Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ongar: An extract from the Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve c1860

The Secret of Warm Feet

Many of the colds which people are said to catch commence at the feet.  To keep those extremities constantly warm therefore is to effect an insurance against the almost interminable list of disorders which spring out of a “slight cold”.  Never be tightly shod.  Boots, or shoes when they fit closely press against the veins of the foot and prevent the free circulation of the blood.  When on the contrary they do not embrace the foot too tightly, the blood gets fair play and the spaces left between the leather and the stocking are filled up with a comfortable supply of warm air.  Never sit in damp shoes.  It is very often imagined that unless they be positively wet, it is not necessary to change them when the feet are at rest.  This is a fallacy, for when the least dampness is absorbed into the sole, it is attracted further to the foot itself by its own heat, and thus perspiration is dangerously checked.  Any person may prove this by trying the experiment of neglecting the rule, and his feet will certainly feel cold and damp after a few minutes, although, on taking off the shoe and examining it, it will appear to be properly dry.  Did every one follow these rules, there would be no more cold feet and bad colds.

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