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Hammer Toe Pads - Which hammer toe pad is right for me?

Claw toes and mallet toes are both forms hammer toes. How do you know what pad treats each kind of hammer toe? This article explores the differences in these toe problems and how each are conservatively treated.

Which hammer toe pad is right for me?Three types of hammer toes

Crest pads, budin splints, gel pads – what’s the best way to treat my hammer toe?

Our sales team gets a lot of questions about hammer toes and which pad is best for this or that toe problem.  The answer is – well,
that depends.  Let’s use Medically Guided Shopping to learn how to go about making the right choices for your needs.  Using Medically Guided Shopping, we need to find the right diagnosis and then the right product.  So first, let’s talk a little bit about hammer toes.

The term hammer toe is the generic term for three types of toe deformities.  The type of hammer toe is defined by the location of the deformity or bend in the toe.  The three types of hammer toes include:

  • Hammer toe – bend at the proximal interphalangeal joint.  May be flexible or rigid.
  • Claw toe – bend at all three joints of the toe.  Usually flexible.
  • Mallet toes -  the result of a deformity of the distal interphalangeal joint.  Mallet toes are typically a rigid deformity.

Let’s talk about hammer toes today and in two upcoming blog posts, we’ll talk about which products are best for treating claw toes and mallet toes.

Flexible hammer toes are easy to treat because they always respond to care.  Flexible hammer toes can be treated with Toe Straighteners.  Single or Double Toe Straighteners are a great tool to pull flexible hammer toes down away from the toe box of the shoe.

Rigid hammer toes are a different problem and not always so easy to treat.   The primary problem we’re treating in a rigid hammer toe is the shoe irritation found on the top of the toe.  Personal preference varies with these pads, but my go to pads for rigid hammer toes include:

Tube Foam

Gel Corn Protectors

Gel Toe Sleeves

Lambs Wool

Lambs Wool, you say?  Although Lambs Wool is kind of an ‘old school’ approach to foot care, we still find a lot of our customers use Lambs Wool.  It’s easy to use, absorbent and inexpensive.

In my next post, we’ll talk about hammer toe products for claw toes.


Thalia Oster, JD

Thalia Oster, JD
Founder and COE (Chief of Everything)

Updated 4/15/2021

Leave your comment
11/28/2018 12:59 PM
I have sore on the top of my toe caused by my shoe rubbing.  Would a hammer toe pad help with that?
11/29/2018 8:29 PM
Hammer toe pads, like the <a href="/gel-corn-protectors-1">Gel Corn Protector</a>, are designed to protect the top of the toe.  You might also try the <a href="/tubular-foam-toe-bandages">Tubular Foam Bandages</a> or the <a href="/toe-straightener-single-toe">Toe Straightener</a> as an alternative.  Again, these products are for treating sores on the top of the toe as you've described.<br>
Hammer toe pads also can be used to treat pain on the tips of the toes.  In this case you'd want to use something more like a <a href="/hammer-toe-crest-pad-foam-1">Crest Pad.</a><br>
<a href="/jeffrey_a_oster_dpm_cv">Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM</a><br>
Medical Director<br>