Womens’ Shoes – Heaven or Hell?

Friday, August 27, 2004
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I remain confident that the glorious free market will take into account a woman’s foot shape when designing the shape of womens’ dress shoes. I hope, I dream, I wait.

These are the sorts of shoes that tempt a woman into recklessness. Like scoundrel boyfriends, vodka-soaked olives and flourless chocolate cake, the shoes have little redeeming value other than a delicious, fleeting pleasure.

No good can come of indulging in them too often. The shoes are bad for a woman’s feet. They can wreak havoc on the knees, the back, the joints. High heels shift a woman’s center of gravity making her more likely to stumble. A woman cannot run in high heels, leaving her vulnerable.

Yet they cause her back to shift into a more prominent S curve, pushing the pelvis forward and derriere back and forcing her to walk with a hip sway that society generally agrees is sexy. Irresistibly sexy.

What we women won’t do to “sway” correctly. Once, upon visiting my podiatrist for hammer toe problems, he showed me some evidence of stupidity. He took off my shoes, put my feet on some white paper, and drew a line around the outside edge of my foot in black marker. Then he placed my pointed shoe over the drawing – a drawing of a mostly squareish foot, by the way – and he said, “What’s wrong with this picture Karen?” I said, “Er, uh, the drawing of my foot is mostly square and the shoes are long and pointy, so yep, Houston we have a problem. My shoes are not conducive to my foot.”

Since then I have worn nothing but square-toe dress pumps, which are far more attractive anyway, and thank goodness they came back into fashion. But the market has yet to perfect womens’ shoes, even those of the square-toed variety.


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