Hammer Toes: Everything You Need to Know

Hammer Toes: Everything You Need to Know

March 11, 2021

Have you ever looked down at your toes and thought to yourself "hmmm, that toe seems to be sticking up a little bit more than my other ones"? It could be the sign of a hammertoe.

What are hammer toes?

A hammer toe, put simply, is a toe that has a permanent bend in the join that is irregular in shape (often resembling a hammer). There are 3 different types of 'hammer toes' depending on which joint is affected - a mallet toe is when the distal joint is affected, hammer toe is when the proximal joint and claw toe is when both joints are affected, but we often generalize all three to just be 'hammer toes'. Often when hammer toes begin to develop they can become quite painful and/or difficult to move. 

Hammertoes

How do you get hammer toes?

Similar to other foot conditions, hammer toes are often the result of poor fitting footwear. Years of wearing shoes that are too short/tight or wearing shoes with an excessive heel height are the number one contributing risk factor for developing hammer toes. It is common for people who have bunions to also have hammer toes, as poor fitting footwear is a common cause for both conditions. 

Fortunately, hammer toes are not unusual, they are actually quite common, and there are a number of simple ways you can help prevent them from getting worse or relieve any pain they may be causing. 

 

Top 3 thing to do to help with hammer toes:

1. Look at the shoes you are wearing: Investing in proper fitting footwear is key to reducing pressure on your toes not only to help prevent hammer toes from developing but also for ensuring they don't get worse. Start by having your feet measured and assessed by a knowledgeable, professional who can help you find the perfect fit. Second, make sure you have enough room on the ends of your toes - you should have about half a thumb to a full thumb width on the end of your longest toe. If you are already experiencing pain from your hammer toe(s) you'll want to look for shoes that have a deep, wide toe box (or a stretchy upper material) to reduce stress on the joints and top of the toes. 

Tip: Your longest toe may not be your big toe, often times we have to measure our shoe size based on our second toe.

 The AllRounder Niro is one of our favourite women's shoes for hammer toes, it has an extra roomy toe box, accommodates an orthotic, and not to mention looks adorable: 

AllRounder Niro

Other shoe options that we love for hammer toes are the Traq Qwik (available for both men and women) featuring a nice stretchy upper material, great arch support and a bit of a rocker sole (to help offset the pressure on the toes):

Traq Qwik

But when all else fails, a runner is a safe footwear choice to accommodate hammertoes, again, look for an option that has no seems in the front, extra depth in the toe box and has a little bit of room at the end of your longest toe so your toes aren't squished. Click here to shop more footwear options! 

 

2. Add a little support underneath: over-the-counter hammer toe cushions (or braces) can help to decrease the amount of pressure on the top of the toes by provide a little extra cushion and support under them. They are a small investment but work wonders for most people. 

Hammertoe Crest

3. Find relieve from a custom orthotic: Custom foot orthotics can be another great way to help relieve pain caused by hammer toes. Certified Pedorthists are knowledgeable in not only assessing for custom foot orthotics but they are also trained in how to make them, ensuring a proper fit every time. Similar to bracing, custom foot orthotics can help to reduce pressure points and areas of discomfort. Click here to book an assessment for custom foot orthotics!

 

If you have hammer toes and are looking for ways to help relieve your pain, let one of our team members help you Move Well, Be Well, book an assessment today with one of our Certified Pedorthist's. 

 

Written by, 

 

Shayla McLean

Retail Manager

B.H.K 

Book your apppointment today


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[OLD] Sizing Charts

FOOTWEAR:

European Sizing chart conversion:

*Please note that these conversion charts serve as a general guideline, actual fitting may vary by style.

Women’s

US

4.5-5

5.5-6

6.5-7

7.5-8

8.5-9

9.5-10

10.5-11

11.5-12

12.5-13

EU

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

 

Men’s

US

7.5-8

8.5-9

9.5-10

10.5-11

11.5-12

12.5-13

13.5-14

14.5-15

EU

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

 

SOCKS :

Sockwell

Brooks

Sock Size

US Men's Shoe Size

US Women's Shoe Size

Euro Shoe Size

Small

 

4 - 6.5

34 - 37

Medium

6 - 8.5

7 - 9.5

38 - 41

Large

9 - 11.5

10 - 12.5

42 - 45

XL

12 - 14.5

 

46 - 49


ANKLE BRACES:

 

Bauerfeind

 

Professional Orthopedic Products (POP)

  

DJO - Roboboots – Short and Tall

SHOE SIZE MEN

SHOE SIZE WOMEN

SIZE

Up to 4

Up to 5

XS

4 - 7

5 - 8

S

7 - 10

8 - 11

M

10 - 13

11 - 15

L

13+

15+

XL

 

 

 

DJO- Aircast Airsport

DESCRIPTION

MEN

WOMEN

SIZE

Left

Up to 5

Up to 5

X-Small

Right

Up to 5

Up to 5

X-Small

Left

5.5 - 7

5.5 - 8.5

Small

Right

5.5 - 7

5.5 - 8.5

Small

Left

7.5 - 11

9 - 12.5

Medium

Right

7.5 - 11

9 - 12.5

Medium

Left

11.5 - 13

13 - 14.5

Large

Right

11.5 - 13

13 - 14.5

Large

Left

13.5 +

15 +

X-Large

Right

13.5 +

15 +

X-Large

  

KNEE BRACES:

 

Bauerfeind

 

 

 

Ossur

Size

Circumference*

*Circumference measured 6” above mid-patella

XSmall

11.5" (29cm) to 13.75" (35cm)

Small

13.75" (35cm) to 16" (41cm)

Medium

16" (41cm) to 18" (46cm)

Large

18" (46cm) to 20.5" (52cm)

XLarge

20.5" (52cm) to 22.5" (57cm)

XXLarge

22.5" (57cm) to 24.75" (63cm)

XXXLarge

24.75" (63cm) to 28.5" (72cm)

XXXXLarge

28.5" (72cm) to 32" (81cm)

 

DJO

*Measurements taken 6” above mid-patella

SIZE

MEASUREMENT

XS/S

13" - 18.5" (33 - 47 cm)

M/L

18.5" - 23.5" (47 - 60 cm)

XL/XXL

23.5" - 29.5" (60 - 75 cm)

XXXL

29.5" - 31" (75 - 79 cm)


 

ELBOW BRACES:

Bauerfeind

 

 

HAND BRACES:

 

Professional Orthopedic Products (POP)

 

Size

Wrist Circ.

X-Small

4 ¾" - 5 ½"

Small

5 ½" - 6 ¼"

Medium

6 ¼" - 7"

Large

7" - 7 ¾"

X-Large

7 ¾" - 8 ½"


 

Orliman (thumb brace)

 

Size

Wrist

Circumference

in CM   (A)

 

Length

in CM   (B)

Small

14 - 18

11

Large

18 - 22

13