Got Morton’s Toe? Lengthen your Vibram Five Fingers’ Second Toe with this Mod

How to modify your Vibram Five Fingers to accomodate a long second toe — also known as Morton’s Toe. A permanent modification to your Vibrams that stretches the second toe!

Guest post by Brett Stewart of TRI PHX

Vibram Five Fingers (VFF’s) are dear to a great deal of barefoot enthusiast’s hearts; they allow us to run, walk and train in conditions that might be too rough for our little tootsies. They also allow us to be “barefoot” out in public — at restaurants, shops, and even our offices (well, mine at least).

The freedom of your toes in Vibram Five Fingers is one of the greatest feelings, but it can also cause problems for roughly 10% of the feet in the world. It comes to be that 13.8 million feet have what’s affectionately (OK, medically) known as Morton’s Toe. My mom called it a “sign of intelligence,” but I just say it’s when Piggy #2 is longer than his big brother (Your big toe is shorter than your second toe).

VFF’s are made for the other 13.75 Billion (with a B) feet out there with the more traditional shape; so what’s a guy to do with feet like mine?

What if you have ugly feet like these? (Note the second toe is slightly longer than the big toe.)

Modify your Vibram Five Fingers by stretching the second toe!

Here’s how. It all starts with a vise and a bungee cord. I clamp the 2nd “finger” in the vise and stretch it as far as I can like this:

Stretching the “fingers” (Vise on second toe and bungee pulling at the heel)

Next, I have to persuade the rubber with a little bit of heat. I used a grill lighter so I didn’t burn my actual fingers. I found that warming the entire area from the toe pad to the forefoot pad allowed for an even stretch.

NOTE: Be really careful not to melt the fabric on the toe! It is very flammable, and you will mess the toe up pretty good if the flame hits it. Heat up the rubber slowly and take your time. I did this step 2x on each shoe and heated for about 30 seconds each time, stretching ’em even further by hand and then repeating:

Applying a little heat to stretch “finger”

After cooling, phalanges pocket #2 should be a bit longer; continue until you have the desired fit.

Fixed Five Fingers & Ugly Foot

Fixed Five Fingers & Ugly Foot

Voila! you’ve got custom-fitted Vibram Five Fingers for Morton’s Toe!

About the Mod Author —

You can find Brett Stewart over at TRI PHX blogging fitness (Check out this barefoot circuit!). I originally saw Brett’s Morton’s Toe mod at his post here and asked him if he’d share the mod on BirthdayShoes and he graciously agreed!

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BdayShoes is the "guest blogger" everyman (or woman!) of Periodically, we feature original posts from non-regular writers on the blog here. Those posts get published under this user! If you're interested in contributing a one-off post to BirthdayShoes, contact us!

81 replies on “Got Morton’s Toe? Lengthen your Vibram Five Fingers’ Second Toe with this Mod”

Those aren’t “ugly” feet at all, and the longer middle toe IS a sign of greater intelligence. 😉

So do you size the VFF’s based on your big toe rather than your longest one with this mod? Makes me wonder if I could drop a size based on this mod.

A heat gun or maybe even a really powerful hair dryer may work well and eliminate some of the risk of melting or burning fabric. But that is definitely a cool mod. I’d also be very careful to not overstretch the first time around.

Love it… when I saw the pic i was like how’d he do it? but this just goes to show how much ppl love their Vibes…

Viva Vibram5fingers!

Did you actually shave your feet for the Vibrams or are they naturally without hair.

It may seem a dumb question but i have hairy feet (a regular hobbit, though not that hairy) and am worried that witha vibram it will be pretty uncomfortable.

any comments ?

I need to do this! My morton’s toe is just as long or longer and thought I just had to live with it being curled up.

OMG THANK YOU I have the same shoes as you and we have the same size of feet and I just did this mod and now my shoes are so much more wearable I had no idea that my second toe was being crushed(must have only been like 1 millimeter two small) and now im pain free

Do you think this would work for the trek? I am going to buy some soon and was thinking of sizing up to fit my Morton’s toe, but w/ this I’d have no need.

