Foot | Definition, Etymology, Functions & Anatomy


The foot is an important part of our body. In Latin, it is known as pes. The plural form of the foot is feet. Feet are the source of moving and are necessary for facilitating mobility. It acts as a firm structure for weight bearing and also works as a flexible structure according to the uneven landscape.


Foot is the lower part of the leg under the ankle. It is the most advanced organ in the human body.


This word originates from Old English fōt of Germanic origin related to Dutch voet and German Fuss from an Indo-European origin communal by Sanskrit pad, pada, and Latin pes, ped (meaning foot).


  • Tootsie
  • Trotter
  • Bottom
  • Toe
  • Edge
  • End
  • Lower part


The feet are such a part of our body through which we can stand or walk. It enables us to the various movements and balances the weight of the entire body. Also, it works for the shock absorption and transfer of ground reaction forces.

Foot Anatomy

The foot has many parts. Every foot of a human has 26 bones. This entire structure works together to perform two main functions which are:

  • For bearing weight
  • For forward movement


The three parts of the foot are:

Hindfoot: Usually, it is such part of the foot that starts under the joint of the ankle and ends at the level of the Chopart joint.

Midfoot: This part is in the middle of the foot.

Forefoot: It is the anterior part of the foot.


The bones in the foot are categorized into:

Forefoot bones:   

This section of the foot has long bones in the center of the foot with the smaller bones of the toe which are:

Phalanges: These are the toes. They are formed by 14 bones which 2 for the big toe and 3 for every of the other 4 toes.

Metatarsals: These are 5 extensive bones that go out from the base of every toe to the middle of the foot. The first metatarsal bone leads to the big toe while the other 4 bones provide constancy to the forefoot.

Midfoot Bones:

This section has 5 tarsal bones which are:

  • Medial Cuneiform
  • Intermediate Cuneiform
  • Lateral Cuneiform
  • Navicular
  • Cuboid

Hindfoot Bones:

This section has two tarsal bones which are:

  • Calcaneus
  • Talus


In feet, the muscles are divided into two groups which are:

  • Extrinsic Muscles
  • Intrinsic Muscles

Extrinsic Muscles:

These muscles occur from the frontal, and posterior compartments of the leg. They are responsible for actions of the feet such as:

  • Eversion
  • Inversion
  • Plantarflexion
  •  Dorsiflexion

Intrinsic Muscles:

These muscles are in the foot and are responsible for superior motor actions such as the movement of individual digits. Further, these muscles are divided into:

  • Dorsal Aspect
  • Plantar Aspect

Dorsal Aspect:

In the dorsal aspect, the two intrinsic muscles in the dorsum of the feet are:

  • Extensor digitorum brevis
  • Extensor Hallucis brevis

Plantar Aspect:

The ten intrinsic muscles in the sole are further divided into four layers which are:

First layer:

  • Abductor Hallucis
  • Flexor digitorum brevis
  • Abductor digiti minimi

Second layer:

  • Quadratus plantae
  • Lumbricals

Third layer:

  • Flexor Hallucis brevis
  • Adductor Hallucis
  • Flexor digiti minimi brevis

Fourth layer:

  • Plantar interossei
  • Dorsal interossei

Foot pain

This pain can occur anywhere in the feet including toes and heels. Also, this pain can develop due to sports injuries, health conditions, or due to shoes that do not fit properly. Its causes include:

  • Aging
  • Trauma
  • Too much walking
  • Being overweight

Foot Disorders

  • Bunions
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Callus
  • Claw toes
  • Hammertoe
  • Gout
  • Tinea pedis
  • Blisters
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Fracture
  • Ingrown toenail
  • Arthritis
  • Sprain
  • Bruise
  • Onychomycosis


  • Her feet are very beautiful.
  • I feel pain in my foot.
  • Ahmad cannot play due to a foot injury.
  • His feet are dirty.
  • Saba stepped on his feet.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Mention the four arches of the feet.

  • Inner Longitudinal Arch
  • Anterior Metatarsal Arch
  • Outer Longitudinal Arch
  • Transverse Arch

How many glands are in the feet?

Almost 250,000 glands are in the feet.

Mention the types of feet.

  • Egyptian
  • Roman
  • Greek
  • Square
  • Peasant
  • Stretched
  • Simian
  • Celtic
  • Germanic

Which part of the feet is very important?

The large Achilles tendon is an important part of the feet.

Which are the main nerves in the feet?

  • Medial plantar nerve
  • Lateral plantar nerve
  • Medial calcaneal nerve

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