Let's talk aboutToe Length Ratio & Genetics

Have you ever wondered why your big toe is longer than your second toe, or vice versa? It turns out that DNA is involved.

How it works

Some people have a longer big toe, while others have longer second toes. Toe length ratio may be influenced by the amount of testosterone and estrogen present in the womb during early pregnancy.

The genetic link

23andMe looks at 35 places in your DNA that can influence your toe length ratio, along with other factors such as age and sex.

Longer big toe vs longer second toe

Did you know?

In 1864, a British anthropologist named James Park Harrison was one of the first people to dip his toes in digit ratio research. After noticing that many Roman statues had longer second toes, Harrison conducted a study and found that toe-length ratio varied from country to country. He even measured the toes of old skeletons displayed in museums, and at least one Egyptian mummy.

Explore more

Want to learn more? 23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service will rock your socks off. Pick up one of our kits, send us some spit, and we’ll tell you what your genes have to say about your toe length ratio.

Health + Ancestry Service Kit

Health + Ancestry Service

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Harrison JP. (1884). “On the relative length of the first three toes of the human foot.” The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 13:258-69.

Harrison MA. (2010). “An exploratory study of the relationship between second toe length and androgen-linked behaviors.” Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology. 4(4):241-253.

Voracek M and Dressler SG. (2010). “Relationships of toe-length ratios to finger-length ratios, foot preference, and wearing of toe rings.” Percept Mot Skills. 110(1):33-47.

White TD et al. (1987). “Hominid footprints at Laetoli: facts and interpretations.” Am J Phys Anthropol. 72(4):485-514.