Designs in insoles vary in philosophy. As consumers of mass-marketed products, we should tread lightly (excuse the pun) when we apply a force to our body. “The arch is hitting me in the wrong place” is a refrain heard often on the shoe showroom.
Some insole designers support the foot’s anatomy with a continuous, smooth surface that echoes the foot’s structure, albeit mass produced. Other designers add components, such as toe crests. What’s that? A toe crest is a ridge that runs across the insole, at the base of the toes. The ridge creates pressure that can be helpful in relieving pain caused by hammer, claw, and mallet toes. But for some complications and for some foot sizes, this concentrated pressure can be harmful.
Sarah Jessica Parker could overcome anything New York dished out. As Carrie Bradshaw, the star of “Sex And The City,” she epitomized the fresh outlook of a young, single, thinking woman in the Big Apple – overcoming adversity head-on with heart, loyalty to her friends and an allegiance to fashion.
But it was only a matter of time before mother knew best was right. Those high heels ground her long, lean gams to a painful halt. Like many other women, Ms. Parker will need to re-invent her sense of style, when, at nearly fifty years of age she has a lot more life in her, but her feet are done.
This is someone who has invested in herself. She is a seasoned actor, her body may be Pilates-trained. Her parents probably didn’t question the wisdom of providing proper dental care for their daughter. But her feet did not go the distance. Years of abuse from pounding the pavement with her feet in a permanent, hyper flexed position, squeezed into tight shoes, has forced her to just stop.
And the damage is probably not limited to the feet. The effects of years of self-imposed distortion run up the kinetic chain, causing contraction in the calf muscles, tensor stresses in the knees, right up through the hips and spine. The Faustian bargain for Ms. Parker is a lifetime of pain management in any activity that requires standing or walking.
|No, we’re not talking Club Med.
Few have passed by the Baroque relief sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in Rome known as “Ecstasy of St. Theresia,” without being affected by the human expression of relief, pleasure and submission in the face of St. Theresa.
For years, the Theresia M shoes and sandals delivered to countless women an amazing relief from pain. No one knows whether the divinity was in the soul (excuse the pun), the structure of the outersole, or the soft, supple and often adjustable uppers.
But these ladies’ relief was short lived because of a recent interruption of imports into the U.S. They are still sold in Europe. In the US, you can find them on E-Bay, the Find, Boston Pedorthic and a handful of local retailers while supplies last.