Hammer toe is a condition of your feet where the toes permanently curl forward. This can be caused by muscular spasticity in your soles but more usually is the result of wearing thongs, flip flops, jangles, haviannas……whatever you choose to call rubber open summer footwear with no heel strap.
Your flip flops stay on your feet because you unconsciously are gripping with your toes to keep them on. This constant gripping of the toes eventually claws them forward which can make them painful and interferes with your walking and running. This style of cheap footwear usually has no arch support and can contribute to plantar fasceitis, fallen foot arches that inturn can produce knee pain. Wearing flip flops that are a bit too big for you are even harder on your feet.
Flip flops and jangles have a high convenience factor if you are bare foot and want to cross hot pavement or sand on a sunny day but please limit the distances you walk in them because they teach your toes bad habits.
There are a number of foot massage and exercise techniques in Self Massage &+40 Fitness that can help you help your hammer toes. They are best applied regularly and often particularly in the warmer months when these foot coverings are worn. Stretching your toes backwards is particularly useful.
It can be surprisingly difficult convincing someone with hammer toes that their flip flops are probably the main culprit, some people’s hammer toes curl so far forward that when bare foot their toe nails scrape the pavement when they are barefoot. Flip flops when wet can get very slippery and injure your feet and ankles.
Hammer toes don’t look great either when scrunched inside an open woman’s shoe.
Hammer toes can lead to plantar fasceitis (a painful foot condition) and tight calf muscles that are also prone to cramping.
Sandles with a heel strap will keep your feet cool in summer without producing hammer toe.