Earlier this week I saw a story in the Daily Mail that Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) is in need of foot surgery. It appears that she has bunions, caused by her incessant wearing of ridiculously high heels.
The article has a sidebar explaining bunions:
Many women will have winced at the sight of Victoria Beckham’s gnarled feet in her killer heels. That’s because 15million of us can feel her pain – we, too, have bunions.
A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe joint – as your shoe rubs on this, it becomes painfully inflamed.
Sufferers tend to have lax tendons and ligaments – these are the bands of fibrous tissue that join the bones and muscles.
If these aren’t as taut as they should be, the top of the big toe drifts towards the little toe. This causes the bottom of the toe bone to stick out, creating a bump on the side of the foot.
It is overwhelmingly a female problem, largely as a result of high heels. A towering heel throws your weight forward onto your splayed out toes and forefoot, putting pinching pressure on the big toe joint.
Of course, Victoria says that there is no way she could give up her heels, because she is such the fashion icon, and she loves her heels. Hint: deformed and painful feet do not make you look good. The story shows a picture of her feet, and they are painful just to look at. How can that possibly be “fashionable”?
And it’s not just bunions that are caused by high heels. A couple of studies, “Knee osteoarthritis and high-heeled shoes” and “Women’s shoes and knee osteoarthritis” show that the peak torque on your knees when wearing high-heeled shoes is 20-30% higher when wearing such heels. The location of that peak torque is right at the site at which knees wear out as you get older, leading to osteoarthritis.
What’s really annoying from the barefooter’s point of view is that stores and other entities are so concerned (unjustifiably) about us hurting our feet in their venues, yet, as long as the the damage to the feet and body is slow and long-term, as it is with high heels, they are perfectly OK with that. (Of course, some of that is fed by an unjustified fear of lawsuits.)