Women have been destroying their feet in the name of fashion since the beginning of time.
Chinese foot-binding lasted for centuries so that girls could possess the ideal lotus-shaped petite ped at just three inches long. European women taped up their feet so they could shove them into ill-fitting shoes.
Even the stepsisters in the Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella sliced up their feet to fit into the much-coveted glass slipper.
And while you’d hope our era would prove enlightened after such maiming and pain, there’s still much to be done when it comes to happy feet. In fact, according to a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association, a whopping 82 percent of women would sacrifice healthy feet for fashion.
Although there are hoards of fans of Carrie Bradshaw and the gang in Sex and the City around the world, they’d likely be among the first to agree the oh-so-stylish New Yorkers probably didn’t help the plight of comfortable women’s footwear.
Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins are all stunning works of art. Those designers often furnish the pièce de résistance for a truly chic ensemble.
Nevertheless, those works of art not only put a hefty dent in the pocketbook but are also capable of doing some damage to your dogs.
Indeed, some of those well-heeled choices come with some very unattractive consequences, such as ingrown toenails and hammertoes. Anyone remember Eddie Murphy’s horrified reaction to a beautiful woman’s tortured feet out of pumps in Boomerang?
Podiatrists believe pumps with heels taller than two inches are medically unsound. They suggest wearing “walking” pumps for work and social activities to avoid postural or safety issues. And when you don’t need to dress up, doctors encourage wearing a shoe more suited to podiatric health.
Thankfully, shoes blending fashion and comfort are more available than before. One such example is Birkenstock of Encinitas in the Lumberyard.
In honor of its recently expanded Encinitas store, Birkenstock of San Diego declared April grand reopening month, according to an article in Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune. Located in the Lumberyard for 15 years, Birkenstock of Encinitas has doubled in size and offerings.
While some who hear “Birkenstock” may think of activist college students touting peace signs and philosophic ideals, the company has actually branched out to include alternatives for the more stylishly minded.
Birkenstock at the Lumberyard will celebrate its grand reopening April 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. In addition to the usual fete accompaniments, Birkenstock will also host specials on shoes that will please both you and your tootsies.
Birkenstock of San Diego is a small family operation that has been around since September 1976. Although it began with Birkenstock sandals, the store now features hundreds of different styles from more than 30 manufacturers. In addition to Birkenstocks, the store has Birki’s, Ahnu, OluKai, Earth, Minnetonka, Simple, UGG Australia and Vibram FiveFingers. Birkenstock also sells brands that have been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association’s seal of approval, such as Injinji and Merrell.
Even a short stop at the store shows just how passionate Birkenstock devotees are about their brand. Birkenstock employees aren’t afraid to walk the walk while talking the talk, thanks to a wide variety of comfy shoes—anyone who’s ever worked in sales will tell you good shoes are a must when it comes to surviving a long day on the floor.
There’s no doubt that putting your best foot forward is important to first, second and umpteenth impressions. But footwear smarts easily translates into boardroom brilliance when thinking on your feet doesn’t hurt quite so much.