Saturday, June 23, 2018

Down on your heel? Try Grand Prix Shoes

If you are ever thinking about getting a loved one that special gift and you have not been able to find something for the person with everything, and then try a pair of shoes made from car tyres used by Formula One aces, like; Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and David Coultard. Old Formula One tyres have been snapped up and made into soles for shoes and boots. Each shoe is stamped with a code to identify the team and driver and footwear are sold with certificates guaranteeing authentication. These popular novelties now retail at $200 per pair and according to the manufacturer still retain the original tar and debris from the track.

(Video Courtesy: comunidademoda Youtube Channel)

Naomi Campbell of the famous fall in Vivian Westwood’s platforms should take note and get herself a pair of Grand Prix shoes because according to podiatrists, her painful bunions, revealed in TV commercials, have been caused by wearing high fashion shoes. Absolute nonsense, of course, but there are no problem bunions for Uma Thurman, caught dancing barefoot in Pulp Fiction.

(Video Courtesy: manetaki Youtube Channel)

The potential dangers of wearing ill- fitting footwear were put to the test when a convicted robber attempted to sue the British Home Office for making him wear ill-fitting shoes during his incarnation. Despite his unusually wide feet he was ordered to wear standard prison issue shoes. This, he claimed, caused corns, deformed nails, hammer toes and blisters. During the three years he wore them he had two foot operations as well as regular visits to the prison podiatrist. Unfortunately, the case was thrown out of court on the basis of insufficient proof. I wonder what they would have done with Robert Wadlow who at 8ft 11 ins tall had shoes which were 37AA.

Research from Holland indicates mosquitos prefer the feet and lower leg. One theory is sweaty skins contain corynerform bacteria which attracts the insects. Cornynerform bacteria gives Limburger cheese its distinctive smell and there is a nasty rumour the popular cheese was developed because dairy workers used to sweat over their labours. Makes you wonder what future generations will miss now these industries have become so scrupulously cleaned up.

Nikita Krushchev, allegedly had a very famous tantrum at the United Nations General Assembly in 1960. The Soviet Leader was reported to have removed his shoe and banged it loudly on the table for effect. This was caught by the television cameras and broadcast across the world. The famous shoe featured, forty-five years later, in a travelling exhibition. Some controversy surrounds the prime exhibit with claims it is not the original shoe.

Krushchev actually wore sandals on the eventful day and merely had his shoes handy at the ’life changing moment’. One cannot help wonder with today’s security if anyone in the auditorium could carry and extra pair of shoes. Historians believe the Soviet Premier’s outburst endeared him to the West and although it was not appreciated back in Russia, ‘shoe banging’ may have secured a long and safe retirement for Nikita Krushchev.

Irish-American Humphrey O'Sullivan was a young printer in Lowell, Massachusetts. He walked on a stone floor while feeding a printing press, and to ease his footsteps, he bought a rubber mat on which to stand. His fellow employees kept "borrowing" the mat, and after his wife complained of “rubber skid marks” on the bed sheets he cut out two pieces of the mat the size of his heels and nailed them to his shoes. They were so comfortable he patented the idea in 1899 and made an absolute fortune. After his death his considerable wealth was bequeathed to the "Save the Ferrets Foundation" because as he said in his will, "his family was a bunch of loafers." I am sure they could all find an alternative meaning to Grand Prix Shoes.

A correspondent asked what ‘heel plates“ were. These are snags or metal cap protectors worn on the shoe heel to prevent excessive wear caused when the heel contacts the ground.

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