Pre-loading the hallux
A cluffy wedge is used to pre-load the hallux to engage the windlass mechanism earlier. But when there is significant hyperextension of the interphalangeal joint of the hallux, this elevates the distal phalanx and therefore toenail into the toebox of the shoe.
So it would seem feasible to use material only under the proximal phalanx only, not the distal phalanx. That way you could use a thicker material and get earlier and easier windlass establishment.