E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
He is on good footing with the world. He stands well with the world. This is a French phrase, Être sur un grand pied dans le monde. Grand pied means large foot, and the allusion is to the time of Henry VIII., when the rank of a man was designated by the size of his shoethe higher the rank the larger the shoe. The proverb would be more correctly rendered, He has a large foot in society.
To pay your footing. To give money for drink when you first enter on a trade. Entry money for being allowed to put your foot in the premises occupied by fellow-craftsmen. This word is called foot-ale by ancient writers. (See GARNISH.)