Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 24, Tuesday, June 12, 2012



The physics of shoes

“While hurrying to meet her friends on the next floor of the shopping mall, she notices a gleam of red through the corner of her eyes. She's already late for the movies they are supposed to watch together but the sheer curiosity of turning around to see the source of the red overcomes the haste, because after all, it is coming from the shoe store.

Taking a few steps back and looking through the glass, it is love at first sight for her, if such a thing ever existed. A pair of red satin peep-toe stilettos nestled enticingly on a soft cushion set on folds of black satin to further enhance the luscious red with the spotlight shining bright above.

In spite of herself she goes into the store and asks to try on the shoes; after all she will just try them on. They fit her perfectly and when she wears them she towers above the shop assistant with those 5 inch heels at her feet. Taking them off she cannot bear to part with them as if they are her newborn babies.

Turning her back to them almost breaks her heart, but buying them would mean she would have little left for the rest of the month. She takes a few steps out of the store but she is pulled back by those shoes as if they have the power of silent hypnosis. Scouring her bag for every last penny, she manages to find just enough to pay for those beauties. It does not matter if she can not spend anymore for the rest of the month because her heart is content now with a pair of those red hypnotic monsters snug in a box just for her”.

This is the story of many a girl and as Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot”. However, in reality that man may actually owe women all around the world much more. While it is true that gorgeous high-heeled shoes are what a lot of girls and women love to sport, they do not come free of costs other than the monetary price one pays for them.

Those who have the habit of wearing high heels regularly have to pay the price through various physiological problems. It is common sense that the higher the heels the more out of alignment the foot will be. Anything higher than 2 inches, worn regularly, have the potential to cause problems by shortening the Achilles tendon leading to a condition called Achilles tendonitis.

High heels put abnormal pressure on the balls of the feet causing the ball to thin out resulting in acute pain that may become chronic. Plus if the feet hurt everything above the feet will be affected and the knees, back and hips will be stressed too.

Moreover, since the high-heeled shoes that women usually wear are at most times very tight-fitting, this may lead to bunions where the bone of the first toe is displaced causing the big toe to move toward the smaller ones and at times moving under/over the second toe.

Apart from this, high-heeled shoes, for some time now, have been considered to be, by experts, a possible cause of infertility. Shoes with over 3-inch heels impact a woman's posture by forcing the lower back outwards, causing a forward tilt in the pelvis.

With the pelvis at an awkward angle, the inner organs tend to get squished together in an unnatural manner. Some scientists believe this may cause some damage to the female reproductive system because this can slow down the gastric functions leading to menstrual dysfunction and ultimately impaired fertility.

The solution is to wear high heels sparingly, on special occasions, and take them off as soon as possible. Also avoid regular use of shoes that are both high and pointed since they can cause permanent deformity.

However, it would be completely wrong to see high-heeled shoes as the only kind of footwear responsible for any and every type of foot problem. Women in our country, especially university going girls and office going women, opt to wear flats, flip-flops and the now popular, ballerina flats. These can be as harmful as high heels. These shoes do not provide any arch support, lack cushioning and do not protect the foot making them prone to injuries. Troubles faced due to these shoes are scraped feet, strained ankles, chronic problems like tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Backless shoes are also troublesome since the toes start to grab the shoe for support contributing to hammertoes. Also, breaks in the skin and calluses are caused as the shoe constantly taps the heel.

Men wearing flat, open shoes and tight ill-fitting formal shoes to office everyday are faced with similar problems of bunions, corns, calluses or swollen feet.

One would think that all this would leave no choice of shoes to wear regularly but that is not so. For daily wear, wearing dressy flats or pumps with heels of 1-1.5 inches is ideal. While buying shoes pay attention to the heel as mentioned above, try and opt for thick heels as opposed to thin ones, saving these for special occasions only.

Look for stiff heel counters, the portion of the shoe which holds the heels in place at the sides and the back and prevents it from sliding around the shoe; as this supports the foot and maintains its positions as the shoe contacts the ground. The bottom of the shoe should be flat and be adequately cushioned. All this applies to both genders.

