Tips to Prevent Overhanging Toes in Open-Toed Shoes

Having your toes hang over the edge of your shoes isn’t just uncomfortable and unsightly – it can also expose your toes to germs on the floor. Your toes will be unprotected, so if you bump your foot against something, your toes could be hurt.

But how do you prevent overhanging toes in open-toed shoes? The good news is that it’s not difficult to get right with just a bit of thought and effort.

It begins when you shop for shoes, but even if you already have shoes you love that have this problem, a few simple tricks can solve it.

To start, it’s important to know what causes your overhanging toes so you can figure out how to fix it.

What Causes Overhanging Toes?

There are four main reasons behind overhanging toes—shoes that are too big, shoes that are too small, shoes with pointed toes, and sweaty feet.

If your shoes are too big, your feet are more likely to slide forward, especially if the heel is slightly raised. Because there’s nothing to stop your toes from falling right over the edge of your shoe, it leads to them hanging over.

Shoes that are too small could mean that there’s just enough room for your toes on the footbed! So they’ll end up hanging over your shoes instead.

On the other hand, shoes with a pointed toe can be a problem, because they don’t follow the natural shape of your foot. Because of this, your toes may end up hanging over the sides of the shoes.

If your feet sweat quite a lot, you may also slide forward in your shoe, even if the shoe is the right size.

How to Prevent Overhanging Toes in Open-Toed Shoes

Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to prevent overhanging toes in open-toed shoes.

You may need to experiment a little to find the one that works for you, but once you have, your toe problems will disappear!

Buy the Right Sized Shoe

Getting the right size shoe is the first step! We advise getting your feet professionally measured at a shoe store, so you know your feet in inches/centimeters rather than just a shoe size. You may also learn that one foot is smaller than the other! (which is totally normal, btw)

Keep in mind that the same size number can vary in size. So a size 8 in one brand may be slightly bigger than a size 8 in another. It makes sense to know your size in inches or centimeters so you can properly match your foot size to the shoe that will fit.

You should get your feet measured at least once a year because the structure of your feet changes over time! Especially if you’ve had an injury to your foot.

Another good piece of advice is to shop for shoes in the afternoon if you’re going to be trying them on. Your feet swell slightly as the day goes on, so you’ll find a better fit if you try shoes on during the later part of the day.

Consider the Shoe’s Shape

If you like wearing pointed-toe shoes, you may be more at risk of overhanging toes. Your toes will either be squished to match the shape of the toe box, or they’ll hang over because they aren’t the same shape as the shoe.

Choosing rounded or square-toed shoes can make a big difference. You still need to make sure that the shoe is the right size for your feet.

Try Shoe Liners

If sliding feet are why your toes overhang, you may want to try shoe liners. These are pieces of rubbery material that you stick into your shoes that give you some texture to grip your feet and stop them from sliding.

You can place one of these pads on the footbed of your shoe to help your foot stay in place better. You can find them online, or you can buy some sticky rubber and make your own in the right shape.

Try Ball-of-Foot Cushions

You could also try ball-of-foot cushions. These serve a similar purpose to the shoe liners above, as they stop your feet from sliding forward when you walk, which can go a long way towards preventing overhanging toes.

There’s a difference between metatarsal pads designed to provide support and pain relief for metatarsalgia and Morton’s neuroma, and these forefoot cushions.

These pads are created specifically to fit behind your toes and provide a ridge that your toes can grip, preventing the foot from sliding forward. Some may offer extra cushioning for the ball of the foot, but in general, their purpose is simply to be a stopper.

You can find them easily online, like the Walkize Metatarsal Pads or GQTJP Metatarsal Pads.

Use an Anti-Slip Insole

Insoles are a great way to stop your feet from sliding forward in open-toed shoes. These Dr. Scholl’s insoles are not even noticeable when you’re wearing open-toed shoes, and they provide some grip for your feet.

The Amope GelActiv Open Shoes Insoles are a slightly different shape, but they serve the same purpose. Most of these kinds of insoles have textures on both the heel and the forefoot, which gives you extra grip.

So if metatarsal cushions don’t help keep your feet in place, an insole could be the better option.

Use Foot Powder or Talcum Powder

If sweaty feet are the reason your feet keep sliding forward and causing your toes to overhang, then you may be able to use foot powder or talcum powder to help.

Sprinkling some of these powders on your feet or inside your shoes can help to absorb the sweat, which means your feet won’t slide as much.

Many foot powders also have a deodorizing effect, which can also help those who suffer from chronic smelly feet.

Stick to Flats

In some cases, wearing high heels can lead to your toes hanging over the edge, because the elevated heel causes more pressure to be placed on the forefoot, leading to your foot sliding or “spreading” over the edge of your shoe.

If you think this may be the case, trying an experiment could be a good idea. Wear only flat shoes for a month and see if it makes a difference. If it does, you may have to forgo the big heels and stick to flats or shoes with a very low heel.