A hammer toe means the toe is pointed permanently downward, a painful deformity that typically stems from a shoe that’s too tight.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends:
- Choose a shoe with a soft toe box with plenty of wiggle room.
- Make sure the shoe is at least 1/2 inch longer than your longest toe.
- Select a shoe that’s not too tight or narrow, and does not have a high heel.
- Avoid sandals.
- If you do develop a hammer toe, have the shoe stretched professionally to accommodate the condition.