Toe Cleavage: Too sexy for the playground?

Yesterday, a Fox In Flats Facebook Friend, Pene, asked me about Toe Cleavage:

So a question Miss Fox – Am I the only one who HATES wearing ballet flats because you can see the ends of my toes??? That little bit of toe-cleavage just makes me go ERK!!!”

For the uninitiated, Toe Cleavage, is described by the Urban Dictionary like this:


“When a girl is wearing shoes that show the top of her toes so it

looks like arse or boob cleavage.”


And looks like this:

In some circles, toe cleavage is deemed to be really sexy

A Top Foot Model spoke at length on American TV on the very topic. You can watch that here. She claims “feet are the new accessory”, and “(toe) crack is not whack”. She believes it is a subtle type of sexy though:

They entice you to think…oh, what’s below the cleavage…”


But not everyone agrees

In 2008, a group of lawyers in Memphis spent some time mulling over the suitability of toe cleavage within the dress code of local lawyers. The comprehensive review included an “impromptu modeling of shoes to determine if each pair (extent of toe cleavage) represented ‘cocktail shoes’, and if they did, whether they were inappropriate or disrespectful to the courts.

The toe cleavage deemed offensive to the legal profession.


The Crack Rule

According to lauded Spanish shoe designer, Malono Blahnik, there exists a toe cleavage ‘veil of decorum’ that we should all be aware of, lest we become the victims of the local foot fetishist:

The secret of toe cleavage, [is] a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe; you must only show the first two cracks.”

Two cracks Ladies, just two. You have been told…


Sexy in the playground?

Cleavage is all around us, and often in an engorged breast-feeding state in the playground. So, what’s some additional skin between friends? That said, I would hate my peeping toes, to make another person squirm.

Best to keep your cleavage subtle.

I’d not given toe cleavage much thought prior to now, but in researching this article tried on a bunch of my own shoes to see if I’ve been flashing any, unbeknownst to me.

Turns out, Pene, I don’t own such a revealing pair of shoes, and to be honest, am not sure if my husband would let me out of the house wearing them anyway.

I do, however, think there could be a business opportunity for a lacy foot camisole to cover the toe cleavage in a sexy way…?


Ladies, how do you feel about Toe Cleavage? Do you ‘go ERK!!!’ like Pene? Or do you enjoy the allure of flashing a little toe?

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  • Pene

    Giggles a plenty!! No I have no Memphis connections and I think I shall wait until you design and market some cute little crack cover!!! But until then I shall remember the two crack rule should I be brave enough – I think for me though reality still has me cringing at the thought of my peepers cracks peeping through. Thankfully though I shall now sleep tonight thanks to your clearing up of this life dilemma!!

  • Toe Crack…. wow this is new to me.
    I do have ballet flats and because my toe’s are on the larger side of things… sometimes I may show a little too much crack… thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    I will opt for suitable shoe wear now 🙂

    • Anonymous

       The things you learn…x

  • Luen

    At least its not camel toe !! Now thats a bad look

  • Kim

    lol we dont like camel toe

    • Anonymous

       OMG sudder

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  • Fashionista

    I don’t find toe crack offensive, I reserve my ERK for scabby toenails showing in public. Please ladies, & men, if you are going to wear open toed shoes, please please PLEASE have your toenails in a presentable state. The innocent public DO NOT want to be exposed to your scungy toenails.

    As an aside, ballet flats are an excellent shoe option if it has been too long between pedicures.

    • Anonymous

       OMG agree. Or loafers are good at the moment too. x

  • Caro

    Pene I thought I was the only one who got the creeps over toe cleveage. Bit of a shame it’s in fashion 🙁

  • Haha I just always thought my toes were too long for certain shoes!

    Is there etiquette? Like if you should show legs but not boobs, boobs not legs.. If you’re showing legs should you refrain from toe cleavage?

    • Anonymous

       Good point. Toe Cleavage Etiquette. Very good idea. 

