Tight shoes can contribute to hammertoes, but are unlikely to be the main cause of your hammertoes. Hammertoes are most commonly caused by an instability in the feet leading to some muscles pulling harder than others. This results in the toes being pulled up and buckled.

Once a hammertoe is formed, tight shoes do contribute to excess pressure on the toes and the formation of corns. A corn is thick skin that develops on areas of pressure, most commonly on and between the toes. Although it is the body's way to protect itself from excessive pressure, the pressure formed by the corn often becomes painful. Corn pads may be useful to manage the pressure to stop corns from forming or to stop being painful once a corn forms. It is best to only use non-medicated pads, however.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.