Hallux valgus is the outward misalignment of the large toe in the joint base. The tendons running to the toes no longer run centrally through the joint, but further inwards thus drawing the toes into an oblique position. Painful inflammation caused by the pressure exerted by the uppers is often formed on the ball of the large toe which protrudes as a result. In addition to incorrect footwear, hallux valgus can also be caused by splayfoot. By collapsing the anterior transversal arch, widening of the ball area, a different angularity and therefore a crooked position of the first toe in particular can be achieved.
Mostly women are affected by more prominent occurrences of hallux valgus. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that women have weaker connective tissue. However, it is mainly due to women's shoe designs which favour these aberrations much more than the average men's shoe does to its owner's feet. Three factors pertaining to the footwear are decisive:
- the heel height
A higher heel (exceeding three to four centimetres) places higher pressure on the forefoot area. This promotes formation of the splay foot on the one hand, and on the other hand the toes are squeezed into the tip of the shoe as a result.
- shoe tips too narrow
The shoe caps are frequently too narrow to provide the toes the necessary space, particularly at the sides, but also at the top. As a result, they are forced into a malposition, which over time leads to a permanent malposition of the foot joints. Many women have triangular-shaped (!) forefeet, when viewed from above. Forefeet which fit exactly into the tapered, pointed shoe front caps.
- shoes too short
If the shoes are too short, the toes are also forced out of their natural position, not only promoting hallux valgus, but also likely resulting in hammer and claw toes.