I recommend you replace the lighter technique with a heat gun or a blow dryer at close range. I used to build poker tables as a hobby and in order to stretch the vinyl we would use either one of those. The heat gun is ideal, you can still burn the material, but it’s much easier to control.

in point of fact, I sort of accidentally put my KSO’s in the dryer and I think I need to use this technique to bring the toes back to where they were. 🙂

What about hammertoe and bunnouns? Is anyone using vff to correct/prevent this problem? Any information on this would be helpful

Wicked! I just sized up with mine because I have long toes, in general. Such that it’s nearly easier to claim that I just have a small big toe, haha.

Why doesn’t the manufacturer just make a model for people with the longer second toe. Also, harsh on the Wugly Uord!

Not to be a math nerd, but if there are 13.8 billion people in the world, wouldn’t 10% be 1.38 billion feet that have mortons toe? If one percent of those people wanted VFFs that would be like almost 14 million people. Sounds like a pretty big marketing audience.

I was just refered to this site to possibly help me with my issue. I measure just slightly over 12 1/4″ for the size 48 KSOs. I went ahead and ordered them and they fit snug at first, but for the last 2.5/3 weeks, they seem to have “stretched” out somewhat and are VERY comfortable.

My issue is that the only shoe in a size 48 (measured 12 1/4″) are te KSOs and I can only get them in black.

I’d love to have some color and options with the VFFs. Would doing this mod on all the toes on the size 48 (measuring 12″) work? Maybe the size 47 Classics (grey-black).

Would this work? Has anyone safely expanded all 10 toes? Please someome tell me ine can do this. I LOVE these shoes and want more options of colors/designs.

hey i find this useful for my second toe but it just so happens that my third toe is also a bit out of proportion would this function for that toe too?

I have a different problem. My big toe is significantly longer than toes 2-5, so I presume I should probably buy a size down (none of my toes 2-5 get close to the end of the toehold), then stretch the big toe in the same manner you subscribe. As it is, My big toe is stretching the bejezus out of my 44’s while the other little piggies slip in and out of the toehold.

Can anyone tell me if I can purchase these five finger shoes if i wear a size 51 (US 15)? Thanks

You don’t need to do this with the Treks. The Treks are already designed with Morton’s Toe in mind – just look at them! The regular KSOs scrunch and rub my second toe and I can’t wear them but the Treks fit fine. I just wish the Treks had a felt liner instead of leather. The leather really rubs and causes blisters on long distance treks when your feet sweat. (Think bare legs on leather car seats – yikes!)

my first 3 toes all seem to be too freakishly long. or when i look at the bottoms of the VFF i have to think THAT looks freakish. whose little toe is the same size as his/her big toe? the toes separate almost 1/2 and inch too late so i dont get even remotely the toe freedom i was sooo dreaming of. sniffles.

I just bought the bikila and i got them in size 47 i have to wear socks for mililtary…. do i have to worry about it being a problem when im not wear the socks.. my feet is 11 3/4 are they going to moving around alot or is it going to be tight…???

Just as another point of reference about Morton’s Toes, the Statue of Liberty has them too! SO obviously it is a sign of beauty as well as intelligence

Thanks for the hint. I don’t have that same problem but my right foot is bigger than my left by just a bit so my right big toe hits the end of the shoe. If I could just stretch it just a bit it would be perfect. I’m going to try this but will try a hair dryer first.

In India they told us the long second toe meant a dominant personality. Of course that means it’s undesirable for women to have it – it may be harder for a Morton-toed woman to find a husband!!! I’m joking, I hope.
Thanks a lot for this mod – will do it immediately, and enjoy my shoes even more.