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  • Bron

    Oh ERK – I’m with Pene! I can’t bear the sight of toe cleavage but I’d like to suggest that if one MUST expose their toe cleavage then the rule of thumb should be that only one type of cleavage should ever be on show at a time.

    Wanna flash your breastfeeding decolletage? Then keep your bum and toes under wraps. Fancy a builders crack today? Then cover your toe cleavage with a pair of work boots…

    • Anonymous

       Builders crack! ha ha ha. For the non-Aussies who read Fox In Flats, let me translate:
      Builders crack = that peek of butt cheeks folded together that shows when one bends over too far and the pants are too low. Often seen on building sites on dudes with hairy butts. In which case, they can also be referred to as Hairy Builders Crack. 

  • Thank you for giving me a new fashion focus. Since having kids I’ve foregone nice clothes – what’s the point, they always end up with snot and dribble on them – and focus on my shoes instead. Only, it’s the same children that have seen me resorting to flats instead of my previously adored heels. Now I’m off to perform a self-pedicure to ensure my 2 crack foot crack is suitable for school pick up this arvo! No really, I am actually going to do this. Damned if I’m not going to at least have sexy toe crack

    • Anonymous

      Parental Pardoy hope you’re getting your sexy crack. I mean back. x 

  • OMG you guys crack me up! You are right, there should be rules about ‘crackage’ – including the camel toe – enforced by the Fashion Police.

  • I don’t get the whole toe cleavage thing! I don’t think it’s too sexy – how is toe cleavage sexy? Boob cleavage, yes, but toes? I honestly don’t even think about it – I am too concerned with hiding my boobs (you’d be surprised how many dirty looks I get for simply wearing a v-necked tshirt. Can’t help having large bosom). But toes?? I don’t even notice other people’s toes (except if they’re on display and unpedicured you understand… 🙂 )

    • Maybe we need to run an article for you Alice: Boob cleavage: What is too sexy for the playground? Or, How to play hide and seek with your boobs?

  • Fiona

    Toe cleavage?? Never heard of it! for crying out loud!! it’s just toes!!! I have never EVER thought of something like ‘toe cleavage’. How ridiculous! Then agaon, I HATE fashion, I wear what I want!

  • Fiona

    Crikey! Are there people out there who are offended at feet and toes? Geesh! I completely disregard the alleged ‘fashion experts’

    • Yup. And at the other end of the spectrum there are people out there that just LOVE feet.

      Be boring if we all thought the same huh?!

  • Anne

    Ewww, toe cleavage, not good. Screams cheap shoes. If I forked out for a pair of Manolos that revealed even one crack I’d be p*ssed. But speaking of cleavage – I would love an article on dealing with giant post baby bosoms. Can’t wear any of my crisp white shirts. Breast feeding tanks show waaaaay too much and loose fitting t-shirts look like tents. Scarves make me super top heavy. Help! Love your blog by the way. High time us mummy’s had options.

    • Anonymous

       Thanks Anne – awesome feedback. Will work on the giant bosom article. x

  • I just feel like it looks like your shoes don’t fit right!

  • No no, it’s totally gross. It just looks like your feet are stuffed into the shoes! Makes me uncomfortable just looking at it.

    • Anonymous

      Shoes too small anyone? Anyone?  

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  • I don’t like wearing bare feet inside my shoes, and am always on the lookout for those little sock thingies.  But they always peep out and they’re always that hideous “flesh” colour.  I tried another brand recently – Red Robin – in a lacy style and one with a little ribbon edging.  I’ve been wearing them like socks with my flat slip ons (ballets, loafers, vintage Ferragamo flat pumps) and they look really cute.  Comfy and cute.  Cheap too!  Not so sure about them with high heels though!  I figured if these damned things insist on being shown then I will find pretty ones that can be shown!

    How can too small shoes give you toe cleavage?!   Wouldn’t that cover up more of your foot?  A hint of toe cleavage is sexier than a hint of arse cleavage – both aren’t as sexy as real cleavage! 🙂

    • Oh yeah, sweaty toes. Ugh!

