Best Hammer Toe Splints / Straighteners And Treatment Plan

Any type of toe pain like a hammer toe makes your walking unpleasant or even totally debilitating at wearing favorite footwear. It can cause constantly dealing with pain & discomfort when you walk or move due to the affected joint can rub against your shoe & make it difficult to wear your favorite pair of shoes. Hammer toe is one of the most common bending deformities in the middle joints of the one or both joints of 2nd, 3rd or 4th toe. It happens in the joint nearest your toenail. It is usually an acquired deformity affecting women over the age of 30 & athletes who complain of pain while running.

The good news is that a hammer toe Splint or Straightener is a simple tool that helps to relieve your constant friction pain & can even correct it permanently in a few cases. It helps to straighten & realigned your toe alignment. It can also diminish pressure at the tips & tops of hammer toe. Hammer toe splints can also straighten your toes for additional pain relief. It is the obvious first step in your hammer toe treatment before your doctor decided surgery.

Types of Hammer Toe Splints / Straighteners

There are different types of hammer toe splints/straighteners available in the market. It is essential that you have to wear well-fitting shoes with lots of space in the toe box with all of these types of splints.

  • Toe wraps: This is a thin elastic bandage with Velcro straps which can tie the hammer toe to the neighboring toes. Some clients can get better results by using these types of splints. They are minimally irritating & can be clean by water & can be used again & again. You have faced difficulty to keep them in position when your toes are short or curve to the side.
  • Toe socks / Toe separator socks: It is more specific splints or straighteners. These socks have five toe hole cutouts and padding that helps to separate your toes. They will not ensure enough separation like other splints. It may give gentle relief if you use it for a long time. If you have difficulty finding a well fit, you could make your own separator sock by cutting holes in a good fitting thin sock.
  • Gel toe separators: These splints or straighteners are made with a soft durable gel that separates your toes & helps keep them into a natural position. Some of them are designed to separate all five toes to relieve tight muscles, ligaments & tendons. Some of them are separate only two toes. Especially it can be effective when you have crossed toes & these separators fit properly to your toes. On else it will be unpleasant & irritating to you.
  • Ball of foot cushions (metatarsal/sulcus): in some cases, your hammer toe pain is referred to as the metatarsal area. Splints that cushion the ball of your foot to ensure additional support just underneath the toes can sometimes reduce pain.
  • Hammer Toe Crest Pad – it doesn’t work to correct your hammer toe but cushion it to stop from rubbing on the shoes or neighboring toes. A toe Crest pad is usually made with gel or simple felt that goes around your hammer toe & is held in place by an attached pad that sits below your toes. They can alleviate the irritation. It is reusable. It can be helpful to you with overlapping toes.

Effectiveness of Splinting on Hammer Toe

Splints cannot cure your hammer toe completely but most of the clients will find their condition is greatly reduced. The effects of splinting on hammer toe are the following:

  • To straighten & realigned of your toes.
  • Eliminate the friction between the hammer toe & your skin.
  • To relieve your foot pain.
  • Prevent the formation of corns & calluses on the foot over the hammer toe.
  • To stretch the ligaments & tendons of toes.
  • To correct your toe deformity.
  • Prevent/reduce stiffness & tightness developing in the joints & surrounding tissues.
  • To gently separate the irritated areas.
  • To reduce skin irritation & avoid inflammation.
  • Make your every day living more pleasant.
  • Ingrown nails & blisters.
  • To break apart scar tissue.

Best Hammer Toe Splints / Straighteners

We have compiled a list of the best hammer toe splints/straighteners in the market. There are the best 8 hammer toe splints or straighteners you can purchase for your hammer toe.

1. ViveSole Hammer Toe Straightener

ViveSole Hammer Toe Straightener is one of the accessible, effortless hammer toe straighteners you have seen. This straightener helps to maintain proper alignment of your toes & separate the toes to alleviate pain, friction & irritation for comfortable relief. It is made of a dual foam layer which provides cushioning support to the ball of the foot to reduce pressure & decrease pain.

