Let me slip into my shoes of torture

Published 10:23 am Monday, November 17, 2008

I was reading an article not to long ago about the pain and dangers of wearing fashionable high heels.

I always had the notion (and experiences) that wearing high heels is dire for your feet, but after reading the article I realized I probably needed to search for more feet friendly shoes.

The interest was sparked by my latest high heel experience.

I admit I have an extensive collection of shoes, a portion of which are heels. I try to vary wearing heels as when I’m covering an event I’m on my feet a lot, so sensible shoes are a must.

On Wednesday, since it was a deadline day, I knew I would be in the office so I decided to “break in” a pair of new shoes, heels to be exact.

At the end of the day I had decided the shoes had broke me instead. As I limped up the steps to my house that night the single-word resounding in my head was: “Why?”

High heels in general is a hot and cold issue for most women.

We love high heels for their ability to add a little height and elongate the legs, the end result being a slim down of one’s frame.

On the other hand, most high heels are just plain persecution for the feet.

For any woman who has felt a consistent thudding heartbeat of pain on the bottoms of their feet at the end of the day know what I mean.

According to the ankle and foot specialist quoted in the article, wearing such footwear can shorten the Achilles tendon, cause hammertoes and aggravate bunions.

Yep, exactly the kind of feet you would want to call your own.

It kind of reminds me of the foot binding practice that was popular for more than 1,000 years in China.

Women would wrap their feet to emulate small feet as desired by men at the time. The results were deformation and often amputation of women’s feet.

While wearing high heels is no comparison to what occurred in China, when I see women manage a teetering walk in high heels I can’t help but think of how torturous pain for beauty is.

Yet, despite the dangers of damage, to their feet women continue to wear them.

Many consider several factors of influence for women suffering for a heel that comes to a point. I only consider two: fashion and celebrity culture, pretty much factors that go hand in hand.

The characters from “Sex in the City” opened the door for many unheard of shoe designers to sell their products to mainstream America.

Recently, actress Gwyneth Paltrow engaged in a four-day heel-a-thon, sporting seven-inch boots and stilettos. The shoes made each of her outfits and she (some how) gracefully managed herself across the red carpet.

Various cute styles line the store shelves, beckoning the consumer masses with their sophisticated looks and nosebleed arches.

Oh, yes it’s all so tempting. All until you spend a 10-hour work day in them and then they’re just brutal submission devices.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.