I went to a podiatrist last year. His solution: foot surgery, and "a 6-8 week recovery period." Well, a lot of my friends have had foot surgery in the past few years, and it seems to be more of a 6-8 month recovery time. And since I run four times a week, take kung fu three times a week, and do a bunch more things, that's not too appealing.
So I went looking for another option. And I found it, maybe, in something called Correct Toes. I bought a pair, and then last week I went to see the doctor himself, since he actually practices in Portland. He says, given enough time (we're talking several to many months) I can get my toe back into position. I'm wearing my Correct Toes every day for hours.
Except I wasn't wearing them in my running shoes. They didn't fit. Dr. M. recommended I buy some different shoes, and gave me a journal paper showing that the ideas behind today's running shoes have zero science. The jacked up heel on my old pair, and the sharp upswing of the toe all force you to run with a heel strike. Dr. M - and more and more researchers, doctors, and scientists, as far as I can see - believes in mid-foot strike or front-foot strike. They feel this is less punishing on the joints and will lead to fewer injuries.
I wore my new shoes today with my Correct Toes and I did find myself running differently.
I'll let you know if I save my toe.
If you have a flexible hammer toe, you might want to check out Correct Toes.