Medieval pointy-toed shoes led to Cambridge bunion surge

BigBadBob141

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I think in the end the shoes became so ridiculously long and pointed it was almost impossible to climb stairs normaly.
If you think that's bonkers look at the old Chinese practise of foot binding, the so called butterfly feet.
It's truly insane some of the things some people come up with that just get more and more exaggerated!
 

BAYLOR

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I think in the end the shoes became so ridiculously long and pointed it was almost impossible to climb stairs normaly.
If you think that's bonkers look at the old Chinese practise of foot binding, the so called butterfly feet.
It's truly insane some of the things some people come up with that just get more and more exaggerated!

How those neck elongation rings custom ? That one is frightening.
 

HareBrain

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Human history is best summed up as a constant back-and-forth war between stupid shoe fashions and sensible ones.

When Orwell invited us to imagine the future as "a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever" he neglected to say that half the time that boot would have an elongated squared-off toe-box that made it difficult to drive a car, and pointless buckles.
 

Montero

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And don't forget - red painted instep to show they are super-posh.

And what is it with shoes today huh? I was in a sensible shoe shop yesterday - as in ones for running, walking, hiking and foot problems - and the thing they found it hardest to accommodate - waterproof. They had water resistant, but said to me that for walking through long wet grass as I do, I needed waterproof and that limited my options. Grrr.
 

Pyan

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I spent 20 years in front-of house catering, mainly in shiny narrow-toe shoes - my feet have never completely recovered.
 

BigBadBob141

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Might have been Lilly feet not Butterfly?
Saw a photo of a woman's foot without the binding in a book about the last empress of China, round about 1900.
The foot looked pretty horrendous, it was folded in two, they would start the binding on very young girls, just have hurt like hell, the adults could barely walk!
This all started hundreds of years ago because one of the emperors of China had a serious kink for women with very small feet.
Sad to say there are other abominable practises carried out on young girls today in North Africa and Arabia.
Personally I hope there is a specially place in hell reserved for the people who practice this abomination!
 

Montero

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Well, the era of tight corsets deformed women's rib cages and those men who went for the wasp waisted fashions. (Note not all corsets do that, just 18th century onwards had the potential.)
 

Aquilonian

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"Dr Dittmar said modern research associates the deformity with balance issues.
"This would explain the higher number of healed, broken bones we found in medieval skeletons with this condition," she added."

I'd have thought more likely that wealthier folk who wore fashionable pointy shoes could also afford to ride horses, falling off of which probably caused a large proportion of the broken bones.

Having actually studied and practised podiatry at one time, I do get frustrated that in 2021 when we have iPhones and Amazon and Chinese robots on Mars, it's still difficult to find practical well-fitting shoes if your feet are even slightly unusually shaped. Most of the problems that podiatrists deal with are actually caused by shoes, and yet when the TUC (Trades Union Congress) had a campaign against employers who forced female staff to wear uncomfortable and damaging shoes they were ridiculed as fanatic feminist killjoys who did not want women to look attractive.
 

Aquilonian

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In fact come to think of it human beings probably do even more deliberate and entirely non-rational damage to their feet than they do to their external genitalia. I wonder what extra-terrestrials would make of our world-wide and age-old predilection for such painful and damaging customs?
 

Montero

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Yes, why are shoes not feet shaped?
With today's 3D printers, there should surely be a market to develop shoe designs that can be customised to your foot shape in the shop and then printed. Or at least the sole and then a second machine to do the uppers. Maybe shops would become a place for looking at designs and having your feet measured and if printing in every shop is too hard, the order goes off to a central printing factory and you pick it up a week later.
 

nixie

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Yes, why are shoes not feet shaped?
With today's 3D printers, there should surely be a market to develop shoe designs that can be customised to your foot shape in the shop and then printed. Or at least the sole and then a second machine to do the uppers. Maybe shops would become a place for looking at designs and having your feet measured and if printing in every shop is too hard, the order goes off to a central printing factory and you pick it up a week later.
Market and patent this idea, my feet are a nightmare having arthritis in both means I rarely find shoes that are comfortable.
 

Dave

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it's still difficult to find practical well-fitting shoes if your feet are even slightly unusually shaped.

Yes, why are shoes not feet shaped?
/\ This!

I don't think I've ever had any shoes that fitted properly. My feet are in terrible shape because of standing all day in ill-fitting shoes. I have bunions as a result, but they don't hurt at all, so I am lucky in that respect. If I were to get my toes straightened then I'd never ever find "normal" shoes that would fit me again. My most comfortable footwear are my leather walking boots. I also have bad ankles (runs in family) so I wear my walking boots quite a lot.

the TUC (Trades Union Congress) had a campaign against employers who forced female staff to wear uncomfortable and damaging shoes they were ridiculed as fanatic feminist killjoys who did not want women to look attractive.
High heels are a killer on ankles and hips too, but often the damage is only realised when you get much older.
Maybe shops would become a place for looking at designs and having your feet measured and if printing in every shop is too hard, the order goes off to a central printing factory and you pick it up a week later.
There is/was at least one company that will/would make bespoke shoes around your foot's shape, but the cost is/was astronomically high. 3-D printing ought to cut that cost somewhat, but it would still be hand-made rather than mass-produced, and so much more expensive. Then again, people would pay the earth to have well-fitting shoes.
 

Montero

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I was raised on the horror story of my grandma's feet. I was there for trips to the chiropodist where he said that he wished he could show her feet to all the girls wearing high heels. She had hammer toes and bunions so bad that she put lumps in her carpet slippers. And yes, she'd worn really high heels, partially because she was short.
 

BAYLOR

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I am in awe of the number of ways human being subject themselves to wearing attire that is in some cases, not only uncomfortable and impractical but, potentially dangerous to the wearer.
 

Montero

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There seems to be an urge to display, to attract attention, whatever the cost - but it is only strong in some people. You go back to the stone age and there is evidence from graves of people spending energy on polishing pretty rocks and hand drilling holes through them to make a necklace. Not in itself harming (well apart from a potential RSI) but they either had more free time and resources than we'd assume, or thought shiny beads to be important - maybe even at the same level of importance as food and shelter.
 

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