Hey A., There was a question about broken toes on April 8th. Below is part of my response as it relates to the big toe:
I slipped last year (on stairs) and broke my big toe in 3 places (oi, 3 places?! my big toe isn't that big!); I also fractured the smaller toes, plus some of the little bones on the top of my foot. I always thought that if you broke a toe (any toe), the doctors won't do anything for it... Not true.
The big toe carries 50% of the weight carried by that foot (or, 25% of your total weight). So you have to be very careful if you broke your big toe! If it doesn't heal properly, you might have to have surgery to put pins in it (in order to avoid arthritis and other problems later on). If you broke the other toes, they should be kept protected and stable, but don't pose as much of a concern (in regard to orthopedic complications).
If your big toe is numb and you feel that your circulation/temperature is being affected, I strongly encourage you to go to the doctor... You really do not want it to heal bad. I went to an orthopedic/athletic injury doctor but all you really need to to determine if you have nerve damage to consider and how badly it is broken (is it fractured or did the bone actually sever and it needs help being aligned?) You could go to any urgent care clinic that has x-ray capabilities and decide if you need an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist based on that.
A doctor can also prescribe you a non-cast "orthopedic boot" for the time it will take for the toes to heal. (Your pharmacy should sell them). I know it sucks to hobble around in a "boot"... But athletic shoes are going to be too restrictive, especially if your foot/toes are swollen and you definitely don't want to wear anything with a heel (which would attribute weight on the ball of your foot and toes, plus bend your toes). Flip-flops aren't good, because those types of shoes force your toes to grasp the bottom of the shoe when you walk (to hold it on) and that's gonna hurt and delay healing.
Remember to boost your calcium supplements.