Check out the Nail on that Hammer Toe


Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
I found these shoes that I just L O V E. They are so great!  I bought them in several colors so that I can wear them all the time!  The only thing that has happened is that my second toe had gotten this big icky mark on it and it seems kinda bent all the time.  I guess the shoes are a little uncomfortable – they may be a bit small but they are so beautiful.  What do I do about the thing on my toe? 
                                                   Willing to sacrifice my toes
 Dear Toes,
Foot Blogger Chick gets fashion statements.  Although I may not be quite as clear on the multiples of one shoe style, I get that you can “love” a shoe.  I do think that you need to get out more and expand your horizons. 
You also need to expand your shoes.  What you are describing is what is called a hammer toe.  It is called that because the toe is pushed into a bent position because your shoes are not wide or deep enough for your foot.  The “icky” mark on your toe is probably a callus or a corn that has formed from rubbing on your shoe. 
So what should you  do about it?  The first thing is wear shoes that fit correctly!  For many people, the second toe is actually the longest toe.  When buying shoes, make sure there is about a ½ inch between the top of your longest toe (whether it is the first or second toe depends upon your foot) and the end of the shoe.  You need those little piggys to have plenty of room. 
About the corn or callus, do NOT attempt to shave it off!  Start wearing a pad on that toe to keep the area from rubbing on the new shoes that you get that fit.  You can find the pads in the drug or grocery store.  Given some time, moisturizer and lack of rubbing from shoes, your foot will look better.
The hammer toe part is a bit more complex.  First off, you need to see if you can straighten out the toe.  If you can, you need to do some exercises to keep it flexible.  One great exercise it to put a towel on the floor under your feet and use your toes to crumple it up.  You can also try and pick up marbles off the floor with your toes.  Both of these exercises will work on increasing the flexibility and putting the toe back in place. 
It could be that you cannot easily get that toe back in place.  If that is the case, it is time to see your friendly podiatrist.  (You know, like the ones at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons.)  You didn’t say that it hurt but if it does, then go to the doctor right away.  The good doctor will look at your foot and try and move the toe back into position.  He may even take an x-ray.  You can then discuss treatment options with the doctor.  It may be that you can wear an over the counter hammer toe cushion or you may need surgery.  
So unless you are in pain, your first step is back to the shoe store to buy shoes that fit! Have your feet measured – both feet – and find shoes that meet the three “F” criteria –
FIT          FASHIONABLE                FOOT FRIENDLY
Also, do your shoe shopping later in the day.  Your feet swell during the day and you want shoes that will fit your feet all the time not just in the morning.
Your pal,
Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to or leave them in the comment section below.  I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions. 
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