Shoes for Problem Feet

Published on October 2nd, 2017 | by Kirsten Borrink


Best Non-Orthopedic Shoes for Hammertoes [7 Chic Solutions]

Few foot problems ruin the fit and feel of a shoe like a pesky hammertoe. It refuses to lay flat and insists on bumping up against the top of a shoe causing irritation of the toe knuckle (and often creates a thick callous on the ball of foot). Whether caused by genetics, ill-fitting shoes, injury or arthritis, hammertoes require special treatment (if not surgery, then toe caps, toe pads and an accommodating pair of shoes). I’ve experienced worsening hammertoes over the last few years, so I understand the discomfort! Let me help you find the best shoes for hammertoes that look good and feel good. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page).

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Clark's Sillian Paz

Clarks Sillian Paz

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Clarks Sillian Paz

Clarks Sillian Paz

The synthetic brushed nubuck upper and soft fabric lining of the Clark’s Cloudsteppers Sillian Paz is forgiving of misshapen toes, whether from bunions or hammertoes. The rest of the shoe is a treat too. An OrthoLite® footbed offers top-notch cushioning, and it’s removable should you need to use a custom orthotic. Elastic side panels provide snug fit. Available in whole and half sizes 5-10, 11, 12; medium and wide widths from Zappos,, and Amazon. Check out the entire Cloudsteppers collection here.

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Fitflop Uberknit Ballerina

Fitflop Uberknit Ballerina

A newer closed-toe addition to the Fitflop family, the Uberknit ballerina earns rave reviews from both bunion and hammertoe sufferers. The lightweight knit upper stretches to accommodate vertical and horizontal toe bumps and is a breeze to slip-on and off. Best for medium to wide width feet, the Fitflop Uberknit Ballerina offers moderate arch support and heel-to-toe cushioning. I’ve read that the style runs large, so you may want to order down a half size. Find a pair at, Zappos, Amazon and Nordstrom.

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Rockport Cobb Hill Nicole

Rockport Cobb Hill Nicole

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Rockport Cobb Hill Nicole

Rockport Cobb Hill Nicole

Let’s include an ankle boot in our best shoes for hammertoes category since fall is upon us. I took notice of the Rockport Cobb Hill Nicole bootie when repeated online reviews mention its ability to conform to hammertoes–no abrasion, no irritation. I attribute this to the distressed leather upper with soft fabric lining.

A Zappos customer reviews the Nicole bootie:

I have bunions and hammertoes, so of course I have a hard time finding shoes – these are very comfortable – wide enough so my bunions don’t hurt and the bottoms are rubber, so they are cushiony to walk in – great boots, and they look cute – finally can wear something more stylish.

The Rockport Cobb Hill collection specializes in designing shoes with comfort footbeds, moderate arch support, shock-absorbing outsoles, and roomier toe boxes. Find the Nicole ankle boot in sizes 6-11, three widths from Zappos,, and Amazon.

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Bussola Cai

Bussola Cai

While we’re on the subject, here’s another great ankle boot (it’s water-resistant!) that won’t irritate hammertoes–the Bussola Cyra. A soft and slightly stretchy microfiber upper and foot-friendly toe box shape create a happy environment for bunions and hammertoes. Available at Amazon and Shoemall. Don’t worry if the boot is named Cai, California, Coimbra or Calista–they’re all the same boot!

 Best Shoes for Hammertoes : Hotter Donna

Hotter Donna

For an office-appropriate dress shoe, consider Hotter’s dress shoe collection. Based in the UK with delivery to the US, Hotter continues to win over women with less than perfect feet. Their foot-friendly forefoot shape allows for toes to spread up and out while the footbed provides good support and stellar cushioning. The Donna (above) is Hotter’s most popular pump, and we’re over moon for the Vanity boots featured below–the style, the zipper, the colors…so gorgeous. Prefer a flat, loafer or oxford? Hotter’s got you covered. See their whole collection here (many styles come in extra wide widths).

Best Shoes for Hammertoes: Hotter Vanity

Hotter Vanity Boot

If you’ve wanted to try Hotter shoes, now is the time as they’re offering a great deal: 40% off your first order with free shipping and returns–just use code HOT40.

