A blog devoted to sexy high heel shoes for women.

Monday, May 14, 2012

High heel shoe shapes: curves and the arch

Look at the regular curvature [yellow];
compare it with the shoe shape [dark blue]
and the slope [light blue]
The foot is so highly flexible that we tend to ignore it and apply pressure wrongly on its bones, joints, ligaments,tendons, pads, nerves, vessels and muscles. Then we blame the habit of wearing high heels for all our foot miseries.

It is not the high heels per se, but wearing wrong heels and in a wrong way is what mostly causes foot related problems. Wearing high heels that are not made keeping the foot’s anatomy and walk dynamics in mind can not only cause pain, it can hurt the foot [and also legs and back] badly and permanently. One way to avoid these is to buy shoes only from recognised manufacturers. Fakes are good so long as they are exact replica of the original; but can they be? Will they have high quality components? Will the material that is used in fakes and duplicates behave the same way as the material in the original, even if the shape and looks have been copied perfectly? The same goes for mass produced cheap shoes. They seldom care for finer elements of foot comfort. Even ‘custom-made’ shoes may not be too fine if the shoe-maker does not have a sense of the working of the human foot.

In this post, let me talk of one important aspect of high heel shoes – their curvature as seen from the side.
  • Do have a close look at the first figure in the drawing here. This is the generally accepted curvature for tall heels [2 inches and above]. The heel goes slightly inwards from top to bottom so that its base comes where the ‘center of gravity’ of the body falls when standing.  The shoe has a heel top with a low slope - followed by the main arch that is slightly convex and with a steeper slope. The front is nearly flat.  
  • The second figure shows a bigger toe space at the cost of the arch; this results in more pressure on the balls and arch of the foot as they are not supported from behind and under. 
  • Figures 3 and 4 show shoes with a flat heel top. This leads to a sharp bend of foot just in front of the ankle, leading to muscle cramps in the lower leg and pain in the heel. Such shoes are also not stable enough to walk. 
  • Figures 4 and 5 have concavity at the arch area, leading to improper support to the foot arch. 
  • The last figure shows a rather straight sloping shoe. This is seen usually in custom-made and mass produced shoes and wedges. Such shoes, even with a mid-level heel height, are not good for the foot as they constantly push the foot forward.
Another relevant consideration here. Foot shapes and sizes come in a wide range. They differ according to age and also differ among racial groups: Asian feet are usually broader and smaller while American feet are bigger, and so on.The arch also decides suitability of a particular type of curvature: flat feet, low arched and high arched feet - all need different levels of support at the arch area.

Like to see this earlier post on shoe design and comfort?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Superb article on shoe style. Excellent!\
Rita [Maria]