Just keep hurting yourself, and we’ll make money off of you


Shape.com has an article on “healthy” high heels. Yep, they put the word “healthy” in quotation marks. One pair, featuring 4 inch heels, they say is just tall enough to make them feel like dancing. It gives them, you know, just a little bit of lift. In fact, the article warns against flats -- no, the horrors! -- because they don’t offer enough support. 


Our feet aren’t boobs. They don’t need support. Our feet aren’t deficient; they’re just out of shape.


The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 250-thousand sweat glands and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Most of that doesn’t have the opportunity to function when crammed inside shoes. 


In Adam Sternbergh’s article http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/ “You Walk Wrong,” he explains that all shoes are bad for our bodies. “Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person,” wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management. “It took 4 million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot.”


Women are chopping off parts of their feet to fit into high heels (“Women undergoing surgery to fit into heels better”http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57556021/women-undergoing-foot-surgery-to-fit-into-heels-better ). One doctor who performs such surgeries explains she won’t do this for “cosmetic purposes,” only for pain. Whoa, doctor, I know how to relieve the pain: stop wearing high heels that don’t fit the foot. 


The article continues, “There are plenty of other things you can do besides undergoing surgery. Spielfogel (head of podiatry at a New York hospital) advocated taking some anti-inflammatory medications before you wear a painful pair of heels and icing your feet as soon as you are done wearing your shoes.” This is insanity. I could also take Advil before hitting myself repeatedly on the head for several hours, but most doctors would recommend that I stop hitting myself on the head. 


This is part of why it boggles my mind when people question whether my going barefoot is too hard on my feet. Compared to what? It’s like someone wondering whether exercise is too hard on my body. Well, yes, a bit, and that’s how I get stronger. I’m not gonna get stronger sitting on a cushy, comfy couch. Your feet aren’t going to get stronger in cushy, comfy shoes. And they aren’t going to be healthy and happy when stuffed into painful shoes. No doctor should be explaining how we can continue to make ourselves suffer. It’s like a doctor saying, well, sure, you can spend all day on your couch. Take Advil to fight off the stiffness that comes from not moving. Yeah, that’ll work.