A nyone who’s experienced hammer toes will likely agree: The only thing worse than suffering from hammer toes is trying to find the right shoes for them.
That’s because wearing the wrong shoes causes the problem toe — or toes — to become cramped, aggravated, and painful as hell.
But what should you look for in a good pair of shoes for hammer toes?
(Don’t worry, it’s not flip flops.)
First and foremost, you want a pair of supportive shoes with a wide toe-box. Period.
Additionally, comfort features like responsive cushioning and arch support are going to help take pressure off the toes as well. (For more on what to look for in shoes for hammer toes, check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.)
Luckily, a bunch of great options with these features exist, the best of which we’ve rounded up below.
Whether you want to get back to walking, running, hiking, working out, or just standing without pain, the shoes to help you do it are here on this list.
Of course, they can’t work miracles, so if you have severe pain or think you need a surgical option, it’s a good idea to contact your doc for medical advice.
The (Absolute) Best Shoes for Hammer Toes
Rounding Up the Most Comfortable Shoes for Men with Hammer Toe
- The Top Three Shoes for Men with Hammer Toes
- The Best of the Rest
The Top Three Shoes for Men with Hammer Toes
Overall Best Everyday Shoes for Hammer Toes
✅ Custom designed for people with foot conditions
✅ Roomy toe boxes prevent pain, cramping, and blistering
✅ Heel-cupping insole provide cushioning and support
Why They’re the Best Hammer Toe Shoes:
If you thought a sleek, stylish athletic shoe that also offers pain relief from hammer toe didn’t exist, think again.
From a brand that specializes in making comfortable, stylish footwear for various foot conditions, Kuru Atoms are designed with extra depth and wide toe boxes to accommodate hammer toes and allow toes to spread out as you walk.
In addition to being lightweight and breathable, they also offer Kuru’s patented heel-hugging insoles for ultimate cushioning and comfort, making them perfect for workouts and everyday wear.
Speaking of insoles, while you can remove the Atom’s insoles and use your own custom orthotics if desired, the shoes are already anatomically designed to offer support and relieve pain, so chances are, you won’t need to.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for an athletic, everyday shoe that can not only accommodate hammer toe but also alleviate foot pain, this is a great choice.
The Atom is my favorite, all I buy is Kuru shoes , no pain when I exercise or walk , life changer ! I actually joined a gym and love to go now ! I’m a regular customer and will never change.
– Guillermo O H.
Best Running Shoes for Hammer Toes
✅ Anatomically designed with a wide and deep toe box
✅ Responsive and resilient midsole cushioning
✅ 5mm heel-to-toe drop encourages a natural stride
Why They’re Great for Hammer Toes:
Topo Athletic is another brand that puts foot health at the forefront of their brand, so you can expect anatomical toe boxes and great support from all of their styles.
(In fact, the brand has earned the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Approval.)
The Ultrafly 4 is their best-selling road running shoe, mostly thanks to the proprietary midsole cushioning that offers added resilience and rebound when pounding the pavement.
Made from lightweight recycled materials, they feature a breathable mesh upper as well as ample room in the toe area.
Most of Topo’s shoes have 0mm heel-to-toe drops, which encourages a mid-foot strike and takes pressure off the ball of the foot, but this model has a 5mm drop to give runners a bit more cushioning under heel while still delivering a natural stride.
With these shoes, you get a wide roomy toe-box and a normal heel fit.
I have had to order wide sizes in the past, but I just need the wide for my forefoot. A great relief to find these shoes!
Best Walking Shoes for Hammer Toes
✅ Wider toe box than most mainstream competitors
✅ Shock-absorbing footbed
✅ Available in a wide range of sizes (including extra wide widths)
Why They’re Great for Hammer Toes:
New Balance athletic shoes are known for having a wider toe box than most mainstream sneaker brands, so it’s no surprise that they’re popular among people with hammer toes.
In addition to the roomy toe box, the 847 also features a cushioned footbed and midsole, which helps to absorb shock and reduces the impact on the feet.
They’re also lightweight with breathable mesh on the top of the shoe, so they have the look and feel of stylish shoes as opposed to orthopedic shoes.
Plus, they’re available in a variety of width options, from extra narrow to extra wide, so finding the perfect fit will be easy.
Great for walking indoors or out, fast or slow.
Sneakers provide excellent support and… the shoe box has room for my somewhat crooked toes, laces tie comfortably around my arch providing support without sliding, and the heel is correctly snug without slipping or rubbing.
The Best of the Rest
We’ve just highlighted our top three picks for the best shoes for hammer toes, but they’re far from the only options out there.
Keep reading for more great options, each offering a range of features that make them a good option for hammer toe sufferers, whether you’re running, walking, hiking, or standing for long periods of time.
So far I have 100 miles on these and I honestly look forward to lacing them up each time. Easy runs, tempo runs, or long runs, they have the staying power. Usually wear 10.5 in most shoes but have been buying 11s in these to allow for some swelling and splay.
Great shoes. Couldn’t hardly walk due to bad feet and hammer toes, and these shoes with the extra stretch and width and depth are great! Make walking so comfortable now!
– Ted Bradshaw
I have no to little arches and hammer toe. These are the best shoes for both conditions. I wear them most of the time. They are very comfortable and lightweight. Will order another pair.
Best for Standing All Day
I have worn Kinetics for 10 years and they are so comfortable . I am on my feet 8 hours a day and I don’t even know I have them on. They are the best.
– Kim W.
Great training shoe. Nice wide toe box. They are very light with decent cushion. They do have a very short break in period which was nice for training. This is a very neutral shoe and will do the majority of my triathlon training in them.
– T. Page
Best for Trail Running & Hiking
These shoes are comfortable! Have a good arch support and a wide toe box.
Best Sandals for Hammer Toes
Great, comfortable sandals. Versatile and and low maintenance.
What is a hammer toe?
Hammer toe is a common foot condition in which one or more toes bends or curls downward at the middle joint of the toe. The condition can affect any toe on your foot (except the big toe), but typically occurs in the second toe.
What is the main cause of hammer toes?
The development of hammertoe is caused by muscle imbalances surrounding the middle toe joints.
This can be due to a variety of factors, including wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes, having a toe injury, or having certain medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. In some cases, hammer toes can be hereditary.
How are hammer toes treated?
Treatment of hammer toes depends on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, wearing shoes with a roomier toe box and using shoe inserts or orthotic insoles might give relief. Exercises to stretch and strengthen toe muscles might also be recommended.
In more severe cases, a doctor might suggest corticosteroid injections, toe splints, or surgery to straighten the toe. In addition, treating any underlying medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes can help prevent the development or progression of hammer toes.
What should I look for when buying shoes for hammer toes?
The most comfortable shoes for hammer toes are those with a wide and high toe box to accommodate the bent toe and prevent rubbing or too much pressure on the toes.
Additionally, they should have a low heel, great arch support, and cushioning, and be made with breathable materials.
Lastly, shoes with adjustable straps, laces, or buckles can help customize the fit and prevent slipping.
Avoid tight shoes, high-heeled shoes, or shoes with a narrow toe box, as they can aggravate the affected toe and cause calluses.
Hammer Toes vs Mallet Toes and Claw Toes
These three foot problems are similar in that they all involve abnormal bending of the toes. However, they differ in the location and direction of the bend:
Hammer toes bend downward at the middle joints, and most commonly affects the second and/or third toe.
Mallet toes bend downward at the joints closest to the tip of the toe, and can affect any toe.
Claw toes bend upward at the joint closest to the foot and downward at the middle joint, and most commonly affects all four toes after the big toe.
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