Friday, February 26, 2010

The right foot forward

A terminology word search led me into the multi-syllable world of foot structure this morning. Why? Because someone I know kept referring to the top middle section of the foot as "the instep." That just didn't seem right to me. I always thought the arch and the instep were synonymous in referring to the bottom central portion of the foot.

It seems that I was right and wrong. The instep is generally considered to the the bottom, inside, curved portion of the foot. But I have not yet found a satisfactory term for the top middle portion of the foot. "Midfoot" and the ever-obvious "top of the foot" (as opposed to "the toes", I suppose) seemed to the the simplest terms I could find the for area above the 5 metatarsal bones.

As a writer, I like to have the right word in the right spot. (Of course, writing or not, I just like to be right. But you might have guessed that already, right?) As an artist, I found a couple good resources for those interested in drawing feet, or understanding them from a visual accuracy perspective.

The first is The Foot Thread on WetCanvas, where a series of studies and exercises lead you through different and relevant portions of the foot. It's fascinating even if you don't plan to draw detailed feet.

The second is a Wikipedia article which may drown you in Latin, but has some great illustrations of the various muscle groups that influence the foot and lower leg. What a mechanical marvel!

So have a look and then step out and put your best foot forward.

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