Monthly Archives: June 2021

Pointy Shoes are Forever

Let’s finish tonight with something more prosaic… the continued ability of humans to hurt themselves in the pursuit of fashion and the fact that history is often cyclical. Women today have perhaps started to break free of the need to wear high heels but many still do. I can’t, I have bad ankles and a foot with damaged tendons so I’d simply hurt myself rather than look good in high heels. But women who wear high heels every day for years often do actual damage to their feet. But high heels are considered high fashion. It turns out that this isn’t the first time that western culture has decided to suffer in the face of foot fashion. And of course there was a form of this in the East as well, with the practice of foot binding especially. But tonight we’re interested in a short trend in medieval Europe of wearing extremely pointed shoes called crackows, because they were thought to have originated in Poland’s capital.  They were also called pikes or poulaines. Poulaine could also refer to the point itself, rather than the full shoe. (I’ve linked to an Atlas Obscura article with several pictures on the website.) But if you’ve ever seen the Rowan Atkinson show Blackadder, then you’ve seen examples of this type of shoe. “Most shoes in the 12th century were ankle boots that had round toe boxes,” said lead author Jenna Dittmar, an archaeologist now at the University of Aberdeen, in an email to Gizmodo. “Then, during the 14th century, shoes diversified, and in many styles we start seeing shoes with pointed toes (that grew longer and longer in some places).”

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Evidence Based Radio, 6/18/21

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Evidence Based Radio, 6/11/21

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The Good, The Bad, and the Pygmy Whales

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Evidence Based Radio, 6/04/21: On the Origin of Hominids

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This podcast part of the Planetside Podcast Network. Visit Planetside.pro to find other Planetside Productions!