I have a dear friend, whom I met on the PurseForum, and she just started her blog! She calls it “Food for the Sole” which I think is so clever and whitty! 😀 Not only is she pretty and have gorgeous shoes (check out her Maralenas!!!), she’s also got the brain-smarts lol. I’m honored that she’s chosen my picture of my Altadama to be featured in her blog.
The Altadamas are one of my first pairs of peep-toe shoes because I’m usually quite conservative and have never felt that peep-toes were appropriate for work or more formal events. Not that I would wear anything more than 100mm to work… Anyhow, I speak of peep-toe shoes because my PF friend made a great analysis of her feet. I have not met anyone who would analyze their own feet as much as me, or at least we don’t openly speak of this topic, so it was great to find someone else with similar interests?!?! lol
You see, buying beautiful shoes should compliment our best assets. Women speak of their neck line, breasts, arms, waist, booties, legs… and then it stops here! WHY?!?! At most, people will look down and just comment on your high heels which are not part of your body. I believe that like the rest of our body, our feet deserve more attention. Knowing our own feet is the first thing that one should do prior to making a designer shoe purchase. Whether the designer is Charlotte Olympia, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Giussepe Zanotti, or Manolo Blahnik, they are all very expensive and you’re likely to wear them for at least half your life time!
A committed shoe purchase should take into account the following features and/or problems of your feet:
And I speak both from an esthetic AND medical points of view in your interest.
All pictures are of celebrities. I have eliminated their faces to give them some respect when the picture is not so flattering…
Width size is usually standardized using A (narrow), B (average), and C (wide). Examples of brands with AA – A width shoes are JC and CL. Only specific CL shoe styles are better suited for B-width feet, so in general, if you have wide feet, I strongly do NOT recommend you trying to force your feet into Cinderella’s crystal shoes… I’m not trying to be mean, but I just speak the truth. It is really NOT flattering to see people’s toes and half the side of their feet hanging out from smaller styles!
Medically, too small shoes will give you pain, bunions, blisters, calluses, infections like in-grown toe nails, paronychia, cellulitis, gangrene…. AND GOD FORBID IF YOU’RE DIABETIC!!!
Ok… so slightly longer toes compared to the big toe (including a Morton’s toe) are considered to be the most beautiful and proportional by the Greeks for hundreds of years. In fact, many classical paintings and sculptures are derived from the Greeks’ perception of beauty and you can find this in numerous Renaissance art pieces. However, when toes are TOO freakishly long, please do NOT wear peep-toes or open sandals! I recommend closed toe shoes with a roomy toe box and avoid low cut toe-cleavage styles (ie CLs and JCs). Anyhow, use your own judgement when wearing shoes and please don’t tell me that these pictures below are appealing to you (unless you have some foot fetish). I mean they’re not *that* bad, but just poor choices in terms of the shoe style chosen.
This latin term means “big toe deviation/angulation” and is commonly known as a bunion. Bunions are painful and some people are more prone to getting these than others. If you wear high heels, make sure they have a wide foot box at the front, otherwise a small box will worsen your valgus and you make require surgical correction! Better yet, no heels at all.
By definition, a Morton’s toe is when the 2nd toe is longer than the big toe. As mentioned before, the Greeks have strongly influenced the arts in the Renaissance times. When the French gifted the USA with the Statue of Liberty, her feet were molded in accordance with the Greek specifications. Some ladies are very much bothered by their second toe length as this gives them great difficulty when buying peep-toe shoes. My only recommendations are to try to even your nail length out to have things more even by cutting the 2nd toe-nail as short as possible, and keep the big toe-nail slightly longer. Peep-toe opening would be beneficial if it’s slightly bigger too. Otherwise, I would just say stick to closed toe styles if all this is too difficult and time-consuming.
Below is NOT a Morton’s toe, but just a long big toe. I couldn’t find any pix of a Morton’s in a peep-toe, so this will have to do. The idea is still the same, toe-overhang is NOT sexy!
