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Foot Conditions
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Toe Spacers and Shoes for Hammertoes

When managing hammertoes, you can find relief in using foot accessories and shoes that prioritize comfort and provide support to your feet. 

Hammertoes are a type of crooked toe that involves an unnatural contracture or bending of a toe. This foot condition is usually flexible in the initial stages but can become rigid over time if not treated appropriately.

Solutions that may work include the use of hammer toe separators. These separators can help alleviate discomfort by gently realigning the toes and reducing pressure on the affected joints. You may also opt for shoes like barefoot or wide toe box shoes, for natural toe splay, promoting overall foot health.

Toe Separators for Hammertoes

  1. Toe Spacers – Toe separators help separate and realign the toes, reducing the pressure and alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with hammertoes.

Shoes and Other Products for Hammertoes

  1. Correct Toes Approved Shoes – Correct Toes approved shoes are shoes that you can wear with toe spacers inside. The Correct Toes team personally reviews shoes that are widest at the tip of the toes, have zero-drop construction, and flexible and thin enough to allow our toes to move naturally. 
  2. Barefoot Shoes – The minimalistic design of barefoot shoes promotes better foot mechanics, which can help prevent further deformity and improve overall toe alignment.
  3. Wide-toe Box Shoes – Shoes with a wide-toe box provide more room for the toes to spread out, allowing the toes to rest in a more natural position and preventing further deformity and discomfort.
  4. Toe Socks – Wearing toe socks provides individual compartments for each toe, creating separate spaces that help reduce friction and provide comfort.

Hammertoes Symptoms

Ball-of-foot pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with hammertoes. Other common signs and symptoms of hammertoes include:

  1. Rubbing or pain on the top of the proximal pnterphalangeal (PIP) joint from footwear pressure
  2. Callus formation along the PIP joint
  3. Redness and swelling along the PIP joint
  4. Progressive loss of joint range of motion at the PIP joint
  5. Overloading of pressure at the metatarsal-phalangeal (MTP) joint
  6. Distal fat-pad migration, as the ball-of-foot cushioning is pulled forward into the sulcus of the foot as toes curl and elevate.

Hammertoes Treatments

The first and most important step in the conservative and natural management of hammertoes involves a departure from conventional footwear and toward naturally shaped footwear. Avoid toe spring, heel elevation, and tapering toe boxes when selecting footwear.

Correct Toes toe spacers can also aid in the recovery of mobile hammertoes by placing force over the PIP joint to encourage the toe to lengthen and lay flat. Overall, this foot and toe position helps off-load areas of overloading and pressure; re-alignment of toes also balances tissue tension and coordination between the toe flexor and extensor muscles and tendons.

Addressing hammertoe alignment when toes are mobile or ‘reducible’ is most effective with the following interventions:

  1. Progressive changes to naturally shaped footwear
  2. Use of Correct Toes
  3. Toe joint manipulation and exercises
  4. Physical Therapy
  5. Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (Graston, Gua Sha, ASTYM)

Conservative Care Techniques for Hammertoes

Toe joint manipulation and exercises

Physical Therapy

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization

Wearing flat, flexible and

Wearing naturally shaped footwear

Hammer Toe Spacers FAQs

Can you naturally fix a hammertoe?
While a complete reversal of a hammertoe without medical intervention is unlikely, some strategies may help alleviate symptoms and prevent further progression. These include toe exercises, proper footwear, toe spacing devices, corn pads or cushions, and regular foot care.

How often should toe spacers be worn when I have hammertoes?
It is recommended to wear toe spacers as much as you can, but when you start using them, try on for short periods, such as 15-30 minutes at a time, and increase the duration as you’re getting used to them.

How long does it take to see results from using hammer toe separators?
Results vary based on individual factors such as the severity of the condition, consistency of use, and responsiveness to treatment. While some people may experience immediate relief in just a few days, significant changes typically require several weeks to months. Patience and dedication to a routine are key to achieving lasting results.

Can toe spacers be worn with shoes?
Correct Toes are the only ones recommended by doctors and athletes to be worn in shoes. Most toe spacers are too bulky and not perfectly fitting for your feet, so it’s not recommended to wear them in shoes. Correct Toes, on the other hand, is customizable and anatomically designed to be worn during high-impact physical activities.

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