The relative lengths of the foot and its component parts are practically the same in barefooted and shoe-wearing races.
Its form, functions and range of voluntary and passive motion are the same in both up to the time of shoe-wearing, after which progressive characteristic deformation and inhibition of function ensue. Here, as in other instances, acquired characteristics are not transmitted. The childiren of shoe-wearers inherit the same type of foot as do those of barefooted races, and this type is changed only in so far as footwear modifies it.
The height and shape of the longitudinal arch have no bearing on the strength or usefulness of the foot. Weakness of the arch is rarely, if ever, accompanied by breaking or lowering, and flat foot as a pathological entity hardly exists.
There is no relationship or coincidence between the height of the arch and the character of the gait.
These studies were by no means as thorough as I would like to have made them, though they represent the congenial work of many hours stolen from the humdrum of practical existence. I am deeply indebted to Dr. W J McGee, Chief of the Department of Anthropology, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, and Dr. W. P. Wilson, President of the Philippine Exposition Board, through whose aid these studies were rendered possible.
- Copyright © 1905 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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