Toe rings have been worn in Asian countries – especially India – for centuries, normally according to religious beliefs to denote marriage. It is only very recently that they have become popular in the USA and other western countries.
In the West toe rings are pure fashion statement, rather than having any kind of religious connection, and so it is common to see them made from all sorts of metals, although sterling silver ones are extremely popular.
Gold is another metal that is used in the West for making toe rings, but in India this would not be allowed under the Hindu religion, since gold is a high status metal and should never be worn on the feet.
Prepping Those Tootsies – A Little Love and Attention
Talking of feet, and unleashing them for the summer months, it is a really good idea to give them some love and attention after a winter hidden in warm woollies and boots.
So just as a diamond tiara would look out of place on a hobo, it would be such a shame to wear a stunning toe ring on piggies that have been largely neglected; a pedicure is the answer, to beautify and reinvigorate your feet ready for that gorgeous ring.
Then you will feel great and be completely comfortable showing your feet to the world when you are out around town.
Toe rings can be the perfect accessory when you’re wearing open toe shoes or flip flops, but it is, of course, best to remove them if you change into normal shoes as they can easily bend or get squashed, and generally cause painful pinching otherwise.
Aside from the almost infinite number of cute designs available, toe rings come in two main types: the “split” or “divided” ones, and the fitted or “full circle” ones.
It’s entirely a matter of personal choice which type you opt for, or since toe rings are very cheap pieces of jewelry, why not have a selection of different ones from both categories! Each type has its own benefits and disadvantages.
Split Toe Ring Style – Widely Available and Size Adjustable
Firstly, the split toe rings. These are easy to put on and take off as they just press together to make a snug fit. This feature also means they can be worn on whichever toe you like (except the big toe!)
The problem with split toe rings though, is that you might find they pinch sometimes, which can be very painful. Or they turn over so that the design ends up under your foot, leaving you constantly adjusting so everyone can see it.
This can be irritating, having to constantly adjust them.
Worst of all, just as they can pinch and squeeze your toes, they are also apt to simply fall off and disappear forever, generally without you ever noticing. That might leave you wondering how many of your toe rings go AWOL every summer!
They probably all end up having a lovely time with the odds socks that no longer have partners after laundry mishaps. Just as well then that they are super affordable. Or get one that’s so adorable you can’t prize your eyes away from it.
Fitted Toe Rings – Trickier & Need Sizing
So, what about the fitted toe rings? Are these any better? Well, they are more like the rings you would wear on your finger, being fully circular bands.
This means the designs will be more uniform, so it doesn’t matter if they slip around your toes. Also, the dreaded pinching will never be a problem unless you decide to wear normal shoes with a soft metal ring and deform it – naughty!
On the downside, they are slightly harder to remove than split rings, but this is not a huge problem. And since they are fitted and therefore a single size, they are meant to go on just one of your toes perfectly, and may (depending on your toes!) or may not be very comfortable if you want to switch them around.
They’re also often made from precious metals, especially gold, which is a softer metal. Expect them in general to be a little more expensive than split rings.
Here’s a nice little News clip about fitted rings.
And you’ll no doubt have heard the clever tip on how to get them off if you’re struggling – a quick spritz of Windex!
Note on Skincare – Don’t Forget Your Feet Are Allergic Too!
A couple of other points to consider: first, that many designs are simply shaped metal, whether it be sterling silver celtic knots or gold hearts, but new designs are constantly appearing, and there are even toe rings which have gemstones such a tiny diamonds or colored cubic zirconias.
Secondly, from the health perspective, remember that if you have allergic reactions to nickel in your finger rings or your earrings, you will get exactly the same irritation if you are not careful choosing your toe rings.
So if you are sensitive, look out for “nickel-free” or “hypoallergenic” ones, and then step out into the summer in style!
How To Buy Diamond Toe Rings – Sparkle Up Your Toes
Diamond is the queen of all the gemstones and diamond toe rings are probably the most stylish toe jewelry available – seriously classy. Here are a few tips for choosing the best quality diamonds when shopping for yours.
The Quality of Diamonds
Diamonds are graded around the world using the so-called four Cs: the carat, the clarity, the color and the cut.
An internationally accepted system, called GIA, is used to estimate the quality of diamonds. To make sure you get the best quality and the best look, it is good to know a little about how diamonds are classified.
The carat, or “ct”, means simply the diamond’s weight. The largest diamonds are naturally always the most expensive but they are also more difficult to find than smaller ones.
One carat is the same as 200 mg, and the weight of the smallest diamonds is given as points: a hundred points means one carat. When buying diamond rings for your toes, a good way to get value for money is to buy a ring with diamonds that fall just below the one-carat limit.
This makes the rings cheaper, but generally most people who are not experts are not able to say if the diamond is just under or just over one carat.
A good cut gives the diamond its sparkle: a well-cut diamond reflects light and interacts with the light, creating the famous dazzling effect. A shallow cut can create a diamond that looks dull, and a cut that is too deep makes the surfaces of the diamond look uneven and make some parts seem darker than others are.
The cut has to do with the diamond’s proportions, how deep and how wide it is, and how the various facets are in proportion to each other.
The clarity of a gemstone means how flawless it is. The best quality diamonds are either flawless (Fl in the GIA scale) or Internally Flawless (IF) – that means that there can be some flaws on the stone’s surface.
The last C for grading a diamond is the color. While 100% pure diamonds are colorless there is a surprising variety of different colors on the diamond market.
Pink and blue are the most valuable and the rarest colors, and yellow and brownish diamonds are much more common.
Diamonds look especially good in gold toe rings, although for a slightly more affordable option you can try silver or white gold. Personal preferences matter the most when purchasing diamond toe rings.
Got Any Questions About Toe Rings?
Which foot do you wear a toe ring on?
Either or both! Toe ring placement is purely a fashion choice these days and you can use this type of jewelry to express yourself with abandon.
Traditionally, Indian women wore a single ring on the second toe of each foot – and that was that. But, that was also “then”.
Which toe do you wear a toe ring on?
This is similar to the previous answer. You can place your toe ring on whichever toe you like. It is common to opt for the second toe, and that is also the traditional place to wear it.
But you can wear them on any, because the most popular adjustable ones can be made to fit the pinky or the second toe. You’ll have to search for big-toe rings however – or size up properly so that it fits.
These latter ones are not too common, but I have seen them occasionally.
How many toe rings should I wear?
As many as you want! It’s entirely dependent on you and what you feel like doing. There are no hard and fast rules about this.
In the past, it was standard to wear one of each foot, on the second toe. But now, there’s reason not to wear one on just one foot. Or multiple rings on one foot and none on the other.
See what your friends are doing and follow their lead – or do something entirely different!
Significance of toe rings in Indian culture
Apart from being a signifier of a woman’s marital status, in Hindu belief there was also a scientific reason for wearing a toe ring. It is similar to the chi meridian theory that lies behind acupuncture.
So the belief is that there is a nerve connecting the second toe to the uterus and then on to the heart. Wearing a ring helps to increase circulation and thereby strengthen the uterus and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Here is a quick video discussing the significance and also why silver was traditionally considered superior:
For the full-length video, which includes lots of facts about Hindu culture and traditions, see this video.
Image credit. Fancy Cut Diamonds, by Paul Noillimrev, published with permission under Creative Commons Attribution-Share alike 3.0 licence.