Your highest good
The sports physician and orthopedist Dr. Peter Baum and his clinic team have analysed and treated foot complaints and orthopaedic diseases of people from all over the world for more than 30 years. One of the most important findings: Even many women with already damaged feet wish they could continue to wear high heels.
Many women, when asked to bring their favorite shoes with them to the medical consultancy, bring their carefully looked after high heels. But the desire to "make them comfortable" by having them adjusted had to be disappointed time and again. Where does this deep-rooted love of high heels come from?
WHO WANTS TO BE BEAUTIFUL MUST SUFFER
Wearing high shoes not only maximizes a person's real height. The inevitably quite different, more deliberate way of standing upright, moving and walking in a more measured, feminine way radiates self-confidence, feminine appeal and greater authority both internally and externally. After all, as early as the 16th century, wearing shoes with heels was a characteristic of the nobility and therefore popular among wearers of rank and name. A beneficial optical illusion shortens feet, makes ankles appear slimmer and legs longer, "the butt slides up a bit and the bosom is better displayed" (Wilde, 2013). Shorter strides combine with increased hip rotation to create a swaying, more feminine gait. According to Morris, White, Morrison, and Fisher, the higher the shoes, the more attractive and erotic women appear (2012).
Yet we often only notice how important the shoe is when our feet start to hurt. If their function is disturbed, even the walk back from the opera to the parking garage can become a strain - and head, knee, hip and neck pain often come from feet that are out of balance. Careful shoe selection is therefore the best prophylaxis against pain and long term damage.
However, to understand how to maintain our mobility and foot health in the long term and what shoes we should wear, we must first understand how the foot is constructed and functions.
A total of 30 small bones form the human foot and together form 28 joints. In interaction with muscles, tendons and flexible ligaments, they enable the complex human movement sequences and at the same time serve as shock absorbers. The damping function is performed in particular by transverse and two longitudinal arches. If these are impaired, intervertebral discs in the back or cartilage in the hip and knee are subjected to greater stress.
The foot skeleton is divided into forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot. The largest bone in the foot is the heel bone, which is located in the hindfoot and to which the Achilles tendon is attached. Above the heel bone is the complex ankle joint, the upper part of which is responsible for propulsion and up-and-down movement when walking, while the lower part compensates for unevenness of the ground. The five metatarsals in the middle and front of the foot, together with associated tendons and muscles, form the anterior transverse arch. Despite their small size, the metatarsals bear the entire body weight at the moment of impact.
3-POINT AND 3-BRIDGE SUSPENSION
The healthy foot acts like a shock absorber due to its three contact points and its longitudinal and transverse arches. When standing, the load is distributed on the heel bone at the back and on the first and fifth metatarsal bones at the front. On impact, the longitudinal and transverse arches act like bridges, absorbing the body weight like shock absorbers.
The human foot arches are constructed like Roman arches. The cement is replaced by flexible muscles, tendons and ligaments. If you wear shoes that are too small or too big over the years, if you roll the wrong way when jogging, or if you don't train your foot muscles enough, the arches can slacken over time and painful overloads and deformities, such as splayfoot, can develop.
Stable, safe walking is not possible without consideration of the many foot axes.
The complexity of these is shown by a medical foot examination that generally has to keep a view of the following: 1. Arch shapes (under load). 2. Heel axis. 3. Ankle axis. 4. Forefoot position. 5. Toe position.
While the feet are usually directed 15-20 degrees outward in the supine position, the foot position while standing depends strongly on the femoral neck position and the knee rotation.
These axes and the changing dynamics of the foot under load must also be considered in the shoe lasts to enable perfect flex movement.
A mechanical flex movement of the feet allows body weight acting from above to be distributed evenly and successively over as many parts of the foot as possible. To do this, the longitudinal and transverse arches are used in turn– which looks like an S-shaped curve from above. Since there can be a load on impact of up to 16 times the weight, the S-shaped flex is fundamental to our ability to walk.
Walking on flat shoes starts with the standing phase, in which the heel of the foot is placed on the ground. The sole of the foot reaches the ground and increasingly takes over the body weight. The movement of the big toe joint ends the walk phase after rolling out via the outer edge of the foot. The movement process thus progresses in a wave shape via the outer edge of the sole to the ball of the little toe and from there laterally to the ball of the big toe and to the end of the big toe. The movement ends as the rear foot is lifted and there is a push off via the big toe.
During decades of close and trusting cooperation with the best orthopedic shoe technicians in Germany with regard to the individual fitting of ready-made shoes, we repeatedly encountered the limits of what is technically feasible. This led to the realization that only a shoe design that is already adapted to the foot in its basic conception promises a fundamental improvement.
CONSEQUENCES FOR THE SHOE
In order to maintain the functioning of the healthy foot as explained above, the following requirements for the good shoe arise:
- The connection between heel and sole must not be rigid and must only allow slight torsion
- There must be a joint-protecting damping on the heel on the heel impact.
- The foot-bed supports the maintenance of the body’s own longitudinal and transverse arches
- The heel must be strongly built
- The forefoot must have sufficiently broad and high space
- To prevent the foot from sliding forward during the push-off phase, the heel strike surface must be recessed. This is an essential component of the patented Maison Baum-shoe
- The cover sole must also prevent the foot from sliding forwards
- The heel impact surface must respect the physiological leg axis and must not be too small
- The three-phase roll-out movement via rear, middle and forefoot must be enabled. The physiological roll movement of the forefoot is particularly critical
- A soft embedding of the foot is essential
- The upper material must not constrict in order not to hinder microcirculation
A good shoe requires an overall concept. Gluing in a pad or gel pads does not solve the problem. To build a beautiful and comfortable home, you need more than a pickaxe and a shovel...
THE ultimate, good shoe for the foot does not exist. But you can do something good for your feet in many different ways. This includes regularly changing different types of shoes, foot gymnastics, foot care and walking barefoot, as well as fascia rolling and deliberate stretching of the Achilles tendon after prolonged wearing of high heels or longer periods of sitting.
Taking into account the above principles, Maison Baum-High Heels high heels give you the optimum walking conditions of flat shoes, but in a heel. You can find more information about our patented technology here.
A good shoe doesn't always have to be flat. Take a look at our models. If you wish, you can get personal and medically qualified consultation from Maison Baum.
See how we select the best materials for our anatomical requirements and seamlessly combine German technology, orthopedic technology and design here.