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Footwear for crooked toes
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John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
Footwear for crooked toes on 10/17/2011 23:06:17 MDT Print View

You are probably read the title of this thread and were confused.

Well, I have some messed up toes, to say the least.
My pinky toe on my left foot naturally lays completely underneath the next toe over. Like if I hold up my foot, you can not see 3/4 of the toe. It is hit or miss whether or not this effects me when hiking. This past weekend me and a friend put some decent miles on (~30) in about 36 hours. When we got back my the aforementioned toe that the pinky lays under was killing me. The toenail on the pinky just shredded apart the bottom of that toe.

My question is, what should I do to prevent this. I can bend the pinky toe to make it straight very easily, so maybe some sort of "splint" holding it to the other toe? Or maybe a bandaid on it so the nail doesn't cut the other toe.

Any ideas?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Footwear for crooked toes on 10/17/2011 23:39:00 MDT Print View

Wider and longer toe box. I have a similar, though not as severe problem, if my shoes are too tight. Keep those toe nail trimmed as short as possible. Your toes will probably spread out in a wider shoe.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Footwear for crooked toes on 10/18/2011 07:26:52 MDT Print View

+1 to a larger footbox. I've become a huge believer that most blisters are caused by poor fitting shoes. Injinji toe socks may also help to limit the friction of your toes rubbing to some degree.

Jessica Rankin
Footwear for crooked toes on 10/18/2011 10:10:17 MDT Print View

Dude, you need a toe spreader. Those are skeletal issues, not going to be fixed by wider shoes. You are going to need to do some work on those.

Go buy some of those things that we ladies use to spread out our toes when we paint them. It's not going to feel great, but if you do that while just sitting around, you might be able to correct some of your problem. Pretty much, you are looking at retraining your toes.

Have you seen a podiatrist?


Edited by JessiD87 on 10/18/2011 10:11:36 MDT.

John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
foot on 10/18/2011 14:25:38 MDT Print View

I had seen a foot doctor awhile back, and said the only way to correct it was to break it and put it back into place. He said he didn't reccomend that unless it was really bothering me. It doesn't bother me at all in daily life, walking back and forth to work, etc. Even most of the time hiking it doesnt bother me, but maybe 1/5 times on long mileage days it will just kill me.

I wonder if those toe spreaders would eventually fix the problem? I saw them at the store the other day actually. Maybe I should pick up one

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Podiatrist. on 10/18/2011 14:49:11 MDT Print View

I'd say see a different podiatrist. Find one who tries to keep runners running. Check with local running clubs for recommendations. I have foot problems and found a local podiatrist who runs ultramarathons and he's very helpful. You probably have a structural problem in your feet, but you need to see a specialist.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: foot on 10/18/2011 16:39:37 MDT Print View

I've had a similar problem but not quite as severe. What seemed to help some was to buy foam toe bandages and put one on my pinky toes (cut to fit) and then wrap the toes with tape. Yours are so much worse, though. You may need to get one of those foam things for painting your toes and tape that to your pinky toe and hike in Chacos or Tevas. Don't think that is too crazy. I hike in Chacos all the time and I've met lots of people out on the trails backpacking in Chacos and Tevas and even flip flops and Crocs. Lots of people have problems wearing regular shoes.

Kristin Fiebelkorn
(kushbaby) - MLife

Locale: South Texas
I have simething similar - Five Fingers Trek? on 10/18/2011 16:45:46 MDT Print View

I have something similar, except my pinky toe rides ABOVE instead of below. So it gets pretty beaten up in shoes that have narrow toes boxes or if the material's not JUST right over there (And all my shoes have "bumps" on that foot - and I get holes on mesh shoes). Several aunts have the same "mutant" toe, and one was really bugged by it, had surgery three times, never could get it corrected. So I've given up any thought of trying.

I have been hiking in Vibram Five Fingers Treks. I love them. It holds the pinky toe separate. It's a little weird at first, but it seems to be ok. It does get sore after three or four 10-15 mile days, but not unbearably so. (No blisters or anything, just sore, I guess from keeping the pinky pulled out.) I honestly don't know if longer trips would escalate or if it would be ok (I sort of suspect it would be ok). (Note, I actually don't have problems with normal footwear usually - I started hiking in Treks for other reasons.)

Anyhow, I think they're worth a shot. To get your foot used to them, you sort of need to walk around inside/at home in them for increasing amounts of time - DON'T go out on the trail in them without doing this. Bonus is, you can see how they do with your toe while only wearing them inside, and can return them if they don't work with your anatomy.