doctor is cool

I moved into this city about 6 years ago, with no health insurance at the time, I never bothered looking for a primary Doctor for myself. These days I have insurance, and decided it is time to find a doctor, and get checked out head to toe, after all I am 64 years old.

I found a Doctor in town, and went to see her a few days ago. My biggest worry was what would she say about my going barefoot. She was very nice, asked a lot of questions about health history, then she saw I was wearing flip flops (being it was first appointment I put on the flip flops), and said “flip flops, isn’t it too cold for that?” My answer was “flip flops are better then what I wear mostly”, she looked at me and asked “and that is?” and I told her – I don’t wear any shoes, I walk barefoot, the next question was why?I told her about my back pain, and the Doctors who wanted to operate, or have me live on pain pills, and how walking barefoot helped me, to the point I do not hurt any longer, I was very surprised with her answer, she said “well barefoot is better then pain killers and much better then surgery, if it works for you, I have no problem with this”.

Wow, never thought I would find someone like this, a breath of fresh air. Going again next week for a full physical, and blood work, will be with bare feet, and happy.

Keep Calm 3

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How society see bare feet

By: 4FoodSafety (posted 2 years ago)

Research has shown that feet can harbor bacteria and infestations for years. If we understand bacteria and disease we MUST be appalled. It is a safety item and understanding the severity of this, is critical.

The Plastik inventor, Rothschild was seen barefoot and everyone thought it was fine, except for the government officials. And in this case, the government officials were correct. Being barefoot in a grocery store is a safety concern and we must train and educate ourselves and our children.

Our future health depends upon understanding the harm of unseen bacteria.

***
By Dan:

What a bunch of bull c**p.

The way this looks, we all have bacteria jumping from our feet in all direction, our feet are a blob of bacteria, and infested for years.

Lets get the bacteria off – lets walk bare feet, where it can not survive.

Unbelievable!!!

Read gross barefoot in public

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Barefoot happy

There is no doubt in my mind, that being barefoot, and living barefoot, is the most relaxing, peaceful way to live my life. It makes everything look easy and simple, I do not get upset any longer as I used to , I have an inner peace of mind, I feel things I never felt before with the soles of my feet, and my feet are buzzing 24 hours a day, looking better, and smiling at the world, with no shoes on.

It took 60 years (assuming I started walking at the age of two) to learn, get the courage, and remove the shoes and socks, to let my brain get the real picture from the nurves on my feet.

Now days, my feet are happy, and so am I, walked this morning in the pouring rain, with rain gear covering me to just below the knees, and barefoot, walking into every puddle I could find, just for the fun, and the pleasure in feelings of water between my toes – The water was warm.

It was an amazing walk, and a wet walk too.

Keep Calm 3

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The first time

I went today to the pharmacy where they all know me, and my bare feet do not get me thrown out.

After picking up the items I needed, I went to the cashier to pay. The cashier was a young guy who has been there for long time, and seen me quite a lot. Till today he never asked me about being barefoot, today maybe because there was no one else waiting. he asked what is the reason for my going barefoot all the time, I told him about my back problem, what doctors told me, and how by going barefoot I got rid of most of the pain, and how wonderful it is to walk barefoot. He surprised me by asking if I know that shoes are the problem, and if we did not have shoes this problem would go away.

It was nice to meet and talk to someone who knows about the subject, and agrees with the barefoot idea as a way to solve problems in the feet, knees, and back.

In the two years of walking barefoot, and getting all sorts of remarks, this was the first that understood, and did not think I am crazy.

I enjoyed talking to him, and hope to find more like him.

Problems

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Sometime shoes do protect

We all want to see more people changing from shod to bare feet. It is in our advantage to have more people that would love the barefoot life style, like we do. But there is something we should all be aware of…

While you know how healthy you are, and what is your limitation in regards to walking barefoot, trying to get other people to even just try it, is a bit dangerous due to the fact that unless you know that person really well, you may not know What is their health status, and they may not be aware of things they should.

Not too long ago, I met this nice co worker, and we became good friends. We met a few times in places other than work, and he always seen me walking with bare feet in the supermarket, in other stores, And everywhere we met. He never said anything to me about it, until one day, I came to his home bare feet as always, and he asked me why am I always barefoot. I did my best to explain to him all the health reasons, my solved back pain problem, the fact that there is no law against it, and so on, and that is where we left it.

Not too long after that, while at work, there was a big commotion, and I seen an ambulance come, and that same friend was picked off the floor where he collapsed, and was treated right there, for diabetes shock, where he took his insulin shot, but did not eat after. I could not talk to him right there, but I was hoping he did not start going barefoot, as a person with diabetes, can lose all feelings in his feet, step on a glass or nail, and never feel anything.

When I could talk to him again, I told him not to try the bare feet, and he did not understand why…. I explained this to him too.

Two weeks ago, my friend was taken to the hospital, where one of his big toes, was amputated as a result of gangrene. I feel bad for him, but this was not my fault.

If you inspire someone to go barefoot, I hope you succeed, but please make sure you find out what ailments does he suffer from, or you would feel very guilty if something happens to him as a result of your inspiration.

I would from now on, be very careful, with telling people to go barefoot, and if they suffer from diabetes, I will caution them and use this story as a warning.

amputated toes

Walking without the big toe, is a hard thing to do, you can lose your balance, and fall

Take care of yourself, don’t dismiss diabetes – it is an awful sickness.

 

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My resolution for this year was?

Around New year 2015 I wrote a post regarding my resolution for this year, and what I would try to accomplish in regards to my walking barefoot.

See original post

At the time I tried going barefoot in the snow, and within five minutes, my poor toes turned blue, and sent me running back home, to warm my poor piggies.

My first walk in snow – what happen?

I went to a doctor for a check up, and telling him about my attempt to go barefoot in the snow, I was told I should not go barefoot at all, and especially in snow, that I would hurt myself, and it is not healthy for me. More then that he said my circulation in my legs is not too good, and not to try it again.

I did not try the snow again, but I sure am still walking bare feet, and enjoying every second of it. Not too long after that, I visited another doctor for a different reason and asked him about my poor circulation in my legs, and he checked and came back telling me he has no idea where did I get this info. regarding my circulation, but there is nothing wrong with my legs or feet, and my circulation is as it should be for my age.

It looks like this first doctor was just an anti barefoot person, and as podiatrist hoped I will come for his special shoes which he told me about, and can make some profit on me.

This winter my feet will be ready to try again a walk in the snow, and I am working them hard, to make sure they will be READY. I will never visit that first doctor again, and happy I may be able to fulfill my resolution as I promised myself.

It would be another victory to my bare feet, and I would have pictures to prove it, when the time comes.

in snow

 

 

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