MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Women, how far will you go to wear some killer heels? Shorten your toes? Inject Botox into your feet? Or how about cutting off your pinky toe? Podiatrists say more women in Memphis are doing it to make their feet fit into their dream shoes.
Some high end women's shoes are very narrow and some women love to wear heels all day. Doctors say there are big health risks in wearing high heels or having cosmetic surgery. Women told abc24 news they wear heels because they feel sexy, confident, and want to make a fashion statement.
"I just like the look of them. I can’t help it. I can't even go into a store or else I’ll be thinking about shoes and come out with a pair,” said high heeled shoe lover, Sidney Kirk.
Kirk wears 4 to 6 inch heels everyday.
"I have a huge foot so I can’t do flat shoes. Flat shoes actually hurt more than help,” Kirk said. “So if it's not a tennis shoe I’m working out in than I always wear heels. I don't care where I’m going."
If the shoe doesn't fit some women are going under the knife.
"We have strange requests from women,” said Doctor Nathan Lucas from the Advanced Foot & Ankle Care of Memphis.
Dr. Lucas has been practicing podiatry for more than 15 years. He says Mid-South women are paying thousands of dollars to make their feet fit into certain shoes or to make high heels less painful.
"What we do a lot of times we inject fat or collagen on the balls of their feet to increase the volume in the area so women can feel as if they're walking on pillows,” said Dr. Lucas. “Botox is used in the foot for a condition called hyperhidrosis where the foot excessively sweats."
Some women have the pinky toe removed to squeeze into narrow shoes, like the popular Louboutin red-soled shoes.
Dr. Lucas doesn't recommend doing that unless it's for a health reason, "Sometimes you have to sacrifice fashion and settle for comfort."
In any surgery Dr. Lucas says there's a risk for infection, pain, and permanent disfigurement. He says wearing high heels for long periods of time can cause back pain, knee problems, stress fractures, bunions, pinched nerves, and even cause hammer toes. He says short heels can hurt too. Dr. Lucas urges people to buy shoes that fit and not force your foot into something that’s uncomfortable.