26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. The feet are clearly adapted for serious business.
A wise man (David Parker) once said to me: bones move, joints feel, muscles react. Dave gave me my first ever foot and ankle functional manual therapy a few years ago and I'll never forget it!!! I just wanted to walk for the sake of walking. It was incredible. I felt so bouncy and light. David gave me a new pair of feet. All he did was mobilise the bones with a few simple techniques and I had springs. Your foot and ankle are the makers and the breakers of the human body. They have the power to defend your body against injury and power to attack rapid paced movements. Most injuries can occur with poor foot and ankle function. By function I'm talking about healthy, mobile and strong for what they are adapted for. Whether it's jumping, running, changing direction, throwing a ball or simply taking a seat, the foot and ankle play a vital role in your success. Bad knees, bad back, bad shoulders? First place I'd go to and check out is the foot and ankle.
I like to use the footwear test (my friend and fellow fitness geek Paul's idea) which is useful in determining what ability your feet are going to have in terms of what natures designed them for. Take your shoe off and grab your shoe and attempt to mobilise it by bending it in multiple directions. If your shoe lacks movement then expect the same from your feet. Personally I go barefoot or wear barefoot footwear as other well known sports trainers suck. I suffered along time with injuries before making the switch. I also massage my feet regularly using my thumbs or a golf ball to keep my soft tissues free of adhesive sticky gluey like trigger points and I stretch my foot and ankle with flowing movements in multi-directions.
Those feet were made to dissipate huge forces so look after them and they will look after you!