Mortons toe (longer second toe)

edited October 2012 in Running Injuries
I have a longer second toe which I believe is called Morton's toe.  One issue is that the highest stress point is not the big toe but the second toe as evident by the position of the callous.  My issue is that I will get soreness in that metarsal that I have not figured out how to prevent.  I have flat feet but tend to supinate due to some pigeon toeing while running (observed by multiple people).  I run in either a Saucony Kinvara or Mirage (longer runs) and probably do about 20 miles per week.  Any suggestions on shoes that may help modify that stress point on push off??  Thanks Fred


  • Have you ever tried taping that toe using this method:

    I occasionally get second met ache and this has helped. I can't find the original site where I found the technique, but it basically involves looping a thin strip of tape over the second toe then crossing the ends and adhering them under the foot.
  • Thanks.  I have not tried that, but I certainly will.  Looks like the tape creates more separation which seems like would help. Fred
  • I think the main function of the tape is that it keeps the 2nd toe down, which in turn rotates the joint between the second toe and met head up a bit so it doesn't bear the brunt of force during pushoff.
  • Hi,

    I have also had pain under my second toes on both feet, since switching to minimalist shoes (mixmaster 2) and switching midfoot striking from heel striking. I haven't overdone it as far as I'm aware (not running much more than 10 minutes.) I don't believe I have Morton's toe, but I do have fairly high arches. I'd appreciate any advice you can provide. (I haven't tried the taping suggested above, but I'll give it a shot.) Pain is a dull ache that stays with me throughout the day. Thanks, Sean
  • edited October 2012

  • I tried the taping on an 8 miler on Saturday and will need some more runs to see if it has an impact.  I am also trying a lift under the first metarsal,but too early to tell about that either.  I am using a thick moleskin from Walgreens and cut the pad to cover the ball of the big toe and as described in this link.  Fred
  • Ran three miles tonight with my Kinvara 2's and the shim under the ball of the foot. I had much less 2nd toe area pain.  It is too early to say that this is the solution, but I was quite encouraged. 

  • Good to hear the shim may do the trick - keep us updated!
  • edited July 2013
    I also have pain under my second toes (both feet). Both my forefeet swell up every time I am out running.

    I started transitioning to minimalistic shoes 2-3 years ago and changing from heel strike to a forefoot strike. First let me say that I always have had flat feet, bad arches, knee pain, back pain and even had a back surgery 15 years ago. The doctor suggested I find another sport than running! But the only sport I love is running! I started barefoot running and Trail Gloves. Now I run in Lems, Vapor Gloves and Altra The One.

    I do not have any more knee pain. No back pain. My arches are even "normal" now (wet foot print test) I can run again! I remember many years ago running a 10k track in spike shoes that torured my forefeet and I could not run for many weeks. That was my forefeet problem and that is still my problem. I always have swelling and pain in my forefeet after running. I have transitioned to minimal and forefoot slowly so my calves are good and strong. I have been to different specialists, wondering if this was neuromas but no one has been able to give me help. What helps is a metatarsal pad under my second metatarsal and "Correct Toes" spacers. And all my shoes have super wide toe boxes. I like my Newton Distance but one run with them and my forefeet are really bad again. With Vapor Gloves (Trail Gloves were too narrow up front) and now Altra The One I am much better. But it seems I have to live with constant swelling and pain in my forefeet. I tried icing but it does not help much. Sometimes on my runs I feel my second toes are completely numb.

    So I wonder if it is the minimal shoes, the forefoot strike and the lack of cushioning that is the problem. I really love no cushioning and the Altra The One feel like running on "marshmellows" (not negative but compared to everything else I have run in the past year).

    I must comment that I had a MR x-ray of my forefeet now and there is no sign of any micro-fractures as I thought since the pain and problems never leave.

    Would love to hear from anyone with similar problems! Hope I was not off topic here but I feel it was related to Mortons Toe/neuromas.
  • Hi,
    @fjwagner - I tried your suggestion from web page and I must say that after a couple of days my pain under my second toe is much better. Hope this is a good solution.
  • Glad that solution helped, keep us posted!
  • Peter, I have been reading your posts about impact forces and how they change when landing differently (different stiffening of the legs). If I understand you correct the load is the same when your body lands no matter in what way and cushioned shoes are prone to direct the impact to the knees and hip while firmer and minimalistic shoes/barefoot send the impact to the legs and ankle. Am I getting it? So that is the reason my knees and back are ok while my metatarsals and calves have to work harder? I know you are not a foot doctor but from your wide knowledge doe you think forefoot problems can get worse when you minimize the cushioning under the feet? This is related to e.g. Mortons Toe problems.
  • @Asle - get your feet checked out to see if your metatarsal heads have dropped and lack cushioning (fat pads).  After my half marathon, I had pain under my 2nd,3rd metatarsals and on the top of the foot.  I was diagnosed with metatarsalgia and extensor tendonitis  Right now, my chiropractor is using ART and Graston on adhesions on my shins and also on my feet in the lumbricals.
  • @Asle - My wife has a neuroma on her right foot and symptoms sound similar to what you describe. She started in Altra Instincts with correct toes, but still had pain. Going into Hokas fixed her problem - no more pain, so seems the added cushion was a big plus. I just got her a pair of Altra Torins to match a wide toebox with more cushion, first run today was good, but she said she felt a slight tingle in her forefoot. We'll see how things progress, but she never gets foot pain running in the Hokas.

    And to answer your question, yes, I think you are correct in your understanding. More minimal shoe may lead to stride adjustments such as an increased cadence that might benefit the knees/hips, but the tradeoff would be more stress to the feet/ankles.
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