Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Standing up for sensible shoes

Work affected by shoes you wear ...

"It was near the end of “Sex and the City,” after the starlets had worn high heels in the snow, at the pool, to the beach, in the rain (is this sounding like Dr. Seuss?) and, of course, to bed. It was after the one who got pregnant went jogging and we were NOT allowed to see what she was wearing on her feet, and after the only visible shoes I remember spotting OTHER than high heels had made their appearance (flats worn by an office intern and sneakers worn by two guys throwing rose petals during a photo shoot).

That’s when I started wondering: What are their feet going to look like in another 10 years, after being crammed down a drainpipe? Because those women look as if they’ve been stuck in heels since before they could walk, their little bronzed baby spikes forgotten in some horrible box of memories.

It made me wish Jack Valenti still were alive, so we could start a campaign against debilitating footwear in Hollywood and make it as taboo as smoking.

Probably it was not planned that way, but “SATC” coincided with what became the Year of Evil Shoes at the American College of Sports Medicine’s recent annual meeting, at which two featured research studies discussed how different types of footwear — flip-flops and high heels — might adversely influence fitness.

There is a long trail of evidence on the problems caused by high heels, including bunions, deformities such as hammertoe, a shortening of the Achilles tendon and stress fractures. There are several other problems listed on the Mayo Clinic’s Web site.

To that list, the ACSM conference added a new worry when Louisiana Tech University researchers noted that as people in high heels walk down stairs, the dynamics of their gait shift markedly from how they would descend barefoot or in low-heeled shoes. Force is transferred away from the heel (which normally carries the weight of the stride but in this case has little to balance on) and toward the toe.

How does that affect the rest of the foot and lower body? Would you want to be in an airplane that was landing nose first?

Flip-flops also came under scrutiny, with new research showing that they, too, alter the way people walk. People shorten and slow their stride and scrunch their toes in a way that increases the angle of the ankle as the foot goes through its gait."    (Continued via South Bend Tribune, Howard Schneider)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most comfortable shoes ever made were and are the high heels. What is hurting feet are cheaply made shoes I refer to as disposable such as Payless and other discount, made in China and other foreign countries with the exception of shoes made in Italy. Manufacturers do not make decent shoes nowadays. I am near retirement age, have worn heels every day to work for more than 40 years of my life. I wear a 9 narrow that isn't even made nowadays apparently. I wear nice dress shoes and now limited to wearing my old ones since no store in Louisiana now sells nice, well made dress shoes for ladies. I've looked all over this state and find none. I can absolutely run a race in heels and will trip and fall in flat shoes. What's ruining feet are the no shape shoes, flip flip flops, slides and glides, heels made cheaply, etc. Good shoes are awesome. My feet are perfect after all these years. My dad taught me, never put on a cheap shoe and never wear one without proper support and proper fit. It works; I'm living proof.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more comment to add to my previous comment.

I was taught how to walk, how to stand, how to present myself as a professional from a very young age. My dad stressed walking straight, standing tall, never slouch, wear nice, comfortable dress shoes and dress appropriately. The generations I see walking around in heels look like they are following a plow mule in a field of new ground, they have no idea how to present themselves in a reasonable fashion but they want the eye catching shoes so people notice how uncomfortable they appear and how terrible their gait. Added to that, they believe they should start a career at the top believing they are the only ones with a college degree. I say dah! think again young people. Learn to walk, sit, stand, and even run in decent shoes; learn how to present yourself and with poise and manners and decent appearance.

12:36 PM  

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