5 Products to Treat Hammer Toe Including Splints

Splints, Socks & More

A hammer toe, also known as a contracted toe, is a deformity of the middle joint of the toe that causes the toe to contract upward and become permanently bent. It typically occurs in the second, third and fourth toes, and multiple toes can be affected at a time. Hammer toe is usually the result of pressure from footwear, especially high heels that force the toes to contract and eventually take on the position permanently.

Hammer toe is painful, and that pain is made worse while wearing shoes because the top of the toe is constantly rubbing against the inside of the shoe. Hammer toe is also associated with painful corns and calluses that develop on the hammer toe itself and on the ball of the foot.

Luckily there are several products that relieve hammer toe symptoms. If you have a health condition that affects leg circulation or wound healing, such as diabetes, it is best to first see a podiatrist for care of any symptoms caused by a hammer toe. Some products are not recommended for diabetics, so it is important to check the product label before purchasing.

These products are designed to cushion and protect problem areas. Some work to stretch the toes downward to counteract the upward pull, but they can't completely eliminate hammer toe. Hammer toe is a permanent condition that can only be fixed with surgery. But surgery is invasive and expensive, and it should be used as a last resort. The following products are known to treat hammer toe symptoms, and they just might provide the relief you need.

Toe Stretchers

Flex-Tactic toe relaxers.
Flex-Tactic toe relaxers. Amazon.com

Products like the Flex-Tastic Toe Relaxers are used to stretch the toes to counteract the excessive tendon pulling that contributes to hammer toe. According to Flex-Tastic, wearing toe relaxers for 5 minutes a day is enough to make pain go away. Many who suffer from hammer toe find toe stretchers to be extremely effective in relieving soreness. A similar product is YogaToes.

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Metatarsal Pads

PediFix metatarsal pad.
PediFix metatarsal pad. Amazon.com

Hammer toes can also cause pain on the ball of the foot, a condition known as metatarsalgia. The PediFix metatarsal pad has a loop that slips around the second or third toe and keeps the pad in place underneath the ball of the foot. Oftentimes a bunion on the big toe will cause the second toe to develop into a hammer toe and cause pain on the ball of the foot underneath the second toe. Metatarsal pads are designed to be worn with footwear, and they can even be used alongside arch supports or orthotic inserts.

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Toe Loops

PROFOOT toe straight hammertoe wrap.
PROFOOT toe straight hammertoe wrap. Amazon.com

Profoot's Toe Straight wraps are designed to splint two toes together to temporarily straighten and cushion a hammer toe. This type of product may be helpful for reducing toe pain from rubbing the shoe and for separating overlapping toes. Toe Straight wraps are soft, comfortable and adjustable.

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Toe Socks

FootSmart gel-lined compression toe separating socks.
FootSmart gel-lined compression toe separating socks. FootSmart

These gel-lined toe socks from FootSmart cushion the toes and provide major relief for hammer toes that have developed painful corns or friction areas from rubbing against the inside of the shoe. They also separate the toes, which is helpful for overlapping toes that can rub against each other, resulting in sore areas and corns.

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Gel Toe Crest

FootSmart gel toe crest.
FootSmart gel toe crest. FootSmart

Toe crests are designed to wrap around a single toe, usually the second, and pull it slightly downward. FootSmart's Toe Crest is made of a gel that provides cushion underneath the toes, not the ball of the foot as a metatarsal pad does. Like the metatarsal pad and toe loops, toe crests can be worn while wearing shoes.

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