Kathy Vanderlinden has collected a closetful of fascinating information about the physical foot, foot fashion, foot fetishism, and other aspects of that part of the body so many of us hate. Physically, our feet are unsung heroes, absorbing some five million pounds of pressure per day as they do their job of carting us around. Then there is the giddy pleasure, the lust, the allure, the therapeutic value of shoes for the shoe lover, from the stiltlike chopine of 15th -century France and the outlandishly wide duckbill of 16th-century England to the gorgeous Manolo Blahniks of today. Vanderlinden also offers tantalizing tidbits about foot afflictions (bunions, corns, and calluses), foot rituals and symbolism (from foot washing to sipping champagne from a lover's shoe), foot fairytales and folklore (Cinderella being the pre-eminent example), and foot beauty treatments (Cleopatra had a slew of them).
Throughout, photos of beautiful, grotesque, and sexy shoes; the foot in paintings and other works of art; famous feet; and foot ornamentation illustrate the many faces of the foot. This eclectic and enchanting compendium will delight all those who have despaired of their feet, been seduced by a pair of shoes, or spent time having a pedicure.