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Why You Have Sweaty Feet and Other Weird Foot Facts

Some people think that feet are gross. Some people don't think about feet at all. Some people like feet a little too much. Whatever your foot preferences are, feet are a fact of life. Feet are ticklish, some of them smell awful and, without them, we could never walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

The only time we usually pay attention to our feet is when they either smell funny or they hurt. Or when your husband has cold ones and you get rudely awakened by them in the middle of the night!

For the most part, they're just... there.

Our feet are amazing, though. They not only have to carry us wherever we go, they have to often do it quickly and under a ton of stress.

Here are some really interesting things you likely didn't know about your feet!

About Your Feet

There are fascinating facts about all of our body parts, but our feet are unique.

  • There are normally twenty-six bones per foot. Occasionally, one more will occur due to a genetic abnormality. This is called Accessory Navicular Syndrome, and the extra bone grows behind the big toe. Though this is not the only cause, Accessory Navicular Syndrome will often result in flat feet.
  • Those same 52 bones in your pair of feet account for one quarter of all of the bones in your body.
  • Though the United States measures a foot as being twelve inches, the average size of American feet are 10.5 (10.81 inches) for men, and 8.5 (9.1 inches) for women.
  • In the womb, babies start developing their feet and hands at about the eighth week of pregnancy, though the toes and fingers are usually webbed at this point. A child will not develop arches in their feet until they are between two and three years old.
  • Human feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, roughly 125,000 per foot. Human feet can also sweat up to a pint of fluid a day.
  • One of the reasons that feet are so ticklish is because there are more sensory nerve endings per inch than in any other place on the body.
  • Of all of the ailments involving feet and toes, ingrown toenails are the most prevalent. Foot fungus and athlete's foot are a close second and third.
  • The average foot owner walks about 10,000 steps per day.
  • As many as 90% of women in the United States wear a shoe size that is too small. This can cause many foot ailments, including corns, bunions and ingrown toenails.
  • Catching foot related diseases from using showers after people who are infected have washed is a real thing. You should also never trade shoes with anyone.
  • Your feet are a good guide to your overall health, as they are one of the first areas of your body to show signs of illness. Hairless toes can be a sign of poor blood circulation and any indentations in your toenails can also be a sign of disease. Any changes you notice in your feet should be reported to your doctor.
  • Though many people consider feet to be ugly, many more spend big bucks to make theirs prettier. An estimated $6 billion is spent in the US every year on manicures and pedicures. This total only goes up when we add in the cost of jewelry, hosiery and designer footwear as well as the occasional foot tattoo.
  • Though many people love going barefoot, and some say this can strengthen feet, many others say that going barefoot can cause flat feet and other podiatry issues. Also, those who are diabetic should almost always wear shoes, since any cuts on the feet may not heal in a timely manner.

Famous Feet

The largest pair of feet ever recorded belonged to Matthew McGrory, an American actor who grew to be 7'6" tall. He appeared in the Rob Zombie film House of 1,000 Corpses and its sequel, Devil's Rejects. His feet were an incredible American size 29 1/2. By comparison, NBA superstar Michael Jordan's feet are size 13. McGrory passed away in 2005, and Brahim Takioullah of Morocco now holds the record for the living person with the largest feet. His are a half size smaller than McGrory's were.

Zohreh Etezad Saltaneh, an Iranian woman, has no arms due to genetic birth defects. She earns her living by painting pictures with her feet. Her work has been shown in over sixty countries and has won awards. Le Thi Tham, a fourteen year old Vietnamese girl not only paints with her feet, she does embroidery with them as well. Jessica Cox of Tucson, AZ, has a license to fly a plane... with her feet!

Club foot, a genetic deformity, affects as many as one in one thousand births. It is when one or both feet are pointing the wrong way and can often be corrected with surgery. Some famous people born with club feet include Dudley Moore, Mia Hamm and Damon Wayans.

