Which Shoes Cause Hammertoes?

Understanding what styles of footwear cause Hammertoes is important and will help you make more informed decisions about  what you are willing to buy and what you are willing to wrap around your precious feet.  Sadly, these days most of us don’t give our feet enough credit and spend more time thinking about how our shoes look than what effect they are going to have on the health of our feet and ultimately the health of the rest of our body.

We know that for any architectural structure to succeed, be safe and perform its purpose correctly there must be a good foundation.  This could not be more true of our bodies and that foundation is our feet.  If something is wrong with our feet it can change the way we walk which in turn has an impact on our legs, knees, back, neck and more.  To take Hammertoes as an example, imagine you are suffering from this consistently sore condition in your right toe.  It causes you to put less pressure on that foot resulting in a slight limp.  That slight limp causes your body to be contorted and therefore places abnormal pressure on your spine and neck.  This constant and probably not even noticeable neck strain causes you to suffer from headaches.  You may find yourself visiting the local doctor for a headache that has actually been caused by an untreated condition in the second toe on your right hand foot!

The above scenario may have been partially caused by your choice of footwear;  so what should you do and what shoes should you try to avoid?

Shoes with a narrow toe box

An example of narrow shoes

This is the triangular shaped shoe often worn by women but sometimes also by men.  This type of shoe has long been in fashion and if they are too tight in the toe area should be avoided.  They place unnecessary pressure on the joints of the toes that are susceptible to Hammertoe.  If there is adequate room for all toes and they do not feel cramped then you are probably going to be safe.  Whilst the example to the right features a narrowing toe box it still leaves adequate room for a correctly fitted foot.  Only you will be able to tell if there is enough room to allow room for your toes.

Shoes that are too small

Even quality shoes with a good design can cause problems if ill fitted.  Shoes that are too tight will also cause pressure to be placed on the toes and subsequently cause problems over time.  It is very important when buying running or walking shoes that you try them before purchase and ensure that your toes have some breathing space.  Remember, when you run in shoes your feet are going to be moving around and you don’t want them impacting on the front of your shoe.  If you plan on doing a lot of walking or running it is best to buy from a reputable sports shoes supplier who can help you choose the right pair.  It has been found that more than 90% of Hammertoe cases were the result of poor fitting shoes.

Heels and Hammertoe

Heels and Hammertoe

If you combine narrow or tight fitting shoes with a raised heel you are really asking for trouble.  Not only will these shoes be causing extra impact on your toes but the heel will exacerbate the problem by creating a constant pressure due to the natural need for your feet to ‘slide’ down the gradient.  High heels are a big cause of other foot problems such as bunions and have no place in a healthy foots life.  If you do feel the need to wear high heels then you should moderate their use and try to rest your feet whenever possible.

Avoiding the wrong types of shoes and wearing only well fitted shoes in not difficult and could have a significant impact on your quality of life.

If you are looking for some in depth advice on how to care for your feet what to look for in a shoe and how to avoid the common pitfalls then I highly recommend you take a look at “Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Health Feet” by Katy Bowman.  This informative ebook provides a wealth of information on feet, shoe science, foot exercises, heels and their place in society and much more.  Click on the link below to visit Amazon and find out more.

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