Cover your bunions: We’re talking about shoe obsessions

Every day, women across the country struggle with an addiction that consumes their minds, depletes their bank accounts and causes bunions, hammer toe and arch pain. Shoe obsession can begin with impulsive browsing of online retailers and snowball into a full-blown addiction where you scour malls and shopping districts, sweeping up every pair that catches your eye.

UK pop star Cheryl Cole was the latest celebrity to come out about her dependency, and the Daily Record tracked down a number of women who also suffer from this potentially life-altering condition.

"Since I was a teenager, I have been obsessed with heels," admitted June Voy, of Edinburgh, quoted by the news source. "I remember at university I went without food just so I could save up to buy my first pair of designer shoes. I bought them in 1987 and still wear them now and then. I buy a new pair of shoes every month and my favorites are my [Yves Saint Laurent] tribute shoes, which I bought in Paris for £500."

That amounts to about $780, dear readers.

Voy said her shoe-of-choice is a towering heel in a bright color, which is typical gateway footwear because of the way it catches the eye and lengthens the leg. But you know it's gotten really bad when you find yourself traveling to distant cities and shelling out more than a month's rent for a pair of designer heels, which many of the women featured in the article admit to doing.

Moreover, these ladies are making changes to their homes in order to accommodate their fixation.
"I have so many pairs that I had to create my own shoe cupboard. I painted it black and added some sparkly lights and stacked all my shoes so I could easily pick a pair to match my outfit," said Julie Hannah, of Glasgow, quoted by the news source.

Women like Voy and Hannah are not alone. reports that an estimated 18 million Americans have a shopping addiction.

Recovery can be difficult, but is certainly possible if you stay dedicated to skipping shoe sales and have a good network of friends who prefer loafers over stilettos. Cut up your credit cards if you need to, and unsubscribe from Groupon and other deal websites. Last, but not least, you can erase the traces of your shoe obsession by using bunion splints or orthotics to help correct bunions and hammer toe.