This section is from the book "Smith's Family Physician", by William Henry Smith. See also: Natural Physician's Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies that Medical Doctors Don't Know.
In this affection the foot is flattened, its arch is sunk, and in bad cases the inner ankle almost touches the ground, and the patient walks with great pain and lameness. It depends upon a weakness and relaxation of the bones and ligaments. It is sure to be brought on if weakly children are put upon their legs too soon. It is more common amongst girls than boys, partly from their greater delicacy, partly because they are taught at an early age by ignorant teachers and dancing masters, that it is necessary for them to turn their feet out as much as possible, as the very first step towards elegance in dancing and walking. The new fashion of high-heeled boots, with the heels tapering almost to a point, has within the last year or two made fearful havoc with the ankles of the girls in Canada; You will scarcely see a decent pair of ankles in the streets, and the mothers must have little sense who will allow their daughters so to disfigure themselves.
-The patient should either wear lace-up boots of stout leather, coming high up the leg, with low heels; or else the ankles should be bandaged. In bad cases a piece of steel or whalebone may be fastened to the sole of the boot, and carried upwards to the middle of the inner side of the leg.