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Foot Facts: Hammertoes


Hammertoe and mallet toe are two foot deformities that occur most often in women who wear high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box. These types of footwear may force your toes against the front of the shoe, causing an unnatural bending. A hammertoe is an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. Mallet toe affects the joint nearest the toenail. Hammertoe and mallet toe are most likely to occur in the toe next to your big toe.



  • Toe contracts at mid-joint and pulls back

  • Toe curls downwards

  • Discomfort on tops of toes due to rubbing against shoes

  • Development of corns or calluses on the metatarsal area or tops of toes


Caused By:

  • Muscle imbalance of ligaments and tendons causing them to become tight

  • Arthritis

  • Short fitted footwear

  • Footwear with a narrow toe box

  • Toe length: if your second toe is longer than your big toe, it's at higher

      risk of hammertoe or mallet toe



  • Choose footwear with a larger toe box

  • Change footwear selection to relieve pressure on tops of toes

  • Add metatarsal pads to spread toes

  • Make sure there's a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the inside tip of your shoe

Founded in 1992, FootStock has been providing women with quality fashion and comfort footwear for 25 years.     Privately owned and operated, we carry the best women's footwear the industry has to offer.
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