ViveSole Hammer Toe Straightener

It has a feature of the single adjustable strap which gently secures the toe to encourage proper alignment of your toes & relieving pain. The ergonomic design of this toe straightener is easily worn with socks & fit all most types of your shoes. You can be worn this type of toe straightener throughout the day for comfortable pain relief. You can be clean by soapy water & can be reused. Also, you will receive two toe straighteners in every package. It gives you 60 days unconditional guarantee, so now you can buy this splint with confidence.

  • Adjustable loop to fit.
  • Easy to wear.
  • Washable & reusable.
  • Can’t be worn with shoes.

2. NatraCure Gel Hammer Toe Crest Pads

If you want to buy the best hammer toe splints, then you will certainly choose NatraCure Gel Hammer Toe Crest case of hammer toe if you felling discomfort or irritation while wearing footwear, this splints offer immediate soothing protection and keep your skin in great shape at the same time. It wraps around the hammer toe with a cushioned pad on the bottom of your foot to reduce pain & neutralize friction & pressure.

NatraCure Gel Hammer Toe Crest Pads

This incredible toe splint is made of highly stretchable, soft silicone, cushioning materials which is non-restrictive & safe for diabetic patient. It has a  feature of innovative smart gel slowly release medical grade mineral oil, Vit – E & Aloe Vera to help moisturize & nourish your skin and protect the skin from corn & calluses. This toe splint is hypoallergenic,odor-free,  washable & can comfortably fitting with your almost types of shoes. It can alleviate your toe tips pressure & relieving stress on the metatarsal pads of the foot. You can be worn this toe splint with shoes & socks.

  • Highly durable.
  • Diabetic friendly.
  • Superior cushioning.
  • Easy to fit.
  • Nourish skin.
  • Eases pain.
  • 60 days money-back guarantee.
  • Don’t wear it for a long time.

3. ZenToes 6 Pack Gel Toe Cap and Protector

ZenToes 6 Pack Gel Toe Cap and Protectors are the perfect solution for a wide range of painful hammer toe for both men & women. This incredible toe protector protects your hammer toe from rubbing against other toes. So there is no chance of calluses formation on the tops of your toes. It is made from latex-free, 100 % medical-grade gel which ensures the highest quality foot care treatments & reduce skin irritation.

ZenToes 6 Pack Gel Toe Cap and Protector

Its sophisticated design allows you to be worn under your socks & you can be easily worn this toe cap with your everyday shoes. You can be cleaned it gently with warm soapy water & providing long-lasting wear. You will receive a set of six toe caps in every package & each one is like a miniature latex sleeve for your toes. It is available in two different sizes in the market, one is 1/2 inch diameter & another is 1-inch diameter.

  • High-quality materials.
  • Latex-free.
  • Slim design.
  • USA tested materials.
  • Washable & reusable.
  • Don’t wear it for a long time.

4. 5 Stars United Toe Separators Hammer Toe Straightener

5 Stars United Toe Separators Hammer Toe Straightener introduced a stylish straightener that restores your foot alignment naturally. These foot elastic care pads are precisely designed to place your toe in the correct position & improve the strength of your toes.

5 Stars United Toe Separators Hammer Toe Straightener

These toe separators are made from very soft, stretchable, medical-grade; elastic materials that can give you guarantee a comfortable wear. It’s a sophisticated design to follow the anatomy of your feet. These toe pal gel separators are perfect for diabetic patients & old age people to provide extra support & improve balance in the feet. You can be comfortably worn these toe separators with your shoes, both day & night time to hold your toe straight. It can be especially helpful when your hammer toe pain only start to develop. You can be cleaned by soapy water.

  • Unisex size.
  • 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Provide extra support.
  • Easy to use.
  • Washable & reusable.
  • It doesn’t well fit with your dress shoes.

5. DR JK Original Toe Pal

Are you experiencing hammer toe that is making you throw off your designer footwear?  DR JK Original Toe pal incredible design impress you for this case. By wearing this toe separator, you can get relief from aching, throbbing feet & get on with your day. It is constructed from stretchable & soft medical grade gel materials which help to reduce muscles, joints & other tissues strain throughout the foot.

DR JK Original Toe Pal

This type of toe separators can be helpful for ballet dancer, yogis & athletes. The amazing yoga gels hold your toes tightly & keep them in perfect toe alignment & provide optimal relief. When you purchase this toe pal, you will receive in two pairs of toe pals. One pair of loops toe separators designed to be worn to keep toes in an aligned position & another pair is gel toe separators for yoga to stretch toes & reduce joint strain.