It is essential to take proper care of one's feet to remain mobile and the first step to healthy feet is to check one's shoes. Poorly designed shoes will lead to discomfort and more serious problems whereas, as mentioned above, supportive, cushiony and roomy shoes will result in prolonged foot health.

By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Star Lifestyle Archive

Extreme Adventure

The 11 temples of Abhayanagar

Location: Bhatpara, Abhayanagar, Jessore
Inside the deepest, muddiest and darkest roads of Jessore, right at the heart of Abhaynagar upazila, lies the village of Bhatpara. Therein lies a beautiful temple complex consisting of 11 temples dedicated to Lord Shiv. Although the temples are in a dilapidated state today, one can easily comprehend their grandeur, being once adorned with beautiful terracotta plaques.

Under the orders of Raja Nilkontho Rai, his dewan, Horiram Mitra, had built the 11 temples, as a dedication to Lord Shiv, between 1745 and 1764.

There is an interesting mythology connected to the construction of the 11 temples. According to the myth, the Raja did not have any children and had prayed to Shiv for a daughter. The Raja promised that if his wishes were fulfilled, he would wed his daughter to the God.

Shiv heard the Raja's calling and soon the Raja had a daughter. The daughter was named, “Abhaya” and from her came the name of the region, “Abhayanagar.” Bearing his promise in mind, the Raja wed his daughter to Shiv and the 11 temples were built as temple-house for the newly wedded couple. The story goes that Abhaya spent her days in the temple-house praying to Shiv and taking care of the structures, hoping to one day be reunited with him.

Getting there:
From Dhaka to Jessore:
One can either take a train to Jessore (costing Tk. 215 per person in the Shovon Chair class) or the bus (the Hanif bus costs Tk. 450 per person). If you are travelling on a Thursday, we definitely recommend the bus as the trains are usually packed!

We took the train on a Thursday and we had people falling on our laps during the journey. Oh and the humid stench in the air made matter worse. Both journeys have an approximate travel time of 8 hours.

From Jessore to Abhayanagar: Once you are in Jessore make your way to Monirhat bus station. You can take a rickshaw costing Tk. 15 per person. From Monirhat take a local bus heading towards Noapara and ask to be dropped off at Abhayanagar. The fare should be Tk. 30 per person.

From Abhayanagar to Bhatpara: From Abhayanagar we recommend you get on an auto heading towards Bhatpara. The fare is around Tk. 20 per person and you should tell the pilot to be dropped off by the river ghat. Cross the ghat via a boat (fare is Tk. 5 per person) and once on the other side, book a nosimon (the motorised vans) and tell them you want to go to the 11 Abhayanagar temples. We recommend you keep the transport because once you are deeper inside the village, getting a transport back can get tricky. Around 150 bucks for 2 hours should be a decent fare for the nosimon pilot.

Best time to visit: Avoid the rainy season. The road to the temple is mud laid and it can get very difficult to get there when it rains.

What to expect: Expect a hell lot of bats. The temples, left unattended, have become the home for hundreds of bats. The floors are filled with guano and beware, the closer you get to the temples, the higher the probability for you to be pee-ed on! Talk about bat-caves.

In your backpack: Water bottle, dry food, sanitiser, umbrella, glucose/saline and torchlight.

Nearby places to stay: The nearest decent place to stay is Hotel Hasan International in Jessore. Not your 3 star deluxe but you can get a double AC room here along with a commode toilet (not a pan is great news for many) for Tk. 600-800 a night.

Money matters: For a one day trip if you don't plan on staying the night, Tk. 1,500 should get you through the trip.

For photographers: Some terracotta plaques still remain so you want to take along your telephoto and macro lens along!

Adventure rating: The ideal scouting experience. 3.5 out of 5.0.

By Adnan M S Fakir
Photographs courtesy of Finding Bangladesh.Check them out at www.facebook.com/findingbangladesh

Check it out

Ena La Mode

Ena La Mode, a fashion house that specialises in shoes and bags made from local materials, is offering a 30 percent discount on their wares this summer. This discount can be availed at their various outlets in Dhaka and Chittagong up till June 25. The chief attraction of this fashion house is their sandals, shoes and bags for both men and women.

