Podiatrists and foot experts report that bunions, hammer toe and fallen arches are most common among women due to the shoes we wear. Towering heels that pinch the toes are almost guaranteed to exacerbate foot conditions, so a new fashion trend among men suggests that dudes should start investing in bunion splints and orthotics.
According to The New York Times, men are getting in on the high heel action, and not just drag queens, either. Reporter Tricia Romano visited a number of clubs and parties to gain more insight into the trend.
She encountered one man who paired his black tank top and pants with a pair of neon green lace-up stiletto ankle boots. Another pair of guys were sporting simple white button-up shirts with dark gray dress pants, with one finishing off his look with black leather booties and the other choosing some simple peep-toes. A more high-end party-goer chose a pair of $1,395 Imperiale stiletto ankle boots to add even more flair to his ensemble of a motorcycle jacket, black jeans and a skinny tie.
These decidedly masculine outfits suggest that the drive behind the trend is not to look like women, but to gain some of the benefits that the ladies have been enjoying over the years thanks to a wide array of choices when it comes to footwear.
"It’s a power thing. You’re higher than everybody else. You make more sound. You walk a different way. It makes your legs look better," said Los Angeles party planner Gregory Alexander, quoted by the news source.
The Times article suggests that this is not merely a fleeting fad, but the re-emergence of what was once a popular men's fashion. For instance, Louis XVI apparently had a penchant for 5-inch heels decorated with battle scenes. That is, until Napoleon ruined all of the fun by banning the footwear. (Sounds like someone had a bit of a complex about his height.)
ABC News also reported on the trend, saying that it's about men becoming more comfortable with their feminine sides. However, the news source reported that this may soon be outweighed by the discomfort of the binding footwear.
"Once they dig their feet into a pair of six-inchers and realize how incredibly awkward it feels, I think most guys will run back to flats," said Village Voice writer Michael Musto, quoted by the news source.
Luckily for today's trendy dudes, bunion splints or orthotics may help correct any deformities that may occur as a result of staying on top of the latest fashions.