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Hammer toe treatment – correction vs protection

Tips for selecting the best hammer toe pad for your needsTypes of hammer toes

The term hammer toe is used to describe how the tip of the toe hammers against the ground with each step.  As the attached image shows, hammer toes come in a variety of shapes and are defined by the terms claw toe, mallet toe and hammer toe.  For sake of this conversation, we’ll simply refer to a contracted toe as a hammer toe.

In younger patients, hammer toes are usually flexible meaning that you can take your hand and straighten the toe.  As the toe becomes more contracted with age, the flexibility of the toe changes to rigidity and the toe no longer can be reduced (straightened).  The degree to which a hammer toe is flexible or rigid helps us to understand what hammer toe pad is going to work.  Remember that when a hammer toe is flexible, it needs correction.  When a hammer toe is rigid, it needs protection.

Hammer toe pads – correction.

Reach down and try to straighten your hammer toe.  Is it flexible and can be straightened?  Here’s a sampling of hammer toe pads that can be used for correction of a hammer toe.

Comfort Toe Wraps

Comfort Toe Wraps are designed to treat overlapping toes, hammer toes, crooked toes, and broken toes. Align your injured toe by gently splinting two of your toes together safely and comfortably. Universal right/left. By PediFix. 3/pkg.   ...[read more]

Hammer Toe Crest Pad

Foam Hammer Toe Crest Pads feature an adjustable elastic loop to support curled toes, ease pressure on the tips of toes, and eliminate forefoot pain. Made of soft, Latex-free felt with a foam center to cushion and correct hammer toes, mallet toes, and claw toes. By PediFix. 1/pkg.   ...[read more]

Visco Gel ToeBuddy

Visco-GEL ToeBuddy treats hammer toes, broken toes, and overlapping toes by gently re-aligning and creating space between them. Made of soft, durable, medical-grade silicone that acts as a splint for your damaged toes, the double-loop design keeps the gel spacer in place. By PediFix. 2/pkg.   ...[read more]

Hammer toe pads – protection.

When you try to straighten the toe, is it rigid?  If so, here are a number of products that can be used to protect a painful hammer toe.

Gel Toe Protector

The Gel Toe Protector offers total toe coverage to cushion corns, cysts, blisters, calluses, crooked toes, hammertoes, broken toes, and ingrown nails. Each sleeve is made of medical-grade silicone infused with soothing mineral oil and covered in soft, durable stretch fabric for comfort. By 2/pkg.   ...[read more]

Lambs Wool Padding

Lambs Wool Padding is a classic treatment for a wide range of toe problems, including corns on the toes, hammer toes, fractured toes, and sweaty feet. Lambs wool is your 100% natural solution for treating toe issues, sourced from our own flock of sheep! By ¾ oz./pkg.   ...[read more]

Tubular Foam Toe Bandages

Tubular Foam Toe Bandages slip on easily to cushion, separate, and protect irritated toes. Find relief for corns, blisters, bunions, calluses, hammer toes, broken toes, and more. Trim with scissors for a custom fit. By Universal right/left. New 3" and 12" lengths, trim to any size.   ...[read more]

Hammer toes come in all shapes and sizes.  Choosing the right hammer toe pad depends upon understanding whether correction or protection is indicated.  Which is the right hammer toe pad for you?  Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the right pad but knowing correction and protection of hammer toes will hopefully get you headed in the direction of comfort.


Dr. Jeffrey Oster
Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM

Medical Advisor

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