網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

you will be struck with the room that the foot really and most remarkably takes up in the length of the shoe. Such is the true dimension of the foot, and which each foot should take up every step of progression. In no other way will you obtain a correct estimate of this; and, from neglect of this rule of testing the fit of boot or shoe, so many people pay the penalty of having taken only short measure, as by sitting down to try on a shoe, instead of standing deliberately on one foot at a time whilst fitting. From the cramping of the toes, preventing their free spreading, by the common crabbed-shaped shoe, corns, callosities, and blisters take their wonted origin-by causing extra and gratuitous friction against the side and end of the shoe.

If people would but use their common sense, as they do on many other subjects, and get longer shoes and boots, with broader toes, they would not only save themselves pain and distress in walking--producing real lameness on going over anything else than a smooth ground, but, also their shoes would retain their proper shape much longer, and consequently, wear much longer too. The shoe may be then made

36. Narrow in the general length, and fine in the run, so as to clasp home the arch of the foot, supporting it in the hollow especially, which is a great relief, taking away much of the friction off the toes, so as to remove the corns by diminishing their cause. This we advance from long observation and personal experience. Discard, then, the absurdity of the present fashion ; have the shoe or boot made easy every way-long, broad-toed, and home to the arch of the foot, as the shoemaker would term it, and we vouch for it-the toes will do their duty cheerfully without ever complaining or hanging out sig. nals of distress, even after a long walk; and then pedestrian exertion will become, in reality, what nature intended it should be--a luxury common to all ! *

37. The Oxford' shoe, as it is called, lacing up the middle and over the instep, is the best of shoes, and has but one objection, viz., the frequent breaking of the lace or tape, or silk ribbon, which is worn for neatness to the sacrifice of strength; and this is most apt to occur, when most annoying, on the swelling of the foot in hard continued exercise. This apparently trivial accident has often been a practical illustration of the importance of "little things," as they are termed, and has frequently reminded our companions in a ramble, of poor Richard's terse couplet

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
For want of a shoe the horse was lost;
For want of a horse the rider was lost,

All for want of a horse-shoe nail.38. There is an improvement then to be introduced, and we find ready to hand, suggested by this very circumstance-viz., a return back again to the old buckle of our forefathers for a fastening, modified so as to present a less formidable appearance, and yet to give all the security needful. A flap or valve of leather gives an opening over the instep, whereby the shoe is slipped on, and fastens by a small tongue of leather on the outside of the shoe to the buckle alluded to. Such a plan effectually prevents any water getting inside the shoe, and will allow of a graduated adjustment to the swelling of the foot at the end of a day's walk-a fact not duly calculated for, and a reason why a Wellington boot, if fitting neatly at first, becomes inconveniently tight at the close of a “ long run." A boot may be excellent for riding, and, by the same rule, very prejudicial to the freer exercise of the foot in pedestrianism. The high heel is another bad arrangement for walking, which it were a waste of words to enter upon the demonstration of here-the body being thrown much too forward, the shoulders raised, and the strain thrown across the toes in dropping the foot on the ground, instead of being received by the natural heel in the first place. We have given a sketch of the kind of shoe in the adjoining figure, so that any one can get the shoe made from this idea. They were first introduced a year or two ago, by a shoemaker of the name of Smith, in Dublin. We have worn none other for some time past, except when riding on horseback, to which, however, they are not unsuited either: they will admit of spur, &c., being fitted, in either the box or strap kind. Another advantage of this kind of shoe over a Wellington or Blucher boot, is to be found in the fact, that, like an “ Oxford," they will be so easy when unbuckled as to form a slipper for the hour of repose ; at least, such is our experience. Further, they will admit evidently of being better adapted to be worn with comfort, along with any change of socks, from cotton or silk to woollen, &c. Our little etching is intended to shew this capacity.

* The artist who etched these accompanying spirited little illustrations has been accustomed all his former life to the broadpointed and long boot and shoe so universal on the Continent, where he was born and lived; he has loud complaints to enter against the present horrid narrow toes-he declares that he never knew what corus were until he lately made use of narrow. toed boots: he has himself walked, as a student, over the northern parts of Italy and Switzerland, and underwent great fatigues in the camp, both on horseback and on foot. Our own experience verifies the converse of this as well, for since using broad-toed and long shoes we lost our corns.

A great advantage in the foregoing recommendations about shoes is self-evident, viz., that whilst modelled on nature, in preference to working on mathematical principles, by which Gulliver's coat was cut out, the foot will be allowed to retain thereby unimpeded that elastic play and perfection of form which the Great Artificer of its exquisite multiform adaptations designed. The shoe so made will retain its shape to the last, if people would only take the pains to fulfil, by a little attention, the needful condition of setting their feet down evenly and steadily, preserving the due planes of the several parts of the foot, as they successively come in contact with the ground; instead of walking on the outside of their foot, which was not adapted exactly for that purpose ! Thé reason why this uncomfortable and careless habit is formed, is owing to the idle gait of turning the toes in instead of out, whereby the necessity of the case flings the weight of the body on the outside of the foot, thereby extending the base in order to obtain firmer support for the body. The only wonder is, that a whole regiment of corns are not formed there by the unnatural stress of friction and pressure. Another important result of this careless trick is the throwing out of shape of the inner ancle, and also of the outer, to the distortion ultimately of the whole ancle-joint unless timely rectified. We have indulged with a little “ pencilling by the way”; but the great discomfort of bad, heedless walking is too everyday an occurrence, and subject of general experience, to be a matter of 'trivial value to those who know the miseries of a crambling shoe, a cramped gait, and tender foot. Those who have suffered from these penalties will heed our humble suggestions: they who are well need not physic!

39. There is a new patent shoe come out lately, which professes to have a double recommendation, viz.,--that of impenetrability to damp, and of a power of absorbing the moisture within the shoe, by means of a preparation of horse hair placed between the soles of the shoe. They are called the Impilia Shoe and Boot. They may be worth a trial—though we don't credit every new puffed

article. We have not tried them ourselves yet, but will do.

40. We should say that two pair of easy, light-made buckle shoes, for bright weather, would be sufficient, with a pair of pumps, to put on in the evening. One of these latter will go snugly into a side pocket of your coat, with a sock turned inside out around it.

« 上一頁繼續 »