Ena La Mode outlets: Shop-13, 2nd floor, U.A.E Moitri Shopping Complex, Banani; Shop-7, Block-C, Level 2, Bashundhara City Shopping Mall; Shop-9, 3rd floor, Pink City Shopping Complex, Gulshan-2; Showroom: House-4, Road-12, Sector-6, Uttara; Shop-127 (1st floor), Nasirabad Afmi Plaza, Chittagong.

-- LS Desk


Check it out

Kay Kraft Summer Fest

Throughout June, country's leading fashion house Kay Kraft will showcase “Summer Fest 2012”.

The current hot, humid weather calls for a special change in your attires, be it in the selection of fabric or choosing the right cool hues, and KK offers you a wide assortment of products for just that.

There is a wide selection in hand-woven cotton, Bexi addi, voile and endi; the colour scheme is in soothing pink, sky blue, white, lemon, peach and violet. Floral prints and elements from a sheaf of paddy predominate in the designs.

If you are looking for saris, shalwar kameez sets, tops; maybe a fatua, T-shirt or a panjabi for men -- Kay Kraft is the place to be. Also available are a wide selection of children's wear.

Available at all Kay Kraft outlets.

Father's Day @ Rang

Keeping the coming Father's Day in mind, fashion house Rang has presented its collection catering to the needs of the season. From attires to gifts like mugs and CDs befitting the occasion, this is a one stop guide to your Father's Day needs.

Also available are Gift Vouchers worth Tk 500 -- 5000.

Daddy's Day Out

Dhaka Regency has organised a special offer to celebrate Father's Day this year. Hosting, in collaboration with renowned, tailoring brand Fit Elegance, the hotel has arranged for a special discount card to distribute to selected 'fathers' of the city, working in the corporate sector.

With a progressive discount policy, bearers of this card can enjoy larger discount rates depending on the services they avail. And since the card's validity has been stretched from June 15 to 30, 2012, multiple uses will be accepted at Grandiose Restaurant, Grill On The Skyline and Comfee Lounge of the hotel and all Fit Elegance city outlets.

Father's Day has just gotten more interesting! For more information, please call 01713332512.

Meril Baby Adore Gora Bhobishshot 2011

The 'Meril Baby Adore Gora Bhobishshot 2011' program initiated by Meril Baby, a brand of Square Toiletries Limited, concluded on Saturday, June 2, 2012 with a memorable award ceremony. The gala function and award declaration took place at the Grand Ballroom in Radisson Blu Water Garden. The first and second winners of the program were awarded with education insurances worth Tk. 10 lac and Tk. 5 lac respectively.

The theme of 'Meril Baby Adore Gora Bhobishshot 2011' was the adorable names mothers have for their children. Over a hundred and seventeen thousand mothers from all over the country sent SMS mentioning the names to participate in the program. Based on these submissions, the judges chose 100 lucky mothers to attend the gala round in Dhaka.

This was the seventh consecutive program held by Square Toiletries Limited.

The winner of the first prize (education insurance worth Tk. 10 lac) was Fahmida Binte Hasib from Daulatpur, Khulna and the winner of the second prize (education insurance worth Tk. 5 lac) was Tabassum Sajia from Symoli, Dhaka.

Check it out

Choosing the right exercise shoes

Cushioning: If you take classes such as step aerobics you will want gym shoes with some extra shock absorption in the forefoot and heel. When running the force through your shoes can be up to 3 times your body weight, however when you jump it can be as much as 5 times.

Flexibility: Freedom of movement is crucial when dancing or doing Pilates. Therefore you want a pair of gym shoes that are less rigid since freedom of movement is more important than added support or cushioning.

Stability: If you are doing an activity that involves a lot of lateral movement then consider trainers with slightly rounded outsoles. Also a lower profile trainer will be more stable. If you are strength training you want a firm and stable platform with just enough cushioning but not too much.

Weightlifting shoes: Gyms will not allow you to go barefoot, so we recommend the next best thing, and that is barefoot running shoes. Besides proper weightlifting shoes they are the next best thing.


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