“Feet don’t fail me” is a line from a song (Queens of the Stone Age) that has more meaning than the writer ever intended perhaps. The feet, in fact, can be the instruments of our untimely death when it comes to a diabetic with a simple toe injury caused by nail clipping. Feet are our means of escape in times of danger, earn medals for us in competitive sports and are a nice end spot to our body corporal.
Complex as they are, designers treat them as they would any item of clothing and that is decidedly wrong. Feet are as delicate as our hands and they are vulnerable to a host of problems, but we refuse to recognize that and, instead, march ahead to the drummer’s tune of the latest designer or athlete-designed shoe.
Specialists in the care of the feet (podiatrists) look at shoes as, in some cases, instruments of torture and destruction of the entire body. Why the entire body? Well, may not the entire body, but certainly one of its most important parts; the spine.
How can your feet and how you adorn them affect your spine? Simple. Those little bits of leather, plastic or whatever throw your
body’s alignment into angles it was never engineered by nature to endure. In so doing, it can lead to damage to the spine which may result in painful walking or, in some cases, spinal surgery. The latter is not to be taken lightly.
Look at how shoes are designed for appearance, innovative styling and to attract new customers. Whether spike heels (which throw the body forward and HURT), or high, rigid platforms (which inhibit the foot’s natural need to flex), or even flip flops, which offer no support whatsoever, are all culprits in the war on the feet.
How many shoe designers, outside of those who are making specific athletic footwear, actually care about what goes on under the skin of our feet? I’d say none. They want to sell shoes and the more they can get you to believe your shoes aren’t “in fashion,” the more they will sell.
How much are you willing to pay for your comfort and your future health and medical bills? Are you willing to sacrifice a toe in order to fit into a shoe that is designed for a camel, not a human foot? Yes, women have had toes removed. Outrageous doesn’t come near how I feel about this. But no shoe designer has been sued, have they? I don’t recall. If they were, they’ve had a great PR agency working on their behalf.
Unfortunately, fashion is big business and, in order to keep on being profitable, they must convince you that you need to be wearing the latest trends. Do you know what happened during WWII with women’s clothing? Cloth was rationed and that brought on a revolution in design to meet the stringent requirements for cloth. No such requirement is in place now for materials for clothing or shoes.
In the Victorian age, women subjected themselves to the ravages of the bustle. Of course, this applied mainly to women of wealth because working women, who were employed as domestics, needed to be able to move and, occasionally, get on their knees or sit. Class status was thusly shown to all and today we have abandoned both the bustle and the corset or girdle, an absolute necessity, until the 1960s. Of course, we still have undergarments that pull in all our excess pulchritude so it doesn’t bulge all over and that’s a moneymaker.
Current shoes, the demon cobbler’s invention, offer a distinctly new sign of true “wealth” or a woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the appearance of wealth; red soles.
How many times can you wear a pair of those shoes and not let everyone know they’re not new? Scuffs on the sole are, quite naturally, verboten. Does a woman have to carry them around in a bag and only put them on as she walks on carpeting? No one, I can imagine, ever gets them resoled. Heaven forbid! They must be tossed. Charge card companies must quiver over the thought of all those charged shoes to be bought.
If next year, the color of the soles on women’s shoes is violet, where do all the red ones go? Probably out of the country on one of those container ships where some enterprising person will have a means to change the color to violet and reship them back.
The moral of this story is that style, aka culture, dictates to the vulnerable. Security does not come from the shoes we wear but the person within.