Athlete’s feet go through hell.
We’ve previously covered how disfigured elite athlete’s fingers can become over the years, but that’s nothing compared to what lurks inside their sneakers.
While professional athletes have physiques most of us would kill for, their feet are a different story.
Due to thousands upon thousands of hours of training, practice and play, many star athletes have feet that make Frodo Baggins’ look good by comparison.
Some of them grew up having to shove their feet inside ill-fitting shoes for their sport, resulting in bizarre anatomical adaptations.
While they may look like a podiatrist’s worst nightmare, these scarred extremities represent the insane amounts of sacrifice and hard work it took to get these athletes where they are today.
In that sense, many wear them as a badge of honor. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s friends recoiled at the massive portrait of his own beat-up feet he has hanging inside his dream home, he replied, “You idiots!…Those feet have paid for all of this.”
Having said that, some of these feet are pretty upsetting, so if you want to bow out, now’s your chance.
No? Well, get ready for 17 gnarly sports feet you can’t unsee…
The NBA’s greatest player has some of the gnarliest feet you’ll ever lay eyes on.
While most people’s toes are generally on the same level, LeBron’s defy convention.
His big toe dives underneath his middle toes, while his pinkie toe improbably rises above them.
They might not look like feet primed for peak performance, but King James obviously makes them work.
I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to pretend I can explain what’s going on here, but these disfigured digits haven’t kept LeBron off the court.
Among active NBA players, only Dirk Nowitzki has played more career minutes than LeBron, and he’s more than six years older than him.
LeBron’s shoe game is among the best in sports, so at least he keeps these things holstered in style.
For 19 long NBA seasons, these feet had the unenviable task of supporting the Diesel.
Shaquille O’Neal measured 7-foot-1 and well over 300 pounds during his playing days, so you can only imagine the beating his size 22 feet took.
On a TNT NBA halftime show in 2017, Shaq whipped out his nasty feet and scarred a nation.
Shortly thereafter, he decided to get a pedicure.
We can’t say it was much of an improvement.
God bless the woman tasked with cleaning up those Sasquatch feet.
Usain Bolt has a strong case for being the fastest man who ever lived.
The Jamaican sprinter is a nine-time Olympic gold medalist.
He also currently holds the world record in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.
But all that speed has taken a toll on Bolt’s toes.
In fact, he looks to be missing many of his toenails entirely.
Perhaps they just couldn’t keep up with him.
Those toes are an absolute abomination.
These ghastly digits belong to retired NBA veteran Darrell Armstrong.
Armstrong appeared in 840 career NBA games and won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1999.
Now an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks, it was Dirk Nowitzki who decided to bring his foul feet into the public eye via Twitter.
In addition to basketball, Armstrong also played college football at Fayetteville State.
Believe it or not, he was the team’s kicker.
Athletes often have to brave the elements to compete in their sport, which can result in some serious carnage.
These yellow toes belong to Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana.
After playing in a brutally cold contest against Southampton earlier this year, Lallana posted this photo to his Instagram.
“Any suggestions for defrosting feet(?)”, Lallana writes in the caption.
Grayish-yellow skin is a known symptom of frostbite, but Lallana apparently escaped this incident without serious harm.
But if you find your toes look like this after some exposure to the elements, you likely should seek medical attention.
What is it about NBA player and disfigured feet?
These dogs belong to reigning NBA MVP James Harden.
I guess all those Euro-steps can really do a number on your digits.
Considering he makes well over $500,000 a game, we’re sure he’s not too self-conscious.
But please James, for the rest of our sakes, get that sock on ASAP.
Anonymous 76ers Player
Back in 2012, when Evan Turner was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he posted this photo on Instagram.
“Who’s critters do you think these belong to on the 76ers?” wrote Turner in the caption.
He then provided Jason Richardson, Royal Ivey, Jrue Holiday, Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes as potential options.
Unless Spencer Hawes’ feet are REALLY jacked up, we can conclude they’re not his for obvious reasons (if you don’t know what Spencer Hawes looks like, this photo will explain everything).
But beyond that, we can’t quite be sure.
No one claimed credit for these “critters,” and we can’t say we blame them.
These look like they belong to a close cousin of Bigfoot.
Marshall Ulrich is one of the biggest badasses on the planet.