Ecco Incise Urban Slip-on

The Ecco Incise Urban slip-on shows us that stretch fabric can be modern and chic. A removable contoured insole offers moderate arch support and lightweight PU outsole absorbs shock. Available in euro sizes 36-41 from,, Nordstrom, Zappos, The Walking Company and Amazon.

Other great shoes for hammertoes:Altra Escalante (running/fitness shoe), Arcopedico LS (read my review of this wonderful knit sneaker), Aetrex Berries (boots and shoes with stretch uppers and supportive footbeds), Abeo Smart shoes (some have stretch uppers with customizable orthotics included), Bernie Mev shoes with woven uppers. 

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17 Responses to Best Non-Orthopedic Shoes for Hammertoes [7 Chic Solutions]

  1. Pam Giordano says:

    My new Earth Pegasus booties have plenty of toe room, especially important because I’ve had bone spur surgery on both my big toes. Good balance between sufficient room and too much room where your toes bang around inside the shoes. Really happy with these shoes.

  2. Mary Dean says:

    I am a loyal customer of Hotter Shoes since you published an article a couple of years ago! I have hammer toe issues. I wear their whisper boots in the winter and the Aurora shoes in the summer! Thank you for the tip!

  3. Kirsten Borrink says:

    And their styles keep getting better and better! Those Whisper boots look so comfy. Might have to get a pair 🙂

  4. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Hi Pam! Great suggestion, thank you.

  5. Bette says:

    Can you comment on the fit of the Hotter shoes? I wear a 10.5, which is not available. Size up or down? I love the Whisper boots, so if anyone owns them, please chime in! Thanks!

  6. Kirsten Borrink says:

    I asked Facebook readers (quite a few own the boot and love it). One said to order up. I like this idea since it’s a boot and you can always wear a thick sock or put an insole in to take up extra room. Another suggested calling their customer service as they’re very helpful 🙂

  7. Kirsten Borrink says:

    “Have the person e-mail customer service. They will tell her how to measure her foot for their shoes. I did this for my daughter and they suggested a size. I did not agree and ordered what I thought. THEY WERE CORRECT. They ask you to measure the circumference as well as a few other measurements of each foot.”

  8. Bette says:

    So funny. I measured very carefully and received a reply, “Sorry, we don’t currently carry your size.” Ha. I went ahead and ordered Whisper boots in US 10 and US 11, which turned out to be UK 8/EU 42 and UK 9/EU 43. The US 10 was absolutely perfect — the Whisper boots are fabulous! So happy I tried this brand, thank you!

  9. Renee says:

    I have an extremely high instep and hammertoes. I have worn naot previously, but recently they don’t seem to work. I just purchase naot matai which was recommended for high instep, but feel they are much too flat which is so frustrating for me. Kirsten, I did notice you said these worked for you – any advise or suggestions. Thanks.

  10. Bette says:

    I am TOTALLY psyched that the Bussola boots are back in stock! I absolutely love these boots — they are light as a feather, hold up extremely well in all kinds of weather, and fit my feet like a glove. Yay!

  11. Kirsten Borrink says:

    I know! They keep changing the name of this little boot. Now it’s the Bussola Cloud??

  12. L says:

    What color are the Bussola Cai booties in the pic? I like the contrast with the silver bands. Tried following the links but they all seem to be dark colors.
    Also, are there any boots are little lower than this for warmer weather? Thanks

  13. Kirsten Borrink says:

    They are a light gray–could be they don’t make the color anymore–i’ll search and see.

  14. Heather says:

    I saw in Sunset magazine an ad for Hotter shoes with a big discount for first time shopper. They were cute little booties in lots of colors. I haven’t tried them before but I am now.

  15. Kirsten Borrink says:

    Probably the Whisper boot? Even though shipping takes a while since footwear ships from UK, it’s true to size and often a great fit.

  16. Joseph Hawkins says:

    Investing in Non-Orthopedic shoes is one of the best decisions that I ever made. The comfort level that it provides is immense and worth every penny.

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