Hammer Toes What are hammer toes? Hammer toe is a deformity that causes the toes in between the big toe and pinky toe to become permanently raised and bent, causing the hammer-like appearance.Wearing extremely high heels or shoes that are either too narrow or small can cause bending in the toes which eventually shortens the muscle and leads to this condition. What are the symptoms of hammer toes? Some signs you have hammer toes includes feeling pain in the affected area when wearing shoes and walking, redness, swelling, inflammation, calluses on the bottom of the feet and corns on the toes and between them. How do we treat hammer toes? We examine your feet to identify the extent of damage, advise you on how to treat any calluses and corns that have developed, show you various strengthening exercises you can do to develop the muscles between your toes so you can reconfigure the way your foot absorbs pressure, and stretching movements to improve flexibility.