Fashion-conscious women have been warned they risk crippling disfigurement by squeezing their feet into trendy pointy-toed shoes. The shoes distribute body weight unevenly, placing excess stress on the ball of the foot, said Dr Lo Chi-kin, a Consumer Council spokesman. He issued the warning after the number of complaints about ill-fitting shoes increased from 81 in 1998 to 140 last year, following the style's rise in popularity. There have been 91 complaints this year. 'Pointy-toed shoes force toes into an unnatural triangular shape which can result in painful hallux valgus [when the big toe is pushed towards the others], or hammer toes [when toes align in a deformed 'V' shape],' Dr Lo said. 'People should reduce the amount of time they wear these shoes and make sure they fit. As people reach middle or old age, the accumulative effect of daily repetitive minor injuries may eventually develop into serious foot disorders.' Fashion stylist Caroline Nie said she doubted women would be easily parted from their fashionable footwear. She thought most people were more interested in fashion than potential damage to their feet.