Why Are My Toes Overlapping?


The stress and pressure on your toes, especially when you have poorly fitted shoes, is underestimated by many people. Every step you take applies strong forces on your feet that can contribute to the formation of possibly crippling deformities including underlapping and overlapping toes.

When toes overlap, they can become very painful as they are forced into an unnatural position. The added height can then make them rub on the inside of your footwear which contributes to the formation of skin conditions like blisters, corns, and calluses.

What causes overlapping and underlapping toes?

1)    Overlapping toes—Overlapping usually is seen with the second toe overlapping the largest toe. This often happens when a bunion on your large toe pushes the toe into the other toes often requiring separation with braces, pads, and custom orthotic inserts.

2)    Underlapping toes—This problem usually affects the fourth and fifth toes and may be due to an inherited imbalance between the tendons and muscles that causes the toes to move sideways. In particularly severe cases a surgical procedure involving the removal of a small piece of bone may be necessary to straighten out the toe. Since overlapping toes can cause you to alter the way you walk, correcting the problem will also help restore proper gait mechanics.

If you have problems with overlapping toes, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with issues like heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems. Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM is conveniently located in Valley Stream in Long Island to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!