A hammer toe is when the base of the toe points upward and the end of the toe points down. The symptoms of a hammertoe are usually first noticed when a corn develops on the top of the toe, and the toe becomes painful. The toe will typically be most painful with tight fitting shoes. A callus may even develop under the ball of the foot due to the position of the underlying metatarsal (one of five long bones in the forefoot). There are several causes of a hammer toe deformity such as improper fitting footwear, weak small muscles in the foot and heredity - some people are more structurally prone to develop hammer toes. Treatment consists of hammer toe cushions, hammer toe crests, toe spacers for toes that may be rubbing or overlapping, insoles and orthotics, corn and callus pads and toe straighteners.