Morton's Foot (Toe) is a relatively uncommon foot structure in which the big toe is more than 2mm shorter than the second toe.

  • In 1997, I reported that Morton's Foot and Rothbarts Foot appeared to be the same foot structure.  
  • However, after years of further research, it became apparent that Morton's Foot and Rothbarts Foot are two entirely different foot structures:
  • Morton's Foot - The Hallux is shorter than the second toe but not elevated.
  • Rothbarts Foot - The Hallux is elevated and inverted (in supinatus) but not shorter than the second toe. 

Morton's Foot is rarely the cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain.  

Dr Morton (in his publications) reports that foot pain is frequently the result of Morton's Foot.

Mortons Foot

Also known as Morton's syndrome / Morton's principle /  Morton's triad

Mortons Foot - Hallux (white arrow) is more than 2mm shorter than the second toe.


Other Synonyms:  Metatarsus atavicus, metatarsus primus brevis, metatarsus primus brevis varus syndrome, pied ancestral (French), pied de Neanderthal (French), short first metatarsal syndrome

Mortons Foot.  The black arrow points to the short 1st metatarsal, which is the hallmark of Mortons Foot (courtesy of Stephan Praet MD, Maastricht University, Netherlands).

Triad of Morton's Foot:

  • Congenital short first metatarsal bone
  • Hypermobile first metatarsal segment
  • Posterior located sesamoid bones


Dudley Morton MD