The prose of life is that many fashion shoe manufacturers often think only about the exterior of models, not paying much attention to the biomechanics of the foot. Even today, when in shoe fashion for several years now there has been a steady trend for comfortable sports and casual shoes. Doctors do not approve of this approach. How to come to a compromise? SR asked Olga Chizhevskaya, an expert and executive director of the League of Podiatry, about how different models of shoes affect the health of the foot and the entire musculoskeletal system, and which shoes are ideal for foot health. Podiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of diseases of the feet and lower legs, combining knowledge of orthopedics, traumatology and surgery.
It so happened historically that when making men's shoes, shoemakers on all continents focused on mobility and safety of movement. Even the heels, which, as you know, originally adorned the boots of the Persian army cavalrymen, were attached not for the sake of chic, but for convenience, preventing the riders' feet from slipping out of the stirrups.
For women, fashion trends at all times were quite strict, forcing them to sacrifice health for the sake of fashion. What is the tradition of bandaging the feet of girls that existed in China until the end of the last century. The ideal leg in the concept of the men of the Celestial Empire should not have been longer than 9 cm. For the sake of the unnatural “fashion”, girls, starting from the age of 4, broke (!) Fingers and tightly bandaged their limbs. The twisted, unnaturally small feet were called "golden lotuses" for their resemblance to a curved flower bud. The production of specific shoes for lotus feet continued in some provinces until 1999.
Fortunately, the Chinese tradition is an exceptional story. Unfortunately, not the only one: for the sake of the desire to look luxurious and attractive, modern girls wear shoes that are not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous to health.
The trend towards gender neutrality can be treated in different ways. One thing can be said with certainty: if heels and platforms of breathtaking heights leave the catwalks, there will be fewer injuries and pathological conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Including world fashion stars. The fall of Naomi Campbell during the show Vivienne Westwood in 1993 went down in history. And the reason for the incident is blue crocodile shoes on a 25-centimeter platform, which are now stored in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The use of non-physiological shoes is dangerous with falls, fraught with dislocations and fractures, but not only. For example, when wearing high heels, the pressure on the forefoot increases by 30%. In this position, the foot is less able to distribute the load, which means that the knee joints suffer first of all.
Do fashionable high heel shoes also have a pointed toe? Podiatrists (foot specialists) warn that the risk of articular deformities and the appearance of the very “bone” that doctors call hallux valgus increases. It is also possible such a nuisance as Morton's neuroma, which is formed by squeezing the nerve endings of the foot, a very painful condition.
When Karl Lagerfeld shod models in silk dresses in sneakers in 1975, it seemed like nonsense. However, the eccentric idea has taken root over the years, and has become a massive trend. In fairness, we note that not immediately. It is believed that the catalyst for reconciliation with the avant-garde idea was the transport strikes in New York, which forced people to walk more. However, the fact remains that women "got the right" to wear comfortable shoes.
The fashion revolution has saved a lot of legs. But here the industry, as often happens, made a 180-degree turn and recognized Ugly Shoes as fashionable. Since the "ugly boots" with futuristic voluminous soles hit the podium, traumatologists have not been left without work again. Obviously, in such shoes, the foot does not make a natural anatomical roll from heel to toe when stepping. Any "platform" reduces the spring capabilities of the foot, overloading the muscles and ligaments.
Not in size
Tight, pressing shoes end up in our wardrobe for various reasons. Someone orders shoes online without trying them on, forgetting that even the same manufacturer has different lasts. Others do not think about the fact that our foot grows throughout life, and suddenly try to “fit” into student sneakers. Still others deliberately buy shoes half a size smaller, because "they are very beautiful, maybe they break." And, finally, there are those who dream of making the leg look more elegant, and are ready to “suffer a little” for this.
And here we, it turns out, in our aspirations go not far from the Chinese lovers of "lotuses". Think for yourself: is it reasonable to fit your feet under shoes? The answer is obvious. But we will add medical facts.
The College of Podiatry (Great Britain) considered that lovers of inappropriate shoes spend tens of millions of pounds per year on operations to correct deformities - the already mentioned “bones”, hammer toes, etc.
In the "best" case, tight shoes provoke corns and onychocryptosis (ingrown toenail).
To the very top
However, foot deformities are not the worst thing that happens to our body. As soon as the foot ceases to cope with its functions, the entire musculoskeletal system experiences the load. In our body, everything is interconnected, and as soon as, for example, the spring function of the foot deteriorates (when it is flattened), the knee and hip joints experience a shock load. Overstrain of the entire muscular corset leads to a curvature of posture. Muscle "clamps" cause circulatory disorders and neuralgia. Up to exhausting tension headaches. Chronic venous diseases (CVD) of the lower extremities are also associated with wearing non-physiological shoes. Spasms in the muscles of the lower leg simply interfere with normal venous outflow.
What shoes are good from the point of view of podiatrists?
It meets a number of criteria and, in particular, has:
And in general, the perfect shoe fits the size, is chosen taking into account the instep and fullness of the foot.
If you really want...
Does all this mean that high-heeled shoes are strictly prohibited? No. Do you want to go on high heels to a meeting or to the world? Please! But try to limit yourself to a three-hour fashion show, and then, taking off your shoes, immediately do a light self-massage.
Does the office dress code include high heels? In general, if you do not have to stand on your feet all day, there is nothing terrible. Just take a shift with you.
Important point! Jumping from heels to flat shoes without a little warm-up is fraught with problems with the Achilles tendon. When you walk in heels, it shortens, when you go down to the ground, it stretches. With sudden “body movements”, microtraumas and even tears are possible.
There is a contact!
The most important disadvantage of model footwear is that in many cases it literally interferes with the natural biomechanics of movement, causing complex disorders of the musculoskeletal system (MDA).
However, the doctor may recommend improving the imperfect, but beloved couple with the help of modern orthotic therapy. Full contact insoles allow you to improve the "grip" of the foot and shoes and minimize errors in the pattern (pattern) of walking. Insoles are made individually by a doctor, taking into account all the nuances in step and in static. At the same time, existing deformities of the foot and distortions in the musculoskeletal system are corrected.
To sew shoes to order, alas, is not budgetary. But an ordinary pair purchased in a store can be made more comfortable by making custom orthoses. The same pair of insoles can be worn in different shoes.
Another option is universal insoles, which are now widely represented on the Russian market. And this type of product must be in your line of related assortment, and you need different insoles: for sports shoes, for pumps and boots, even for summer open shoes, there are special models of insoles.
Photo: GEOX FW'22/23
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