A hallux valgus, or bunion, is a bulge that appears on the side of the foot, where the big toe tilts toward the other toes and the first metatarsal bone points outward. Studies suggest that factors such as genetics may predispose some people to this condition, but it is believed that high heels and pointy shoes may either exacerbate the problem or accelerate its onset.
New research reveals that medieval fashion designers may have discovered this in its most difficult form. Dr Piers Mitchell, a professor at the University of Cambridge, who is a co-author on the study, said: ‘We were very fortunate to be studying a period of time when there was a clear change in shoe fashion, among samples Numerous study. People were wearing ridiculously pointed boots.”
Parsnip-like shoes were common in Britain in the 14th century, and they ended up being ridiculous lengths. According to the Museum of London, in 1394 a monk observed that some people wore shoes with pointed toes “half a yard long, so it was necessary to tie them to the leg with chains of silver so that they could walk in them”.
But this fashion has become controversial. In 1463, King Edward IV limited the length of the forefoot of anyone below the rank of lord to less than two inches in London “with the threat of punishment if not”.