Hammer Toes | Estero

Pain Solutions

On average, people take 6,000 to 10,000 steps each day. With each step there are normal movement patterns that should be completed. When these patterns deviate from normal, a variety of conditions can often result.

If your toes appear crooked or bent downward you may be suffering from hammer toes, mallet toes or claw toes. These three related conditions, which can result in limited toe motion, intense pain, calluses or corns, occur when you wear high heels or other shoes that are too tight in the toe box. The condition can also be caused by nerve damage or arthritis.

Hammer, mallet and claw toes may occur in any toe, except the big toe. The different names relate to the specific joints affected. A hammer toe usually occurs in the second toe and is bent at the middle joint. A mallet toe usually occurs in the second toe but may happen in the others as well. A mallet toe is bent at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. A claw toe often happens in multiple toes at the same time. Claw toes are bent at the joint where the toes and foot meet and at the middle toe joint. All of these conditions can lead to severe pressure and pain.

  • Toes that appear crooked or bent
  • Distorted position of one or more toe joints
  • Toes that curl up and rub on the inside of the shoe

  • Wearing high heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight in the toe box
  • Improperly fitted shoes
  • Excessive rolling inward of the foot (over-pronation)
  • Excessive rolling outward of the foot (over-supination)
  • Various forms of arthritis
  • Nerve damage due to diabetes or other conditions

  • Choose comfortable shoes with adequate toe room and soft, flexible materials
  • Add arch supports
  • Wear custom toe splints
  • Wear gel toe shields and caps
  • Wear hammer toe crests, splints and/or pads


  • Supportive athletic, casual or dress shoes
  • Off-the-shelf arch supports
  • Custom-fitted, custom-crafted arch supports
  • Custom toe splints
  • Gel toe shields and caps
  • Hammer toe crests, splints and pads

Visit a Foot Solutions fit expert today for a free digital foot assessment, consultation and treatment recommendations for effective non-invasive solutions.


Christopher Cole, Licensed Board Certified Pedorthist
Karen Debitetto – Fitting Specialist

Click here or call (239) 495-8911 to schedule an appointment with one of Foot Solutions' highly-trained professionals.