When I was in college, I remember having a discussion about toe lengths with my roommates because both of them had second toes that were longer than their big toes. They both insisted that I was in the minority because their toes were both the same. Of course, I decided I had to research this topic so we could determine who was right. Turns out, I was right! They have a condition called Morton’s Toe. Morton’s Toe is a common forefoot disorder where the second toe is longer than the Big Toe (the Hallux).
Morton’s toe leads to excessive pressure on the second metatarsal head (behind the second toe at the ball-of-the-foot) resulting in pain similar to the discomfort associated with metatarsalgia. The constant pressure placed on the longer second toe while walking or standing can lead to callus formation under the second metatarsal head due to this excessive pressure.
Proper treatment of Morton’s Toe starts with selecting proper footwear. Footwear with a high and wide toe box (toe area) is ideal for treating this condition. It may be necessary to buy footwear a half size to a size larger to accommodate the longer second toe. Orthotics that feature arch support to keep the foot aligned, and a metatarsal pad to reduce stress on the ball-of-the-foot are often recommended when treating this condition. Proper footwear combined with a effective orthotic will provide relief from pain associated with Morton’s Toe.
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