Here’s another one of those delightful articles from yesteryear, designed to demonize bare feet.
It’s from 1959.
The article is part of a syndicated column by somebody named Josephine Lowman. It guess it’s rather telling that it appeared on the “Homemaker’s Page”, though in other newspapers it was labeled under the title “Why Grow Old?”
Regular readers here will recognize all the standard stupid excuses. We need a drinking game.
Here goes. (I’ve emphasized one particular sentence that really jumped out at me.)
Going Barefooted May Be Fun, But It’s Dangerous
We always think of home as a safe place to be, but actually it is one of the most dangerous spots. Also, judging by reports, there must be more barefooted gals in homes than in the mountains.
Out of approximately 9,700,000 accidents which occur in the United States during a year, about 4,250,000 take place in the home. Most of these involve the feet.
Doctor Herman Sonderling, dean of the Maurice J. Lewi College of Podiatry in New York City, warns against both bare feet and the habit of padding about the house in soft slippers or old “beat up” shoes.
First, the barefooted or poorly shod woman is more accident prone than the one who is well heeled. As Doctor Sonderling points out, she exposes herself to accidents from climbing on kitchen ladders, stools and chairs. Her bare feet are exposed to splinters, bruised arches; her stance is unsteady when reaching and there is always the chance that she may drop a can on her foot.
[Photo and Caption from the article.]
Also there is danger of slipping on waxed or wet floors. A busy housewife has hundreds of opportunities to stub her toes, chip or split her nails, causing deformities or thickening of the nails. The chances of infection are legion. Tacks, nails, splinters, sharp-edged toys or tools, can start an infection.
Of course from the esthetic standpoint the woman in the home is much more attractive in shoes. I myself never have seen but two pairs of pretty feet in my life.
From the standpoint of foot health Doctor Sonderling says the barefoot, poorly shod habit is bad. He feels that walking for short periods on soft earth will strengthen foot muscles but that walking on hard surfaces is a different matter.
Our feet need protection from the shock of walking. It is true that primitive man went without shoes but he walked on the ground and years of practice toughened his feet.
Doctor Sonderling points out that the arch of the foot is a triangle and needs a base for support. That base should be a firm shoe sole. Without this the triangle may collapse under body weight and up and down motion of the legs and body when walking.
A leather base is prescribed to keep, the arch from weakening and leather uppers hold the foot in its proper shape, supply support and yet “give” comfortably without movements.
* * *
If you would like to have my leaflet “Take Care of Your Feet’ send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request for leaflet No. 14. Address Josephine Lowman in care of this newspaper.
Tomorrow: “She Loses Extra Pounds But Still Has Flabby Thighs.” (Released by The Register and Tribune Syndicate, 1959)
I guess that last paragraph really says all we need to know about the trustworthiness of this article.
Oh, and “I myself never have seen but two pairs of pretty feet in my life.” You don’t suppose that’s because all those feet were ruined by wearing shoes, do you?