Harvard Doctors and Supermodels

One of my closest friends, Hilary Siebens, a fellow Harvard M.D., and avid OESHer, forwarded me this post which I cut and pasted below, about supermodel Gisele refusing to wear high-heeled shoes. (Click here to see the original post.)

Gisele refuses to wear high heels

Chris Moore / Getty Images file
By Alexander Smith

Sorry, Carrie Bradshaw. Even fashion professionals are giving high heels the boot.

Balenciaga’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, sent his models out wearing mannish flats for his spring/summer 2011 collection. But he revealed that the shoes — reminiscent of the go-to footwear of your average teenage goth — were actually the result of a certain supermodel’s podiatric plea.

Ghesquière confessed to WWD that when he initially presented a catwalk concept for the collection featuring absurdly-arch-elevating heels to his models, Gisele Bündchen trampled the idea underfoot. “Gisele was worried,” said the influential designer. “She would not work with my heels.”

So when the Brazilian bombshell glided down the catwalk for this summer’s campaign, her comely feet came clad in the kind of bulky, black shoes normally reserved for men.


Gisele’s shoes actually do look a lot like the OESH Black Classics.

What do you think?

Years ago, when I discovered a link between high heeled shoes and knee osteoarthritis, reporters asked me if I thought my research would ever keep women from wearing high heeled shoes. Fortunately, an older physician-reporter working with Ralph Nader who was taken with the gravity of my findings (knee osteoarthritis causes more physical disability than any other singular disease, including heart disease) called me and said…

“Your research is just like the first research showing that smoking is bad for your health. It took a generation for that research to change the notion of what is considered fashionable. Nowadays, most of us really don’t find smoking to be fashionable. Hopefully it won’t take a full generation to change the notion of what footwear is fashionable.”

That was back in 1998. Since then we’ve done more research showing that even a small heel elevation increases joint torques and pressures (which is why OESH, unlike most every current athletic or casual shoe, has absolutely no heel).

Can health dictate fashion? Yes. Can you wear OESH to a formal event? Yes. Here is a picture of me and another one of my closest friends, Ellen Fox, M.D., also a Harvard M.D. and avid OESHer, at her wedding a few weeks ago.

From Harvard doctors and supermodels…we don’t have to wait until 2023 to wear shoes that are healthy for us.

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