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Would like your opinion on digitigrade vs. plantigrade suits


WAY older than Mr. Black
I'm writing about suiting for Furry Nation, my book about the fandom and the presence of anthropomorphism in contemporary mainstream society and throughout history - www.furrynation.com I've been in the fandom since the end of the 1980s (you heard that right) so I think I have a pretty good handle on what furry's about.

One aspect of suiting I want to write about is creating digitigrade aka "jackleg" suits. I know it involves padding the the front of the thigh and the back of the calf to create the illusion of an elevated ankle and I've seen some that achieve this better than others*. I'd appreciate peoples' opinion on the subject, why they wanted jacklegs on their suits instead of plantigrade, how they built theirs & if they were pleased with the results etc. (I'd especially like to hear from suitbuilders re building them for others.)

Oh yeah, here's a picture of me in my "Komos" suit, built by Artslave - www.furaffinity.net: Here's pointing at you, kid! by Comus Thanx much!

*When I was a kid I believed animals had "backward" knees, not realizing they were actually the equivalent of a human ankle & they were standing on the equivalent of our toes; I think this is a pretty common misconception kids have.


Shapeshifting alien dragon
There are some people who even take it a step further than just adding padding to make legs appear digitigrade. They actually have heelless boots or stilts they wear which are then covered/furred, so they really are standing in a digitigrade fashion.
Why digitigrade legs on fursuits?
It creates a more realistic look on them. It makes them look more animal, less human. We already know there's a human under there, but the less human the fursuit looks the easier it is to have suspension of disbelief. And besides certain animals (elephants, bears, rhinos, raccoons etc) most animals out there are digitigrade.

As for the 'backwards knee' thing - I usually teach kids (and adults, it amazes me how many adults believe this) who don't know by drawing out a stick figure skeleton with them. Each joint is a circle. I draw a human, and then I draw a dog, and have them count up how many joints each have - the same. Them I label them so they can see where the knee and ankle are in a dog/cat/what have you.