What is the difference between Rothbarts Foot and Morton's Foot?

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 has become apparent that Morton's Foot and Rothbarts Foot are two entirely different foot structures:


  • Morton's Foot, not to be confused with Morton's Neuroma (a nerve tumor), is a relatively uncommon foot structure in which the big toe is more than 2mm shorter than the second toe. It is treated by using an extension pad extending from the 1st metatarsal head, past the big toe  (see bottom photo right).  For more information on this foot structure, go to Dudley Joy Morton.


  • Rothbarts Foot - is a relatively common foot structure in which, when the foot is placed in its anatomical neutral (correct) position, the big toe is elevated relative to the second toe, but not shorter than the second toe.  It is treated using Rothbart ProprioceptiveTherapyFor information on treating this foot structure, go to my patient website, What is Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy.

It is very important to determine which foot structure you are dealing with
before therapy is initiated.  The Morton's Foot is treated very differently than the Rothbarts Foot: 
  • Morton's foot is treated using an extension pad underneath the big toe and 1st metatarsal head. 
  • Rothbarts foot is treated using Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy and specific proprioceptive insoles that are prescribed only after having run numerous tests and analyses to determine the patient's exact needs. 
If one treats the Rothbarts Foot using an extension pad underneath the big toe, the outcome of therapy will be disappointing.  If one treats the Morton's Foot using Proprioceptive Insoles, the metatarsophalangeal articulation (big toe joint) may become severely arthritic and painful.


Rothbart BA 2009.  Morton's Foot or Rothbarts Foot. Are They the Same?  Podiatry Review, Vol 66(3):6-9.

Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain

Sign Up Now to get your free chapter from Professor Rothbart's book, Forever Free From Chronic Pain


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  • 8/4/2010 6:17 PM Susan wrote:
    I never thought that I had Morton's foot and have never had problems with my feet, but my large toe is most definitely shorter than the next toe. I noticed that you said Morton's foot is usually characterized by the large toe being more that 2mm shorter than the next toe. I was wondering if you actually meant 2 cm? My large toe is slightly shorter, but not as significant as the image above. Should I be concerned?

    Reply to this
    1. 8/6/2010 2:51 PM rothbart wrote:
      Dear Susan,

      2mm is correct.  If you are not having any pain symptoms in your weight bearing joints, there is no need for concern.

      with regards,
      Professor Rothbart

      Reply to this
    2. 9/13/2010 2:40 PM rothbart wrote:
      Dear Susan,

      2mm is correct.  

      You should only be concerned if you are experiencing chronic muscle and/or joint pain (e.g., chronic knee pain, or chronic low back pain, etc).  If you are, it could be due to your Morton's Foot.

      with regards,
      Professor/Dr Rothbart

      Reply to this
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    Reply to this
    1. 9/13/2010 2:44 PM rothbart wrote:
      I am very pleased that you find my blog posts of interest and help.

      with regards,
      Professor/Dr Rothbart

      Reply to this
  • 10/18/2010 4:25 PM MicroConsole wrote:
    I can see that you are an expert in this field! I am launching a website soon, and this information is very useful for me. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
    Reply to this
    1. 11/15/2010 12:33 PM rothbart wrote:
      You are very welcome.

      For more information on the differences between the Rothbarts Foot and Morton's Foot, go to my Publications Page on my patient.   website.  You will find an article that was published in Podiatry Review (2009) that goes into more detail regarding the differences between these two foot structures.

      with regards,
      Professor/Dr Rothbart

      Reply to this
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