Brachymetatarsia, or short toe syndrome, is a podiatric deformity characterized by having one or more toes significantly shorter than the others. The condition occurs when the bones in some toes stop growing prematurely while the rest continue developing normally. Since short toes can’t bear weight, your other toes are forced to pick up the slack and hold more than their fair share. This can be uncomfortable or painful, especially when wearing shoes, walking, or standing for long periods.