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Medieval people suffered for fashion with their extremely pointy shoes

the International Journal of Paleopathology
University of Cambridge
the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist
Church End
the College of Podiatry
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

Jennifer Ouellette
Jun 15
Piers Mitchell
Rowan Atkinson
Richard II
Charles V
Edward IV
Simon Mays
Cherry Hinton
Jenna Dittmar
Emma McConnachie

1388 English

the European Middle Ages



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Mays found evidence of bunions only with the later remains, "consistent with archaeological and historical evidence for a rise in popularity, during the late Medieval period (at least among the richer social classes), of narrow, pointed shoes which would have constricted the toes."The Cambridge team applied a similar osteological analysis to its own sampling of remains, since there is evidence that the medieval inhabitants of Cambridge also favored poulaine-tipped shoes by the late 14th century. The researchers also looked for evidence of fractures, with the objective of establishing a possible link between bunions and injury from falls.The results: 18 percent of all the skeletons the researchers examined showed evidence of hallux valgus. "However, in the 13th and 14th centuries, it was increasingly common for those in clerical orders in Britain to wear stylish clothes—a cause for concern among high-ranking church officials."As for evidence of fractures, the Cambridge team found that fractures consistent with falls were far more common in the remains of those with bunions than those without, as well as being more common in the remains of older people with hallux valgus than those of the same age with normal feet. So the high rate of fractures in the older samples could have had multiple contributing factors, not just falls caused by awkward, pointy-toed shoes."A narrow toe box can apply further pressure to the toes and push them into a different shape, much like wearing a corset," Emma McConnachie, a spokesperson for the College of Podiatry, told The Guardian.

As said here by Jennifer Ouellette