How to Wear Shoes After Hammertoe Surgery

Updated February 21, 2017

Hammertoe is a painful foot condition suffered most commonly in countries where footwear is worn on a regular basis. Women are more likely to have hammertoe as a result of wearing shoes that are too small or have heels; wearing heels forces the bones and tendons of your feet to take on shapes and bear weight and pressure that they otherwise would not have dealt with.

After having surgery for hammertoe, it is generally possible to continue wearing shoes as you had before you developed hammertoe; however, there are certain things to be wary of in the weeks immediately following surgery.

Wear your post-operation shoes for as long as your doctor recommends after surgery; this will generally be one to two weeks. Post-operative shoes have a hard sole that keeps your toes from bending, and because the foot that had the surgery will be swollen, it is important to wear shoes that fit.

Use crutches to keep weight off of the foot that had the surgery.

Begin wearing wide, flat shoes after one to two weeks. If you are still experiencing swelling, it may be six or eight weeks after surgery before you can wear any shoes but the post-operative shoes.

Start incorporating your regular footwear into your outfits after six to eight weeks. The swelling should have gone down by this time, and there should be little to no pain in wearing regular shoes.

Do not wear heels for at least three full months after the surgery. The healing process for hammertoe surgery continues for a full year after the initial operation, but after three months have passed, you may begin to wear heels again.


In some cases, doctors may recommend that you stop wearing heels entirely after hammertoe surgery. Follow any and all doctor orders regarding post-operation footwear.

Things You'll Need

  • Post-operative shoes
  • Crutches
  • Wide-soled shoes
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About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.