An old wives’ tale is that it’s easy to tell the leader of the family. For that person, the toe next to the big toe (called the second toe) is longer.
Why is a Longer Second Toe a Problem?
The medical term is either a long second toe or Morton’s toe. This phenomenon is named after Dr. Dudley Morton from the 1930s.
We can’t judge a foot by the length of the second toe. But if you have pain in any of the following areas, you could have Morton’s Foot Syndrome:
- In the ball of the foot where the second toe meets the long bone in the middle of the front of the foot
- Under the area where your foot bends to walk
- At the end of your second toe
How to Care for Your Longer Second Toe
- Choose shoes that provide enough space for your second toe.
- Take the pressure off of the area by placing a metatarsal pad inside the shoe behind the painful area. Don’t put it too far back and don’t put it too far forward. Let your foot guide you as to what location feels best for this pad. Some shoes already come with a metatarsal pad built into the sock lining.
- Buy a stiffer shoe. Consider a pair with a shank built into the sole. Another option is a rocker sole that attempts to keep the toes straight and prevents the bones from hitting the ground harder when walking.
What to Do If the Pain Persists
See your physician. You may need an x-ray, an injection, or oral medications. Your physician may also recommend an arch support, custom foot orthotic, or even surgery.
What to Watch For
If you aren’t currently experiencing pain in your long second toe, you may still be at risk. Pay attention to:
- Toenail damage to the long toe
- Callouses developing at the end of the toe
- Pain at the end of the toe, middle of the ball of the foot or pain on top of the foot where the bones meet
The Most Important Takeaway
It’s also important to remind your family that your long second toe is the sign of a true leader. :)