This image is a collage of foot pics I found with an image search (if one is yours and you want credit just leave me a note in the comments). Notice the shape, how it's more triangular than oval. The bones of the foot are meant to spread out, like our hands do.
Now consider these women's shoes from Zappo's.
I took screen shots of shoes from $50-300, from heels to comfort boots. Notice anything about the shape? That's right, mostly oval. If you review the foot shape in the top image, you can see how come of the feet start to narrow again at the toes. Is this nature, or because we're wearing these shoes?
If shoes were really meant to fit the natural shape of the foot, they would have narrower heels and would spread out until the metatarsal joint. If any narrowing occurs after that point, it would be minimal.
I wore pumps as a teenager. Pumps with sharp, pointed toes. My toes naturally curl under, and I've developed bunions. I'm convinced it's from these artificially-shaped shoes!
When I wear my Birks, my toes spread out naturally, just like when I'm barefoot. Same with my Boggs. But all my other shoes still compress, even the comfort brands like Clark's. Isn't it time we re-evaluate shoe shape?
That won't happen as long as there are these kind of statements:
Known as the dreaded “summer spread,” the foot condition involves the widening, flattening and collapse of feet when they aren’t securely bound and supported properly by shoes, explains New York City-based podiatrist Dr. Dennis Shavelson. Flat sandals and strappy shoes prompt feet to splay, and provide little-to-no arch support. That places the body in an abnormal walking position that can cause long-term medical issues, including toe, knee, hip and back problems. (Huffpost)