When you suffer from foot conditions, they affect your physical and emotional health. When you have hammertoe, it can hurt your confidence and cause you moderate to severe pain. Although only the most severe cases require surgery, you can correct your hammertoe by investing in a good pair of shoes.
We’ve reviewed the best shoes for hammertoes so that you can walk more comfortably as your condition heals.
|Shoe for Hammertoe||Fit||Price||Best Feature|
|Brooks Ghost 11||Men's||Expensive||The best men’s shoe for hammertoe
Wide and tall toe box with a wide heel
|ASICS Gel-Venture 6||Men's||Budget-friendly||Mesh on top of the toe bed reduces pressure over the toes|
|Rockport Eureka||Men's||Budget-friendly||Shock-absorbent EVA midsole diffuses impact away from your feet|
|Orthofeet Asheville||Men's||Moderately priced||Fashionable design with orthopedic features for a variety of foot conditions|
|HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3||Men's||Expensive||Wide fit in the forefoot with a deep toe box|
|Orthofeet Coral||Women’s||Expensive||The best women’s shoe for hammertoe
Extra room in forefoot and toe box for insoles/orthotics
|Altra Superior 3.5||Women’s||Moderately priced||Fit4Her technology make the shoe anatomically designed for women|
|Klogs Naples||Women’s||Expensive||Slip-resistant polyurethane outsole with rocker shape to propel you forward as you walk|
|CLARKS Cloudsteppers Sillian Paz||Women’s||Budget-friendly||Wide toe box|
|Propét Mary Janes||Women’s||Moderately priced||Eligible for Medicare reimbursement|
Best Shoes for Hammertoes
Brooks Ghost 11- Men’s
Brooks makes athletic shoes for active people. Whether you run for fitness or enjoyment, you hammertoe can derail your activities. The Brooks Ghost 11 is a sturdy running shoe with comfort and shock-absorbent features great for mild foot conditions. This lightweight and flexible shoe moves with you, with a responsive BioMoGo DNA midsole for energy return. This prevents hard push-offs from your forefoot, helping your hammertoe condition heal more quickly. The mesh upper runs along the top of the forefoot, with a toe bumper for added protection.
The Brooks Ghost 11 has a deep toe box with a wide heel, and it is available in medium and wide sizes. It does have a narrower build than the Ghost 10, so you may need to order a size up to get the most comfortable fit. There is no break-in period, so you can wear them pain-free as soon as you receive them. Although they run high on the price point, the Brooks Ghost 11 is one of the most comfortable shoes you can wear. It is our selection for the best men’s shoe for hammertoe.
- Best men’s shoe for hammertoe
- Lightweight, sturdy athletic shoe with comfort, flexibility, and shock absorption
- The rubber outsole has a deep traction pattern with a Segmented Crash Pad for shock-absorption along high-impact areas
- Wide and tall toe box with a wide heel
- Soft and responsive BioMoGo midsole with energy return
- Available in medium and wide widths
- Mesh upper with synthetic overlays
- Mesh reduces weight on the forefoot with a toe bumper for added protection
- No break-in period
- Slightly narrower fit than the Brooks Ghost 10
ASICS Gel-Venture 6- Men’s
The ASICS Gel-Venture 6 is a favorite among competitive runners. It doubles as a tennis shoe for work or casual use. With more length and depth than the Gel-Venture 5, this upgrade is comfortable for men with hammertoe. The Gel-Venture 6 runs wide, with a roomy toe box and a thick toe bumper for spacious room and protection as your toes heal. A breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays promotes stability and reduces pressure off the tops of your toes. The durable, multi-terrain rubber outsole with ASICS High-Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) along high-impact areas of the ball of the foot and the heel. This provides excellent traction for running or walking.
Designed for comfort, the Gel-Venture 6 has Rearfoot Gel Cushioning that absorbs impact as you land. If you have thicker feet, you should order a size up – the lacing can feel tight across the forefoot. The ASICS Gel-Venture 6 should hold up for about a year if you wear them every day. It is an excellent option for men with hammertoe because it has ample toe room, with stability and comfort features to keep you comfortable on your feet all day.
