This is an interesting thread. I have recently pursued opinions on fixing my feet. The right one has a bunion which is not really too painful but the next toe is a hammertoe and IT HURTS! Even when I'm not walking or standing. Get shooting pains in the middle of the night in bed. Wakes me up.
The left one - well I had a bunion removed 25 years ago when it also became too painful - also woke me from a sound sleep with pain. Was very happy with the results till about 5 years ago. Now I have a big toe going towards the centre lien of my body with the rest of the toes following it. From the latest xray my foot bones are going \\\\ while the toes are going ////.
Can't wear closed toes shoes - a real problem in the winter - no open toe boots. With my arthritic knees, just wearing the boots much less walking in them basically cripples me for at least 24 hours.
Surgery to fix the right foot quotes at $6300 - didn't ask for the left but there is probably 3X the work.
Haven't worn any kid of heel since I was 18. Its Birks for me all the time. I've even worn them in the winter in the snow. I'd rather have cold feet than sore feet.