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Monday, May 24, 2010

Treat Your Feet Well

Bad Shoes


I just finished reading a book that I received called Bad Shoes & the Women Who Love Them by Leora Tanenbaum. It's an informative, eye-opening, and entertaining look at the history of heels, why women wear them, and how they can damage and deform our feet. Being an admirer of high heels, the book is a strong reminder for me that high heels (over 1.5 inches) should only be worn for limited periods of time and not for everyday use or for prolonged walking or standing. I often hear women who are older than me tell me that they can't wear heels like they used to when they were younger. It's not worth the pain and damage. Tanenbaum's book (and my doctor's advice to wear sneakers most of the time) have both convinced me to limit my high heel-wearing to short periods of time such as nights out when I will be wearing them for about three hours. What really caught my attention is when the author draws parallels to the practice of Chinese foot binding and wearing high heels. By wearing them, we are trying to make our feet appear more beautiful, when in fact, doing this causes conditions such as bunions, corns, and hammertoes, among other things. So by trying to make our feet appear more beautiful in heels, we are actually deforming our feet and making them less attractive in order to adhere to social and societal norms. The lesson here is to treat your feet well by wearing comfortable, flat shoes that fit properly. In the long run, it's worth it.