With Halloween coming up, the last thing you want to do is deal with painful hammertoes when you take your kids trick or treating. This is a foot deformity that is often caused by your footwear, and it can become more uncomfortable depending on your shoes as well. Treating this condition can make a huge difference in your ability to go about your day comfortably.

A hammertoe is when your toe bends in the middle so that it resembles a hammer. One of the biggest contributing factors is your footwear. People who wear tight and narrow shoes that force their toes to be crammed in a tiny space are more likely to develop a hammertoe than those who don’t. Other reasons may include genetics, trauma, and diseases such as arthritis. Treating this deformity can be as simple as changing your shoes. You may also consider stretching the bent toes, taping them into the correct position, or using orthotics.

It’s better to prevent a hammertoe from developing than it is to treat an existing one. The best way to do this is by wearing shoes that won’t squeeze your toes together. Find shoes that have good cushioning, a stiff heel counter, and flexibility near the ball of the foot. However, the most important aspect is a wide enough toe box for wiggle room.

When trying on shoes, do it near the end of the day when your feet are their largest. For the best fit, wear your normal socks when trying on new shoes. Try to find a shoe that has a removable insole so you can add an insert if you need to. If a shoe doesn’t feel comfortable right away, move on to the next pair. There should be no need to “break in” a new pair of shoes.

For more information on buying the right pair of shoes to prevent foot deformities, call Dr. Mark Gasparini at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY office.

Photo Credit: Shay1448 via FreeImages.com 

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