Hammertoes are an often-painful condition that causes the second, third or fourth toes to bend at the middle joint (proximal interphalangeal), causing them to resemble a hammer. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including poorly fitting shoes, muscle imbalances, and genetics. They can also be a result of certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or diabetes.
Let’s look more closely at the role that shoes play in hammertoe formation. Tight, narrow shoes push the middle toes into a bent position. Over time, this can result in the muscles and joints tightening and the toe no longer being able to stretch out as it naturally should. This often results in discomfort and difficulty when walking. Toes can become more painful, especially when they rub against the inside of a shoe.
Here are some things to consider when looking for shoes to provide comfort.
Wide Toe Box
Look for shoes that have a wide toe box. This will allow the toes to lie flat and have plenty of room to move around, which can help to reduce pressure on the toes and alleviate discomfort.
Opt for shoes with a wide, stable base. Shoes that are foot-shaped have a wide base that can help to improve balance and stability, which can be especially helpful for those with hammertoes.
Look for shoes with a flexible sole. Shoes with a flexible sole can help to reduce pressure on the toes and improve mobility.
Barefoot shoes, also known as minimalist shoes, can be good for people who already suffer from hammertoes because they allow for a more natural gait and can help to strengthen the muscles in the feet.
I highly suggest checking out Leguano Barefoot Shoes. The “Go” line are minimalist sneakers that are especially roomy in the toe box with extremely flexible knitted uppers that reduces pressure on painful toes.
A high degree of freedom of movement is made possible by the only a few millimeters thin and flexible sole, which ensures maximum sensory feedback and high wearing comfort. The unisex Leguano “Go” is available in white, grey, berry and black
Note: While they may be beneficial for some, barefoot shoes may not be suitable for everyone. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before making changes to your footwear. There is an adjustment period if you are not used to wearing barefoot shoes. Take it slow and listen to your body and your feet!