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Is Your Child Second Toe Crossing Over the Big Toe? – Try Deep Shoes with Round Toe-Boxes!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects up-to-date information.

Have you noticed your child’s second toe crossing over the big toe? This is a condition that is most often seen in adults, but it can occur at any age. This condition is believed to be hereditary, but It may also result from your child wearing shoes that are too short or too narrow.

Most parents don’t notice that their children have the second toe crossing over the big toe until the child starts to walk. You will have a better chance of noticing if your child has this condition by looking at the toes while your child is weight-bearing rather than off weight-bearing.

Shoes that are too tight can force your child’s toes out of line and gradually cause a toe to overlap. Other factors that can make your child more prone to developing overlapping toes are:

  • Flat Feet
  • High arches
  • Overpronation

Is there a Treatment for Overlapping Toes?

Did you know that simply taping the toe in a straight position has a high success rate in newborns? The older your child gets, the higher the chance that the toes will become rigid and require surgery. You should definitely consult your medical professional about this procedure.

The earlier you treat your child’s overlapping toe, the better the outcome will likely be. You should always start by trying conservative measures to reduce pain and discomfort, but if these don’t work, your medical professional may recommend surgery.

Conservative Measures for Treating Your Child’s Overlapping Toes

Wearing the Correct Types of Shoes in the Correct Size

Extra Deep and rounded toe-boxes

It’s important that your child’s shoes don’t make this condition worse by making the toes overlap or rub against one another or the side of the shoes.

I suggest making sure that your child wears shoes that provide extra depth and rounded toe-boxes, and that the shoes can fit the shape of your child’s feet (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide).

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now that focuses on helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems but provides regular shoe fittings as well. As a shoe fitter, I handle approximately 100 shoe fittings/try-ons per week and have become very familiar with the best shoes for children who have their second toe crossing over the big toe.


I have seen a large number of children who walk into the store wearing shoes that are too short or narrow for their feet.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Ideal for Kids with Overlapping Toes?

The shoes I recommend provide two important features that help prevent the child’s toes from overlapping with each other:

  • Rounded Toe-Boxes allow extra space in the front part of the shoes to prevent your child’s toes from overlapping or rubbing against one another. The shoes below are the same size, but do you notice how the shoe on the right (New Balance) has a rounded toe-box compared to the shoe on the left (Nike)?
  • Extra Depth allows the child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and prevents the top front part of your child’s toes from rubbing against the top front part of the shoes. The shoes below are the same size but the shoe on the right (New Balance) is a lot deeper than the shoe on the left (Nike).

I am going to show you a selection of shoes that provide these 2 important features, but keep in mind that if you don’t order the shoes in the correct size (length and width) you will defeat all of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child?

If you have a good-fitting children’s shoe store in your area I suggest that you take your child there to be properly measured and fitted for shoes. However, most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down lately (even before the pandemic), so parents are increasingly ordering their children’s shoes online.

If you are unsure of your child’s exact foot length and shape I suggest that you follow the instructions in the article below:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

Now that you know your child’s foot size, let’s take a look at the best shoes for kids with their second toe crossing over the big toe. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes for Kids with their Second Toe Crossing Over the Big Toe

The shoes below are available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths.

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Are There Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

If you are looking for a different shoe style in a different color don’t hesitate to contact me with your child’s foot shape and location and I will provide you with different shoe recommendations. You can also let me know whether you are looking for a pair of sneakers or seasonal footwear such as sandals or boots:


Other Conservative Measures for Treating Your Child’s Overlapping Toes

Use toe separators: You can buy these at most drugstores or online retailers, or your foot doctor may make one for your child. There are different types and sizes of separators, but the one I am most familiar with is the one on the link below:

Toe Separator for Kids

This toe separator is going to help correct your toddler’s overlapping toes without surgery by straightening your toddler’s toes with gentle pressure. Parents love this gel toe-separator because it will keep your toddler’s toes in the correct position.

The Importance of Wearing the Correct Types of Socks

One common mistake parents make is to focus solely on footwear and ignore the importance of wearing the correct type of socks. Just like shoes, the wrong type of socks can constrict toe movement and make your child’s curly toe condition worsen.

I usually recommend seamless socks for children with overlapping toes as they help prevent the toes from overlapping one another. You also need to make sure that you don’t order socks that are too small. You can see a selection of the best seamless socks for kids on the link below:

Seamless Socks for Kids – Stop the Struggle of Putting Socks On!

Complications of Overlapping Toes

  • General Foot Pain: When your child’s toes overlap or rub against one another or the side of the shoes it can lead to inflammation and irritation of the toes, leading to foot pain.
  • Impact Your Child’s Natural Gait: Children might change their walking gait to avoid the pain, which can later lead to other problems or even exacerbate the issue.
  • Corns, Callouses, and Blisters: These foot issues can develop due to friction between the toes.

Surgery may be recommended if conservative methods don’t help to relieve your pain or straighten your toes.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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