New Shoe Fashions Are A Podiatrist's Nightmare

The latest shoe fashions from the runways of Milan, London and New York perch a woman so precariously that she's in constant danger of losing her balance and taking a nasty and embarrassing fall. Not to mention the fact that her feet and toes, painfully flexed by the shoes for hours on end, could become permanently damaged. The new shoe styles have the heels of a woman's feet high off the floor, as with traditional high heels - but there's no spike or pillar to support the heel. Instead, the woman balances on her toes and balls of her feet.

"I am certainly concerned about the mind state of the people who are designing these shoes," said Brenden Brown, vice president of the Australian Podiatry Association. "It just looks like it is a class action waiting to happen."

The heel-less, thigh-high latex boots - which Brown called "scary" - worn by Spice Girl Victoria Beckham recently were a creation of British-Italian designer Antonio Berardi and cost $7,260. But Brown looked at the practical side. "There is a real likelihood," he said, "that you are going to fall backwards. That is an amazing boot in that I virtually cannot understand how she walks in it."

American designer Marc Jacobs' heel-less shoes, costing about $648, were only slightly less dangerous. "Once again," Brown opined, "it creates that massive instability. It will act a little bit like a see-saw, so it will either fling you back or fling you forward."

 Even more strange, the London design pair Aminaka Wilmont created a "shoe" that was only a heel strapped to a model's ankle with just black fabric, leaving the bare front of her foot to walk on the floor. "Can you see in these photos how those toes are clawing?" Brown said. "That really is going to create lots and lots of pain."


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