  • I remember when Carrie Bradshaw mentioned toe cleavage in SATC my best girlfriend and I got shoes made with just the right toe cleavage! I still kind of like it its cute! I don’t think it mean too small shoes or anything, its sometimes a feature!

    • Yup, I think SATC started the dialogue. 

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  • I think that I really don’t give a crap whether a little of my “toe cleavage” (to be honest, I had never in all my 46 years heard that term before) is showing but like Kim, I can’t stand the feeling of bare feet in my shoes. I don’t really have the kind of feet that foot fetishists would seek out anyway. They’re big and boxy and I have worked on my feet for pretty much my entire working life, so they’re not exactly pretty either.

    • Hey Blooming Psycho, Mine are not all that great either. But did you see the foot model on the video link – pretty funny how she is so into her feet! 

  • Mel

    Andrea – your blog is looking so fantastic. Just love what your doing with all the wonderful little gadgets and displays and features – very professional. I’m inspired and motivated to get onto WordPress even more now. Great job. 

    • Thanks Mel! A plan, and a little patience can go far. Oh, and thank goodness for Google. And red wine. 😉

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  • lindylou

    am so glad I found this post!  I have never bought a pair of ballet flats because I always feel so short and frumpy in them, and always get worried about the toe cleavage (not that I even knew that term until now!) With the tip about max of two, I will try some on again in the future and see if it makes a difference 🙂

    • Oh am hearing you about feeling stumpy in flats! I got a great tip about wearing flats though when I interviewed Peter Morrissey – he said to roll your pants up 3 inches above your ankle. It works! The whole interview here:

  • Jess

    Just came accross this article and I love it! I thought I was one of very few who even noticed or considered toe cleavage! I personally think toe cleavage is sexy (particularly in heels) but I think Mr Blahnik hit the nail on the head… two cracks is just the right amount 😉

    • Anonymous

      My Blahnik knows his stuff! At least he’s laid down some “laws” about it…LOL

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  • Amy

    I honestly hadn’t thought of toe cleavage before now. But it is an issue that has plagued me for the last fortnight. You see I had too finally admit that I had worn out my two favourite pairs of ballet flats (the same shoes, just one pair black and one tan) They were fab and showed no toe cleavage! I went on a search for some new ones and couldn’t seem to find any and couldn’t figure out why! You just nailed it. Each pair I tried on gave me toe cleavage! I dislike it immensely.

    • See – it’s weird isnt it. Why, oh why has this trend started?! 

  • I’d never even given it any thought before reading this! Now you have me wanting to go try on all my shoes just to check which show more than the desired two cracks!

    • Me neither – did you?! 

  • cranky Old Man

    Not sure how I feel about “toe cleavage”, I need more imformation, could you please post some boob cleavage and ass cleavage along with the toe cleavage so i can decide.  Thanking you in advance –

    The Cranky (dirty) Old Man

    • I’m sure someone will be willing to comply! If not, you can always Google it 😉 

    • Craggles

      Hmmm see I though Toe Cleavage was creepy…  until I read THIS!!!

  • I have never consciously been aware of my distaste of toe cleavage but now that you mention it… I never buy shoes that show a bit of crack! Thanks for Rewinding x
    PS You know I will be seeking it out in the playground now. Somehow revealing a little bit of toe seems a bit naughty now…

    • He he he, can just picture you sneaking glances down to the feel of the other mums… 😉 

  • I am very creeped out by toe cleavage! Well, my own anyway. I also have a pair of wedges that look like flats from the front, and they show a tiny, tiny bit of toe cleavage, which almost discourages me from wearing them, but it’s such a small amount that I hope people don’t notice….It’s funny how I found this the day after I was most recently fretting about toe cleavage 😛

  • Erin

    Wow, I am SOO out of the loop.  I never, ever thought of toe clevagein that way.  My life will never be the same.

    • Yes, we are endevouring to address all of the key issues here 😉 

  • Mandy Ferry

    Not a fan,  kinda looks like it doesn’t really fit, like seriously, can you even walk in those things.  Anyway, I’d turn down a pair of shoes if I had toe cleavage

    • Anonymous

      Oh yes, they feel a bit loose don’t they?

