Bunions! If you have them you know where they are. That bump on the joint growing just south of your big toe. While you might want to blame your shoes for your bunion, it would be more accurate to blame your parents (they are such excellent scape goats aren't they). Bunions are most often caused by "faulty foot" structure that is an inheritable trait. Certain foot types increase the risk of bunion growth, although ill-fitting shoes can and do worsen the pain, but they are actually caused by a change in your bone's structure. This causes your big toe to grow at an angle and bump into your second toe, instead of pointing straight. The bones in your foot go all out of alignment, which causes pain and that bump to form on the inside of your foot just below your big toe.
There are certain foot types, such as flat feet, that are more susceptible to developing bunions. Some pregnant women tend to develop bunions too, because hormones can loosen the ligaments in their feet, causing them to flatten.
Shoes do contribute to the pain of a bunion, by rubbing and pressing on the bone growth. So those pointy brown stilettos really are just adding to pain. High heels are terrible for bunions, because they push weight into your toes, cramming them even more. Standing on your feet for long periods of time can also aggravate symptoms.