What is Claw Foot?


Claw foot, or claw toe as it is sometimes called, is a deformity that occurs when your toes bend down into the shape of a claw. This usually affects all four of the smaller toes and may be a congenital deformity or one caused by in imbalance in your toe muscles and tendons that occurs in later years. Tightly fitting shoes may be one of the main causes of claw foot, and the condition is more likely to affect women who wear high heels, but oftentimes the actual cause remains a mystery.

While claw toe or claw foot is often painless for most individuals, others may experience complications from painful skin conditions like calluses, corns, and ulcers. Oddly enough, a condition known as hammertoe that causes a similar bending of the toes is created by a completely different imbalance of toe muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Treatment for claw foot includes:

Toes that are still flexible may benefit from the following treatments:

● Appropriate footwear choices - Choose shoes with ample room in the toe box area and low heel cups to make room for moleskin and other cushioning devices to help prevent and relieve the pain of calluses, corns and hammertoes.

● Strength and flexibility exercises - Try picking up small objects like marbles or pebbles with your toes to increase and maintain flexibility.

Barring the success of non-invasive treatments, it may be necessary to have rigid claw toes properly straightened surgically. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.