Overlapping and Underlapping Toes

Have you ever noticed that your toes don’t sit straight? Do they criss-cross with each other? If this is the case, you may have overlapping or underlapping toes. These conditions are typically the result of bone and muscle deformities that are usually present at birth, however, the exact cause is usually unknown.

Typically these two conditions are inherited and start out as a simple cosmetic issue. However, It can progress into issues causing discomfort, pain, and problems with wearing shoes as an adult. These toe abnormalities can cause frustration and should be examined and managed by a podiatrist in Little Neck, such as Dr. Hochstein at Great Neck Family Foot Care.


While there is no central cause for these two abnormalities, both of them are usually genetic within families. Let’s break down the basics for each though:

  • Overlapping toes – One toe overlaps or crisscrosses over another toe. Usually, it is the pinky toe crossing over the toe next to it, and can often cause problems, like rubbing against your shoes and causing pain.
    • This is often a hereditary condition that is present at birth.
    • Sometimes if a bunion, or bone deformity, is present, this can cause the toe to be pushed over on top of the toe next to it.
  • Underlapping toes – One toe underlaps or curls underneath the toe next to it. It is sometimes referred to as curly toe and is also an inherited abnormality that is present at birth.
    • An underlapping toe pushes the toe upwards, causing pain and discomfort.

What Can a Podiatrist in Little Neck do for you?

At Great Neck Family Foot Care, we will examine your overlapping or underlapping toes and make a determination on the proceeding treatments based on the pain and severity of your specific condition. If finding shoes that fit comfortably is difficult for you, our podiatrist in Little Neck may recommend custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, and recommend specific shoe types or brands that will suit your feet well. If you are looking to have the toes completely straightened, corrective surgery may be something to consider and can be discussed at your appointment with us.

If you are are in pain and are regularly experiencing discomfort from toes that just won’t sit straight, contact our office to make an appointment today!