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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/666

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tions arise from lack of exercise, which invigorates the muscles and oxygenizes the vital fluid. Dyspepsia is the usual attendant on such conditions, and may manifest itself either by general emaciation or by fatty degeneration.

The feet demand a covering which shall conform to their shape, allow them free play, and afford protection from injuries.[1] Dowie scoffingly remarks, in his treatise, respecting shoes so cut at the toes as to represent the foot like that of a goose, with the great-toe in the middle. We are now in an era of "pencil-toed" shoes, so called, which recall Dowie's comparison. It is difficult to understand how shoemakers can be so careless of the shape of the feet and their needs as to cut shoes that in the toe are the very reverse of what toes demand; but it is more difficult to conceive how any one can endure the suffering they inflict. Dowie insists that tight-toed stockings are injurious to the feet, and recommends that they be woven with a separate covering for each toe, as gloves are made with fingers.

Fig. 1 is a foot copied from the antique, and shows "beauty of form and proportion, ease and elasticity of motion, as well as an admirable expression of adaptation and power for use throughout."

Fig. 2 shows the distorted foot of a Chinese woman, photographed from nature.

Fig. 3 represents the sole of a normal human foot. The dotted line shows how the foot is usually cramped in the shoe-sole. The heel of the foot is narrow, the anterior portion broad, the toes are nearly parallel to a line "C," drawn through the center of the sole from heel to toe. The line A B is drawn through the center of the instep, or great arch of the foot, and bisects the great-toe. It is this arch which mainly supports the weight of the body; the heel forms one of its

PSM V24 D666 Outlines of a normal foot and a cramping shoe.jpg
Fig. 3.

piers, the great-toe the other. One may easily see that when the great-toe is drawn from its line with the arch, as indicated by the dotted lines, the stability of the body is by so much destroyed; and when the heel is taken from its level with the bulk of the foot, by a high heel, yet more is the stability of the body destroyed. Erichson says: "Firmness of gait is caused by the foot resting on the heel be-

  1. The Indian moccasin is probably the easiest and most comfortable foot-covering worn, as it adapts itself perfectly to the shape and motion of the foot.