Claw toes present at birth (congenital). The condition can also can develop later in life because of other disorders (acquired). Claw toes may be caused by a nerve problem in the legs or a spinal cord problem. The cause is unknown in many cases.
Claw toes are not usually harmful in themselves. They may be the first sign of a more serious disease of the nervous system.
Claw toes may cause pain and lead to calluses on the top of the toe over the first joint, but may also be painless. The condition may create problems wearing shoes.