BACKGROUND:Hallux valgus (HV) is a common disabling condition affecting 36% of adults aged 65 years and over. Identifying whether the severity of the deformity alters weight-bearing patterns during walking may assist clinicians optimize offloading interventions. Therefore, we examined how plantar pressure distributions during walking are affected by HV severity. METHODS:Plantar pressures and maximum forces in ten regions of the foot were obtained from 120 participants (40 men, 80 women) aged ≥50 years using a pressure platform (RSscan® International, Olen, Belgium). HV severity was documented using a validated line-drawing instrument with participants separated into four groups: none (n = 30), mild (n = 30), moderate (n = 30) and severe (n = 30). Pressure and force values were compared across HV severity, stratified by the presence or absence of great toe pain. RESULTS:Participants with severe HV were more likely to have great toe pain. More severe HV was associated with significant reductions in peak pressure and maximum force under the hallux but not at other sites of the foot. This association appeared strongest in those reporting great toe pain. CONCLUSIONS:Greater HV severity is associated with great toe pain and reduced loading under the hallux when walking. These observed changes in plantar pressure and maximum force may reflect a pain avoidance mechanism.