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Family Foot & Ankle

Best Footwear for Mallet Toes

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If trying a new lifetime sport is up your alley this winter, you might consider making your way to the historic Cincinnati Gardens for some curling, care of the Cincinnati Curling Club. If it’s your toes doing the curling, however—say from a condition such as mallet toes—you may consider making your way to the nearest specialty shoe store instead.

Because it changes the shape of your digit and the way it fits within your shoe, you need to take extra care to select a pair that fully accommodates your condition. If your toes are too cramped, the tops and tips can rub against the inside of the shoe, which can cause painful friction, corns, calluses, or blisters. Tight shoes, in fact, are probably the source of the deformity in the first place—keep your toes locked at an angle too frequently, and eventually the muscles lose the ability to straighten out.

If you have mallet toes, you should select a shoe style that provides a lot of extra height and depth in the toe box. You want plenty of wiggle space so that you aren’t constantly rubbing and pressing against the inside of the shoe. It’s important not to go too big, though—you still want a shoe that fits comfortably and provides adequate support for your arch, or it can lead to other problems.

Shoes made of softer and more flexible materials generally have more “give” and put less pressure on sensitive areas. Specialty stores may in fact carry shoes specially designed for this purpose—ask a salesperson if they can make a recommendation.

For that pair of fancy leather dress shoes you just can’t give up, bring them in—we may be able to gently stretch them out in the forefoot so that you can still wear them without further aggravation.

Don’t let mallet toes drive you around the bend—come see us at Family Foot and Ankle Center. We’ll set you up with whatever you need to overcome your toe pain, whether it’s merely a recommendation for a good pair of shoes; extra supports such as orthotics, splints, or gel caps; or a more aggressive treatment. Call us today by dialing (513) 728-4800 in Ohio, (859) 282-1572 in Kentucky, or set up an appointment online.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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