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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/672

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is shifted, and the weight becomes unequally distributed among the different parts of the foot, and the forward portion has to do the bulk of the work. The inevitable detriment such a condition entails upon the health of the foot and of the body does not need to be enlarged upon. Additional inconveniences resulting from it arise from the liability of the body to fall from its unstable poise, and the propensity of the narrowly pointed heels to catch in every little crack or opening, and trip up the wearer. Of these evils the awkward, tottering gait produced by high-heeled shoes is visible evidence.

The center of gravity of the body falls directly on the angle produced by the lines A and B in Fig. 15, which shows the foot at rest in its normal position on a level surface; the line A falls inside the outline of the foot, whereby the harmonious relations of each portion of the foot are indicated. Figs. 13 and 16 represent the foot as in position upon high heels, 13 being rather exaggerated, but 16 little higher than the average heel. A glance will show that just as the heel is elevated, the line A is thrown outside of the outline of the foot, disturbing the relation of its parts, throwing the weight of the body unequally upon it, and thereby seriously interfering with its functions.

PSM V24 D672 Splay or flat foot.jpg
Fig. 12.—Splay or Flat Foot.

There are those who believe and assert that an upright carriage of the body is assisted by high heels. A little thought and observation will convince the candid inquirer that this is a mistake. A shoemaker called my attention to the baggy trousers knees observable in connection with the wearing of high-heeled boots, and said, "Elevation of the heel thrusts the knee forward." The human body should stand erect from the heels upward, but the projection of the knee makes necessary a bending forward of the whole frame, to maintain an equilibrium. This is undoubtedly one cause of the ungraceful round shoulders and poked-forward head noticeable with so many women and girls.

The shoes of men, as a rule, are not so badly constructed and worn as the shoes of women and children. A larger proportion of men wear custom-made shoes, in which some effort is made to fit the foot. Businessmen generally have eschewed heels, except the lowest "lifts."