L. Sprague de Camp, writing an educational book titled Energy and Power, discussed the difference between the potential energy of a one-pound weight sitting on a three-foot-high table and the kinetic energy if the weight falls off the table, and then added, "You will understand this if the weight falls on your toe."
Spanish footballer Santiago Caņizares missed the 2002 FIFA World Cup due to an accident with an aftershave bottle, which resulted in a severed tendon in his foot.
Footwear with steel toecaps, along with ski boots, is available in a number of styles. While marketed as a preventative measure for industrial accidents, a well-fitted pair are handy for averting this trope. Contrary to popular belief, which was busted by MythBusters, steel toecaps ARE good deals because, well, any impact sufficient to bend the steel toecap that hard is a no-win situation for your foot to begin with. With the toecap, the cap bends and your foot is cut. Without it, your foot is mashed flat. Either way, you've had it. The toecap is there, however, to protect against lesser impacts. An industrial-rated toecap must be able to deflect, at least, a force equaling 75 pounds dropped from waist height or nearly a ton applied slowly. Outside of an industrial environment, most people are unlikely to exceed these numbers — meaning that steel toecaps will do just fine.
Steel-toed footwear isn't the end-all and be-all of foot protection either. If you're working in a factory that deals with heavy objects that are moved by hand (like brake drums) expect the required footwear to not only include a steel toe, but also a steel shank which runs from the ankle to the toe on top of the boot (over the laces). That's called a metatarsal guard. Advanced models are hinged at the ankle and go all the way up to the knee, in order to armor your shin. (The latter also worn in industrial pressure cleaning applications, where the pressures used are ten times greater than those found in home pressure washers. This is because at this pressure level, the water can slice effortlessly through flesh and is only barely slowed down by leather: steel armor is required.)
However steel-toecaps will often ruin your knees (if you wear them daily for years) due to the added weight.
Injury from a vehicle running over your foot can be avoided with two factors: the tyre is under-inflated, and the ground below is loose gravel that spreads the weight. Just don't pull it out till the vehicle's gone.
Kicking the instep is sometimes taught as a self-defense move.
For a similar effect, step on pieces of LEGO or a Barbie doll's shoe barefoot. Of course, if you regularly go barefoot outside this isn't going to phase you, partly because you'll probably see it, but mostly because shoes make your feet more sensitive to things they shouldn't be by cutting off almost all sensation form the ground (meaning your brain 'turns up the volume' as high as it will go in an attempt to feel where you are going).
Or if you really want to go over the top drop a bowling ball on someone's foot, ten pounds or more will send them to the hospital.
Any food in the upper freezer that is precariously perched on a bunch of other items can and will fall out of it right on your toes; bonus points if it's the Thanksgiving turkey.
Guess why most two-compartment fridges/freezers made in the last 4 decades have the freezer in the lower half.
And be careful when you handle hardback Doorstopper books, which are especially painful when they hit your toes sharp end first.
Those tiny screws that mysteriously vanished the last time you took something apart and reassembled it? They'll just as mysteriously reappear pointy side up when you're walking barefoot in the dark.
His Excellency Don Felipe, the 13-year-old (at the time) grandson of King Juan Carlos I of Spain and fifth in line to the Spanish throne, accidentally shot himself in the foot in April 2012, to the amusement of the Spanish and world press.
If you don't want to personally experience Truth in Television, never believe a shoe salesman who tells you that tight leather shoes will extend with wear. A shoe one size too small will always be one size too small. That's why they make many shoe sizes.
High heeled shoes are generally designed to taper at the front and also focus one's weight towards that end. And, of course, the heel end can be used as a weapon in a pinch.
Part and parcel of life for serious ballet dancers. Professionals expect to dance on blistered, bleeding, cramping feet without complaint; in fact, there's an old saying that "great dancers have ugly feet" because of this trope.