It is officially the last day of 2017! I hope all of you reading this had a wonderful year and continue to follow your goals and dreams in 2018. The next 365 days are going to be very eventful, I'm sure, so make the best of it!
Last week, I posted a wrapping-up-2017 type post, and although today is actually New Year's Eve, I decided I would do something less related to the holiday anyway. I am constantly finding big questions in little things, and it proves to be extremely helpful as a blogger because I never run out of ideas! This time, I was thinking about the most notable fairy-tale in the world, Cinderella, and how a significant portion of the story is based around Cinderella's uniquely-sized glass slippers. Of course, it is a story of magic and fairy godmothers, so not all of it is meant to be taken seriously, but the thought crossed my mind- Could glass slippers ever physically exist and be used practically? Fashion these days seems to be continually pushing boundaries, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some trendy person walking down the street with glass stilettos on, but wouldn't the shoes shatter after two steps?
Now, I've heard lots about how a mistranslation led to Cindy's slippers becoming glass instead of fur, but for the purposes of this post, we're going to ignore that.
First of all, glass has no cushioning and cannot in any way mold to the shape of your foot. These would probably be the most uncomfortable shoes in existence, unless they were somehow custom-made. Even if they were customized, your feet move around as you walk, and they definitely move around when you run (this is probably why one slipper fell off when Cinderella was trying to get home before midnight), so there is pretty much no way these shoes felt good. The feet themselves support your entire body weight, and putting a lot of weight onto something made of glass is not a very smart idea. With some research, I've found that running can increase the amount of weight stressed on the foot by around 3.5 times the wearer's body weight. Assuming that our princess was, at minimum, 110 pounds (50 kg), then those glass slippers were probably holding up 385 pounds (175 kg) of weight. It is unlikely that these ethereal princess shoes could ever be practically worn (especially in high-heel form), unless maybe the wearer stood perfectly still and never once moved.
A study done in 2015, published in the Journal of Physical Special Topics titled "Cinderella's Shattered Dreams" states that the glass slippers would be extremely unsafe and dangerous. The scientists gave the princess size 6 feet (two sizes smaller than average) and assumed that the footwear would be made of soda-lime glass, the most common type of glass out there. Their study concluded that any movement such as walking, dancing, or running, would have caused so much tension on the feet that the heels would fall to pieces.
However, little Cinderelly isn't completely out of luck; the study shows that glass ballet flats would have been relatively practical or any glass shoe that had a heel shorter than 0.45 inches (1.15 cm). Although, that probably wouldn't have looked as regal. Maybe the high heels would've worked with an ultra-strong glass, like safety glass. Or maybe some non-cheap-looking plastic could've been a glass substitute? Most high heels are made of glass anyway.
Would you wear safety glass high heels, plastic heels, or flats made of soda lime glass? Leave a comment! Happy New Year to all :)