Skip to main content

My Hammertoe Interferes with Wearing Shoes: Can You Help?

My Hammertoe Interferes with Wearing Shoes: Can You Help?

Everyone’s feet look a little different. Some people have long toes; others have a bony bump at the base of their big toe (a bunion). Some people’s toes extend straight out and lie flat. But if you have a bend in the middle joint of your toe that prevents it from lying flat, even choosing a pair of shoes can be a pain — literally. 

Fortunately, if you have a hammertoeChristopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, can help. At our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist’s offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, they offer a variety of options to help you wear shoes more comfortably. Generally, they start with the most conservative treatment options, so let’s look at those first.

Early treatments for hammertoe

The goal is to get your toe to lie flat so it doesn’t rub against the top of your shoe. At its simplest, this might mean swapping out your shoes.

Specifically, you should look for pairs with a roomy toe box. Something with a tapered or narrow toe might not work for you anymore. The same goes for high heels, which can cram your toes into the toe box, causing discomfort for your hammertoe (and potentially making it worse).

That said, if you have a pair of shoes you really love, we may be able to straighten your toe in them. We can show you how to tape or strap your hammertoe so it lies flatter in those shoes. That said, we recommend that you choose roomy shoes, most days since your footwear could be the cause of your hammertoe

While you make shoe changes, we can also teach you specific stretches to help to alleviate your hammertoe. These are generally most effective if you start them early, so don’t wait to seek treatment. 

Next steps for hammertoe care

If you switch out your shoes and try taping and stretching your toe but still have issues, we can explore adding things to your footwear to help. 

With specialized padding and custom orthotics, we can put things in your shoes to encourage your toe to straighten. Not only can this make your shoes more comfortable, but it also gives your foot the support it needs to ensure your hammertoe doesn’t get worse. 

Surgery to fix hammertoes

If these more conservative treatments don’t correct your hammertoe enough to let you wear shoes problem-free, we may recommend surgery.

We offer minimally invasive hammertoe surgery to release the connective tissue causing the abnormal bend in your toe. This lets your joint return to proper alignment, meaning you should be able to wear shoes completely comfortably once you’ve fully recovered. 

Don’t let a bend in your toe interfere with your ability to wear shoes. To get the care you need — and to prevent your hammertoe from getting worse — call Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist or schedule an appointment online today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! I Keep Getting Toenail Fungus

Help! I Keep Getting Toenail Fungus

Getting toenail fungus once is bad enough, but if it keeps returning, you probably want to do just about anything to stop it once and for all. Fortunately, these tips can help. 
4 Steps to Take if Bunions Run in Your Family

4 Steps to Take if Bunions Run in Your Family

You might love some of your inherited traits, but bunions likely aren’t one of them. Fortunately, if bunions run in your family, you can take a few steps to lower your risk of developing this foot problem. 
3 Nonsurgical Treatments for Bunions

3 Nonsurgical Treatments for Bunions

Some bunions require surgery, but you might be able to use more conservative treatments, especially if you address the problem early. Here are three things you can try.