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The Sandal Scandal

Aired May 24, 2002 - 09:49   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: It's a sure sign of summer, toes. I'm talking about the carefully pedicured appendages that peer out of summer shoes, but listen closely, and you may hear those little piggies crying all the way home, while the sandals may look good, take it from me, they can hurt.

Here is how one newspaper reporter describes the experience: "Summer shoes are a De Sadean specialty: sex and torture. They're provocatively bare, often studded with buckles and cruelly crafted with straps and ridges to inflict pain on tender flesh unused to exposure."

A pretty extreme description, but not far from the truth. And joining us now this morning to discuss this sandal scandal, the Fashionista group, represented by Kristin Van Ogtrop, executive editor of "Glamour" magazine, and the podiatrist, Dr. Terri Walton.

Welcome to the two of you.


ZAHN: First things first, why do we put ourselves through this ridiculous procedure?

KRISTIN VAN OGTROP, EXEC. EDITOR, "GLAMOUR MAGAZINE": Well, because they're very pretty. In short. That's what my 7-year-old asked me as we were running to school last week, and he knows when mommy is in high heels, she can not run. When she's not in high heels, she can run. And he said, mom, why do you wear high heels? And I said, honey if you can answer that question.

Anyway, they're beautiful. High heels are sort of for the leg what a push-up bra is for you know what. And you know, no matter what your size, any size woman can put on incredibly beautiful, sort of strappy feminine pair of shoes and feel and look fantastic. So it's kind of the reveler.

ZAHN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ... is nodding in agreement, probably because you get a steady stream of customers that way.

TERRI WALTON, PODIATRIST: That's absolutely right.

ZAHN: We will put on-screen an X-ray image that I want you to talk us through to show what we really are doing to the bone structure of our foot.

What is this image on the left?

WALTON: The image on the left looks like it is just a regular foot.

ZAHN: So that's not being constricted by bad-sitting sandals?

WALTON: That's not being constricted by an ill-fitting shoe, because a sandal, frankly, would not eve cause the image on the right. The image on the right is a closed-in shoe that's very pointy, and you would not even get that same presentation with...

ZAHN: But does that given a idea of how compressed a foot can get in an ill-fitting shoe or sandal?

WALTON: In a shoe, but not a sandal, because a sandal would never be able to constrict the toes in the front that particular way, because the front of the shoe is totally closed in. And sandals are virtually always open at the toe.

ZAHN: Why don't we go through a little model by model exchange here and have the doctor weigh in on how stupid we would be to wear them.

VAN OGTROP: I'll start with the worst. This is what we sort of in the fashion world call a "dental floss" sandal.

ZAHN: Yes, there's nothing there.

VAN OGTROP: Right, nothing there. As you can see, it's very -- when you put it on, there's a lot of wobbling here. A lot of women have trouble with this. Now, you can get the heel cut down, which would help tremendously.

ZAHN: Yes, one lift or two, Like a little micro inch.

VAN OGTROP: You could get an inch taken off of that shoe, which would help.

WALTON: From a doctor's standpoint the biggest problem with this shoe is, one, there is going to be a lot of motion just like you said, because there is not a whole lot here, and there is not a whole lot to hold your foot stable. So the very -- the biggest problems that you would think about having would be sprained ankles, tendinitis, that kind of thing.

ZAHN: What about getting your knee blown out? I could never put on anything like that. It would be ridiculous.

WALTON: This is definitely shoe to avoid, because you are really, really risking any type of injury when you're walking because you're destabilizing yourself with a heel this high and a heel this narrow.

ZAHN: I'm going to try to get through all of this. I imagine this one isn't much better, although it's lower.

VAN OGTROP: It's not much better; it's lower. But again, the pointiness and the narrowness of the heel is really going to be your downfall here. It's not going to be able to stabilize you, and there's nothing to this shoe.

So if you've got any problems, this is definitely the shoe I would stay away from.

ZAHN: Let's go down to some of the lower samples here, where we're getting into more sensible territory, I think.

WALTON: Not really.

ZAHN: Maybe except for the red ones.

VAN OGTROP: Here's the situation with this one: This is a pretty expensive sandal, so it's quite high, as you can see. But the more expensive designers tend to have a greater awareness, at least from a consumer standpoint, of sort of what a women can balance in. So these are surprisingly comfortable, but again, you can get them cut off, and they're super, super high.

WALTON: These are super high. The strapping actually better because you've got some crisscrossing, which is going to stabilize the shoe a little bit better. The heel, again, is really narrow. So I'd go for the crisscrossing strapping this way, but I'd go for block or stockier heel, if you are talking everyday wear, daily sandal wear. This is really for an occasion. This is not an everyday -- this is a desert. This is not real.

VAN OGTROP: But for something like this, you can also practice. If you are wearing this to a wedding -- hey, fashion is important. If you are wearing these to a wedding, you know, walk around your apartment or your house for an hour a couple of nights a week for the wedding, and bring another pair with you.

WALTON: You can.

VAN OGTROP: And bring another pair with you.

ZAHN: I can not imagine buying a pair of shoes -- those actually make some sense, don't they?

WALTON: Those are fine.

VAN OGTROP: These are classic deck (ph) risers, made famous by Jackie O., who wore them to church. And they're incredibly comfortable and really fashionable right now, as they have been for years, and as you can see, Really low.

WALTON: And you can even go for a higher heel on this one. If it's this type of heel will. It's stocky. It's very square. It covers the entire back of the shoe. And if this heel were an inch or two inches higher, with the same kind of style, even a person with bad knee could wear this type of shoe.

ZAHN: But the bottom line is, you really are nutty to try to wear something like that, even though you wouldn't mind the business.

WALTON: You would be nutty to wear this. But again, these types of shoes -- this one and the red shoe -- these two are desserts. This is something for very special occasion on a rare time. But you would not do this every single day, walking back and forth to work and that kind of thing. This is not one of the things...

ZAHN: The things woman will do to their bodies.

Kristin, thanks for dropping by. Dr. Walton, thanks for joining us as well.

Look how sensible their feet are this morning. Maybe they will show close up of your shoes.

You're not going to have any foot problems there. You're not going to have to go to see the doctor. Have a good holiday.

WALTON: Thank you.

VAN OGTROP: Thank you.




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