- A budget-friendly running shoe for athletic, casual, or work use
- Breathable mesh upper with synthetic overlays
- Mesh on top of the toe bed reduces pressure over the toes
- More length and depth than the Gel-Venture 5
- Medium width runs wide
- Available in wider sizes
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning for shock absorption as you land on your heel
- Durable, multi-terrain rubber outsole with AHAR along high-impact areas
- Wide toe box with a thick synthetic toe bumper for more protection
- Great traction for running or walking
- Removable insole for insert or orthotic
- Lacing feels tight across the forefoot for men with thick feet
- Little arch support
- Lose their shape and interior wears down easily
- Hold up for about a year
Rockport Eureka- Men’s
Available in many sizes and widths, the Rockport Eureka is a professional, roomy walking shoe suited for men with foot conditions. Combining stability and comfort, this shoe is perfect for men with hammertoe. The lace-up design is ideal for an adjustable fit, taking extra weight off the top of your feet. A model with Rockport’s Walking Platform Construction, the curved outsole propels you forward. This reduces pressure on the forefoot for less pain as you walk. The Eureka has a wide toe box, a shock-absorbent EVA midsole, and a padded interior with moisture-wicking technology comfortable all-day wear.
The Rockport Eureka does run narrow, so you’ll need to order a size up for a thicker, wider toe box. They hold up well to a variety of surfaces, such as concrete, hard floors, and carpeting. The Rockport Eureka has a classic style for dressing up or down, with the room you need to avoid aggravating your hammertoe condition.
- Budget-friendly, professional shoe with lace-up design for an adjustable fit
- Available in many sizes and widths
- Corrects your gait to promote your healing
- Great traction on different surfaces
- Curved outsole propels you forward for less pressure on the forefoot
- Padded interior liner with moisture-wicking technology
- Roomy toe box
- Removable latex foam insole; can replace with an insert or orthotic
- Shock-absorbent EVA midsole diffuses impact away from your feet
- Run narrow; men with wide, thick feet should order a size up
- Mild break-in period for leather upper
- Holds up for about a year
Orthofeet Asheville- Men’s
Orthofeet is a company whose footwear caters to problem feet. If you have sensitive feet or your doctor has recently diagnosed you with a foot condition, the company has a shoe for your needs. The Orthofeet Asheville is a backless slip-on clog ideal for casual, daily wear. With a forefoot strap to adjust the fit, this stylish clog has orthopedic features designed for your hammertoe pain. With Ortho-Cushion technology, this shoe has shock-absorbent features in the outsole and midsole for great bounceback. This protects your toes from the extra force you usually use in other shoes when pushing off the ball of your foot.
The Orthofeet Asheville has a wide toe box with a roomy fit, and the removable orthotic foam insole provides excellent arch and heel support. While the insole is best for men with high arches, you can replace it with an insert or an orthotic designed for your needs. Although they don’t bend like an athletic shoe, the Asheville comes equipped with comfort and shock-absorption specifically for men with hammertoes. They also hold up relatively well, making their reasonable price a great deal.
- Moderately-priced, backless slip-on clog with an adjustable strap for a custom fit
- Fashionable design with orthopedic features for a variety of foot conditions
- Ideal for daily wear
- Roomy toe box with a wide fit
- Durable leather upper with a soft interior padded liner for comfort
- Removable orthotic foam insole that supports the arch and heel
- Easy Gait technology supports your natural stride
- Ortho-Cushion technology has shock-absorbent features with great bounceback to relieve pressure off your feet
- Best for men with high arches
- Elevated sole doesn’t bend like an athletic shoe
- Holds up for about a year
- Feels heavy at first; can slip off your feet
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3- Men’s
HOKA ONE ONE designs their athletic footwear to cater to men and women with sensitive feet. With a wide fit in the forefoot with a deep toe box, the HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Clifton 3 Running Shoe allows you to keep up with your fitness routine. Allowing extra room for your toes to rest naturally, the Clifton will not irritate your condition. The low-drop design keeps weight off of your forefoot to promote healing. With a curved rubber outsole and a compression-molded midsole, this shoe has extra cushion, bounceback, and energy return for a smoother stride.
A breathable fabric interior with Speedframe construction eliminates interior seams that can cause blistering. With little arch support, they are better for men with flat feet or medium to low arches. They don’t hold up well to extremely rough terrain, so they are best for running or walking on flat surfaces, such as concrete or pavement. Although there are several upgrades to this model available, the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3 has better comfort and space than more current models. This makes it ideal for men recovering from a variety of foot issues, including hammertoe.
