Ridiculous Women’s Shoes

– L. Arthalia Cravin

This column is being “writ” with my right foot and ankle tightly wrapped all because of a ridiculous shoe that I knew not to wear. Yesterday I stepped on a water hose laying across the sidewalk wearing a pair of what folks used to call “slides.” Slides are shoes that have some type of strap across the top of the foot but nothing to support the ankle. Some folks call these bare-back shoes “mules.” Well, because I had no ankle support when I stepped on the hose my foot rolled and twisted under my own weight. And I paid for it all night in wretched, heart-throbbing, agonizing pain. My ankle felt as if someone had hit it with an axe—worse pain I’ve ever had. My night was spent plunging my foot in a bucket of ice water then elevating it to get the swelling down. Today, I’m walking with a cane, but tomorrow I’m getting rid of all the ridiculous shoes in my closet.

Why is it that we women feel obligated to stick our feet in shoes that we know are just plain ridiculous? We want style and “being cute,” even at the expense of our spines, and our feet– also known as “our dogs.” I’ve heard women say “my dogs are killing me,” meaning that the narrow pointy-toed shoes that they have wedged their fat wide feet into are giving them a fit. I know women who now have bunions, corns, and just plain “bad feet” from trying to keep up with ridiculous shoe styles. But I can’t condemn anyone for wearing ridiculous shoes because my generation wore platform shoes. We danced all night in tall platform shoes. Some of these platform shoes added 5 or 6 inches to your height. But as they say, “we were styling.”

The other night I saw part of the BET Awards Show and the shoes that the women presenters and performers wore were just plain ridiculous. Brandy gave a tribute to Whitney Houston wearing heels so high I wondered if at any minute she was going to trip. But Brandy was not alone, all the women, except Sissy Houston, were wearing tall 8 inch stilettos. Why do high heel shoes have to be so high? Once upon a time a 3” inch heel was a tall shoe, but not anymore. Orthopedics and others doctors constantly remind women that high heel shoes distort the spine and cause all sort of back problems. But shoe designers know that tall shoes also make the ankles and legs look longer and slimmer, so they have sold women a “bill or goods” to serve their own vanity. Not too long ago I saw a women coming out of a hospital walking across the parking lot wearing 6-inch stilettos. And you could tell by the way she was walking that she was suffering. I’m sure her “dogs” were killing her and that she slung those shoes in the back seat as soon as she got in her car. But she was “styling.” The ladies on The View also wear ridiculous shoes. I’ve seen Sherrie come out on stage wearing shoes so tall that her whole body was swayed to the side. You could read her face, “Lord, just get me to that seat over there.” And you could see the relief in her face when she finally sat down—taking the weight off “her dogs.”

But there are even greater problems with shoes called flip-flops. These shoes offer no foot or ankle support whatsoever. One mis-step and, just like me, your foot can get twisted under your own weight. I’ve seen folks walking about everywhere wearing flip flops, mostly to show off their fancy toe nail polish, in total disregard to just how much they are endangering their own foot health.

Women need to rebel against ridiculous shoes. We need to stop trying to be cute wearing shoes that have our heads up in the clouds. But, as they kids say, “I reckon that ain’t happening.” We will continue to flock to shoes that are “killing us.” As they say, when your “dogs are killing you,” it time to put on a sensible, more comfortable shoe. Protect “your dogs.”

Copyright 2012 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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