9 Causes of Numbness in Toes

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Numbness in toes can be very concerning.   Not only can it be worrisome, it is very uncomfortable and quite annoying.   Numbness in your toes can affect many toes, or may just affect one.   Depending on the condition that is causing the numbness, it may develop suddenly or gradually over a long period of time.  

If the numb toes are accompanied by other symptions like infections in your feet or sores on your feet, then it is a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible.    Below is a list of conditions that can cause numbness in toes:

Shoes that are too tight.

One of the most common causes of numbness in toes luckilly has a very simple fix.  Are your shoes too tight?   Your feet may swell a bit while walking (especially for long periods of time).   Your shoes need a wide toe box to allow for this, as well as give your toes enough room to move around a bit.   You don't want the shoe box to be so tight that it feels like you can't move your toes around much.   Feet weren't designed to be compacted inside small toe box shoes.   If you feel that this may be the cause of your numb toes, try finding shoes that are wide enough not to compact your toes, and possibly cut off circulation to your toes.  

If you consistently wear shoes that are too tight in the toe box, you can end up causing deformities in your toes.   If you are at home, or at work in an office building, lose the shoes! The less time your feet spend trapped in restrictive shoes, the less likely you'll have problems with numbness in toes, or other painful deformities.  Not only that, it's much less likely for any type of fungus or bacteria to grow that cause stinky feet.   Go barefoot whenever possible and your toes & feet will thank you!


Bunions are another type of problem that can cause numbness in toes.  This deformity usually occurs in the big toe, and can be cause by improper footwear that is too tight in the toe area.  High Heels are especially bad for causing bunions and toe deformities.   If left untreated, and the problem causing the bunions (your shoes) go ignored, this can spread to other toes too making it painful to walk and causing numbness in your toes.   Again, free your feet!  Get them out of the restrictive prisons that we trap them in, and you can avoid many problems that cause numbness in toes and many painful deformities. 

Foot Disorders

There are various types of foot disorders, such as flat feet, or high arches, that may cause numbness in toes.   The numb toes can be from inflammation and irritation caused by stress when walking.  Joint disorders in your feet can also cause toe numbness.   One common one that can cause numbness in toes is Arthritis.   

Avascular Necrosis

Which is a disease where there is cellular death of bone components due to interruption of the blood supply, can also cause numb toes.   

Fractured Toes

A fractured joint or bone in your toes or upper part of your foot can cause numbness in toes.   Any kind of trauma to the foot which crushes it or bends it in an awkward way can cause the nerves to become irritated or inflamed, which can result in toe numbness.   Dropping something heavy or having surgery on your foot can cause this.  Stubbing your toe (ouch!) can cause this as well even if it doesn't break the toe.  If your toe joint is dislocated it can cause your toe to become numb as well.


Neuroma is an abnormal growth of a nerve.  This growth occurs in the toes more than any other body part.  The neuromas can cause messages transmitted by the nerves to be blocked, which causes numbness in toes.   The numbness caused by a neuroma can spread into other areas of the foot, such as the ball of the foot.  This can cause pain and difficulty walking if it gets bad enough.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition that usually occurs in the legs and feet.  In the beggining stages of peripheral neuropathy, you may feel numbness in toes and some tingling sensations.   Later on this can result in some fairly serious complications such as sores that will not heal well, and the inability to respond to pain due to the toe numbness.  

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition that  can occur due to poorly managed or untreated diabetes.  This can cause  the nerves in your toes to become damaged, which can leed to numbness in  toes and feet.  If this goes on untreated, the affected toes may have  to be amputated!   If you suffer from Diabetes and are noticing numbness  in toes, you should talk to your doctor about it as soon as possible. 

Alcoholic Neuropathy

Alcoholic Neuropathy is a condition caused by alcohol abuse.   Alcoholic Neuropathy causes the nerves to be damaged due to long term excessive ingestion of alcoholic beverages.   This can affect many parts of your body, including your feet and toes, which may cause numbness in toes.   This condition usually develops oer a long period of time.

Free Your Feet!

Some of the most common foot and toe problems can be caused by shoes that don't fit right and are too tight.  Do your feet and toes a favor, and don't trap them in shoes that are too tight.   Let them get out and stretch and breath as much as possible while at work or at home.     When you are required to wear shoes, wear shoes that have large toe boxes that don't cram your toes together, and that are loose enough that they don't cut off circulation in your feet.   Wearing a nice pair of sandals to work so your toes and feet are not crammed in shoes is a great idea, plus you can slip them off and on easilly throughout the day.

Not only will your feet feel better not being trapped inside of shoes, they will be much healthier!  Feet trapped inside of shoes not only can suffer from all sorts of deformity problems, lack of flexibility problems and numbness in toes and other parts of the foot, but they can also end up with nasty fungus and bacteria on them (and inside the shoe).   The bacteria and fungus cannot grow if you keep your feet out in the open as much as possible, as they require moisture to grow.    Free your feet from their sweaty cramped prisons as much as possible, and your feet will thank you!  

See a Doctor!

If you believe you have any of the more serious conditions in this list, or are not sure, please see a doctor as soon as possible.  If you let the problem go on without taking action, you could end up with a much more serious problem that causes tremendous pain when walking in your toes and feet.

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