I would say that my only envy is toward ladies who are gifted with a higher foot arch, which I think is extremely sexy. I guess I do have some influence from my Chinese background, given that we’re famous for our history of the Lotus Feet. I agree with the general concept that small, dainty feet are attractive and that the deformity from the bandaging created a high foot arch, which was equally desirable. The man rarely saw his wife(s) feet because it was often foul smelling, gruesome to look at, and infected with dry gangrene resulting in auto-amputation. Clearly, I don’t approve of this type of torture, but I think I understand the culture well enough to know how the Lotus Feet came to be… Every culture has its dark times.
VB here shows off her beautiful foot arch (despite her other foot problems…) and her outfit exemplifies ABSOLUTE PERFECTION for the dress of a lady. She is wearing her own line – Victoria Beckham, which imo has strong influences from Roland Mouret, for which she was very fond of wearing a couple of years ago. VB was the one who helped launch RM’s designs, particularly the hot pink Moon dress. Both designer houses have strong tailoring and form-fitting dresses.
Flatness and Pronation:
This is the opposite of having a high foot arch. Medically, flatness comes from stretching or damage of the medial longitudinal arch due to various reasons, like gymnastics, ballet, chronically standing, heavy weight bearing, trauma…etc. The loss of elasticity in the ligaments predisposes you to having over-pronation (ie eversion) foot problems. This is not to say that too high of an arch due to lack of compliance or too stiff of a ligament won’t give you problems. Very high arches are complicated with under-pronation (ie inversion) issues. Anyhow, flat footedness will give you side-overhang of your feet, where the lateral part of your feet overhangs from the edges of your shoes. Again, side-overhang is NOT sexy! Try to buy shoes that have a higher cut, ie avoid CLs!
This is a term that was notoriously hyped up after M. Louboutin referred to Barbie‘s ankles as being too fat… I think the term is derived from a fusion of the words calcaneus, which is the latin term for the heel bone, and ankles. I actually agree, Barbie does have weird ankles and feet… The new feet made by Louboutin for his limited edition Barbies were so much better. Anyhow, I have some ankle issues as well after getting surgery on them from years of figure-skating and various deformities caused by the sport. However, they’re not as bad as this celebrity’s ankles below. Again, this could be easily avoidable by not choosing anything that emphasizes your ankles, styles that cut off right here, or having too much elaboration that draws more attention to them. Her choice in an ankle booty style was not wise…
Calf Circumference (for Boots):
Some women are blessed with long legs and small calves. The majority of us are not. Although my calves are only 13 inches at their widest point, I’m vertically challenged resulting in this disproportionality because my calves rise at a lower level relative to a woman who’s taller even if we have the same calf circumference. For several of my knee high boots, I had to actually cut down the shaft by my cobbler or have him taper the boots. I would strongly recommend this fix for petite gals like me who want to wear knee-high boots. However, if you have too thick calves, it’s best to buy a pair with elastic stretch inserts, eg. Stuart Weitzman makes some really cool boots.
^Kate Moss in CL Pigalle 120
In short, just be aware that some styles (and most CL styles) are not always best suited to one’s feet. If you’re not sure what your flaws are, then just take a look down at your feet in the shoes. Does something look off??? If yes, there’s probably something out of proportion and just avoid that particular style in the future.
However, there is something for every woman – PEDICURES!!! 😀 I’m not so much into manicures because it’s unprofessional and inappropriate to wear nail polish in medicine. Plus, I can do my own hand massage and paint my own nails which I do a better job than most manicurists imo. I think pedicures on the other hand are really worth it because they spend a long time with you, give your a nice foot massage, get rid of your calluses, clean and trim your nails, and apply polish. I imagine that it’s not always pleasant to work on other people’s feet, so I *ALWAYS* tip very generously to these girls who are often at the bottom of the esthetician hierarchy. Be kind to these girls, never be snooty, and tip tip tip! I can guarantee you’ll get an amazing experience and keep your feet presentable!!! 😀