Hammertoes Require Shoes that are Extra Deep in the Toebox

small-toe-box hammertoe

Shoe toe box too small

If you have hammertoes, wearing shoes can be painful. The pain usually comes from the part of the shoe that rubs on the prominent portion of the toe. The result is inflammation and possibly corns, calluses or ulceration.

We highly recommend a shoe that has a good amount of room in the toebox. This keeps the shoe from putting pressure on the tops of the toes and increasing pain.

Video: Best Shoes for Hammertoes

Extra Depth Shoes

There is a type of shoe known as “extra-depth”. These are just what they sound like. They are shoes that are deeper than average. Once upon a time these were called orthopedic shoes and were, well, really ugly.

Luckily times have changed and there are many extra depth shoes that look like normal dress shoes or athletic shoes. They just happen to be made deeper than average.

These extra-depth shoes are great for people for hammertoes as there is more room available in the toe box of the shoe so that the shoe doesn’t put pressure on the toes

Our Recommended Extra Depth Shoes for Hammertoes

There are a number of good extra depth shoes on the market.  Two of our favorite brands are:orthofeet women

Orthofeet: The Orthofeet Women’s Shoes and Orthofeet Men’s Shoes are excellent choices because they have one of the deepest toe boxes on themarket. In addition, almost all Orthofeet shoes are made with high quality leather that can be easily stretched to make even more room for the toes. They extra deep shoesprovide extra depth, comfort, and protection to the foot. They also have an ergonomic design combined with the latest styles.

Aetrex: Although not quite as deep as Orthofeet, Aetrex come in many fashionable styles while still being much deeper than average.  You can see Aetrex women’s shoes here and Aetrex men’s shoes here.

aetrex men

Shoes with Stretchable Material Over the Toes

For more severe hammertoes you can find shoes that have stretchable material over the toes. These shoes can allow even people with the biggest orthofeet stretch womenhammertoes to wear shoes comfortably.

Our favorite stretchable shoes are made by Orthofeet. Orthofeet uses nylon and Lycra over the toes to allow them to stretch and avoid putting pressure on the toes.

Orthofeet Men’s stretchable shoes

Orthofeet Women’s Stretchable Shoes

Stretch Shoes Over Hammertoes for More Comfort

Another hint is to stretch the shoe using a ball and ring shoe stretcher. This tool allows specific parts of the shoe to be stretched so it fits orthofeet atheleticmore comfortably.

For detailed video instructions on how to stretch shoes, go to our shoe stretching page.

All of our recommended shoes are a pain reliever for hammertoes and other painful conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, corns, Morton’s neuroma, and swollen feet and toes.


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Dr. Larry Huppin

Podiatrist specializing in biomechanics at Foot & Ankle Center of Washington
Lawrence Z.Huppin, DPM is an internationally recognized lecturer and teacher on orthotic therapy and biomechanics.In his Seattle private practice his focus in on treatment of mechanical problems such as heel pain, bunions, ball of foot pain, athletic injuries and children’s foot conditions.In addition he specializes in toenail problems including ingrown and fungal toenail conditions. He is always focused on helping patients avoid surgery if at all possible and keeping your medical costs as low as possible.
Dr. Larry Huppin
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2 thoughts on “Best Shoes for Hammertoes

  1. Hello, Dr. Huppin. Thank you for all of this information and advice. I have RA and all the foot conditions you describe. I also must wear business and evening wear at times and need to have comfortable and attractive shoes for those occasions.

    I am interested in your suggestions of OrthoFeet, but was disappointed to learn that their shoes are made in China. Do you know where Aetrex shoes are manufactured and the materials sourced?


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