Why Does My Pinky Toe Hurt When I Wear Shoes – Reasons & Home Remedies

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If your pinky toe hurts when trying to wear shoes, it could be because your shoes are a size smaller, uncomfortable, or you’re wearing the wrong kind of shoes for the occasion. Your feet, including the pinky toe, should have enough space in the front of your shoes to feel comfortable and not feel trapped. Otherwise, your pinky toe will hurt. Other possible causes for pain could be a fracture, dislocation, sprain, or developing corn. Try to narrow down your issue and seek the proper treatment from your doctor.

Our feet have the most extensive job in our body, which is bearing our weight and making sure we’re able to move quickly without any hindrance.

When any part of our feet gets hurt or is in pain, it’s challenging for us to move. Our heel, big toe, and pinky toe are affected the most when there’s foot pain.

When our pinky toe is in pain, we need to tend to the root cause of this pain and treat it. If you notice pain in your pinky toe whenever wearing shoes, there could be different reasons why it only hurts when you’re trying to wear your shoes.

Reasons for pain in pinky toe when wearing shoes

A person wearing shoes outside is having pain in their pinky toes.

Our footwear carries us everywhere, and so that footwear must be comfortable and improve our mobility.

Our pinky toes tend to curve inside as our feet are enclosed when we wear shoes. Mostly our pinky toe bears these issues in most of the footwear. Let’s discuss these issues one by one.

1. Small shoe size

In the current world of online shopping, we tend to order almost everything from the web and rarely go out to buy things like we used to before. Things have changed a lot, but not for the better. When shopping for shoes, it’s essential to buy them from a shop rather than online.

You need to try on the shoes and see if the fit is right. If wearing your shoes makes your pinky toe hurt, then your shoes are probably a size smaller for your feet. You’ve probably let it go on for a while for your pinky toe to be in pain.

You can develop something known as tailor’s bunion, a bony bump outside the base of your pinky, inherited because of an abnormal bone structure or because your shoes are too narrow in the toe.

It grows more significantly over time, and other symptoms involve pain, redness, and swelling.

2. Uncomfortable shoes

Sometimes, we also end up buying shoes that look trendy but are, in fact, very uncomfortable. Fashionable shoes do not always promise to be the most comfortable shoes.

Not to name the brand, but I made the same mistake, where I ended up getting a pair of trendy shoes for myself, only never to wear them after a month. Sometimes shoe pads can provide comfort, but you need to discard those shoes if the problem persists.

There are different shapes of shoes for different foot shapes. So, go for comfort instead of trend, or other parts of your feet will starting hurting along with your pinky toe pain. 

3. Shoes for the occasion

Different kinds of shoes exist for different types of activities. For example, if you want to go hiking, you’ll choose one with the most substantial grip, and if you’re going to hang out with a friend, you can make do with walking shoes like a pair of canvases.

Wearing the wrong kind of shoes can also make your pinky toe hurt. You won’t notice it at first, but it will trigger pain in your pinky toe after wearing them. Choose your shoes for the occasion, be it playing football, hiking, or just hanging out with your friends.

Other possible reasons for pain in pinky toe when wearing shoes

1. Sprained toe

You could have a sprained toe, and you might not even realize it until you’re trying to fit it into an enclosed space like a shoe. A sprained toe is when you hurt a ligament. Ligaments connect bones to the joints.

You might have pain when pressing on it, swelling, bruising, and a throbbing sensation. You might have sprained your toe by stubbing it somewhere or stretching it oddly. It isn’t easy to notice because you might have a sprained toe and not know about it.

2. Dislocated toe

Dislocation of your pinky toe could happen when you bang it somewhere. It could be a partial or complete dislocation. If you see your toe at a completely different position than where it should be, that’s a big sign of dislocation.

Other symptoms which can help identify dislocation are pain, swelling, bruising, numbness, or needle-like feeling in the toe. If not tended in time, you’ll require medical attention. 

3. Hairline fracture

A hairline fracture or a stress fracture is just a tiny crack in the bone. It could happen from indulging in strenuous daily activities that could have impacted your pinky toe. Maybe you didn’t get proper rest, and physical activity could have resulted in a small crack.

There could be bruising, swelling, and tenderness upon touch. If not tended to immediately, the situation might get worse. Please don’t put any extra pressure once you’re aware of your situation, as it’ll only make things worse. 

