At its core, the best shoes for hammer toes have firm sole but soft in the upper part of the toe box.
A hammer toe is a deformity affecting the middle toes, causing them to bend permanently. This foot condition happens when your toes bend for a long time. Joint damage can also cause hammer toes. It can make you experience pain in your toes and there may be corns because of the repetitive friction.
At first, hammer toes are supple and you can correct them right away, but if left unchecked for a long time, they can become fixed and harder to straighten out and may need surgery.
Under normal circumstances, hammer toes coincide with bunions where the first solution to fix the problem is change of footwear. A snug shoe with a wide toe box can ease the pain caused by bunions. Likewise, wearing a comfortable shoe is first in the conventional treatment for hammer toes.
What are the Best Shoes for Hammer Toes?
The best shoes for people with hammer toes have firm sole but soft in the upper part of the toe box. This will help align and straighten the toe and relieve pressure and discomfort in the forefoot. These shoes help complete the treatment and correct deformity of the problem feet.
Important: If your support type is neutral to supination (and high arches), your best shoes are neutral shoes because they are flexible and supportive. Neutral shoes can give support up to mild overpronation with no foot problems. But if you have issues with overpronation and flat feet, your best shoes are stability shoes because they have the most overpronation correction.
Plus, if you have tight calves and an aggressive heel strike, you may need a shoe with a higher heel-toe drop (8-12 mm) to stay comfortable on your foot, ankle, Achilles, and calf. But having a higher drop shoe may direct more stress to your knee and hip. So if you also have knee and hip issues, you may choose a heel-toe drop between 4 mm and 8 mm. Although the lower the shoe differential, the more calf flexibility and ankle mobility you need.
Note: The foot is a complex unit, but the right shoe feels good right away. If the shoes you are using aren’t comfortable and you experience pain while running, you should try a different pair.
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30 Best Shoes for Hammer Toes
Here’s a list of the best shoes for hammer toes (in no particular order):
The best New Balance running shoes have an excellent ABZORB forefoot cushioning, TPU TBEAM shank which promotes torsional stability and arch support, ENCAP PU ring (with EVA core) which enhances stability, Fresh Foam midsole which offers soft, smooth cushioning and more natural ride, EXTENDED WEB which gives pronation control, and ROLLBAR technology which prevents rear foot movement and enhances smooth transition from heel-strike through toe-off.
The best ASICS running shoes have Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Systems which reduce impact from heel-strike through toe-off, Trusstic System which keeps structural integrity of the shoe, Dynamic DuoMax Support System which delivers optimal support and stability for overpronators, Exoskeletal Heel Clutching System which provides better fit and more secure support, and FluidRide technology which increases energy return and cushioning.
11. ASICS GEL-Foundation 13
12. Ryka Devotion XT 2
13. Ryka Sky Walk 2
14. Altra One V3
15. Altra Torin 4 Plush – Best for long runs, OUTSIDE
16. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 – Best for high mileage, RW
17. Mizuno Wave Rider 24
18. Brooks Dyad 11 – Best crowd pleaser, RW
19. Brooks Addiction 14
20. Brooks Beast ’20 – Cushion for days, RW
The best Mizuno running shoes have engineered AIRmesh upper with structurally supportive synthetic overlays and improved DynamotionFit which creates an upper that moves naturally with your foot.
The best Altra running shoes have InnerFlex EVA technology which adapts to your foot’s natural flex, FootShape toe box which allows your toes to relax and splay naturally, fully cushioned Zero Drop platform – a famous technology which provides a low-impact landing, and Natural Ride System (NRS) which promotes a more natural ride.
21. Brooks Ariel ’20
22. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 – Best for Comfort, OutdoorGearLab
23. Brooks Ravenna 11
24. Brooks Glycerin 18 – Editor’s choice, OutdoorGearLab
25. Brooks Ghost 13 – Best for long runs, RW
26. Brooks Revel 4
27. Saucony Omni ISO 2 – Best stability shoe, RW
28. Hoka One One Clifton 7 – Best for recovery runs, RW
29. Hoka One One Bondi 7
30. Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5 – Most cushioned trail shoe, RW
The walking shoe of Brooks that works well with hammer toes is the Addiction Walker 2.
The best Brooks running shoes have HydroFlow technology which enhances midsole cushioning and shock absorption in the heel and forefoot, BioMoGo DNA midsole which supplies long-lasting cushioning, Engineered MC Pod Configuration which offers maximum motion control and flexibility from heel-strike through toe-off, full-length Segmented Crash Pad which adapts to any foot landing and delivers smoother transitions, and IDEAL Pressure Zones technology which helps distribute pressure evenly throughout the body.
The best Saucony running shoes have EVERUN top sole which promotes smoother landings in the heel and reduces pressure in the forefoot, Forefoot HRC (High Rebound Compound) which provides important cushioning at toe-off, Extended SRC Impact Zone technology which delivers smoother transitions, Heel ProGrid which offers maximum impact protection, and CMEVA (Compression Molded EVA) midsole which delivers responsive cushioning.
The best Hoka One One running shoes have Wider fitting forefoot which offers enhanced comfort, Deep Active Foot Frame which helps stabilize the foot, Meta-Rocker geometry which creates a smoother transition from heel-strike through toe-off, and Molded Ortholite footbed which delivers high-performance cushioning.
Most of these brands stay away from any orthopedic claim, but we have included their shoes in the list because of consumer reviews and testimonials. We hope that these shoes will work for you.
10 Best Hammer Toe Shoe Inserts
Here’s a list of the best hammer toe shoe inserts (in no particular order):
1. Superfeet Premium Green
2. Superfeet Premium Blue
3. Superfeet Premium Black
4. Superfeet DMP Copper
5. Superfeet Premium Yellow
6. New Balance 3720 Arch Stability
7. Powerstep ComfortLast
8. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx
9. Spenco Total Support Thin
10. Spenco PolySorb Heavy Duty
Other shoe inserts to consider are:
The best Superfeet hammer toe shoe inserts have maximum support, stability, and shock absorption, as well as, extra deep cup which cradles your heel and provides comfortable support by aligning the bones of your foot to prevent heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
The best Powerstep hammer toe shoe inserts have contoured heel cup which provides stability and effective relief for heel and arch pain.
The best Spenco hammer toe shoe inserts have advanced arch support and deep heel cup which absorb shock and control pronation, as well as, extra cushioning under the ball of the foot which provides a smoother transition.
Other effective ways to correct hammer toes are stretching and strengthening the affected muscles in your toes. Good workout can help in the healing.
You may also like:
- 10 Best Shoes for Sesamoiditis
- Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Trail Running Shoes (by Pronation of the Foot)
- Best Cross-training Shoes (by Pronation of the Foot)
- Best Shoes for Walking on Concrete
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best shoes for hammer toes?
The best shoes for hammer toes have firm sole but soft in the upper portion of the toe box. This will help align the hammer toes and relieve pressure and discomfort in the affected area. Best examples of these shoes are New Balance 990v5, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20, Hoka One One Bondi 6, Hoka One One Clifton 6, and ASICS GEL-Venture 7.
Will hammer toes go away on their own?
At first, hammer toes are flexible and you can correct them easily but if left unchecked for a considerable period, they can become fixed and harder to straighten out and may require surgery.