Following on from our last post about feet...
We mentioned how with fashion these days, our shoes have tapered toe boxes and this compresses our toes in our shoes. We have also explained how this is not ideal and not functional as it reduces our surface area in contact with the ground, as well as narrows our base of support on our feet.
Enter the Correct Toes toe spacers.
I have always been a fan of the barefoot/minimalist movement. I first heard about the toe spacers when I was introduced to a minimalist shoe company called Lems shoes. I will also be writing a few reviews on Lems shoes' shoes that we have tried. Seeing how Lems advocated for "toe spread" and also recommended this product called correct toes, I researched a little more into them. (The link to their main site can be found here https://www.nwfootankle.com/correct-toes ). I went to check out their website to further understand the product and the philosophy of the founder, podiatrist Dr Ray McClanahan, which resonated well with me as I shared a lot of his views too regarding feet. He also advocates for shoes that are flat (zero-drop), with wide toe boxes, and flexible which allow the natural movement of the foot. I then proceeded to order a pair to give it a go myself.
The package arrived like this
A neat plastic package which contained 2 silicon toe spacers. They were really soft and felt nice to the touch. They are made out of hypo-allergenic, medical grade silicone. It is designed with 3 slots in between for the middle 3 toes and 2 "bigger" dividers at each end for allowing to insert wedges for further separating the big toe and the little toe.
They were really easy to put on, but I can see how if you had slightly bigger toes, it might require a bit of adjustment. It feels really comfortable wearing them, not at all intrusive. They do definitely spread the toes out and the feet feel "more engaged", whatever that means. I naturally do have wide feet so I didn't feel the product spread my toes out that much, more like maintained the spacing between my toes.
I am able to wear the correct toes in my shoes and they fit very comfortably even with socks over them. Alternatively, if you wear toe socks, you would be able to fit the toe spacers over them. I wear Lems shoes which have a wide toe box ( as mentioned previously, I will also be writing a review on Lems shoes). Basically, if your shoe has a wide enough toe box, you should be able to wear your toe spacers in them.
The company mentions that it can help, NOT cure (people can get quite angsty over definitive statements) patients who have ailments such as bunions, plantar fascitis, stiffness of the big toe (which is really important in general movement function), hammertoes, increased balance and increased blood flow, just to name a few. Interestingly, the correct toes blog (https://correcttoes.wordpress.com/) also had a review from a user who did an infrared image on his feet, one foot with and one foot without the toe spacers.
I have recommended this product to various patients from all walks of life. I have gotten powerlifters and weightlifters wearing them and they report better balance and stability in their feet which translates to them lifting better. I have recommended them to patients recovering from foot and ankle surgery, as well as knee and hip surgery to wear them especially in their initial stages of recovery when they are not able to put full weight on their limbs yet, but they still get the benefit of increased toe spread as well as increased circulation in their feet. Patients with bunions and club feet have reported better foot alignment and stability when walking. Some patients who are on their feet for long periods at work, retail for example, or on the farm, have expressed how it was really nice to have their feet "stretched" after a long day on their feet.
****Focus Physio is only 1 of 2 places in New Zealand that stock this product. We have tried it for ourselves, and have recommended this product to clients who have benefited from it. This product is in line with our philosophies and thus we have made the decision to stock this product. If you think that this may be of benefit to you, please do get in touch with us****
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