  • Nicole aka _wideeyedgirl

    Hilarious! I’ll admit my fave ballet flats are a bit revealing (will post a photo on FB just to gross u out) and the question floats thru my mind everytime – is it too much? Being a tits out sorta gal I’ve gone for it but have felt a little self-conscious in some instances (like when ppl are pointing and staring and saying eeeewwwww)

    Nicole x

    • Ba ha ha, I’m still creepily waiting for that photo so I can peerve at your toe cleavage.. ha ha ha 😉

    • Lyric

      Sweeet, Ms. Nicole will you please tell me where to purchase some like yours then?  I can’t find any?  Will you email me?  [email protected]



  • A big thumbs-down from me! It’s the first thing I check for when trying on new shoes. J x

    • Anonymous

      I wonder if the people in the shoe shop know this and watch for peoples reaction? 😉

  • I am so surprised everyone commenting hates toe cleavage! I love it! Just a little is the right touch.  It makes an interesting connection of the foot to the shoe.   Not too much, but a tiny bit on the right style shoe can look sexy and flirty.  I am a shoe designer who loves my own feet, so maybe I am biased…but seriously I am surprised people hate it so much 😉

    • Oh Malika, I LOVE that you love your own feet! That’s so cool! 😉 

    • Lyric

      Well stated Ms. Barros and I agree wholeheartedly.  As a pedicurist it’s interesting how many people feel feet are nasty.  To be sure, some may be, but my feet and toes are the bomb, they’re cute, they smell fresh and deserve some good TOE CLEAVAGE WARDROBE!!!!!

      Now, if only I could find a steady source of affordable ones.  I’d jump on them like a New York minute.

  • Nicola

    I say … life’s too short tp be bothered by such an inconsequential issue… Show it or don’t. Just make sure your feet are clean and smell good!

    • Anonymous

      LOL good point  😉

  • Number2

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  • Lyric

    Oh YES!  Toe cleavage is the business and I’ve been searching for affordable pairs for YEARS to no avail.  This farmer’s wife can not afford Loutoutins.  Tell me where, oh where to acquire some for my wardrobe, PLEASE.

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  • number2
  • Tegan

    I had never heard of toe cleavage either but that is defiantly the thing that I hate about some shoes, I am so glad that you have alerted me to this crime of fashion 😉

    • FoxInFlats

      Yup, addressing the big stuff 😉

  • Kathy Foster Rice

    Years ago Capezio made flats which were “low cut”. I adored them and had numerous pairs. I have been looking for years for some more without success. I’m so happy to find this site and to know they exist again (just not Capezio). Thanks, guys! This senior gal will search them out!

  • Melissa Hetherington

    I hate toe cleavage and will never buy a pair of shoes if it shows. Dont like it on other people either, just looks like the shoes don’t fit properly.

  • In Cognito

    Ladies, if you are beautiful (and I don’t mean beautiful like your parent’s think you are, or your sycophant girlfriend says so, or you’re a “Firework” like Katy Perry sings about) show that sexy toe cleavage! Give me that eye candy and make other ladies WISH they have what you have. I can see insane toe cleavage being a Major problem in a law office or courtroom. Especially if the paralegal or attorney is smokin’ hot. Could be discussed and the details ironed out. I don’t know if Blahnik is straight or not, but he does make a valid point. Last thing we need is these weirdos who are obsessed with feet drooling over and ogling a lady who wants too look nice.

    Peace 🙂

  • Viola

    I wear ballet flats everyday since March until November, I have now 11 pair and counting. The first thing I want when I buy a pair of flats is a deep toe cleavage. My fav brand is French Sole, their model “India” guarantees the best toe cleavage.

  • Jennifer Harris

    I absolutely LOATHE toe cleavage. Not because it’s sexy, but because it ALWAYS looks like you’ve crammed your foot into a shoe too small in size. Toe cleavage is not sexy, but those strappy stilletos that show off my freshly manicured (with OPI black lacquer polish) toes are very sexy.