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excursions by recommendations about the nature and selection of shoes. He says, “ If any one intends to make a long tour on foot, it is necessary to take some precautions. I need not say that English shoes are the best. I do not mean new shoes, but those of which the upper leathers are good and soft, and have been worn to fit the shape of the foot. To such a pair of shoes let an additional sole be put, with small nails at the toes and sides, care being taken that the heel be not either too high or too heavy. Let them be laced a short way up the instep, and of a size to allow the foot to sit easy without being loose, when a woollen stocking is on. Of these strong shoes have two pairs, and a third pair, not of such strong material, to be worn when you come to the end of your journey."
The author of the "Art of Preserving the Feet” thus expresses himself, by opening his remarks with a philippic, which will serve to show those readers whose attention has been little given to the claims of utility and comfort over fashionable tyranny, what reflection elicits. He says:-“ Fashion, it must be confessed, reigns too often with sovereign sway, sacrificing to its dictates, to its caprices, not only ease of motion, but even firmness of position, whether walking, dancing, or riding. The slaves of fashion may smile at these re. bellious sentiments- let them smile and suffer!
“In the first place, then, let all persons troubled with corns, whether proceeding from constitutional bias or from exterior or temporary causes, avoid sharp-pointed shoes or boots, or which are too tight over the toes. Let the shoe be, as nearly as possible, fitted to the shape of the foot; and the upper parts formed of soft, supple, and well-tanned leather. This latter caution is of vital importance at the present day, when rapid chymical processes have been substituted for the ancient system of
bark tanning ; in consequence of which, the leather is not only pervious to damp, but often also acquires hardness and wrinkles, that are extremely pernicious to the foot of the wearer. If shoes of well-tanned leather cannot be procured, they ought to be well oiled at repeated intervals, not only to fill up the pores of the leather, but also to soften any asperities that may arise from contraction through wet, &c. Even the best tanned leather will become hard and unpliable, especially in the dirty weather of winter, if, when covered with mud or dirt, they are thrown by for the night without cleaning, or perhaps laid aside and forgotten by careless servants.
" To sportsmen, whether in the fishing or shooting seasons, these hints will be extremely useful. Many persons have had reason to date their corns from fishing parties on the Wye, or shooting excursions on the moors, when sport was the only object in view, and the nonnecessity for a spruce appearance operated so as to prevent sometimes the usual attention to neatness in all parts of the dress. At the time, these consequences were not thought of; but the sufferer has afterwards recollected his shoes that were suffered to grow hard whilst drying, and the pain and difficulty which he experienced in pulling them on hastily, whilst the pointers were at the door, or his brother fishermen were calling him to the river's side.
“ An extraordinary harshness is often imparted, even to the best leather, in the winter season, by an injudicious use of the fire, for the purpose of warming the feet
- a thing that ought to be sedulously avoided, for other reasons also which shall be explained when we come to speak of chilblains."
He then follows up his remarks by shewing that friction is more the cause of corns and callosities on the feet
than pressure ; and that pumice-stone or sand-paper will often counteract the incipient stages of these. Wet shoes should be wiped well and greased overnight.
34. If any individual, so advanced in years as to feel a prejudice in favour of the old plan of wearing straight shoes, should, on casting his eye over these pages, feel inclined to inquire why they have so long since been exploded by a supposed mere dictum of fashion in favour of ic rights and lefts"; we may as well pause a moment to assure any such reader, that if merely because of the caprice of a fashion they are disused, the matter might still be left a question, and every one might innocently follow their own fashion ; but that there is a good and sufficient reason, the words of another, and a concluding quotation from our old friend, may be better evidence than our own. “It is well known that the size of the two feet is never precisely the same ; if, therefore, a person shifts his shoes from foot to foot daily, it must always happen that the largest foot, every other day, will be exposed to a greater pressure than usual in some specific part, and therefore will there acquire a greater tendency to disease. Where the length of the shoes differ, this disease (bunnion) is more likely to arise than when they are merely too tight across the toes."'+
35. It is a far greater comfort than will be generally credited, to have boots and shoes made fully an inch longer than the foot ; and, moreover, with very broad toes, which will allow all the toes to expand with requisite freedom and ease; and to yield to the pressure of the whole body, producing consequent elongation of the foot. You can only justly appreciate the actual amount of this lengthening out of the foot, by standing on one leg, when
† Art of Preserving the Feet, &c. 3rd Edit. Colburn, London. 1818.