Mallet Toes

A mallet toe is a toe with a flexion contracture at the end (distal) joint. It can be present in any of the toes or any number of toes but not usually in the great toe. The tip of the toe is turned down and will rub against the insole of the shoe. The top of the toe may rub as well.


A mallet toe is caused by a muscle imbalance when the flexor muscles contract over time and overpower the extensor muscles. Arthritis, trauma, heredity, and poor fitting footwear all contribute.

Treatment and Prevention

Conservative treatment includes gel toe pads, caps, toe crests and orthotics to help relieve and accommodate this forefoot disorder. If the problem persists consult your foot doctor.