Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/145

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

should also be large, in fact, nearly as broad as the broadest part of the sole. The inside of the shoe should be three quarters of an inch longer and a half inch broader than the foot that it is meant to cover. Incidentally, people that wear such shoes and learn to take hold of the ground with their toes do not fall down and break their bones in slippery weather.

A friend of the writer's, a middle-aged man who has had his share of falls on slippery steps and icy pavements every winter, last winter escaped without a single hard fall because he was wearing low-heeled, broad-toed shoes, which the shoe-maker assured him were "a size too big for him." Here is a hint of value for stout people who are afraid to go about in slippery weather and who can not always have on a new pair of rubbers.

Just as our jaws suffer from non-development, which is the foundation of our adenoids, mouth breathing, poor digestion and mal-assimilation, not only because of our poor and irregular teeth, but because we do not get enough oxygen in our systems when we are growing for proper development, so we suffer from weak and malformed feet because these have not only not been developed by exercise, but have not even been allowed to grow to their natural size. Then we wear an arch supporter to still further cripple a weak foot and wear high heels under the mistaken impression that they keep up the instep. Of course when the arch gives way, as it often does because it is too weak to spring back after it has spread out in stepping under the weight of the body, a supporter in the shoe must be temporarily worn. Yet every effort should be made to strengthen that arch by running, walking on the toes in the bare feet, applying massage and electricity to the muscles of the calf, and toning up the general system.

The breaking down of the arch is really of more significance as an indication of general bodily weakness than as a local deformity, and its treatment should be quite as much general as local.

We shall not get perfect manhood or womanhood until we obey nature's obvious laws and allow our children's feet and jaws to develop as they were intended to do.