Did you hold the flame directly to the rubber sole or just close enough to it to slightly melt it? And should I go ballsy and do it to mine that I just got a few days ago?

i have toes almost just like yours!!! but suprisingly it was my pinkie toe that hurt – the other toes felt fine. i wore them for a while with the aching pinkie toes and they finally quit hurting – but i developed brusises on both pinkie toenails.
so – i cut the end caps off both pinkie toes!!! i was hesitant to do this – because now my pinkie toes are bare at the ends – but it worked!!!

“Not to be a math nerd, but if there are 13.8 billion people in the world, wouldn’t 10% be 1.38 billion feet that have mortons toe? If one percent of those people wanted VFFs that would be like almost 14 million people. Sounds like a pretty big marketing audience.”

@Nick J.

Sorry but these aren’t the right facts.
There aren’t 13.8 billion people in the world but rather about 7 billion. Then Vibram won’t sell 140 million pairs. This year they expect to sell around 2.5 million. 10% would be just 250 thousand accounting for all models and sizes they were going to offer. Say M41-M44 and W38-W41, for Sprint, KSO, TrekSport and Bikila. A total of 32 different lasts, 7800 of each on average. If each model is to be offered in a couple of different tone sets that means 3900 each to be distributed in small amounts around the world. Say 50% in the US, around 2000 of each. In a given average state 40 units of each in different cities sold by retailers. Online marketing would probably the only convenient option, the problem then is to convince the people affected with that condition that the shoes would fit and persuading them to order a pair without any previous trial.


Thanks for learning me. A few months later, I have no idea where I got 13.8 from. Now I know why I didn’t go into marketing!

I modified my KSOs with a wooden spoon and a hair dryer. The wooden spoon happened to be the perfect length for my size 39 KSOs, inserted with the handle in the second toe, and the bowl firmly in the heel. I used my hairdryer on the bottom and then left it to sit overnight. No danger of open flame or overheating. You can also use the spoons as a “shoe tree” for keeping the toe stretched while drying. On the Morton’s foot note, has anyone added a felt pad to the inside of their Vibram’s to assist the short first metatarsal?

I got Sprints women 42 first and my second toe went black and later fell off (ouch). So I got Men’s 42 Bikalas, but I don’t like how thick the bottom is and prefer the Sprints. So I just bought a men’s size 42 Sprint thinking it FELT roomier in the second toe, but as soon as I started running, my second toe was crushing again. So I had the immediate brainstorm to stretch them the way they did in the old days: with a piece of wood. I dug out some long plastic chopsticks I had in my kitchen drawer and put three of them in the second toe and pulled the back straps as tight as possible and left it that way for two days (and it thoroughly pushed the second toe of the shoe out). I ran today in them and they fit MUCH better! I think I just need to do it whenever I’m not wearing them because it started to shrink back when I was running, but at least my toe wasn’t crushed. So that’s a heatless way of doing it.

So see – a second longer toe IS a sign of intelligence, even in a woman. : )

dude great mod. i was thinking about not buying vffs because of the my greater intelligence appendige but now i am seriously considering it. great idea bra!

The 13.8 billion probably comes from 13.8 billion feet, remember we have two each. so if there are almost 7 billion, i think 13.8 billion sounds just right. 🙂

I suggest to soak the upper fabric in water first to prevent burning it. The rubber would probably get hot in any case.

@Thistleback: Yes! The pad under the head of the first metatarsal is the only thing that makes my VFFs (Classics) wearable. I’d really been wondering how others with Morton’s Toe or Morton’s Foot have coped with barefooting or going minimally shod. I’ve been experimenting with my VFFs on my own, but I’m so glad to hear others are coming up with great mods too! More please! Anyone know of any other places where people are posting more ideas??

I cannot wait to try this with my new KSO Treksports tomorrow. (I plan on using a heat gun and lots of patience.)

I wonder whether it’ll work well with the thicker sole of the Treksports, but they just don’t fit as they are! Wish me luck!

As with another person who posted my big toe on my left foot is slightly longer than the big toe on my right foot so I will attempt this mod that way. Hopefully I don’t screw this up, lol.

