Chimpanzee and human midfoot motion during bipedal walking and the evolution of the longitudinal arch of the foot

The longitudinal arch of the human foot is commonly thought to reduce midfoot joint motion to convert the foot into a rigid lever during push off in bipedal walking. In contrast, African apes have been observed to exhibit midfoot dorsiflexion following heel lift during terrestrial locomotion, presumably due to their possession of highly mobile midfoot joints. This assumed dichotomy between human and African ape midfoot mobility has recently been questioned based on indirect assessments of in vivo midfoot motion, such as plantar pressure and cadaver studies; however, direct quantitative analyses of African ape midfoot kinematics during locomotion remain scarce.

The longitudinal arch of the human foot is commonly thought to reduce midfoot joint motion to convert the foot into a rigid lever during push off in bipedal walking. In contrast, African apes have been observed to exhibit midfoot dorsiflexion following heel lift during terrestrial locomotion, presumably due to their possession of highly mobile midfoot joints. This assumed dichotomy between human and African ape midfoot mobility has recently been questioned based on indirect assessments of in vivo midfoot motion, such as plantar pressure and cadaver studies; however, direct quantitative analyses of African ape midfoot kinematics during locomotion remain scarce.

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Chimpanzee and human midfoot motion during bipedal walking and the evolution of the longitudinal arch of the foot