Syndactyly of the feet is a condition in which at least two toes are fused or webbed together. Dan Akroyd and Ashton Kutcher both have webbed toes. Syndactyly of the feet affects about one in three thousand people.

Jennifer Garner, former Alias star, has a condition called brachymetatarsia, which causes her pinky toe to be super short. It actually looks like it is overlapping.

A person with a foot fetish has an unusual love and admiration for the human foot. Some famous foot fetishists are (reportedly) Quentin Tarantino, Christian Slater, the rapper Ludacris, Marilyn Manson, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Casanova.

Foot Sayings, Quotes, Proverbs and Superstitions

  • If someone is exceptionally clumsy, he is said to have two left feet.
  • When someone is asking for an introduction or a recommendation, he may be trying to get a foot in the door.
  • Confucius say 'Man with feet planted firmly on ground have trouble putting on pants.'
  • In some places in Great Britain, the first person to arrive at the home on New Year's Day is called the first-footer. He is traditionally a dark haired male, and brings good luck to the home.
  • According to varying wives' tales, flat feet can either mean that the owner of the feet came from a good family, or said owner is in possession of a bad temper.
  • Also a wives' tale: Never enter a building with your left foot first. This is very bad luck. Also, should you drop your comb on the floor, make sure to stomp it with your foot before you pick it up, to ward off even more bad luck.
  • You should never test the waters with both feet, just as you should always jump in feet first, and not head first.
  • Casey Kasem, an American radio host, always ended his broadcasts with 'Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.'
  • A Chinese proverb says 'Parents afraid to put foot down usually have children who step on their toes.'

Video: Talented Woman Makes A Sandwich With Her Feet!

© 2012 Georgie Lowery

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Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 07, 2012:


Thanks for the compliment. I realized that all of our body parts have unusual facts about them, so I'll be likely writing Hubs on them for decades!

I think I've read everything that Dr Seuss has ever written, you're never too old for those books!

And you are far too modest. I read your Hub on John Barleycorn, and it was amazing! You would have deserved it far more than I!

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on June 07, 2012:


That's a cute story! I've heard kids ask some pretty strange things, but never if they could smell my feet!

And thanks for the info on the Hubnugget! I'm late in replying because I had to wait for my new laptop to get here.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 05, 2012:

Great, fun facts about feet. You certainly covered things I didn't know before. Good hub.

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on June 03, 2012:

Lots of fun info on feet...I personally have probably the ugliest feet in the country but like you're information!

whowas on June 03, 2012:

Hi Georgie,

That's a sweet hub, full of facts and smiles. Fascinating and funny. Thanks.

I wonder if you have ever read 'The Foot Book' by Dr. Seuss? 'Left foot, right foot, feet, feet, feet,Oh how many feet we meet!"

Good luck with the hubnugget thing - I hope you get the accolade!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on June 01, 2012:

Hi Georgie, when I saw your title, I smiled because one day I was teaching a 3 year old girl and she asked me if she could smell my feet! I almost fell out of my chair! I smile thinking about that incident up to this day. Love reading this hub including the foot facts and the quotes!

Congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way please to read and vote Best of luck to you.

Jamie Sykes from Lewisville, North Carolina on May 26, 2012:

Is there any kind of fetish Marilyn Manson doesn't have? *snerk*

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on May 21, 2012:


Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you liked the Hub! :)

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on May 21, 2012:


Thank you again! :)

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on May 21, 2012:

Very cool information! A fun read!

cruelkindness from an angle view. on May 21, 2012:

That was Awesome!!!

Georgie Lowery (author) from North Florida on May 21, 2012:


I'm glad you liked the hub. I love looking up weird stuff, which is one of the reasons I decided to join Hub Pages.

For the record, I DO have a rotten temper! ;)

Thanks for the comment!

cruelkindness from an angle view. on May 21, 2012:

I love hubs like these, I am obsessed with knowledge. Especially the "did you know" kinda information.

You hub was refreshing.

"I don't have a bad temper."

Cruelkindness (Subliminally Thoughtless)

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