It is my little toe on the left foot. I think Iam going to try it tonight!! Man I like my VFFs if I could only stop the chrunch feeling of the little toe.

I have morton’s toe as well. My second toe is just slightly longer than my big toe. And this was a great mod and great ideas! I used a wooden spoon as well as a hair dryer. This seemed to work a little bit, so I decided to use a flat iron and heat up the second toe, with the wooden spoon inside the shoe, then immediately after i ran the toe under cold water and that seemed to do the trick! I did this about twice with each shoe for good measure. Now my Vibram KSO’s size 38 feel great and there’s no crunched up toe! And I already am feeling a difference in my feet and legs. So glad I found this shoe!

I was reading these comments and didn’t really see any feedback on modifying other styles of VFF. I’d like to know if it’s possible to mod other styles because it looks and though some soles may be a bit thicker than others.

Great mod! I will certainly be trying this for my oddly-shaped feet (my first three toes are exactly the same length, and the next two are only slightly shorter). Everyone keeps suggesting that VFF makes a line to fit people with Morton’s Toe, but that seems unrealistic, and it STILL wouldn’t help people like me.. I think what they should do instead is openly encourage mods like this for people with unique feet!!

Okay, I’m new so bear with me. I don’t have VFF (because of the Morton’s foot thing – now I know!), I’m not a runner (ditto -> knee pain) and I’m only just transitioning to barefooting because I’ve been wearing rigid insoles so long (once again, thanks Morton, ya wanker) that I can’t just drop them.
So here’s the thing: I get that my muscles etc have to get stronger, but if this short metatarsal thing screws up the gait, CAN my skeletal alignment ever get sorted out? (Note that the OPs feet – while strong-looking – show significant pronation, which causes whole-body alignment problems.)
For those of you who use the 1stMet toe pad, how have you combined that with minimal footwear? Have you been able to transition off the pad eventually too?

Here’s a stretching kind of idea: are MTs genetic or epigenetic? If I let my kid run around barefoot and feed her well while she’s growing, will she not develop this (it apparently manifests in mid-childhood)?

So many questions. So many websites citing immutable genetics and selling bandaid cures.

Great idea. I have morton’s toe and a new pair of VFF coming. I think soaking the fabric in water will keep the worry of burning the material to a minimal.

I used your mod to help my right foot which is bigger than the left. Left fit perfectly, but the right big toe was crammed in there. Pain-Free – Thank you.

PS: I used a Heat Gun on low setting. (I think our hair dryer would also have worked.)

Vibrams were created for beautiful feet. If you have to alter it, it’s considered almost like plastic surgery

I tried these on for a fit at REI a couple days ago. The size that accomadates my second toe leaves the pinkie toe without anywhere to go. My third toe is longer than the big toe too. I’m going to buy a pair in size 45 and do the mod. Thanks!

I was considering buying my first pair of Five-Fingers when I realized that my Morton’s toe might be an issue. This looks like a great solution, so thanks a lot! (Although I’ll probably be a little hesitant messing with “shoes” this expensive).

P.S. It’s not ugly at all; in fact the Greeks and Romans considered it to be one of their physical ideals.

Great mod, I plan to use it on the big toe. Also, would this mod work equally well with a Vibram like the Komodosport (since it has a more multi-textured sole)?

I went with my girlfriend for these, hers fit great, I found no fit for me, I have also Greek toe or as I just learned Morton´s toe…good solution, I´ll give it a try.

Hi! I was about to return the Sprints I ordered online, since they mostly fit except for my long 3rd toes, then I did some searching and found this (and another site with similar info)…thank you!

Here’s my simple tutorial, which is the same principle, just executed a little differently. If it’s not okay to post this, I apologize and of course go ahead and delete it. It really works. I’m so happy – I thought I might not be able to wear them.

