Our toes are an important part of how we walk. They bend with every step we take while giving us the ability to push off and move into our next stride. There is a major joint at each base called the metatarsal-phalangeal joint or MTP joint. The MTP joint is where the metatarsal and phalangeal bones meet and glide against each other. The ends of these bones are covered with a smooth articular cartilage that helps the bones move together freely. Articular cartilage is similar to teflon, as it allows the two bones to move against each other without friction. Think of the egg in a teflon frying pan that slides around without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
The Talus bone (ankle bone) is also an important part of how we walk. The main bones of the ankle are the Talus (in the foot), and the tibia and fibula (in the leg). With every movement of the foot, the talus glides against the Calcaneus, Tibia and fibula bones. The Talus also bears the entire weight of the body with every step taken.
As you might expect, there are many different reasons why you could be feeling toe or ankle pain, including injury, infection, and arthritis.