Fashion for pointy shoes unleashed plague of bunions in medieval Britain

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Sumary of Fashion for pointy shoes unleashed plague of bunions in medieval Britain:

  • The British have suffered for their fashion for centuries according to a new study suggesting that a vogue for shoes with a pointed tip led to a sharp increase in hallux valgus of the big toe — often called bunions — in the late medieval period..
  • While various factors can predispose someone to bunions, from genetics to muscle imbalance, by far the most common contemporary cause is constrictive boots and shoes..
  • “The 14th century brought an abundance of new styles of dress and footwear in a wide range of fabrics and colours..
  • “We investigated the changes that occurred between the high and late medieval periods, and realized that the increase in hallux valgus over time must have been due to the introduction of these new footwear styles,”.
  • “We think of bunions as being a modern problem but this work shows it was actually one of the more common conditions to have affected medieval adults.”.
  • Only 3% of the rural cemetery showed signs, 10% of the parish graveyard (which mainly held the working poor), creeping up to 23% of those on the hospital site..
  • “Rules for the attire of Augustinian friars included footwear that was ‘black and fastened by a thong at the ankle’, commensurate with a lifestyle of worship and poverty,”.
  • “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.”…

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