- Running shoe designed for foot issues
- Better comfort and space than upgraded models
- Available in wide sizes
- Wide fit in the forefoot with a deep toe box
- Air mesh upper with synthetic overlays make the shoe breathable, flexible, and lightweight
- Low-drop design relieves pressure off the forefoot
- Breathable fabric interior with Speedframe construction: no seams on the interior that may irritate the foot
- Curved rubber outsole for a smoother stride
- Compression-molded EVA midsole for cushion, bounceback, and energy return
- Little arch support
- Mild break-in period
- Don’t hold up to rough terrain
- Run small
Orthofeet Coral- Women’s
Orthofeet designed a comfortable athletic shoe suited for women with foot and toe injuries. The Orthofeet Coral has a knitted fabric upper to relieve pressure on the feet, making them a great option for neuropathy and other pain-related side effects. With an extra wide toe box, this shoe comes with removable foam spacers for a custom fit. The removable multiple-layered cushioned insole provides additional support under the heel and the ball of the foot. This helps relieve pain during long hours of standing or walking.
With Ergonomic Stride technology, the Coral has air cushion in the outsole for shock-absorption and bounceback, taking pressure off of the sensitive parts of the foot. If you have wide, thick feet, you should order a size up from your regular footwear to make sure you can wear the shoe comfortably. Although the Orthofeet Coral is an expensive model with a clunky look, the comfort and relief they provide make them well worth the price. They are our pick for the best women’s shoe for hammertoes.
- Our pick for the best women’s shoe for hammertoes
- Knitted fabric upper relieves pressure on the feet
- Good for standing and walking
- Removable orthotic insole with cushioned heel pad for shock-absorption
- Arch support
- Removable foam spacers for a custom fit
- Multiple later cushioned insole for heel and ball of foot comfort
- Roomy toe box
- Ergonomic Stride technology – outsole with air cushion for bounceback and shock-absorption
- Extra room in forefoot and toe box for insoles/orthotics
- Run small for wide, thick feet
- Look clunky
Altra Superior 3.5- Women’s
While Altra isn’t as well-known as their major competitors, they design a long-lasting, comfortable running shoe for the occasional runner to the daily jogger. The Altra Women’s Superior 3.5 Sneaker is a lightweight running shoe best for women with flat, wide feet. Manufactured with Fit4her technology, this shoe is anatomically designed to fit a woman’s foot. The wide and deep toe box, inspired by the natural shape of the foot, allows you to splay your toes for more comfort.
The curved outsole allows for a smoother transition from heel to toe, and the zero-drop platform design promotes equal weight along the entire foot. These features relieve stress on your forefoot and toe bed. The Altra Superior 3.5 runs narrow, and the high-traction outsole can make the shoe feel bulky for those new to the design. The only real downside to the Altra Superior is that the insole isn’t removable, and it doesn’t have enough padding for the most sensitive feet. You can order a size up and place another insert on top of it. Despite a few drawbacks, the comfort and stability of the Altra Superior 3.5’s design make it ideal for women who are healing from hammertoes.
- Moderately priced, lightweight running shoe best for women with flat, wide feet
- Quick-dry mesh upper with reinforced synthetic uppers
- Fit4Her technology make the shoe anatomically designed for women
- Deep foot-shaped toe box allows more room to splay your toes
- Synthetic rubber outsole with a zero-drop platform for equal weight along the entire foot
- Curved outsole for a smoother transition from heel to toe
- Trailclaw lugs under the toe bed for better traction
- Flexible EVA midsole for stability and energy return
- Run narrow
- The insole isn’t removable, not enough padding for the most sensitive feet
- Feels bulky
Klogs Naples- Women’s
When you are diagnosed with hammertoe, you may struggle to find a comfortable work shoe that will not irritate your feet. The Klogs Women’s Naples is a cushioned and durable mule shoe available in many designs and colors for any uniform policy. Women in nursing, restaurant, and supervisory professions love them for their appealing look and comfort. A slip-resistant polyurethane outsole holds up well, with a rock shape to promote your natural stride. The Naples run large, with a roomy toe box and wide heels for a more comfortable fit.
With excellent arch support, the Naples have thick removable polyurethane insoles with extra support under the heel and the ball of the foot. This provides shock absorption for long days on your feet. The shoe has a 1” platform and a 2” heel, which may aggravate more severe cases of hammertoe by shifting more weight on the forefoot. While the plastic designs of some models are appealing, they peel easily. You should stick with the leather designs, which hold up better. Although the Klogs Naples are expensive, they are a comfortable and professional work shoe with extra toe room for all-day wear.
