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Why is My Big Toe Curved Inward?

By Steven Gershman DPM / Feb 06, 2024

This blog will deal with a very common foot deformity: Hallux abductus, the medical term for when the big toe is curved inward. It will cover the causes of this deformity and discuss what can be done to address it, including the importance of proper footwear/shoes. 

Hallux abducto valgus is the term that describes bunion deformity. In effect, there is a bump on the side of the big toe joint while the big toe bends or curves toward the second toe. Hallux means big toe, abducto valgus means big toe curves toward the second toe, while it also twists or rotates (valgus). This is a common deformity, especially in women. 

Less common is a simple curvature of the big toe toward the second toe without the bump or bunion on the big toe joint. When this occurs, the big toe often rides under the second toe, elevating or lifting the second toe and causing further issues as it rubs in the shoe. 

What causes a big toe to be curved inward?

Causes of this deformity are usually some type of biomechanical abnormality in the foot, causing the big toe to be forced into the floor while walking. The ground pushes back against the big toe, which then pushes it toward the second toe. Over time, this permanently deforms the toe into the curved position. 

The underlying biomechanical issues are often genetically influenced. Other causes that can contribute to this condition are hypermobile or loose joints in the feet, pregnancy, which also loosens foot joints, or just abnormality in the way the foot moves. 

In addition, the wrong footwear that compresses the big toe inward can gradually push it towards the second toe. Shoes that are too tight or narrow can cause this issue.

How do I stop my big toe from bending inwards? 

The most important way to slow down or reduce the chances of this deformity comes down to proper shoes, and sometimes orthotics or well-made inserts in the shoes. 

While, in some cases, the deformity will occur despite all interventions, more often than not it can be slowed down or prevented from worsening. The only way to undo the deformity once it has occurred, is surgery.

One key to minimizing the likelihood of developing or worsening this deformity is to manage abnormal forces in the foot and address the increased motion issues.

What type of shoes are best for big toe curved inward?

Shoes that are stable, well made and allow for proper foot alignment are critical. In addition, as orthotics are often required in severe cases, the shoes should be extra deep and work well with orthotics. 

The other important factor is proper shoe FIT. Shoes must be wide enough to not push the big toe toward the second toe. The toe box needs to be wide and ROUND, not pointed and deep. That's where Orthofeet comes in - their orthotic-friendly shoes meet these criteria and are designed with features that allow for proper foot alignment and motion. In addition, the specialty shoe brand has stretchable shoes that accommodate the deformity when required. This can be especially helpful when the second toe is lifted up by the big toe.

Orthofeet also has well-made inserts that further control some of the abnormal forces that can bend the big toe inward. BioSole Gel Sport orthotics are especially helpful in supporting the foot and controlling some of the forces that cause the deformity. 

Experience relief and comfort with Orthofeet's specialized shoes and inserts designed for big toe deformities.