No, I'm not looking to go into tiny barbells or anything like that. When I'm walking, particularly when I'm angling to a side, I find that I have a slightly tendency for the weight to go to the outside of my foot in the direction I'm angling towards. My little toe takes a fair amount of my weight. I get kind of a "crunching" feeling and a moment of pain before I reflexively shift my weight back again. For whatever reason, it very seldom happens when running, although it occasionally comes up in martial arts.

To the best of my knowledge, I've never broken or dislocated any toes, although not all of them are rotated completely upright, so I've occasionally speculated to my wife that I may have damaged them in the past and just not realized it (something which I'm given to understand is fairly common). Is there any sort of good exercise I can do to strengthen it up so that, when I incidentally put more weight on it, it doesn't hurt as much? My guess would be that this is something which has come up before, perhaps in dancing?

  • 3
    As a small aside, if you've ever stubbed a toe, there's a good likelihood that you've fractured it. And if you have been in martial arts for any length of time, it's also likely that you've had some bone/joint damage in the toes. It's almost inevitable after a while.
    – JohnP
    Oct 27, 2014 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


I think what you're really asking is how to prevent your ankle to roll outwards (or known as inverting) causing a increased amount of weight to go onto the lateral (outside) of the foot, no?

A good exercise for that is to take a wobble board of some sort with the foot placed in the middle and roll it in a circle and move in different directions.

To finally directly answer the questions, your little toe often operates only with the other toes (not big toe) due to nerve location, and only does flexion/extension + abd/adduction (flexor/extensor digtitorum longus muscles. So doing resistive flexion and extension to the little toe will increase the strength.

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