How to tape hammer toes

Written by kaitlin meilert
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How to tape hammer toes
Stretch hammer toes before and after taping to further increase flexibility and relieve discomfort. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A hammer toe, usually the second toe, is curled or hooked due to an unnatural bend in the toe's second joint. It often results from wearing tight shoes, especially high heels. Wearing tight shoes forces the toe to stay in a bent position, causing the muscles in the toe to tighten while the tendons shorten, making it harder to straighten your toe. Taping your hammer toe is a temporary fix, but it will help your toes fit comfortably in your shoes while preventing further damage or discomfort.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kinesio tape
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Cut the kinesio tape into a 6-inch strip, or long enough to wrap around three toes. Purchase tape that is wide enough to cover the length of your hammer toe.

  2. 2

    Place the tape under your toes with the sticky side facing up.

  3. 3

    Wrap the tape under your big toe, or the toe next to your hammer toe, starting from the centre of the top side of that toe. Continue wrapping the tape over the hammer toe, then under the next toe and back over to the starting toe. Wrap the tape tight enough to force the hammer toe into a normal position but not so tight that it hurts or cuts off circulation.

  4. 4

    Put your shoes on carefully so that you do not wrinkle the tape or disturb the positions of your toes.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase kinesio tape at your local pharmacy.
  • Even though taping your hammer toe will help your toes fit into shoes that you previously could not wear, continue to wear shoes with a toe area that is wide and deep enough to accommodate your toes. This will prevent further damage or discomfort.

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