A mallet toe often happens in the second toe, but it may happen in the other toes as well. The toe bends down at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. While there are several causes of mallet toe, tight shoes are the most common.
A tight shoe, such as a high heel, can sometimes force a toe to stay in a bent position for too long, making the muscles tighten and the tendons contract. Over time, the toe muscles cannot straighten the toe, even if you are not wearing shoes.