Painfully fashionable : The consequences of wearing pointy shoes in medieval England [study]

It’s known that if you wear overly pointy shoes for long periods, you’re likely to damage your feet How long has this been going on? Was it prevalent in, say, medieval Cambridge, UK? To find out, researchers examined the human remains of 177 adult individuals (11th > 15th century) from four cemeteries located in Cambridge, […]

Wearing High Heels as Female Mating Strategy [research study]

Comes a major advance, possibly, in the understanding of why some women wear high heeled shoes. A new study presents details: “Wearing High Heels as Female Mating Strategy,” Pavol Prokop and Jana Švancárová, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 152, January 2020, 109558. The authors, at Comenius University and at the Slovak Academy of Science, Slovakia, […]

In search of Flensmark (of high-heels and schizophrenia fame)

The NeuroSkeptic blog reports: Neuroscience’s Shoe Saga If you delve into the wildest depths of the scientific literature, you will find a trilogy of papers so weird, that they have become legendary. In these articles, spanning a 12 year period, author Jarl Flensmark says that heeled shoes cause mental illness, while flat footwear promotes brain […]

Shoe concealments of yore – a recent study

Builders and archaeologists sometimes comes across old shoes (usually just one of a pair*) which have been deliberately hidden in inaccessible places in the fabric of old buildings. Under floorboards, behind bricked-up fireplaces etc etc. But why were they put there? A number of scholars have provided possible answers . . . The most recent […]

The Meaning of Shoes—Specifically, of the Word “Shoes”

Shoes can be meaningful, sure. The word “shoes” is full of meaning, as are words for particular varieties of shoe. This study tries to make that clear: “A Look at the World Through a Word ‘Shoes’: A Componential Analysis of Meaning,” Miftahush Shalihah, Journal of Language and Literature, vol. 15, no. 1, 2015, pp. 81-90. […]

Why women wear high heels (new study)

“Despite the widespread use of high-heeled footwear in both developing and modernized societies, we lack an understanding of this behavioral phenomenon at both proximate and distal levels of explanation.” Prompting the development a new (experimentally-tested) hypothesis by David M. G. Lewis, Eric M. Russell, Laith Al-Shawaf, Vivian Ta, Zeynep Senveli, William Ickes and David M. […]

A telling typo: High Hell Shoes

A typographical error, like a Freudian slip, can sometimes reveal a hidden truth. An example — the phrase “high hell shoes” — appears in this medical study: “Evaluation of the influence of low and high heel shoes on erector spine muscle bioelectrical activity assessed at baseline and during movement,” Anna Mika, Łukasz Oleksy, Edyta Mikołajczyk, Anna Marchewka, […]

The Tradition of Shoe-Throwing at Weddings

Shoe-throwing may now be mostly a political act. But not long ago, it was a common rite of marriage, writes James Crombie of Aberdeen, who has gathered some matrimonial footwear-hurling facts into a 24-page treatise called Shoe-Throwing at Weddings. This was in 1895, when readers may have empathised with Crombie’s opening thought: “Pelting a bride […]