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Carolina Foot and Ankle

Huntersville 704-987-9585

Mooresville 704-235-0474

Mountain Island 704-971-4000

Can Wearing High Heels Cause Hammertoe?

Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Hammertoe may often be the result of a muscle imbalance in the toes. It is typically a painful and uncomfortable foot condition and is generally caused by wearing poorly fitting shoes or an inherited trait. If high heels are frequently worn, the toes may be crammed into an area that may be too small for the toes to move about in. When this happens, the toes may be forced into a flexed position for long periods of a time. If this condition is not treated promptly, they may permanently remain in a bent position, which may require surgery to repair. Additionally, a toe that has been stubbed or broken may be a cause of hammertoe. Other foot conditions such as corns and calluses may develop on top of the toes as a result of hammertoe. If you feel you have hammertoe, it is strongly suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can suggest proper techniques for a successful treatment.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.


Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.


  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe


If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?