By Joseph Stuto, DPM
September 07, 2017
Category: foot conditions
Tags: Bunions   orthotics   claw toe  

As kids, many of us have seen pictures of monsters with talons and clawed hands. They’ve always been looked at as a kind of deformity and not many people know what to do with such a condition. Claw toes can be a relatively common problem, especially when it comes to the feet.  People who suffer from this condition have many different avenues for help.

People who wear narrow shoes and high heels have a tendency to develop this deformity. High heeled shoes usually compress the toes of the feet and the narrowness causes the bones and ligaments to break down and experience permanent damage. People who suffer from nerve damaging diseases can also get claw toes, even if they do not wear restrictive shoes. Alcoholism and diabetes are other known causes of claw toe. Any time the muscles weaken in the foot and are damaged, there is a chance that claw toes can form.


  • Toes are bent up from the joints at the ball of the foot
  • Toes are bent down at the middle joint
  • In some severe cases, the toe bends at the top joint, downwards
  • Toes curl under the foot
  • Corns develop


It is important to wear shoes that fit correctly in order to prevent and relieve claw toes. If you already have claw toes, try to find shoes that have a larger toe box (the part in the front that envelopes the toes). Avoid heels and tight shoes. Use your hands to stretch your toes into the proper direction. Exercise them regularly in order to prevent them from getting completely stuck and stiff in their position. Try picking up a towel or a marble with your toes to stretch and exercise them. 

In severe cases of claw toes, orthotics can help relieve the pressure in the toes before surgery becomes necessary. Corrective surgery can typically correct the problem.

Are your toes beginning to bend in the wrong direction? Do you wear tight and restrictive shoes all the time? It’s time to see a podiatrist to help determine if you are at risk for claw toes. Dr. Joseph A. Stuto and Dr. Joseph C. Stuto of Joseph Stuto, DPM in Brooklyn, New York can help. Call 718-624-7537 or make an appointment online today to get your feet happy and healthy again.