Next place your shoe on a piece of paper and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the shape of the shoe and lay it over your pedigraph to see if the shoe is the right size and shape for your foot.
The Heels on Your Shoes. - Nature did not intend that you should walk on high heels or she would have provided you with a foot that had the heel already attached. High heels throw the whole body out of its natural position, often causing headache and backache. It is impossible to walk properly on high heels. Watch people as they walk down the street and try to tell whether they are wearing high heels before you look at their heels. Imagine an athlete trying to win a race or play football in high heeled shoes. Doctors find that people who have worn high heels for a number of years have muscles and cords in the back of the legs which have become shortened. For these people it is painful to try wearing low heeled shoes and the change to low heels should be made gradually so that the muscles may be permitted to lengthen out gradually. These people often claim that it is necessary for them to wear high heels because they have such high insteps. As a matter of fact it is not because they have such high insteps, but because the muscles and cords have become shortened by the continued wearing of high heels. Some women are prevented from playing golf and tennis because they can not wear low heeled shoes and high heeled shoes are not permitted on the tennis courts and golf links.
Another point in favor of low heels is that they are broad, whereas many of the high heels are so small at the bottom that they do not give a firm support, permitting the foot to wobble.
Notice the size of the heel of the shoe as compared with the heel of the foot in Picture 2 of Fig. 37. If you are going to be a healthy, up-to-date girl you will continue to wear low heels. Little boys and girls are never given high heeled shoes to wear because it would be considered entirely inappropriate. As boys grow older it never occurs to them that they should wear high-heeled shoes because it would be an unnatural and uncomfortable way for them to dress their feet. As girls grow up, many of them feel it is necessary to begin wearing high heeled shoes. Does it not seem strange that they think this is necessary? What could have happened to their feet that does not happen to boys' feet? It is not likely that they could have suddenly developed a kind of foot that requires high heeled shoes.
Notice in Fig. 38 how the bones of the foot are thrown out of their natural position in the high heeled shoe. Can you feel these bones in your foot?
Harmful Effects of Wrong Shoes. - The injurious effects of wearing the wrong kind of shoes is greater than we realize. High heels cause one to stand incorrectly with the body tilted forward and this in turn causes the many ailments mentioned before. Some physicians say that very serious illnesses can be traced to the wearing of high heels.
One most common ailment resulting from the wearing of the wrong shoes is the "fallen arch." Fig. 39 shows what happens in the case of the fallen arch. The ligaments have become weakened and let the bony arch of the foot flatten out. This is an exceedingly painful thing to have happen and every girl should do her utmost to prevent it. Sometimes it is so serious that walking is impossible for a time. Refer to your pedigraph and find out if your feet are normal. Fig. 40 shows the pedigraph of a normal foot, the pedigraph of a foot with a partially fallen arch and a flat foot.
What-To-Wear Club. - Some classes find it interesting while they are studying about clothing to form a club which they call a "What-To-Wear Club." If you do not have time to meet outside school hours, perhaps you can hold your club meetings during regular class periods. After they have elected officers it is the business of the club to make rules about the kind of clothing that they will all agree to wear. If members of your class desire to form such a club you can begin by making rules about the kind of shoes to wear. Then as we study stockings and other clothing we can add more rules from time to time. The principal of your school or the dean of girls, if you have one, will gladly help you with your club. You might call the club the W. T. W. Club and make a monogram of the letters. It will be fun to have a club contest about slogans for shoes. For example, some slogans that have been used are "Low heels and good health "and" A shoe that is right is never too tight."Your slogans might make good ideas for posters for health week.
How Stockings May Be Harmful. - Some of the things that are true of how shoes may injure the feet when not properly fitted, are also true of stockings. If the stocking is too short it causes the toes to push backward and may produce ingrown toe nails, corns, bunions, or trouble with the arch of the foot. If the stocking is too long it wrinkles and rubs the skin of the foot, often causing blisters. Have you ever had a blister on your foot caused by a wrinkle in your stocking?