Discovering ancestry: Through our toes?

Discovering ancestry: Through our toes?

Some say that the eyes are a mirror into soul, but many experts will argue that it’s the feet that can tell you much about a person.

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While family trees and historical records are the more common tools leading to family history discoveries, our own bodies can teach us about our family heritage.

Reflexologists often claim that they are able to interpret a lot about a person’s personality just from their feet. In Imre Somogyi’s book, The Language of the Feet, he writes how ancestry can be determined just by the shape of our feet.

The five different types of feet are supposed to say something about your origins. For example, we have the Anglo-Saxon foot, which is narrow and long. The Germanic foot, on the other hand, is crescent-shaped and narrower in the hindfoot than in the forefoot. In comparison to the Germanic type, the Romanic type has a straight axis, and the foot is fuller. In any case, the foot types are subdivided according to shape, and they are named according to regional terms.

So now take off your socks and look at the following picture:

Egyptian feet

The Egyptian foot, with the big toe longer than the others and each subsequent toe slanting downwards at a 45 degree angle, is seen as the most aesthetically pleasing foot shape. As a rule, the toes are generally longer and narrower than with other foot shapes. It is estimated that over 50% of Europeans have this foot shape — making it the most common in this part of the world.

Roman feet

In the Roman foot shape, the first three toes are equal in length, and the other two are shorter. One in 10 Europeans has this foot shape.

Greek feet

With the Greek foot shape, the second toe is significantly longer than the big toe and therefore the longest. Every third person in Europe has this foot shape.

Germanic feet

The Germanic foot is characterized by equally long smaller toes with a larger big toe. This foot shape is now very rare in Europe.

Celtic feet

On the Celtic foot, the second toe is the longest, the big and middle toes are about the same length, as are the two smaller toes. The Celtic foot is mainly represented in northern Europe, but can only be found there sporadically.

Other people have turned to interpreting their heritage through zodiac signs, and even palm reading, to provide clues about their past and future.

Have you found any unique ways to learn more about your heritage? Does the above picture reflect your ancestry?

You can find more about your origins by taking a MyHeritage DNA test, which provides you with an Ethnicity Estimate: a percentage-based breakdown of your ancestors’ countries of origin — and a list of DNA Matches, people who share DNA with you and could be your relatives.

Order the MyHeritage DNA kit now and find out more about your origins!


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  • Gloria Baluk LeCureux

    September 16, 2014

    Egyptian? Quite the surprise!g

  • Barry Mahar

    September 16, 2014

    I have the Greek toe formation. Ancestry has shown a line from Ukraine through Eastern Europe and the Balkans from about a 1,000years

  • Robert Byrd

    September 16, 2014

    Not true in my case I’m a half Greek/Egyptian per the chart. In truth I am Celtic/Germanic.

  • Kathleen Parker-Hopkins

    September 16, 2014

    According to this, my roots should be Greek. As far as I know my ancestry is Celtic as my people are from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Parker is my maiden name and Hopkins was my mother’s maiden name.

  • Silly Sally

    September 17, 2014

    Egyptian, I thinketh not!

  • Ellen S

    September 17, 2014

    My feet don’t match any of these choices. I suppose Greek comes closest, except that my second toe is not longer than my big toe, and my fifth toe is far shorter than the fourth toe.

  • rebecca losh

    September 17, 2014

    Germanic, which i knew.

  • Joan Parker

    September 17, 2014

    Mine are Egyptian too. Most people I know have Greek toes. My grandson’s father is Greek. I’ll have to check and get back to you. Fun bit of info.

  • Debbie Shumaker

    September 17, 2014

    What happens when one foot is Egyptian and the other is Greek? A screwed up family? LOL

  • carolhors

    September 17, 2014

    Egyptian. Very interesting especially as psychic once told me that years ago.

  • Susan D Messler

    September 17, 2014

    My left foot is Celtic and my right foot is Egyptian, not sure what that makes me? But Celtic would be more accurate.

  • Madrene

    September 17, 2014

    Egyptian? Surprising indeed.

