How to Stop Shoes Rubbing my little Toe?

How to Stop Shoes Rubbing my little Toe

Few things are more unpleasant than a pair of shoes that always rub your toe. It's not only annoying, it can cause blisters and make walking painful. There are many reasons why your shoes may be rubbing your little toe, and they're all easy to fix.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about prevent your shoes from rubbing your little toe, from fixing the problem with shoes you already have to preventing the problem from happening with any shoes you buy in the future.

The cause of the problem is almost always a pair of shoes that are too tight, and there are several things you can do fix and prevent that problem. I'll cover everything you need to know in order to prevent and avoid this problem in the future. Once you're done reading this guide, you'll never have to worry about blistered toes again. Also you may check out our latest blog about achilles tendonitis.

Make sure your shoes fit

The first thing to check if your shoes are rubbing your little toe is the fit. Your shoes are probably too tight. Take a look at the shape of your shoes; see how they taper toward the front? Now, take a look at your foot.

The human foot doesn't naturally taper like that. Your foot might, because you've been wearing shoes your whole life. If you could find someone who hardly ever wears shoes, or look at the foot of a young child, you won't see it tapering toward the front. In fact, you'll probably see the foot getting wider and the toes spreading farther apart.

The toe box of most shoes is not shaped to conform to your feet. If you start looking at shoe styles and brands that are known for being comfortable, you'll notice that they tend to have a wider front. You may also notice, looking at your own feet, that your toes, and the little toe especially, seem like they've been bent inward.

In a way, they have. Years of wearing shoes reshapes your toes. Even so, wearing tight shoes can still cause uncomfortable friction when the shoe is rubbing against the little toe with every step you take.

Getting the fit right

Shoes that fit properly won't rub your feet uncomfortably. Properly fitted shoes won't develop any friction points and will be comfortable to wear all day long. Here are some tips for ensuring the best possible fit.

  • possible fit.Shop for shoes in the evening. As you walk all day, your feet expand. This means that by the end of the day your feet are larger than they are in the morning.

    Then, as you lie in bed all night, your feet contract again. The size difference isn't huge, but it's enough to make your shoes noticeably tight if you have them fitted earlier in the day.
  • Always measure your feet when buying shoes. Don't just trust that your feet will fit in a certain size- not every brand will fit the same and your feet may not stay the exact same size forever.
  • Look for shoes with a wider toe box. The toe box is the front part of the shoe that surrounds the toes. Some brands and styles of shoe have a wider toe box than others, and these are less likely to rub against your little toe.
  • Don't tie your shoes too tightly. Tight laces make the toe box tight, too. You won't the shoe tied just tight enough that it won't move around too much, but not so tight that it will rub against your toes.

Follow these tips when you're shopping for shoes, and you should always end up with comfortable shoes that don't rub your toes.

How to stop shoes from rubbing

Those tips are great for avoiding buying shoes that will rub your toes, but they aren't much help if you already have a pair of shoes that's rubbing too much. It's also true that, even if you've bought a perfectly comfortable pair of shoes, you may need to break them in before they'll stop rubbing against your toes.

Here are the best things you can do to help prevent your stop your shoes from rubbing your little toe.

  • Foot powder is very useful. A lot of the friction between your toes and the shoe is caused by sweat. Powders will absorb that sweat, preventing it from creating friction within the shoe.
  • Anti-friction sticks are also a good idea. They look and feel sort of like deodorant, but their only purpose is to create a slipper surface between your skin and the shoe rubbing against it. Only use this on the part of your toe that's rubbing against the shoe.
  • Anti-blister cushions or patches can make a huge difference. Put them on your toes at the spot where they keep rubbing against the shoe, and they'll save you a lot of pain and discomfort. Usually these are made from very soft but durable fabric that will sit between you toe and the shoe, prevent the shoe from rubbing directly against you.

Use any of these tools, or all of them, to prevent the shoe from rubbing against your toe. These are all tried and true methods of preventing blisters. They're also cheaper than buying a new pair of shoes and are perfect for preventing pain and discomfort while breaking in a new pair of shoes.

How To Prevent Blisters When Running | Stop Your Run Shoes Rubbing Check Out This Video

Stretch the shoes

Whether your shoes are simply too tight or you're breaking in a new pair of shoes, stretching them out can be a great way to stop shoes from rubbing your little toe.

  • Wear them around the house for a short time. Don't wear them all day, just walk around in them for a little bit at a time, then take them off. Do it again a little while later and keep repeating. Eventually the shoes will stretch a bit and feel more comfortable.
  • Place plastic bags full of ice inside the shoes. This will help to gently stretch them. The best way to do this is to fill freezer bags with water, stuff them into your shoes, and place the whole shoe into the freezer. Water expands as it freezes, so the bags will slowly and gently stretch your shoes.
  • Use steam to stretch your shoes. Get a steamer that you'd use wrinkles from your nice shirts and apply the steam to the inside of your shoes for a little bit before you wear them. This will loosen the interior of the shoe a little bit and make it easier to stretch.
  • Wear thick socks while you wear the shoes. The extra thickness helps to stretch the shoes out. As an added bonus, it will also help protect your toes more while you're wearing the shoes.
  • Place the shoes in water. You want enough water to get the exterior of the shoes wet, but not enough to get inside them. Take them out of the water and wear them while wet. This will help the shoes conform to the shape of your feet better.

Be careful not to overdo any of these methods, as that could potentially ruin your shoes. As long as they're done carefully, all of these methods will help create better-fitting shoes for you.

Look for shoes with a flexible upper

The upper is the top part of the shoe. Basically, the shoe consists of the sole, which is the bottom, and the upper, which covers the tops of your feet. The upper is the part that is rubbing against your little toe. The more flexible the upper is, the less it will rub against your toes.

Get professional stretching tools

Rubbing of the little toe is a common enough problem that people have designed tools to help you stretch the shoes out.

  • The tool comes as a kit which includes a spray and a wedge.
  • Cover the entire interior of the shoe with the spray. Be sure that every inch of the inside is coated in the spray.
  • Next, insert the wedge into the shoe. There should be a knob on top; turn the knob until the wedge is pushing tight against the inside of the shoes.
  • Once the wedge is tight against the interior of the shoes, set them aside for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Once the time is up, twist the knob in the other direction to loosen the wedge and withdraw it.
  • Try the shoes on again- they should fit much better now.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've tried all these methods and my shoes still rub my little toe. What do I do?

If none of these methods has provided any relief, you will probably need a new pair of shoes. you may have purchased a pair that's simply much too small, or a style of shoe that's just not designed with comfort in mind.

How much do I need to stretch my sneakers?

If you've purchased shoes that are your normal size, they don't need to be stretched much. You're really just trying to stretch them enough so that they won't rub on the toe, and that's a matter of millimeters, not inches.

Shouldn't my shoes already fit? Why would shoes in the right size still have this problem?

Since everyone's feet are different, no one can make a size ten shoe that will fit perfectly on all size ten feet. It's not just the length and width of the foot that matter, but the shape of the foot, height of the arch, length of the toes, etc. Even the right size shoe needs to be stretched a bit and broken in to fit perfectly.


As long as you've bought shoes that are the right size, or close to the right size, one or more of these methods should stop them from rubbing your little toe. I've had great success using these, and I'm confident that you will, too.

1 thought on “How to Stop Shoes Rubbing my little Toe?”

  1. Dave Bollinger

    What about shoes I’ve worn for years? That just rubbed on my little toe for some unknown reason and tore the skin?

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