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 youo'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 faze 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 (alongside the fact that most people use the fridge portion more than the freezer portion, but the reason is probably both.)
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.
One might argue that the sole purpose of the little toe/pinky toe is to locate furniture in the darkness or when in a hurry.
If you do go walking outside barefoot, you really want to keep an eye out for things like pinecones and small rocks; they may not be sharp enough to actually pierce your foot but they can hurt. You may also want to be extra careful if you see any broken bottles or other glass objects around, since broken glass can and probably will cause a wound or two, worst case scenario being that the pieces get completely into your foot and need to be fished out.
If you live anywhere near oak trees, you'll find out pretty quick once the acorns fall out of the trees, they're hell on your feet.
Beach sand on a hot day, every time. Then there's the pavement in the parking lot, this is why sandals were invented.
Chestnuts may be tasty, but their spiny hulls are murder on the feet.
Speaking from this Troper's personal experience, you tend to find out right quick if you're standing on an anthill.
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.
This is why in Firefly actress Summer Glau was frequently either barefoot or in heavy combat-style boots. Years of ballet dancing when she was younger were murder on her feet, and anything else is exceedingly uncomfortable, if not painful, for her to wear.
The American distiller Jack Daniel (creator of the famous Jack Daniel's alcoholic beverages brand) died from blood poisoning contracted from a wound in one of his toes, caused by kicking his safe in anger because he didn't remember the combination.
The composer Jean-Baptiste Lully contracted gangrene which eventually killed him because of an accidental injury on a foot caused by his long conducting staff during the performance of one of his works. Ironically, it happened during the performance of a work celebrating king Louis XIV's recovery from a surgical operation.
Plantar fasciitis can be a pain and a half to deal with, as can having flat feet (i.e. not having an arch in your foot when you walk). Heck, even having too much of an arch in your foot when walking can hurt.
A little-mentioned reason why you don't want to develop Type 2 diabetes is that with that disease, you run the risk of developing something called Charcot foot. With Charcot foot, all the joints in the affected foot collapse and you end up not only walking on bones that you're not supposed to walk on, you also have the bones rubbing up against each other instead of being protected by the joint material that would've been there. Your foot swells up and eventually your ankle gets involved; it's not uncommon for Charcot foot sufferers to end up having to walk on actual ankle bones as the bones realign incorrectly and ankle bones shift into the heel area of the affected foot. Eventually the bones crumble or weaken and you end up with a foot you can't walk on (sometimes even going to the point where you have to have your foot amputated).