  • Easy to slip on.
  • Flexible & versatile.
  • Medical grade materials.
  • Don’t wear it for a long time.
  • Can’t be worn with shoes.

6. YogaToes GEMS: Gel Toe Stretcher & Toe Separator

Yoga Toes Gems are controversially the most popular option for a set of toe separators on the market. By wearing these toe stretchers, you will stretch all your toes simultaneously or fixing your foot problem by naturally at your home comfort. These high-quality splints are made from superior, hygienic & 100% medical grade materials for comfort.

YogaToes GEMS: Gel Toe Stretcher & Toe Separator

It has an amazing open-top design that allows for better flexibility & a personalized stretch. In the USA, it is no 1 doctor recommended toe stretchers. Yoga Toes designed from non-toxic & hypoallergenic substances to preserve your skin from dangerous effects. You can be clean it easily with warm soapy water. You will receive a pair of toe stretchers in one package.

  • Natural foot fixer.
  • Open top design.
  • Doctor recommended.
  • 100% pure & safe.
  • BPA free.
  • Unisex size.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can’t be worn with shoes.

7. Dr. Foot’s Toe Tubes

If the best hammer toe splint is what you want, you will admire this piece from Dr. Foot’s Toe Tubes. These splints have five open-toe tubes to secured your toes & fingers against abrading, injured nail. These toe tubes are ideal for fingers or toes are very exposed to injury such as truck drivers, builders, courier sorter, etc. These incredible toe tubes are made from high-quality medical-grade gel & anti-allergic materials with outer fabric which can help to moisturize the skin & smoothen the stiff layer.

Dr. Foot's Toe Tubes

It has a unique feature which is an open toe sleeve that prevents your injured toes from getting infected by sweat. Your toe rubbing hurts when you have to spend a lot of time training or walking, in that case, you need these toe tubes. These splints are latex-free, washable & reusable which are resistant to allergy. You can easily cut the tube to the perfect length to protect your toes against forming corn, calluses, or blisters.

  • Medical-grade gel.
  • Latex-free.
  • Open toe sleeve.
  • Comfort & breath.
  • High-quality materials.
  • It will not appropriate for toe straightening.

8. ZenToes Hammer Toe Straightener and Corrector 4 Pack Soft Gel Crests Splints

Zen toes 4 pack hammer toe straighteners gives you the freedom to choose where you place this & where you go while they are on your feet. These gel cushion toe straighteners are made from latex-free,  medical-grade soft gel materials to provide orthopedic support, keeping your toes aligned & resisting sweat.

ZenToes Hammer Toe Straightener and Corrector 4 Pack Soft Gel Crests Splints

These splints can slip in between your toes to help stay them straight without producing irritation. They are soft, stretchable, lightweight & unisex sizes. You can be worn this toe straightener throughout the day under your socks which can fit easily with your favorite shoes. You will receive 4 piece toe straightener in every package & each piece can fit most toes.

  • Flexible wear.
  • Odor resistant.
  • Latex-free gel.
  • Universal, unisex wear.
  • Hurts while removing.

Pros & Cons of Hammer Toe Splints

  • Easy to put on.
  • Premium quality materials.
  • Comfortable fit.
  • Provide extra support.
  • Medical grade materials.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Washable & reusable.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Doesn’t fix broken bones.
  • Wearing toe separators a long time without a break can interfere with blood circulation or any other irritation.
  • Incorrectly fitting may worse toe pain & can rub your toes inside shoes.
  • Uncomfortable when fitting wrongly.

