In this weeks microdose for the sole I'm covering our most affordable (and potentially most powerful) tool for restoring natural foot function: toe spreaders.
Specifically, I want to answer these questions:
- Why use toe spreaders?
- How to they help restore foot health?
- Tips for using toe spreaders
Why use toe spreaders?
Unnatural footwear is pointed and squishes our toes together. This squishing effect limits our balance, disrupts alignment of our toes and disables the foot which can lead to issues like bunions, tight ankles and increased risk of injury. The squishing effect of unnatural footwear can also lead to nerve compression between bones of the foot which show up as issues like mortons neuroma.
Toe spreaders are a tool that aims to achieve a simple objective: to spread out your toes. By restoring space between the toes, we restore a more natural toe alignment, improve our stability and decompress nerves between bones of the foot.
If unnatural footwear is the root cause of our toes being compressed together and forced out of optimal alignment, the first step in restoring natural toe alignment is to eliminate the cause. By switching to natural footwear that is shaped like feet and widest at the toes, we offer ourselves the opportunity to heal our feet.
Once we've protected our feet by eliminating the cause, we can begin working to correct the alignment of our toes and this is where toe spreaders can help. They aren't a magical solution, but they can be a very effective tool for people with tight, compressed feet. For someone with a severe bunion or a painful neuroma, toe spreaders can be very helpful in reducing pain and starting to restore alignment of the big toe.
How do toe spreaders help restore foot health?
Toe spreaders restore natural toe alignment by increasing the space between each of your toes. This simple change offers these benefits:
- Improved balance (because it's easier to balance on something wide than on something narrow)
- Improved alignment of the big toe to reverse bunions (healing bunions also requires natural footwear)
- Improved foot function which can reduce tension around the ankle (which often improves ankle mobility via regional interdependence)
While toe spreaders can help, they are a passive device and not the solution. They help you put your foot in a better position but in order to truly improve, you must load the foot, work on your active splay and expose your feet to a variety of positions and loads in order to reclaim strong, stable, healthy feet.
Here is a great video with Jim from TFC explaining the keys to rewilding your toes:
Tips for using toe spreaders
- Start with 30 minutes while moving around barefoot at home. If 30 minutes feels good, add 15 more minutes each day.
- If your toe spreaders are causing pain or restricting blood flow in your toes, take them off.
- We don’t recommend wearing them when sleeping.
- We don’t recommend wearing them in natural footwear that accommodates the extra space.
If you have questions about spreaders, you can email us (email@example.com) or join TFCs digital community and engage with other humans from around the world who are exploring, sharing stories and talking about foot health
If you want to build a house, a hammer is a really valuable tool but it’s not the only tool needed, nor does it guarantee the house will be built (you still need to do the work of building it). If you want to restore healthy feet, toe spreaders are a really valuable tool but alone, they aren’t enough. They are but a single tool along a long journey that requires commitment and work.
If you don’t have spreaders, place your fingers between your toes. Spreaders do this while for you so you can use your hands for other things.
If you want to purchase a pair of TFC Wild Toes for yourself or someone you Love who needs them, click HERE.
Share this blog with people you know who can benefit from the information (especially if they have bunions or a neuroma).
Thanks for reading and for taking care of yourself.