Mallet toe is a deformity of the toe where the joint near the tip of the toe is in a fixed, bent position. This causes the toe to point downward, unable to remain in s a normal straightened position. Because of the abnormal alignment, the toe is susceptible to the formation of corns and calluses as the toe makes repeated contact with the inner surface of the footwear.
Mallet toe is commonly caused by footwear choice. Women who wear high heels often subject the forefoot to contact pressure and restriction, leading to conditions like mallet toe, hammertoe, and claw toe. Mallet toe can also develop in individuals with arthritis or imbalances in the tendons or muscles of the foot. A podiatrist will typically recommend a break from physical activity, a change in footwear and the use of orthotics to help alleviate symptoms related to mallet toe.