  • Mary Elaine Harris

    September 17, 2014

    what about the people who have webbed toes, i have the second and third toes of each foot stuck together (webbed)

  • cathy wydnrt

    September 17, 2014

    mine match celtic, i am part irish.

  • NettiePfromAustralia

    September 17, 2014

    Egyptian according to this feet chart but not according to my ancestors they are all from Ireland & UK areas

  • najwa

    September 17, 2014

    Roman here. I’m an Arab, but I was told before that I have a roman face features.

  • Margaret Newton

    September 17, 2014

    Mine are Egyptian and I’m celtoc

  • Gamee Bloomn-Feet (Ireland)

    September 17, 2014

    Ding ding ding…..walk like an Egyp– tian…. Ding ding ding-ding ding ding d-ding ding-ding

  • Muhannad Mesmar

    September 17, 2014

    Greek, but I’m Arab!

  • Charles Beldin

    September 17, 2014

    My roots are viking & Celtic back to 10th century. So why do my toes match most closely with Egyptian with the next best being Roman.

  • Gaby Libbey

    September 18, 2014

    A French saleswoman in Paris once told me that she did not have any shoes to fit my American foot. My foot is a cross between Egyptian and Germanic.

  • Tuyara

    September 18, 2014

    Greek. But I am Asian from Russian Far East

  • Pamela Schmidt

    September 18, 2014

    Modified Egyptian. Perhaps my father picked up something whilst he was fighting in Egypt during WW2? Ancestry goes back to several parts of the UK. Surprise, surprise, seeing as how I am from Australia.

  • Barbara Thomas Fazzolari

    September 18, 2014

    My toes show Roman. Don’t know what that means. I have English (Fell, Drake) Welsh (Thomas) German (Crall). When I found my father’s half-brother and went to meet his family. We were all bare foot and I took a look at my Uncle’s foot and his son’s foot and we had identical feet, narrow, high arch and Roman toes!!

  • Michael Bresnahan

    September 18, 2014

    Egyptian foot. But remember that Milesius married Scota daughter of Pharaoh Nectanebbus and I’m Irish and French.

  • Anne

    September 18, 2014

    Egyptian – travelled a long way – Celtic – then Oceana

  • Phill

    September 19, 2014

    yep I agree with every one else this doesn’t work it says I am Greek decent on my right my family are Addenbrooke’s we are English earliest known date 1276 recorded in king Edward 1st court rolls Henry and Edward De Addenbrooke my left foot is Egyptian didn’t know the Egyptians had sailed as far as England maybe they walked and swam the channel lol.
    My wife is Greek Turkish from Cyprus according to this she is of Egyptian decent while possible it is unlikely the island was controlled by first the Romans and later the British before during and after the crusades there is still a castle built by the Templers on the island

  • Anne Brynjolf

    September 19, 2014

    Greek on my left foot and egyptian on my right foot

  • Dee

    September 19, 2014

    As you get older, your feet are subject to the wear and tear of carrying your body weight around. A bunion will give you Greek like toes when otherwise you’d have Egyptian. My second toe has always been longer than my big toe – going back to first grade. The rest graduate in size to the littlest – so Greek. Although I am of mostly Celtic heritage, my DNA results show I have 1% Asian and a small percentage of eastern European. So that totally makes sense. You have to understand that you don’t get your toes or any traits, from your parents exactly – it’s a conglomeration of the DNA that is passed down and results in different probabilities for each ovum and each sperm. But the result is uniquely you. Interesting to see the clues though.

  • Babs

    September 20, 2014

    It isn’t surprising that many folk have Roman, Greek or Egyptian feet. The Romans and Greeks travelled extensively in many if not all of these areas. Blood lines and hence genetics would be very mixed in most populations.

  • Lori

    September 20, 2014

    I am ALL Egyptian according to the chart. I don’t see how that could be, I don’t look even remotely Egyptian and most of my roots point to “very European” (mostly English, Scottish, Irish, German) …

    But one thing I’ve noticed while researching my roots is that we are all mutts. If the research done thus far is correct, my family can be traced back to William The Conquerer as well as The Vandals (Denmark to North Africa), and people with only one name … The various lines include French, and all sorts of various other lineages.

