Claw toe normally is caused by nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which can weaken the muscles in your foot, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Having claw toe means your toes "claw," digging down into the soles of your shoes and creating painful calluses. Claw toe gets worse without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.
Common symptoms include:
- Toes bent upward from the joints at the ball of the foot.
- Toes bent downward at the middle joints toward the sole of your shoe.
- Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.
Claw toe deformities are easier to repair when detected early, but they harden into place over time. Splint or tape is used to hold your toes in correct position.