If you're a shoe-loving woman, chances are you have a pair of these in your closet.
"These" refers to the stilettos you bought on impulse because they're absolutely spectacular, except now they just sit there looking pretty and collecting dust because the agony they exact upon your feet makes unanesthetized dentistry seem pleasant in comparison.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, up to 87 per cent of women have developed foot problems from their uncomfortable shoe habits — everything from painful corns and bunions to interminable calluses.
But instead of hanging up the heels, Fox News (via Times of India) reports that a growing group of women are opting for foot surgery instead. Surgeries range from a simple toe shortening to collagen injections that soften the balls of the feet to the outright removal of the pinky toe.
Dr. Nathan Lucas, a podiatrist in Memphis, Tenn., has been performing these procedures for 15 years. He says he's seen a sharp jump in women who request these surgeries in order to wear their high heels comfortably — around 30 patients per month for the past year.
He says he's still uncomfortable with performing the pinky toe-ectomy surgery for cosmetic reasons.
"For me, that's a bit extreme. I wouldn't take anyone's toes off unless it has to come off," he tells Fox, adding that he has referred some of those patients to doctors who will perform the elective surgery.
Now that word is getting out about the existence of these options, women like Susan Deming are signing up in droves.
"Unless you've been there, and you can't find shoes, and you're in pain, don't judge," Deming, who recently underwent a toe-shortening procedure, tells the news network.
In Deming's case, she had a few toes on her left foot that were longer than their right-toe toe counterparts, a mystery of physiognomy that made one foot an entire size larger than the other.
As shoe stores don't make a habit of selling two shoes in different sizes, Deming decided to slice off a centimeter of the offending left foot toe instead. She says she's thrilled with the result.
While many may wince at the idea of altering nature to fit into a shoe, feet have been the subject of other wacky surgeries.
The "foot facelift" is an increasingly popular procedure that surgically cleans up unsightly tootsies for the sole purpose of making them more attractive.
Have we taken our foot fetishes too far or is this a perfectly reasonable demand of 21st century living?