    So … Who knows? 🙂

    I think this is more fun than fact. 🙂

  • Mary Goretti pettitt

    September 20, 2014

    My feet conform exactly to the Egyptian diagram I a Murphy born in Cashel Help! Mary.

  • Mary Goretti pettitt

    September 20, 2014

    Looking at other peoples analysis the majority appear to favour the Egyptian toe formation Interesting.

  • C Spiteri

    September 20, 2014

    Egyptian, ancestors are all fron mediterranean region.

  • kaythegardener

    September 21, 2014

    What about people that had foot surgery before being able to check out this chart???
    Stick to the facts — sourced documents & DNA!!

  • Brenda Kellow

    September 21, 2014

    Celtic through and through.

  • Linda Mc Collum

    September 21, 2014

    My feey say Roman

  • Cleta Terrell

    September 21, 2014

    I can not begin to decide which one resembles my feet. I have had surgery on my toes because of hammertoes 4 on each foot. My left big toe is angled way to the left, my podiatrist says he can’t straighten it because the bone is too soft for the pin he would put in it. He has done his best to straighten all my toes but some just don’t want to be straight even if they are now flat instead of bent. My ancestry that I have traced is Dutch, German and English back to the late 1500s and early 1600s.

  • D. Lynn

    September 22, 2014

    That’s my Celtic foot for sure. My mother has them too and was almost refused entry into the Army Nursing corp training program for WW II because the docs doing the physicals wrote that she had “deformed” feet that would not stand up to a nursing career. A career she went on to perform for 22 yrs. with no sore feet. I read about the Celtic foot some years ago in a different and far more scholarly article. It does exist but of course Ireland, like most places, has seen its share of genetic contributions from invaders and immigrants.

  • Art

    September 22, 2014

    Greek ? Traced the William’s & Downing s to Jolly old England in the 1500’s . Couldn’t find a Greek along the way .

  • Sue (Adelaide S.A.)

    September 22, 2014

    Think its a load of rubbish. My feet show Greek, when ancestors are mainly from Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, my fathers side are mostly red heads, my mothers side are mainly blond or red and auburn, all with fair skin. No olive complexion or black/brown hair/eyes. Think Imre needs to get out a bit more, he obviously needs a new hobby.

  • Kathie L. Webb-Blair

    September 22, 2014

    According to the DNA study completed thru National Geographic’s Genographic Program, I am firstly Germanic, secondly Greek, although I have no idea, as of this date, where the Greek enters into my heritage. According to the foot study, I am have “Greek Feet”.

  • Kathie L. Webb-Blair

    September 22, 2014

    I just asked my younger sister and we checked her feet. Low and behold, she has Egyptian feet, but she has the same heritage as I do, honest! What do you make of that? However, in our heritage we have Sephardic Jewish heritage as well, which puts us in the Middle East way back when, then in the Eastern European countries later on, until about the Spanish Inquisition or so? I figure we converted to Christianity (or were killed) about that time, and adopted Germany/Switzerland region as our home until @1700 when we were persecuted for following the teachings of Luther, becoming Lutherans, and shipped out on Dutch slave ships to be slaves in America. The Dutch didn’t like this, however, and took us back to Bern, Switzerland, to have our land and monies returned to us. But it was too late, my ancestors didn’t trust the town priest and magistrate any longer, so they sold everything they had and left Switzerland and Germany for America @1730 or so, aboard those same Dutch slave ships, landing in Philadelphia, PA, for the most part. They fought in the Revolutionary War, intermarried with Germanic, Scotish and Irish families until my British family members arrived in the late 1800’s. And that’s just on my maternal side!!! Go figure!

  • Kathie L. Webb-Blair

    September 22, 2014

    Forgot to mention the French from the Alsace-Lorraine region. Has to do with royalty and an illegitimate child. They married into the Germanic family just about two generations after they had arrived in America. They were French and German as, after they left France (they were forced to as the land was going to be used for growing grapes) many went to Germany. Many of them became Mennonites and were also kicked out of Germany, so came to America. [Seems like we were always getting kicked out of places]

  • Janice Gower

    October 14, 2014

    It says Greek for me but none that I have found as yet. Mostly England and a few Iris and Scottish.

