tends to produce dislocations of the bones and to weakening of the muscles. Doubtless much of the breaking down of girls at school may be traced to some such cause as this. Boys' shoes, on the other hand, generally have low heels and broad soles, and their wearers are relieved from the special suffering which too vain mothers allow to be inflicted on the feet of their daughters.
The evils to which women are subjected from the causes we have delineated do not stop with the sufferers who induce them upon themselves, but are transmitted to their children, an inheritance of acquired weakness and suffering.
Some specimens of the shoemaker's art are shown, to illustrate how far those artists are from adapting their work to what the feet require.
Fig. 17 is the sole of an old lady's shoe, custom-made, for the wearer, suffering from constant aching feet, wanted shoes cut for ease. The heel is correctly cut, but the soles are made convex, or not curved, as the dotted line indicates they should be, to the inner curve of the foot; the toes are narrowed, or rounded, turning the great-toe inward and cramping the rest, and they allow nothing whatever for the elongation of the foot, and would look like stuffed puddings when the feet were in them. They were cut of soft kid, but, except the low heel and the soft material, they had not a single merit. They were cut in exact contrariety to the shape of the feet, and did not bring about the relief that was sought for in them.
Fig. 18 is a sample of an improved cut of shoe for women and misses. These shoes are worn by a small minority at present. They
|Fig. 18.||Fig. 19.|
do not altogether escape the faults of other shoes; some are wedge-toed; in others the heel is too high; and oftentimes a fault in the sole wrenches or distorts the foot. The best grades of these shoes are too high in price for other than well-to-do people to enjoy them.