Hammer, claw, and mallet toes are toes that bend into an odd position at one or more joints. This can be painful. They are most often caused by wearing tight shoes, which can cause the toe muscles to get out of balance.
Claw toe often affects the four smaller toes at the same time. The toes bend up at the joint where the toes and the foot meet. They bend down at the middle joints and at the joints nearest the tip of the toes. This causes the toes to curl down toward the floor.