4. Corn

Corn is very painful if you let it develop and grow without treating it. It originates from your skin’s response to friction and pressure, which happens when you wear a tight shoe for any reason.

If you touch it, you’ll notice it as a patch of skin that’s a visible bump hardened over time. It’s tough, yellowish in color, and sensitive to touch. It’ll hurt whenever you’re trying to wear your shoes.

You can probably remedy soft corns at home with a pumice stone, but if it becomes worse, you’ll have to consult your doctor for medical treatment.

5. Toe abnormalities

There could also be some foot abnormalities with your pinky toe making it painful whenever you wear your shoes. It could be because of a deformed toe, which happens due to incorrect posture or movement. Or it could be due to a misshapen pinky toe that most people are born with.

Remedies for painful pinky toe

A young woman is on the sofa massaging her painful pinky toe.

Now, as we have established, there could be various reasons behind your pinky toe hurting when trying to wear a shoe. We can further talk about steps you can take to remedy that.

First and foremost is to pay attention to the shoes you’re trying to wear. See if the shoes are comfortable enough for your pinky toe also if the shoe size is according to your foot size. Last but not least, pay attention to the occasion you’re wearing a certain kind of shoe.

Try to figure out if severe pain requires immediate attention or moderate pain where you can still wait a bit. Wearing the wrong shoes can end up seriously injuring your pinky toe.

8 home remedies you can try to reduce the pinky toe or foot pain:

  • Avoid wearing shoes when you witness pain in the pinky toe, including high heels and high-heeled shoes. Instead, wear open footwear with sufficient space.
  • Rest your foot as much as possible and avoid any strenuous physical activities.
  • Unless your pinky toe has healed and the treatment continues, it’s better to use a crutch to help you get around.
  • Elevate your foot on a pillow when resting. It should be higher than your chest level.
  • Use an ice pack on the pinky toe and surrounding area to help relieve the pain. Please do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Cold packs tend to provide much-needed relief from pain and reducing swelling. 
  • Your doctor might advise you to use a bandage, splint, cast, or walking boot to keep your toes aligned while it heals.
  • OTC medications like ibuprofen and aspirin (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice and treatment if your pinky toe is fractured, dislocated, sprained, or has any other medical issue.


How do I stop my pinky toe from hurting my shoes?

Wearing the correct size of shoe is crucial apart from shoes being comfortable at the same time. But sometimes, when we like a pair of shoes, some hacks can help prevent your pinky toe from getting hurt.

– Wear socks to cushion your foot
– Use toe protectors or toe caps to reduce friction
– Use shoe inserts like pads or insoles to prevent abrasion
– Applying paper tape can also be effective

Should your pinky toe touch the side of your shoe?

Your pinky toe shouldn’t touch the side of your shoe, and if it does, it implies that your shoes are a size smaller for your foot.

Ideally, your foot and your toes should be able to move comfortably from side to side, and there should be a bit of a gap in the front for that to happen. Choose a pair of wider shoes.

How do you fix your pinky toe sideways?

If your pinky toe is sideways and feels crooked, there’s a chance you can fix it by changing your lifestyle. You can choose to wear well-fitted footwear and avoiding wearing high heels.

You can wear a toe spacer at home to help fix your pinky toe. Discuss your options with your doctor, for you might need surgery in a severe case.

Can a broken pinky toe heal on its own?

If your pinky toe has a crack, you’ll need a lot of care and rest for it to heal correctly and as quickly as possible. It can take somewhere around 4 to 6 weeks for it to completely heal.

Swelling and pain will go away within a few days of taking care of it at home. Consult your doctor for better treatment.

To summarize

Your pinky toe is an essential part of your foot which maintains your balance when walking or doing any other physical activity. If your pinky toe gets hurt in any way, it directly affects your balance, making it difficult for you to move.

If you feel pain in your pinky toe while wearing shoes, it’s probably because your shoes are too tight for your feet. It’s best to choose roomy shoes to avoid getting your pinky toe hurt.

The metatarsal bones leading to pinky toe is one of the most common locations for foot injuries. If you end up hurting your pinky toe somehow, it becomes apparent as you try to wear shoes. 

You need to pay attention to the cause of your pain in your pinky toe. Just follow your doctor’s advice on effective treatment. With time the pain will diminish, and your foot will be back to normal.

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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