Hammer toes, mallet toes, clawed toes, under-riding toe, over-riding toe and bunions are all varieties of misshapen toes. This is when one joint in the toe becomes partially dislocated altering the shape and function of the toe.
There are a range of causes from poor footwear, arthritis, the way you walk, trauma to the toe to an in-balance in the muscles and ligaments holding the joints in place. Misshapen toes can be very painful if footwear does not fit well and can lead to the development of a corn and hard skin over boney areas and in extreme cases to bleeding and infection from repeated friction.
Wearing good shoes which are deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the foot helps to reduce friction across the toes. Regular use of a foot file will also help reduce the formation of corns and hard skin and can be combined with daily use of a foot cream to keep your skin supple. Protective toe covers will also help to reduce friction from footwear and a leather toe prop will straighten and support toes.