- Comfortable and durable mule shoe available in many designs and colors
- Ideal work shoe for women in nursing, restaurant work, or supervisory roles
- 100% leather upper for long-lasting support
- Slip-resistant polyurethane outsole with rocker shape to propel you forward as you walk
- Removable thick polyurethane insoles have extra cushion under the heel and the ball of the foot
- Roomy toe box with wide heels
- Excellent arch support for any foot type
- Sizes run large, available in medium and wide widths
- 1” platform and 2” heel may aggravate more severe cases of hammertoe
- Plastic designs peel quickly; the leather models hold up better
CLARKS Cloudsteppers Sillian Paz- Women’s
For a casual shoe for running errands, the CLARKS Cloudsteppers Sillian Paz is a budget-friendly slip-on loafer available in a variety of colors. This flexible shoe comes in medium and wide widths, with a wide toe box for more comfort. A soft interior liner won’t irritate your toes, helping your hammertoe condition heal faster. With more stability than other similar loafer models, the Cloudsteppers have a shock-absorbent EVA midsole and a padded ankle collar for more support. The rubber outsole has decent tread for everyday wear, but they lack the depth of athletic shoes.
The Cloudsteppers have mild arch support, making them better for women with low to medium arches. Although the removable Ortholite insole gives you extra support, it quickly breaks down; you can replace it with an insert or an orthotic. An elevated heel may irritate some women with hammertoe or other foot conditions by placing the center of your weight on the forefoot. These shoes run small, so you may need to order a size up. If you need a minimalist shoe with comfort features, the CLARKS Cloudsteppers Sillian Paz is a great option.
- Budget-friendly, flexible slip-on loafer available in different colors
- The soft interior liner doesn’t irritate the toes
- Available in medium and wide widths
- Shock absorbent EVA midsole
- Wide toe box
- Great ankle support for more stability
- Arch support for medium to low arches
- Outsole has decent tread for everyday wear
- Run small
- Heel measures 1.5”; may be uncomfortable for severe cases of hammertoe
- Synthetic Nubuck leather upper scuffs easily
- Ortholite insole support breaks down quickly, but it is removable
Propét Mary Janes- Women’s
For a cute shoe for casual or dressy wear, the Propét Women’s Mary Janes are a moderately-priced option for women with hammertoes. These orthopedic shoes have a shock-absorbent rubber outsole with polyurethane units. This makes the outsole more durable, and it relieves impact from your sensitive feet. The Mary Janes have a 100% leather upper, with padding along the ankle collar and interior liner for a more comfortable fit.
With no break-in period, the Propét Mary Janes have a removable insole with arch and heel support. They have a slight heel, which may not suit some women with extremely painful hammertoes. Although they run true to width, the Propét Mary Janes run short. They are a perfect fit for women with small, wide feet. The soles can be slippery in wet conditions and on carpet, so they are best for outdoor wear. These shoes are for women who like a dressy shoe that won’t aggravate their hammertoe condition.
- Moderately priced Mary Jane shoe with adjustable hook and loop strap
- Eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- Shock-absorbent rubber outsole with polyurethane units for durable wear
- True to size in width; available in wide sizes
- 100% leather upper with a padded ankle collar and interior liner for a comfortable fit
- No break-in period
- Removable insole has arch and heel support
- Run short
- 1.5” heel and 0.5” platform may irritate severe hammertoes
- The outsole is not slip-resistant, doesn’t hold up to rough terrain
- Slippery on carpet
- Look bulky
What is Hammertoe?
Tendons and ligaments in your joints hold your toe straight out. Injury or stress on these tissues causes hammertoe, which forces your toe to turn downward. Hammertoe usually occurs in the center of your joints in your middle three toes. A variety of factors contribute to this condition, such as age, genetics, injury, and wearing shoes that are too tight.
This condition is very painful, but you can correct it with medical intervention and a comfortable pair of shoes. If you have hammertoe, you’ll need footwear that takes pressure off of your toes, with shock-absorbent features and a wide toe box. The extra room will allow your toe to heal, and it will straighten out. Shoes with adjustable straps or laces will also make you more comfortable. Only the most severe cases of hammertoe require surgery to correct.
The Bottom Line
When you have hammertoe, it seems like a challenge to find a comfortable shoe that will not bind your toes and make your condition worse. Any shoe with a large toe box and a roomy fit will suit your needs. We think the Brooks Men’s Ghost 11 and the Women’s Orthofeet Coral are the best choices for this ailment. They provide support and stability to relieve your foot pain, and they have adequate toe room suitable for hammertoe.
“Best Ways You Can Treat, Prevent Hammertoe.” Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/best-ways-you-can-treat-prevent-hammertoe/
“Hammertoe and mallet toe.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hammertoe-and-mallet-toe/symptoms-causes/syc-20350839
Jennifer Conerly is a writer and editor with extensive retail experience in athletic shoes and fitness she never thought would come in handy.