Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not Buying It: Cosmetic Toe Amputation

In an Idependent article on superhigh heels for fall, the writer casually refers to cosmetic toe amputation surgery.  This was the first I'd heard.  But upon investigation it seems to be somewhat of an urban myth.  There is a surgery (I'll spare you the details) that reduces the size of the second-to-last toe (the ring toe?) but I can't find anyone who as actually had a toe removed for the sake of shoes.

I enjoy heels.  Living in the city, I walk a lot so I am usually in a reasonable heel.  Years ago, I wore whatever shoe I wanted and carried extra flats everywhere, but that got tedious.  Now my default for the everyday is about two inches.  Boots in the fall and winter, and often a wedge for summer days.  I especially like a wedge in tan or beige and think most girls should own one; they make your legs go on forever.   Of course I go higher and fancier at night.  My favorites this year were a pair of four and a half inch, brown suede strappy stilettos by Tara Subkoff.  Surprisingly comfortable for what they are.  But I can walk all day in a two-inch heel.  I ride my bicycle in two-inch heels.

A few months ago, I suddenly took up running.  I was instantly addicted and went out everyday to Prospect Park near my apartment, where there is a three mile loop.  I loved being out in the trees everyday and just alternated walking/jogging/running, running further each day.  For about two weeks.  One day my knee felt just slightly off.  No big deal, I thought.  In fact it was surprising that I hadn't had any aches or pain until that day considering my former tree-sloth status.  I just ran slow the rest of the way, and then woke up the next morning barely able to walk.  I iced and Motrined for almost a week before seeking actual medical guidance.  It was called a tracking injury.  Have I mentioned that I live in a fourth floor walkup?

I tried my usual wedges after just a few days, certain that if I just stopped coddling my knee it would be fine.  It wasn't.  As hailed a cab home, I looked down at my leg and it suddenly seemed like a brittle little branch about to snap.  So then I wore the gold ballet flats I had around for a month.  I'm all for ballet flats as a wardrobe staple, and I think they are very cute, but as I winced my way through the West Village in them one afternoon, I knew what I had to do.  I went into some stylish-yet-ergonomic shoe store and bought Birkenstocks.  I used to wear them as a crunchy teenager and remembered them as feeling like clay molded to my foot.  The other options were all those brands that angle your foot so that you're always walking slightly uphill, but I didn't think aggravating a new set of tendons was the answer.  The ones I chose were the fanciest ones.  In fact when I just went to their site to show you this image, they were described as "a formal look in silver."  That is really pushing it, but I was cured in days.

They took some getting used to visually.  Everytime I looked down I was surprised at how wide my feet looked.  I shrugged.  My summer look had become Space-Age Cavegirl.  

The shoes in the top photo are Armani and they wish they belonged to me.

[Independent via Jezebel]