This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes: Being A Modern Treatise Of All The Processes Of Making And Manufacturing Footgear", by F. Y. Golding. Also available from Amazon: The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes.
The many sorts of feet that are met with are due to a number of causes, such as habits, climate, occupation, locality, etc., and it is the combination of these in different degrees that give so many distinctions in profile, sole-area, and disposition of measurement (see Figs. 39, 40, 41, and 42).
As a general rule, the foot has characteristics in common with the body to which it is connected. A person with a form of moderate plumpness, a fondness of exercise and activity, and a good circulation, possesses feet that are well developed and symmetrical. The heel is round and fairly prominent, and the arch of the waist is duly developed, although there are no special bony prominences. On the other hand, a person with a body of general roundness, but with soft tissues and muscles, flabby flesh, a languid blood circulation, and dilatory in action, has feet that are short, full in fitting, soft and flabby flesh, with a slight arch. Another variety of person has a strong bony frame, with strong firm muscles, prominent bones and features, and flesh that is hard and firm. The feet of this type of person are usually long, bony, arched, with a well-developed big toe joint, the heel-measurement large in proportion, and the instep-girth not large in relation to the other portions of the foot. It is a foot that is prevalent among the Scotch. The feet of the person who is delicately shaped, with a small frame and thin small tapering muscles, are usually thin and finely shaped, giving evidence of sprightliness. This form of foot, if found with a weakly constitution, is liable to a tendency to flat foot, which if neglected becomes very painful.