I almost recycled the Footsmart catalog without looking at it, when the phrase “lower body health” caught my eye. For a lot of us women, the area below the waist covers a lot of ground. For some of us, portions that had once been in the top half have changed allegiances. And if this catalog can keep all that territory healthy, it’s worth a look.
Turns out it’s a catalog of shoes, but not just any shoes: shoes that solve problems. Hey, if I can palm off any personal maintenance duties on my clothing, I will. Gone are the days a cobbler smacked out a leather last and made it do for both feet. Today’s shoes can straighten you up, massage your toes, take the stink out, remember the grocery list and change the channel. The cushiony ones will walk to the store for you. Distribute your body’s weight evenly no matter how much porkier one side is than the other. Sense you are about to tip over and fling you back upright again. There are inserts and pads and mesh. One pair will give you two paid sick days after the first six months of wear. Many offer arch support, and others encourage the arch to make it on its own. Some even breathe.
They’ve got flip-flops that, instead of having one annoying bit of rubber between the toes, annoy all
five equally. Has your heart quit beating? No problem. If your blood puddles up around your feet, they’ve got socks that will spank it back up. If you pronate, supinate, or procrastinate, there’s a shoe here for you. Do you have Morton’s Neuroma, described as a stinging sensation between the piggy that had roast beef and the piggy that had none, and caused by wearing high heels? Are you unwilling to trade in your fuck-me pumps for pass-the-potato-chips flats? You don’t have to. They’ll sell you inserts filled with goo, and a little hit of Oxycontin is released with each step so you can keep those sassy stilts on. Your feet will be so happy your ovaries will unionize for better conditions. Diabetes, arthritis, bunions, calluses, hammertoes, and borderline personality disorder will all succumb to the right pair of shoes.
The catalog got so much traction from its magic shoe technology that it careened into the magic underwear business in the back pages. And here is where the engineering truly shines. Here we are
introduced to enough stays, bones, gussets, wires, splints, and armatures to completely eliminate the need for your own skeleton, or the muscles to operate it. And it’s all thanks to the same innovative technology that made the boneless chicken industry possible.
A generous crisscross strap vest with power mesh helps your posture. “Just the slightest pressure reminds you to stand up straight,” the product claims. (Their spike-studded pajamas are already credited with converting much of America to side-sleeping.) The vest, it is noted, can be worn inside or outside the clothing. We assume the Queen is not on the mailing list.
And, in a major breakthrough, the Glamorise full-figure soft cup bra manages to be supportive without using underwires. It does, however, have reinforced side panels with “gentle bones” harvested from your smaller vertebrates. I’m getting one. It comes in a 32-hamster all the way up to a 44-double-marmot.