High heels and narrow-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes together can cause toe numbness. Women have a higher risk of experiencing toe numbness because high heels can force feet down into the tops of the shoes, which puts extra pressure on toes. Runners may also experience toe numbness, particularly if they run in shoes that don't have enough room to accommodate the swelling of feet that can happen during long runs.
Some runners need to jog in shoes that are a half-size to a full size bigger than the size they would normally wear to prevent toe numbness. Toe numbness can also be combated by wearing wide shoes that allow toes to move around comfortably. Limiting the amount of time spent in high heels, especially while walking or standing, can also help ease numbness in the toes.
A neuroma, or a thickening of nerve tissue in the foot, may cause some toe numbness. Neuromas most often occur at the base of the third and fourth toes, and often strike runners, people who play racket sports, or those who often wear high heels or narrow shoes. Irritation from neuromas can be eased by switching to roomier footwear, but they may also require treatment from a doctor.