How I wonder…

How I wonder about the length of my toes.
When having a bath or putting on socks I often wonder about my toes. I wonder why my second toe is longer than the big toe, or I wonder why my little toe seems to have an introvert-like tendency and hides behind the toe next to it.


Toe Shapes ©

On searching about toes I discovered Morton and Morton’s toe or commonly known as Greek Foot.

Morton’s toe is named after Dr. Dudley Joy Morton (1884–1960) and describes the “condition of a shortened first metatarsal in relation to the second metatarsal.(1)”  He basically gave a label to the phenomenon. He considered it to be a deformity and wanted to correct it by putting an extension in the big toe for severe cases and by placing a pad under the big toe in minor cases. He said it was genetic and that it could be the cause of back, hip, and knee pain, and among other things arthritis.  He was one of the first Western medical professional to link feet issues with the rest of the body. People with Morton’s toe can suffer from high arch pain. I used have pain relating to high arches in my teens and 20s when I played sport but not now. I had forgotten about that.

Morton’s toe has been around for much longer than the life of Dr Morton as you can see displayed in the Greek statues from a much earlier period in time. Both men and women in the statues are depicted with Morton’s toe. Having a longer second toe was considered beautiful and was the aesthetic standard for many centuries. Next time you visit the State of Liberty, check out the toes. It goes back even further than that.  Iron Age bones show Morton’s toe in a skeleton from Danebury, UK as shown below. (2)

So do I have Greek or Celtic toes? Definitely Greek. I found that if one has this trait it denotes “leadership qualities.” (I read it online so it must be true!)

I wonder if there is a correlation between Morton’s toe and Autism?

(1) Wikipedia, Morton’s toe
(2) Current Archaeology, Footloose in Archaeology, June 8, 2007, by Phyllis Jackson for full article


Foot detail of red-figured amphora – Athens c.490 BC The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ©Howard Hibbard


Sleeping Eros Rhodes c.200BC (bronze on marble) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ©Howard Hibbard


Gravestone with relief of girl with pigeons – Paros c.450BC (Parian marble) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ©Howard Hibbard

Iron Age man ©Phyllis Jackson

Iron Age man ©Phyllis Jackson

Gwen Stefani – Yummy

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