I wish someone took the time to sit me down when I was a teenager to tell me about bunions, hammer toes and tailors bunions… sounds horrific, I know. They truly are a horror to any fashionable gal, but it is much, much more common than you think. YOU probably have them. It’s probably not that bad, that’s why you think it’s normal to have the sides of your feet hurt after wearing your stilettos for a couple of hours.
Some girls have them because of the way they walk or because of inherited genes. But most people have them because of years of wearing high-heels (anything more than 2 inches), narrow shoes, über fashionable pointy pumps or shoes that are a size too small.
A bunion is a bony swelling at the base of the big toe (definition & image below from NHS Choices) and the toe getting pushed out of the alignment towards the smaller toes.
To further illustrate my point, here are some real life celebrity bunions. See those bumps & how Posh’s big toes are angled inward (because of all the pointy shoes)? THAT is a bunion. Image via faradulista.com
Paris Hilton, that must really HURT. Image via daily mail
And a moment of silence for the fall from grace of Oprah’s feet… (the bump on her smallest toe is what we call a Tailors Bunion/Bunionette)
A Tailors Bunion/Bunionette is similar in symptom and cause as the bunion. Usually there is an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot, but it can also be caused by our glamorous sexy footwear. So sad. =(
image source + more information on how to prevent here.
Jennifer Garner’s poor pinky toe – extreme bunionette?
Why is it called a tailor’s bunion? The deformity received its name centuries ago, when tailors sat cross-legged all day with the outside edge of their feet rubbing on the ground. This constant rubbing led to a painful bump at the base of the little toe.
Last but not the least: The Hammertoe (every time I say this, I hear “Hammertime! Taa-naaa-nanah!” playing in my head).
You can have one toe or all your toes affected by this. The name comes from the way the toe hits or hammers the floor with each step. Again it can be an inherited tendency. Or from years of wearing high heels, with your poor toes holding on for dear life to keep your feet from slipping down your steep, wedged sandals. It can also be from your toes getting scrunched up into the hammer position inside your fabulous pointy pumps. You’re toes become so used to such positions that they can no longer stretch back into their normal positions – they get stuck.
Celebrity Hammer toes:
Katie Holmes image via stylefrizz.com
Without getting too technical, the problem with all of these is that your feet will:
- hurt/blister/get swollen when you’re wearing certain types of shoes because of the bumps constantly rubbing against the shoe
- get corns and calluses
- look horrific and deformed
And the only solutions are:
- not to wear the fabulous/sleek/chic sexy fuck-me high-heeled shoes that all women love
- wear low heeled (2 inches max) shoes with wide toe boxes & contoured footbeds – think Birkenstock & Crocs (GASP OF HORROR!)
- ice, pain meds, various cushions/accessories for feet
- surgery (Ouch!)
After finding all these things out, I’ve resolved to wear more comfy footwear daily and to wear heels only when it’s a must. This is a HUGE change for me, because I used to pride myself for being able to drive while in 5 inch elevator shoes.
I remember our horrified reactions when we were taught about Chinese foot binding in school, then raced off to the mall to buy the newest/trendiest painful, foot-deforming footwear. In some way we are still doing this ancient practice, only now it’s self-imposed and with just trendier styles to choose from.
It really isn’t fair how shoe styles keep getting more beautiful and chic, and how the comfy, “healthy” footwear have to be SO darn ugly. On my birthday, I am going to wish for someone to invent gorgeous comfy shoes, with wide toe boxes and contoured footbeds!
I went and saw a orthopedic surgeon who specialized in feet and he emphasized to me that the only thing worse than high heels are flats. Flats ruin your feet as well. According to him my arches have fallen because of this.
- Does this mean FLAT SHOES = FLAT FEET?!? Eeeep! *Then I realize that I now have fatter (and flatter) feet than before coz I used so much flats while walking here in Jakarta
My MIL was having pain for the longest time, and when she changed to wearing wedge type slippers (at home) and shoes (meaning a little cushion in front (1/2 and inch) and 1-2 inches in the back (+ wearing proper Nike footwear for walking on the treadmill) all the pain in her feet went away!
So the best thing really is to have 1-2 inches (low heels) at the back and when possible some cushion for your feet in front too like about 1/2-1 inch. Now I don’t have to tell you that it shouldn’t be the same height in the front and back do I?! =P Coz that would just be flats all over again! LOL!