Are Tight Shoes Causing Your Toe Pain?

Your toes can become damaged through injury, accident, biomechanical imbalances, and overuse. However, if we had to pick the most common cause of toe pain in our Montgomery County patients, we’d have to say it was ill-fitting shoes.

All the structures of your feet are designed to move in specific ways when you walk. You strike the ground with your heel, roll onto the ball of your foot, and push off with your toes. Problems occur when something interferes with these motions – and that something is, quite often, shoes that are too tight. Here are some common issues caused by tight shoes that we repeatedly see at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists.

  • Bunions occur when the joint at the base of the big toe juts outward, forming a large bump. In advanced cases, a bunion causes the big toe to veer inward toward the lesser toes. Tight shoes don’t cause bunions – heredity and personal anatomy play a much bigger role. However, narrow-toed shoes do contribute to the advancement of a bunion, especially if they’re high heels.
  • When toes cross over each other instead of lying straight, we call them overlapping and underlapping toes. They often develop as a result of the toes being continually squeezed into narrow shoes. Bunions can also force toes to overlap.
  • Many other toe deformities can occur as a result of toes being pinched together in tight shoes. They include hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes.
  • Tight shoes increase the pressure on your toenails, which can cause or worsen an ingrown toenail.

Avoid toe deformities and toe pain by choosing shoes that don’t constrict your toes. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and limit your time in high heels. If that doesn’t relieve your toe pain, visit our expert podiatrists, Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts. We offer many treatment options, including exercises to improve flexibility, toe-taping techniques, and surgery to restore the toes to their natural positions. Call us in Montgomery, Alabama, at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.