Hammer Toe At a Glance

Causes of Hammer Toe

There are several factors that can play a role in causing hammer toe. The most common hammer toe causes are –

  • Tight-fitting shoes – If you wearing high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes, can push toes into a flexed position. Squeeze toes can’t lie flat, increasing the risk the joint will become bent out of shape. Continuously wearing tight shoes will cause your toes to rub against your shoes, leading to corns & calluses that cause more pain.
  • A traumatic toe injury – If you stubbed or jammed your toes, you are at increased risk of hammertoe because the injury can damage the tissues at the joints & throw them out of alignment. People who have earlier broken a toe are also at risk of hammertoe, even after the fracture heals.
  • Abnormal balance of the toe muscles – An abnormal balance in the muscles surrounding the toes causes increased pressure on the toes tendons & joints. It puts you at greater risk of hammertoe & other types of foot & toe injuries. It can also cause the toe to contract.
  • Family history of hammertoe.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, & other conditions that affect the feet are more predicted to develop hammer toe deformity.
  • Bunions are one of the major causes of hammer toe.
  • Usually high arched feet can also result in buckling toe.
  • Women are more predicted to develop a hammer toe than men because they tend to wear high heel shoes or wear tighter toe boxes.
  • Older age people are more predicted to increase the risk of hammer toe & other crooked toe conditions than young people.

Sign & Symptoms of Hammer Toe

The symptoms of hammer toe are often very visible. The most common symptom of hammer toe is a bend looking like a hammer in the middle joint of your toes, usually the middle three toes. At an early stage, you can be able to temporarily straighten the hammer toe by pressing on the bend. If you not take proper treatment, the toe will remain rigid even if you press it. Other symptoms of hammer toe include –

  • Pain or inflammation around the toe joint & at the ball of the foot.
  • Toe Pain increased when you wearing high heels or tight shoes.
  • Redness and swelling present at the contracture point.
  • Middle toe joints will be stiff or rigid.
  • Toe bent downward.
  • The toe is unable to lie flat.
  • Difficult to straighten the affected toe.
  • Unable to flex your foot.
  • Corn will present on the top of the affected joint.
  • Calluses will present on the sole of the affected foot.
  • In severe cases, open sores may be developing on the toe.
  • Walking difficulty.
  • Restriction of movement.

Complications of Hammer Toe

Complications of hammer toe can differ on a patient to patient basis.

  • In the acute stage, your toe remains flexible but if you not take proper treatment, it becomes rigid & can cause pain & discomfort during walking.
  • You may also face difficulty to fit your feet into your shoes as a result of hammer toe deformity.
  • It will lead to the development of painful calluses under your prominent metatarsal head & over the prominent PIP joints.
  • Advanced stage of hammer toe may present with consequences such as tendonitis, bursitis, and degenerative joint disease.
  • Difficult or painful to walk.
  • Limping walking.
  • Blisters

Treatment of Hammer Toe

If your hammer toe is still flexible, you may be able to treat it by some home remedies such as orthotics change in your footwear, exercise to stretch & strengthen toe muscles.  The most effective treatment options include –

  • You always try to wear well-fitting shoes to make with a wider & deeper toe box to accommodate your foot’s shape.
  • You shouldn’t wear high heels which is higher than 2 inches
  • Hammer Toe Splints: It is the easiest way to relieve your hammer toe pain. By wearing a hammer toe brace or splints, you can relief from pain, decrease swelling & suppress friction and irritation. It is a conventional method that fits comfortably inside your shoes to ensure toes, natural position & to stretch the tendons of the foot.
  • Ice therapy: To reduce swelling and provide instant relief from toe pain, you can apply an ice pack to sore foot & toes several times daily as needed. You can wrap some ice in a thin cloth & place it in your painful area for 15 minutes. You never put ice directly on the skin.
  • Medication: If you have a lot of pain or swelling, your doctor may be prescribed some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Acetaminophen, ibuprofen for short term remedy. Doctor may also give Cortisone injection in severe pain & swelling cases.
  • Hammer Toe exercises: You may need to do some simple foot exercises which can help to keep your toe joints flexible & restore the flexibility of the tendons. Such as – A) Place some marbles or a small towel on the floor & then picking marble or towel up with your toes. B) Grasp at carpet with your toes. C) Curling your toes up & down repeatedly.
  • Hammer toe surgery: if your affected toe has no longer flexible & becomes rigid, then you may require hammering toe surgery to straighten your toe joint. In the case of a flexible hammer toe, a surgeon may transfer the tendons so that the toe moves into a straight position. In the case of fixed hammer toe, the surgeon may cut ligaments or tendons or remove a piece of the joint (knuckle) to allow the toe to straighten out.

Additional Resources: Extensor Tendonitis Foot Braces & Treatment Plan