oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Anatomical deformations due to footwear in Zimbabwe

Volume 34, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



One hundred consecutive mineworkers presenting for statutory pneumoconiosis medical examination had their feet examined. Only 25 of these were deemed to have normal feet. Fifteen had severe deformities of the toes with clawing, resulting in painful corns on the angles of the toes and calluses under the metatarsal heads. Most of these, were ascribed by the subjects to shoes worn in childhood, and were consistent with early wearing of shoes too short for growing feet. Fifty-six had lesser deformities which appeared to be due to footwear too narrow for their feet. The deformities were, for the most part, characterized by corns on the lateral aspects of their first and fifth toes, and to a lesser extent 'bunions', with or without hallux deviation. The impression was that broad feet, previously unencumbered by footwear, had been compressed into narrow fitting boots. Part of the problem appears to stem from selfimage, in which smaller feet are preferable, but the major causes appear to be the use of inappropriate lasts, and careless sales or issues by untrained salesmen or industrial storemen.

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