One of the most common toe issues people face is Hammer Toes. Hammer Toes are typically caused by shoes that are too narrow and tight across the toe box, shoes that have high heels, or even genetics. With hammer toes, one or more of your toes - not the big toe - tends to curl downwards. Hammer toes can also be caused by a muscle or tendon imbalance in the toe, causing it to bend downward. This condition starts out with the toes still being flexible although they appear to be bent (like hammers), but over time, the toes can stiffen so that the person can't bend or straighten them on his own, and the toes will require surgery.
Other problems that hammer toes can cause are inflammation and corns due to rubbing against the shoe. In extreme cases, open sores can ensue.
Hammer Toe Footwear and Accessories
Products that can help people with hammer toes:
- Toe protectors - to provide cushioning on and around the toe, and absorbs pressure and friction
- Toe straighteners - which separate and gently straighten bent toes and encourage proper toe alignment
- Any shoes containing a high, broad toe box and have low heels are best for this condition. Particular shoe brands to look at include New Balance, Drew, and Dansko. (Do not wear shoes that compress toes together.)