About.com explains that the second toe develops longer than the big toe from a condition called Morton's toe, which results from irregularities in the metatarsal bones in the feet. The metatarsal bones are the long bones in the ball of the foot. In those with Morton's toe, the big toe metatarsal, or first metatarsal, is shorter than the second metatarsal, causing the second toe to protrude in front of the first.
Morton's Toe is a variation observed in 10 to 20 percent of the population, according to About.com. It can lead to foot pain and other problems due to increased pressure on the second toe while walking. This pressure may lead to the development of a callus on the ball of the foot. The toebox of a shoe may put pressure on the second toe, leading to bruising and black toenail. Finally, Morton's toe can cause the foot to rotate inward excessively, which is referred to as overpronation.
About.com advises that finding the right pair of shoes is important to help with foot problems associated with Morton's toe. A shoe with a wide and high toebox that is a half size larger can help relieve the pressure on the tip of the second toe. Lacing the shoes tight enough to prevent the foot from sliding forward can help avoid toenail damage.