If you were a ‘90s kid, toe rings likely played a big part in your childhood. Chances are if you still have a fetish for this foot jewelry, you’ll probably recognize a few of the following things every toe ring wearer will understand. Growing up, toe rings added a hint of glamour to a body part that many deemed unattractive. The way some folks flaunted their toe bling, it was like they’d transformed from a tween into a Kardashian or Jenner before those names existed in the public consciousness.
Yep, toe rings had magical powers. They were kind of like Melisandre’s necklace on Game Of Thrones, but in reverse. When toe ring-wearers removed their jewelry at the end of a long day, they wouldn't reveal themselves as haggard ancient witches. Instead, they returned back to their My Little Pony pajama-wearing selves.
The fact that toe rings could only be worn on specific days made them all the more desirable. Living in England, with approximately 11 days of sunshine per year, all the hip young things would don their toe rings with pride whenever it was sandal weather. If you went to a school with a strict dress code, however, you probably weren’t allowed to have exposed toes when the temperatures soared. Instead, most of us would show up wearing sandals that highlighted our toe rings at the most inappropriate times, like when our parents took us to the roller rink.
So here are a few more things every toe ring wearer, past or present, is likely to understand.
1. Snagging Your Toe Ring Hurts
Chained Toe Ring Adjustable, $15, Etsy
You often find your day to be going swimmingly until you snag your toe ring on a rug, which leaves you writhing on the floor in pain and hurling expletives.
But the worst toe ring snagging moments are those when you must bite your tongue and blink through the pain. The most nightmarish times to catch your toe ring, IMO, are when you're looking after kids or you're at work, because you have to keep the agony under wraps to maintain the calm.
2. Being Forced To Choose Between Style Or Comfort Blows
Vintage '90s Toe Ring, $10, Etsy
You likely own some toe rings that are super comfortable yet worn in and others that are really trendy but nip your feet like a piranha. There's no in between, unless you've discovered the Holy Grail of toe rings.
3. Wearing Nail Polish Is A Necessity
Silver Plated Adjustable Footprint Toe Ring, $3, Etsy
Nail polish and toe rings are like mac and cheese — they need each other. On their own, they just don't have the same effect.
4. In Summer, People Just Can't Stop Pointing Out Your Toe Ring
'90s Toe ring, $8, Etsy
When you're wearing your fave foot jewelry in any social situation, it can seem like every man and his dog wants to let you know that you're wearing a toe ring. They point it out like you have no idea it's even there. You can probably see their eyes gloss over as they replay their nostalgic toe ring memories in their minds and you realize they're probably not listening to a word you're saying.
5. Not Being Able To Find Your Favorite Toe Ring During Sandal Season Is Devastating
Women’s Vintage Toe Ring, Approx. $3, eBay
It's a beautiful day outside and you can't wait to get out there, but you feel like something's missing. You look down and realize your favorite toe ring is not where you thought you left it. Mild panic sets in as you try to retrace your steps and remember where your darling opal toe bling is. You decide that if you can't find it, you're not leaving the house, because your feet feel too naked without it.
6. Planning Your Footwear In Advance Is A Must
Women’s Vintage Toe Ring, Approx. $3, eBay
Toe rings go best with stunning sandals or bare feet — so your toe ring can take center stage, of course — therefore your footwear collection is likely compiled mainly of summery sandals. But when you go on a trip, like a weekend away, who knows what you're going to get up to?
Glam gladiator sandals might not fare well during a half-day hike, so you might have to think about packing some more sensible shoes. When you wear toe rings often, you have to plan what you're going to wear on your feet in advance. Even if you're going on a day trip, you might need to pack an extra pair of kicks.
7. The Horror Of Wearing Socks Over Your Toe Rings Is Real
Vintage '90s Pink Enamel Flower Toe Ring, $8, Etsy
You might be playing an impromptu round of sports or going for a last minute workout, when you realize you'll either have to wear socks or remove your toe rings and risk losing them. Sometimes you are forced to wear socks over your toe rings and it feels so wrong.
8. The Struggle To Style Multiple Toe Rings At Once
Silver Or Copper Toe Ring Set, $4+, Etsy
Deliberating over a symmetrical or randomly-placed toe ring look can take up a big chunk of your time. If you have a few core favorites, styling your toe rings might quickly become a mammoth task.
On top of this, you probably like to make sure your toe rings match your footwear and your outfit. You have a love/hate relationship with these gems, but they always win you back over in the end.
9. Sometimes You Have To Spend More Than $20 On A Toe Ring
14K Solid Gold Toe Ring, $110, Etsy
You mentally tell yourself that there's no way you can afford to spend $20+ on a toe ring, especially considering you buy at least one per week during summer anyway. But then you see all the shiny stones, gorgeous metals, and whimsical designs, and you break your promise to yourself.
Your friends find you post-purchase in a corner of your apartment. You're hunched over your newest toe ring murmuring, "My precious..."
10. Seeing Someone Rock An Actual Ring On Their Toe Is Painful
Gold Toe Ring, $125, Etsy
You know that it's wrong on so many levels to judge someone based on what they're wearing, but when you see someone flaunting what looks like an actual ring on their toe, you feel the urge to pluck it off and throw it in the nearest river.
Rings are for fingers and toe rings are for feet, darn it. The only people who can get away with this are babies in newborn shoots.
11. Not Knowing Where To Store Your Ever-Growing Collection Of Toe Rings
Vintage Toe Rings, $5, Etsy
Can you store your toe rings with your finger rings, or is that just unhygienic? What if you wipe them down with a sanitized cloth first? You don't want your guests to start trying your toe rings on their fingers.
Sighs: These are just some of the many issues whizzing around our heads when it comes to our dragon hoard-sized collections of toe rings. But we just adore them anyway.
Images: Courtesy Brands