It's rare Podiatrists have a chance to dust off the old soapbox.
Apart from mine, which is polished like a Victorian teak handrail.
So, the Barbie Feet Challenge. As modeled by the rather divine Margot Robbie. You step out of your high-heels, hold the position, and walk.
Now, I'm not best placed to comment on its difficulty.
(Like shellac, I've never worn stilettos)
But I am well positioned on its risk of injury.
Barbie Feet Challenge: Glory or Ankle Snaps
I've watched the new Barbie film 83 times. Some days I do marathon back-to-back screenings.
Like the man who celebrates Christmas everyday, I can't get enough pink and marabou.
Actually, that's a lie.
The last flick I saw was The Northman and I can't remember the one before.
But even living under the rock aka the Brecon Beacons, I've heard of the Barbie feet challenge.
I've also heard the deep poetic verse of Barbie Girl resonating.
Ken, Len and Ren
Denmark is renowned for Tuborg, Vikings and dubious 70's films.
Its other famous export is Aqua, the Danish answer to Led Zeppelin.
The impossibly pretty Lene and suspiciously bald Rene are doing the rounds again.
I remember laughing at the fluorescent jingle when it dropped in 1997.
But whose smirking now?
I bet LenRen are performing the Barbie feet challenge on their yacht moored off Antigua.
But, among the frivolities and fun, some people are worried.
"Experts Are Concerned"
Yep, apparently some experts are concerned about the Barbie feet challenge.
They cite the usual grab bag of limp makers, ligament rippers and tissue tearers.
I had no other option than to undertake serious professional research.
(Aka studying endless tik-tok and YT videos)
As a result, I've come to some earth-shattering conclusions.
The Fun Police
Tbf, I agree with their overall assessment. High heels are bad, m'kay.
(In that article, I recommended going tippy-toes to show the pressure of high heels)
Yes, I've had many a rant about how tall-backed keep Podiatrists in business. To no avail.
But we have to be specific here; the injuries they mention take a long time to build.
They don't usually occur as a result of a dare or drunken challenge.
Barbie Feet Challenge Injuries?
Yep, the risk from the Barbie Feet Challenge is small.
The foot conditions in the scare articles take a lot longer than a few seconds of tottering.
An unlucky few may rip a plantar plate or pop an Achilles tendon.
But these would be freak cases; like a garden path slip on a banana peel.
Though be warned: this assumes you don't walk around like that all the time.
The odd thing is, you do.
Well Heeled (And Well Trained)
You know those races where everyone gets a gold medal?
Well, that's like every one of you who wears high heels.
You've been training day in, day out, for years and years for this moment.
(In some cases decades)
But here's the problem: you've always had support under your heel.
Take away the stiletto and you have the biggest Barbie feet challenge hazard.
The ankle snap.
It goes something like this:
After a step, your ankle wobbles side-to-side. The force seeks out the weak spot and that's your outer ankle.
Your foot, of course, stays in place while you fall. Outside to the ground.
A moment later, you feel that sharp yet dull burn from your ligaments.
(If this happens, get ice on it asap and keep it on)
This instability comes from being on tip-toes without the support of your heel.
Years of brain training means you think there's something to fall back on.
Your feet, with or without shoes, aim to revert back to a flat, even surface.
But now there isn't one. Your ankles are forced to adjust on the fly.
Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they don't.
It's a danger because it's a strange new dynamic that your body isn't prepared for.
Women (Have Worse Feet Than Men)
Yep, and it's all down to those ballet-tight footwear.
Fashion is an integral part of your life. Society says so — like corsets.
But it's not only shoes and buying apparel online is a double-edged razor.
You can access stuff you'd never see down your McHigh Street for sweatshop prices.
Then it rocks up and looks (or fits) decidedly different from advertised.
If you've got Amazon Prime, use Try Before You Buy.
You can order six items (including shoes, kids and men's clothes) and cavort in front of a mirror trying them for 7 days. You only pay for what you decide to keep.
(Returns are free).
The Barbie Feet Challenge: Ankles and Stranger Danger
As I mentioned at the start, if it's one thing Podiatrists are experts at, it's high heel hazards.
You can get injured from the Barbie foot challenge. You can also get injured doing a limbo dance.
The fact is, the biggest danger comes from sudden ankle sprains.
As long as you're not propelling yourself from 9-inch heels, you should be fine.
(And let's be honest, you're still going to do it anyway!)