Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Hammer Time!

I recently got a question from a friend and TT reader about help finding the correct running shoes to help with her Hammertoes-ies.  Frankly, I probably have a bit of that MC Hammer action going on myself.  Well, my friend, we're in good company.  Check out the likes of Cameron, Jennifer and Kate to see that you're not alone!  It turns out that many fashionable ladies shoes are not so wonderful for your feet, but I guess most of you could have figured that out after less than a night out on the town in them.

There are a range of solutions on the web for such awesome toes - of course, first and foremost would be to start wearing more sensible ladies shoes, but I don't foresee most of us banishing our heels anytime soon.  For those with a very serious problem, it seems there are surgeries you can have performed by a podiatrist.  On the other end of the severity spectrum, you can pick up some foot aligning products that are geared towards straightening out your little tootsies.  For example:

In the meantime, you may be wondering, like my friend was, what's the best running shoe to help deal with such the hammer toe problem?  While I'm certainly no doctor, it seems that the best running shoe to help is one with a roomy toe box.

As with most things in life, people seem to have quite varying (and often polar opposite!) opinions.  But some recommendations of shoes that seem to consistently be recommended  for their roomy toe boxes are:
  • Brooks - particularly the Glycerin, but supposedly most of their running shoes
  • New Balance - particularly the 1124, 1064, 811, 846 or 925, but again, supposedly most of their running shoes run wide in the toe box
  • Saucony -
  • Asics - Gel 3030 or Gel Nimbus seies
  • Nike - the Vomero is thought to have one of the wider of the usually narrower Nike toe boxes (people note that the version 5 has more space than the newer one, even, although it's harder to find)
Additionally, you should make sure that your running shoe is fitted correctly.  Buying  a pair of running sneakers in your "normal shoe" size will likely not give your toes enough room [especially as they swell throughout a long workout on your feet], thus exacerbating your hammer problem.

If you're unsure of the proper fit for you, most sales people will recommend that you go half a size up from your regular shoe size.  However, your best bet is to find a specialty running store that can analyze your specific gait, foot type and body mechanics to help you select the best shoe for you.  Some stores in NYC that I recommend are:
If you already know your sizing in any of the shoes above, I recommend checking out Road Runner Sports.  They tend to have great deals on workout equipment, and if you join their VIP club [for literally $1 or $2] you get free shipping for the whole year and additional discounts.  If you use this link you get an extra 10% off your order and I get referral creds.  Awesome.  

Happy Running!


  1. I recently started buying my running shoes in a half size larger - it made a massive difference!

    I'm 5'10" so tend not to wear heels :)

  2. Ooh - all these celeb ugly feet made me feel a lot better about my own ugly feet!
    Especially after running around in heels yesterday from 7:30am-midnight. My feet hurt so bad that I actually ran out in between meetings to Naturalizer to try to get some comfier pumps. TBD on whether they are comfy bc my feet were already ripped to shreds.

  3. Thanks Kate! Went to Fleet Feet today. I went from 4 years in Nike Pegasus size 8 to Brooks Ghost in size 8.5. I'm sooo excited for my next run!