Great stuff Brett,

I was trying to figure this one out so thank you for showcasing it, I’ll try it like this. 😉


Just got the bikila ls is working but not as well as Id hoped but Iv started now but I think a heat gun might work better. I need it for my big toe.

I thinking of getting the trek ls do you think it’ll work for them with the thicker soles?
Please help


Thank you!!! All my toes are pretty long (except the big ‘un), but the fourth toe is always the troublemaker (not just in Vibrams either.) Gonna try this ASAP!

will this work on the TrekSport model? No one seemed to give a clear answer in the comments. I tugged on the toe as hard as I could and it didn’t really give at all =[

Really hoping this works as I love my Vibrams but like many I do not have normal toes! My big toe is significantly longer then the rest of my toes. I got the smallest size my big toe would fit in but after more than 30 minutes of wearing them it starts to hurt and my smaller toes barely fit in their fingers. If this works I can get a smaller size appropriate for my small toes and lengthen the big toe!

greeks & romans also considered their massive crooked noses ideal…. (for themselves;among themselves i guess it doesn’t really matter)
thanks for the tip. i will alert my Morton friends.


Thanks for this post. I actually have the women’s Bikila and my toe next to the pinky toe was hurting due to it’s longer length. I decided to use a hot iron with tinfoil over the iron, a socket wrench to stretch the toe, and ice water to cool it down afterwards. This actually worked beautifully for me and now I’m pain free! Thanks for the tip!

awsome idea!!! I’m used to custom fitting horse boots but never thought it would be safe to do on my own shows. The super strong hair drier alternative sounds about right! have to try it! my whole family has Morton’s toe so I had no idea it was only 10% of the population and kept complaining to Vibram about their idiotic lack of choice, LOL! but seriously, if they made at least both big toe and second the same lenght that MIGHT fit easier to everybody.

Anyone have any insight as to wether or not this would work with a pair of Komodosports? They have a very aggressive tread pattern. Really eager to try but would like some advice first.

I wanted to post an update to my Bikila toe length modification. Unfortunately, a few days after I made the modification, I noticed I was getting a large blister on the toe that goes into the pocket I lengthened. It seems that the toe pocket seam is now in an area that rubs against my toe and causes a blister. I’ve tried wearing Injinji’s but that doesn’t seem to help. Looks like I’ll try to put a pad down to cover up the seam. Just an FYI for anyone trying to modify toe length on Bikila’s.

Brilliant! Any thoughts on whether or not this will work with Jaya? …Being that the Jaya sole is made with EVA instead of rubber.

Maybe I can try this for my two left small toes, my 2 right being shorter due to old fractures. I think I would like to try something less invasive than a BBQ lighter, bungee, and vice grip though. All of which I can see causing potential damage to the shoe in multiple ways. The idea with the hair dryer sound like the best option and maybe an internal stretch that will not damage the inside of the shoe. My dryer has a rack for drying so I am able to dry my VFF’s, but it only works with low heat, but it does not harm my leather treks like the campfire has just sitting by it. Since I cannot get leather VFF’s in the US anymore I may need to take them to a cobbler for repair and hope that vibram sells replacement VFF soles.

This gave me an idea. How about shoes with special toe extensions that allow you to grip more? They’d be like a sort of bionic glove.

Hi! We cut a 3/4″ wooden dowel to fit from heel to somewhat past end-of-toe, inserted it into the shoe,stretching that toe out, and tossed it into the clothes dryer on high for 10 minutes. Very quick and uncomplicated process. My husband had to do his twice as the first stretch didn’t get it quite far enough, so he cut a dowel a bit longer and next go-round, perfect!

I would gladly pay a premium if Vibram would send me a mold for a custom fit. Get the mold in the mail. Stand on the mold and send it back to the company. Weeks later get a custom VFF that is just for me.

I’ve seen mods for other things and somehow, I always end up with a dead product. Seeing few of the many post here where people were successful doing the mod. Think I will stay with the Merrell Vapor Gloves.

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