Hammer toe, claw toe and mallet toe are conditions of a toe deformity. The toe deformity can be caused by wearing tight shoes. Tight fitting shoes are shoes with or without a heel which are too small in length and/or too narrow at the toe box width of the shoe.
When shoes are of a tight fit the toes are pushed into an unnatural, uncomfortable position. The toes enclosed in the shoe are restricted from lying at a normal straight position causing a bend of the toes.
Tight high heel shoe which covers the toes will have added pressure pushing the toes against the shoe. The deformity is set after long wear of tight shoes or high heel.
Hammer toe, Mallet toe and claw toe not caused by shoes are found from heredity or arthritis.
Appearance of a hammer toe, mallet toe and claw toe:
- Hammer toe has a bend at the middle of the toe joint near the upper part of the foot. When the foot is flat on the ground the toe joint near the toenail is flat. The toe may have a knuckle appearance on the top of the toe. Bunions may also be seen with people who have hammer toes.
- Claw toe has the same middle of the toe bend as the hammer toe except the toe part by the toe nail bend back to the foot. The toe curls to the floor giving a hook appearance.
- Mallet toe commonly affects the second toe (toe next to the big toe) in this condition the bend of the toe is at the joint near the toe nail. The toe part near the toenail bends toward the ground.
- A person with either hammer toe, claw toe or mallet toe may have pain, corns or calluses.
Shop Online tip:
- Before becoming a victim to hammer toe, mallet toe or claw toe wearing a correct shoe size can prevent toe deformity.
- Give your feet a break from a long day of wearing high heels by having a change of shoes with a lower heel to change into.