Hallux Valgus describes the outward misalignment of the big toe in the joint base. The tendons running to the toes no longer run centrally through the joint, but further inwards thus pulling the toes into an oblique position. The ball of the big toe form that protrudes as a result can be affected by infections, which are frequently painful and caused by pressure exerted by the shoe upper.
In addition to incorrect footwear, Hallux Valgus can be caused by splayfoot. The collapsing of the anterior transversal arch leads to a widening of the ball area, a different angularity and thus also to a lower position of the first toe in particular.
Women are mainly 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 because of women's shoe designs which favour these aberrations much more so than the average man's shoe does to its owner's feet. Three factors of the footwear have an important role to play:
the heel height
A higher heel (more than three to four centimetres) puts greater 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 toe cap of the shoe as a result.
toe caps too narrow
The toe caps are frequently too narrow to provide the toes the necessary space, particularly on either side but also above. As a result, they are forced into a malposition, which over time leads to a permanent malposition of the joints in the feet. Many women have triangular-shaped (!) forefeet, when viewed from above. These feet fit exactly into the tapering pointed shoe front caps.
shoes too short
If the shoes are too short, the toes are also forced out of their natural position. This not only promotes the Hallux Valgus, but can also lead to hammer and claw toes.