Not only has he climbed the tallest summit on each of the seven continents, but he’s also run over 124 ultra marathons (each of which measure over 100 miles in length).
He ran from San Francisco to New York City in just 52 days.
But one of the biggest problems with running absurd amounts of miles is the wear and tear it puts on your feet.
The toenails, in particular, can become sources of extreme, throbbing pain for long-distance runners.
In 1992, Ulrich decided to address this issue by having his toenails removed entirely.
“I was running high, high miles, and I knew I was probably going to be running for the rest of my life,” Ulrich told Trailer Runner Magazine of the decision. “It was a very practical decision.”
Photo Credit: Trail Runner Magazine via Marshall Ulrich
Kang Sue-Jin is one of the world’s greatest ballerinas.
She’s currently stars as the principle dancer at the Stuttgart Ballet.
As you can see by this photo, ballerina’s feet go through pure torture.
Regardless of whether you argue ballet’s standing as a sport, you have to respect the commitment of the dancers.
They’re forced to cram their feet into incredibly tiny, constrictive shoes before contorting their feet into a variety of painful positions as they perform.
This brings us to our next photo…
Ok, this one more borders the line between appalling and impressive than being flat-out gnarly.
This is the foot of a trained ballerina.
The image comes from a GIF of her demonstrating the incredible flexibility she possess in each foot.
Just watching it is enough to give me a foot cramp.
Try to do this with your own foot and you’ll quickly realize just how insanely impressive this is.
What the heck’s going on with Deion Sanders second toe?
George Costanza would say this a clear case of “Coup De Toe.”
On the Dan Patrick Show, Sanders detailed that it stems from a horrific turf toe injury he suffered in 1998.
Three surgeries later, the toe is still in pretty bad shape.
“It’s numb right now, but it hurts,” Sanders said during his appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
Reggie Jackson can ball.
Since first joining the Detroit Pistons in 2014, he’s averaged 16.7 points and 6.1 assists per game.
But those stats have come at a cost.
Last year, Andre Drummond, then a teammate of Jackson’s in Detroit, took a snapchat of Jackson’s jacked up feet.
Drummond claimed them to be “the feet of a hardworking man”.
Ben Foster’s Teammate
Ben Foster is a goalkeeper for Watford of the English Premier League.
Back when he was with West Bromwitch Albion, Foster snapped a photo of a teammate’s foot after a game.
It looked like it was smuggling a hard-boiled egg.
Unless someone replaced the soccer ball with a bowling ball mid-match, I’m not quite sure how this happens.
No one seems to have ever solved who the foot belonged to, but we hope they had a speedy recovery.
OK, this is more ankle than foot, but it’s still sickening.
In 2015, Rory McIlroy ruptured a ligament in his left ankle while playing soccer with friends.
The result is what you see above.
McIlroy has been without the ligament ever since, leaving him just two ligaments on the outside of his ankle rather than the usual three.
Rory had won four major championships prior to the freak injury, yet none since.
However, Rory has no regrets over the injury.
“I’m not going to stop doing what I do. I enjoy having that normality in my life. I’ve (played soccer) since I was a kid and won’t stop,” McIlroy told the Daily Record.
Chad Johnson’s feet may look perfectly normal for all I know.
But that doesn’t change the fact he did this in his playing days:
Johnson elaborated on an episode of Mike & Mike, stating, “I would collect warm urine from my teammates, heat it up, and put my ankle in it for 30 minutes.”
Johnson didn’t miss a single game for a six-season stretch between 2002 and 2007, so perhaps he’s on to something.
Or maybe he was just soaking his ankle in pee for no reason.
Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Uriah Hall is a Jamaican MMA Fighter who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
During a 2014 fight against Thiago Santos, Hall suffered a broken toe in the first round.
He continued to fight on, however.
“Every move, I would feel my bone shift in and out of my skin,” Hall told MMA Junkie after the fight.
Talk about a tough guy.
He would eventually win by decision, but his foot would never be quite the same.
These soggy soles belong to ultra-marathon runner Phil Studt.
This photo was taken just after he’d finished the 2012 GrimReaper Ultra 100.
It looks like he’s developed a mild case of trench foot, which was a common condition during World War I.
It occurs when the bottom of your feet are subjected to wet conditions for hours on end.
Long story short: ultra-marathoners are insane.
Photo Credit: Fat Feet
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