Humans walk on their back legs. They call their front legs ‘arms’. The whole process of standing up that way to locomote is a bit strange unless you are constantly keeping your head above water or always looking over tall hedges. Even meercats – that stand up for a better view of the countryside – run on 4 legs when the countryside threatens to consume them.
Humans also have strange feet. They walk on their whole foot rather than just their toes. My heels never touch the ground unless I sit down. Human heels take a hammering. If you sit and watch walking human feet for a while (especially in places where there are lots of them walking ‘purposefully’) you can develop a general pattern for human striding – heel strike, roll, push off from toes.
Humans however enclose their feet in sort of bucket things they call shoes (which are handy containers for live mice by the way), held together with string (called shoe-laces which used to be fun to attack, but I have grown out of that silly pastime). This business of wearing shoes adds to the entertainment level of studying walking human feet.
I can watch humans walking from my windowsill.
Some humans go heel strike roll, heel strike roll, hitting first with the very back corner of their heels….clonk swoop, clonk swoop. Some curl their toes upward as they lift their foot and their shoe makes an upward curve as it heads for the next clonkswoop. Other humans hit the floor with the bottom of their heel, or leave out the roll – as in smack SLAP – then engage a hinge at the toes to lift the back part and repeat: smackslap creeeeak, smackslap creeeeak. A very few display a toe-walking gait where the front of the foot hits first, but walking like that tends to make them look like a target.
A few humans (and it tends to be men) add a sort of bounce before they push off with their toes, as if their whole body is trying to go airborne before they take the next step: smackswoop boing, smackswoop boing.
A remarkable number of humans have an uneven gait – stride with one leg, a slightly shorter stride with the other. It is a surprise they don't go around in circles. A few (and it tends to be women) walk carefully, gingerly even, as though their shoes hurt them or they are afraid of their heels slipping. Some teeter totter, adding a few side to side wobbles to each stride to test the mettle of their ankles. They are more clop wobble, clop wobble.
One guy proceeding along on a pair of trotters that looked like two small flatbottomed barges, walked as if they were flat bottomed barges – steps that were more sliding or gliding than smackswoop, a sort of swoosh ending with the whole shoe sole appearing to make floor contact in one simultaneous landing (or berthing).
Then there are the marchers - lift lower, lift lower,
and the scufflers – schloopdrag, schloopdrag,
the shufflers - schweer schweer,
the leg-flickers - clomp kick clomp kick.
and the 'I'm late for my bus' sprinters....
Aaaaand the loose-shoelacers doing swishflick swishflick....
I'm over shoelaces.
FFF link here
Yes, of course you're over shoelaces. Well..yes, you are, too, over it unless one flicks right by your nose, then what's a cat to do?ReplyDelete
Boud - I would have you know I ignore it. OK a small part of my brain activates, then my aging limbs refuse to take part, so I just follow it with my eyes. xxx Mr TDelete
Wow you have been studying humans walking thoroughlyReplyDelete
I’d be one of those with the uneven gait. Especially when the back is particularly sore. I kinda walk like I have glass in my shoes.
Most people are not completely symmetrical so everyone has a slight caste of some sort. Of the ones that are more obvious, F entertains herself trying to decide whether it is hip, knee or back that is causing them to bob a little.Delete
That was all rather exhausting Tigger. I need to sit down and take the weight off my feet before I shuffle or bounce my way into town.ReplyDelete
You could try roller skates JayCcee - glide into town.Delete
Mr T, you are really so very observant. For all low-living creatures, as in 'low to the ground', feet are a natural interest. Small humans are similarly fascinated by them. I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you!ReplyDelete
You are welcome Janice - we liked your slaters (F seems particularly fond of those wee bugs.)Delete
Well to be honest Tigger, when I go out for walks with Gail (which, happily, happens a lot) I am far too interested in seeing what else is going on to observe closely how she walks. I have noticed that if she is a group of humans she is always at the front. As for shoe laces, Gail wants me to tell you how, following up on something she saw on a blog last year, she learnt a new knot and it it was a wonderful discovery, being as secure as a 'double knot' but comes undone with the pull of one strand. Most of her friends hooted with derision when she tried to tell them about this knot, but her American friend Marse was super-impressed when Gail told her about it in Cuba, and has now adopted this revolutionary method of shoe lace tying. I guess that's why Gail and Marse have been friends for 35 years.!ReplyDelete
You have piqued interest here now Nobby - ask Gail to post a video on how to execute said revolutionary shoe securing knot. Does it have other uses? We bet you do know how Gail walks (by it's sound or how it feels) so you know when she is approaching the door after you have been home alone. I can tell if either of my humans is walking up to our front door. (Quick hide any evidence ....) paw smacks Mr TDelete
Hello there, new friend, and thanks for the in-depth info on these human creatures. I have a thing for shoe laces here, and my new dad sure has some strange (I'm trying to be nice here) feet.ReplyDelete
Hello Smudge. We had a little feline friend when we lived in Greece whom my humans had named Smudge. We hope you have a more comfortable and more reliably provided for life than he did. Welcome to my little blog. Let's face it all human feet are strange and some humans aren't so careful where they put them (tails can be especially at risk). Paw smacks Mr TDelete
you have landed on one of my favorite pastimes. i love sitting and watching HUMANS, people watching I call it. every thing you described I have seen also.. hubby walks a combo of the barge and shuffler. I walk heal on left side hits hard and first, and left leg is shorter than the other... you have a fun place to watch from.. i have nothing on shoelaces, we have not one single lace in our house on either of humans shoesReplyDelete
I asked F to get some shots of feet going by at the station where she waits for her evening train... Useless woman.... Do you walk around in circles Sandra-Aunty? xxx Mr TDelete
Tigger, dear, this is a fabulous feature for final Friday, focused on feets and footwear!!! Need I say more? Hugs and whiskeries, YAM-aunry xxx (Who has nothing with laces and would like to book an appointment at Tigger's Physio Parlour for gait assessment...)
The older I get the more I find myself shuffling. These days I can't wear high heels or weird looking shoes, it's all about comfort.ReplyDelete
Haha, love your observations there Tigger :)ReplyDelete