If not born with it, toe deformity typically develops as we grow and age. If so, this is usually a sign of an abnormal alignment of your feet causing the muscles and tendons to abnormally contract the toes which can lead to hammer, mallet, or claw toe deformities. This can eventually lead to arthritis in the joints.
Eventually, the toes will not be able to be straightened out manually. Shoes do not necessarily cause toe deformities but rather can aggravate them if the shoe is not ideally fit. If you suffer with toe deformities, it is recommended you get checked for biomechanical causes.
Bunions and Hammertoes
Bunions and Hammertoes are common problems aggravated by shoe wear. Both are deformities that develop over time, as most of us are not born with them. The deformity will develop into arthritis. This can cause the area to become painful and inflamed, especially if rubbed on shoes. There are certain features that could be beneficial to those who have bunions and hammertoes.
Shoes for Bunions and Hammertoes
European shoe brands, such as Naot and Finn Comfort, usually have a wider toe box that can accommodate a bunion. Also, there are brands that make extra depth shoes or that have a deeper toe box. This is beneficial for those who have toes that tend to rub the top of the shoe.
We also carry shoes that have a stretchy upper. The flexibility of the stretchy material provides pressure relief for the bunions and hammertoes. These shoes are also available in a variety of sizes and width to accommodate most foot types. The footbed is also removable to replace it with an over the counter shoe insert or custom molded orthotic.
Shoe Inserts and Orthotics
Bunions and hammertoes are signs of biomechanical faults in the foot so it is best to obtain the ideal insert to realign the feet. Of course, shoe fit is important but it is not the cause. Simple padding and appropriate footwear may relieve the pain. If it is a 2nd hammertoe or a bunion, it is best to obtain a custom molded orthotic to address the cause.