  • TN

    January 12, 2015

    My toes are curled. They don’t really match any of the pictures above. The closest is a combination of Roman and Egyptian as far as toe height in relationship to one another. I am half Italian, so I guess that is a fairly close match.

  • Gul

    July 31, 2015

    My feet is Similar to Egyptian picture, but not in one line. little round. My roots is arab/jew from south/central Asia. Not Egyptian roots

  • pbrus

    August 25, 2015

    Greek. Most probably in Poland

  • Vickie

    August 25, 2015

    I have Iroquois and German ancestry and my feet fit the Egyptian profile. Edgar Cayce said The Egyptians and the Mayans are the descendants of the survivors of Atlantis…Did the Mayans go exploring North?

  • Ken

    January 18, 2016

    Most of my relatives are german

  • Mia

    April 12, 2016

    Honest truth my right foot is from Egypt, and the Left one’s from Rome.

  • Kay

    August 2, 2016

    umm. This thing says i have Greek ancestors, but i’m 100% Asian! Something is amiss here…

  • Debbie

    January 6, 2017

    What’s surprising is each family member can have different feet. Go figure?

  • Patty Gilbert

    March 3, 2017

    I’m impressed, I really have to laugh. I do have Celtic feet 4 sure. Amazing! What they show. Thanks.

  • Diana Breweur

    March 3, 2017

    Roman. I wouldn’t have thought that. I figure German or celtic

  • Sean McCoast

    March 4, 2017


    My toe line is quite easily Egyptian according to your chart. My name and appearance are Celtic and the sights with genealogy trace me back to German and Roman roots.

  • Rudolf Holzfeind

    March 4, 2017

    Egyptian, wow Father Austrian back to ca.1700 and Mother Austrian even further back??!

  • Jamie Wallace

    March 5, 2017

    Celtic … and my toes show it!! My blood type is O+ which also proves, I understand, older generation from Europe.

  • Nabeel

    June 8, 2017

    How can an Indian be a Greek, though my Ancestors are from Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan.

  • Co

    September 27, 2017

    It’s Nonno and Nonna….

  • Nina

    November 14, 2017

    Egyptian. But im not surprised

  • Laura

    June 12, 2018

    Egyptian.. although DNA test says I’m 100% European

  • Marilydia94

    June 23, 2019

    Wow! I’m Greek, and my boyfriend who is also a Greek guy, commented on my toes today when he noticed them, he said that i got Roman looking toes, and he has the typical Greek toes..At first i laughed, but then i searched and..he was completely true..! We both did the Dna test, and i was 73% Greek, and he was 80% Greek..! but toes were a surprise! Thank you MyHeritage!

  • Caesar

    August 18, 2019

    @Laura I’m sorry to tell you that’s a lie. There’s no way a dna test would say you’re 100% European unless you took a fake test. It’s impossible. Europeans mixed with every ancestral line on this planet and then remitted themselves back with one another. You can be high percentage but never 100% only native Africans in remote villages keep their true untampered and non “whitewashed” roots. I have Egyptian toes btw but doesn’t make sense to me either since I bleed Rome

  • AI

    Alexandra Innes. divorced ame

    August 25, 2021

    Greek toe pattern. My DNA so far is German Jewish paternal; Central German territories maternal; some large % French but no definite
    french searches found to date…25 Aug. 2021

  • A


    November 7, 2021

    just a random comment about the two people commenting about how its saying they have Greek feet despite having most their family from the UK and such
    (well this goes for anyone doubting their results)

    you do understand that people of many races traveled the world, like for example when the Romans tried to invade the UK and were forced out by the natives of the land
    then the great migration moved them to new lands themselves

    you could be part Norwegian or Asian or even African for all you know

    My toes say I am Egyptian, both my brothers say they are Greek
    and yet I know my mum is Irish Celtic and my dad part German
    Its amazing to find out what kind of mixed heritage is running in my veins