Movement

My Love Affair with Toe Spreaders

I’ve been using toe spreaders for several years, ever since I realized what damage conventional shoes, especially heels, had on my feet. Plus having mobile toes is very helpful in yoga! I even bring them to my pedicure appointments to avoid the disposable foam ones. I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t benefit from toe spreaders!

Here are the ones I’ve tried throughout the years:

Yoga Toes

My first love! My first pair of toe spreaders were Yoga Toes. I’ve been buying them so long I still have a pair of the old style! These ones are big and bulky, better for sedentary activities like pedicures, baths, and sleeping. While the spread they create is beyond the natural splay of an unshod foot, I like the intense stretch and feel that doing the extreme opposite of what we subject our feet to in the extreme closure of a shoe is a good balance. Buy yours here!

Yoga Body

These were my first walk-around pair. They came in a pretty wood box with two sizes. Not for when your toes spread enough that you need to upgrade, but for two sizes of foot. I ended up giving the larger pair to a friend since I had no use for it. I also have not yet found another use for the box. I misplaced this pair a few years ago so my experience with them isn’t fresh. What I remember is that they were easy to put on, move around in, and really helped widen my base in my yoga practice. Buy yours here!

Silicone Gel Toe Spreaders

My second walk around pair had more toe-shaped separators which make them feel very snug and secure. I loved these so much I gave them out at Christmas! But the reason I needed to order another pair for myself was because the loops around the big and little toes wore out. I used them daily while at home and perhaps they weren’t designed with that much use in mind. After my second pair wore out I replaced the loops with rubber bands. They worked as long as I didn’t make the loops too small, which I did. Definitely a project I need to revisit to bring them back to life. Buy yours here!

Correct Toes

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Which brings me to my latest pair, Correct Toes designed by Dr. Ray McClanahan. These spacers are designed with the anatomically correct shape of the foot and toes in mind. Made of a sturdier silicone than TFC’s, they do not have loops but rather slots for the user to attach their own. The most expensive of all my toe spreaders, it took some convincing before I made my purchase. But they feel much more durable and I love that it’s easy to add/replace the loops because that was my issue before.

If you have spent much of your life wearing conventional shoes, whether or not you have foot pain, I highly encourage you to find a pair of toe spreaders and begin wearing them on a regular basis. Starting with 15 minutes and adding time as they become more comfortable. Your feet will lengthen and strengthen as you create a more stable foundation for your daily frolics.

Buying your toe spreaders (or anything else) through the links provided supports me and the cost of hosting this site. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “My Love Affair with Toe Spreaders”

  1. I’ve had my eye on toe spreaders for a while but they all seem to be aimed at widening the gap between toes or tearing bunions,. What I’m looking for is something that addresses crooked big toes at the knuckle rather than the base – they all seem to sit below my problem area. Any suggestions?

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    1. Look online for toe spreaders designed for just one toe, like these: https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Fredericks-Original-Flared-Separators/dp/B01NGTBQOH/ref=mp_s_a_1_15?keywords=toe+separators&qid=1557552675&s=gateway&sprefix=toe+sep&sr=8-15

      Also, check out this exercise. Strengthening the muscles is the best way to reverse a misalignment.

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      Some great foot info by @themovementmaestro 👣 Sometimes I like feet 😜 — Quick video of a drill I like to use to help with strengthening the abductor hallucis throughout the entire range of big toe extension to help with those bunions. Now, obviously we gotta take a look at the hips and core (and ankle mobility) when it comes to working on bunions, but, as far as specifically treating the foot, here’s an idea 👣 The goal here is to start retraining abductor hallucis to help keep that big toe in a more neutral position. Training will typically start in a stationary position with the foot flat the whole time, just working to keep the big toe in line. But when it comes to walking, if we want to improve that pattern, we have to retrain that pattern. Hence, this drill 👣 Go slowly with this one and note which direction your toe wants to pull as you do those end range isometrics, attempting to push into the ground and then lifting the toe up. Fight to maintain neutral, keeping the toe on the line, that nice arch, your hips facing forward, and don’t let that paper twist! 👣 Not going to lie, this is a bit of a higher level drill, but one that I absolutely look to incorporate during rehab. Shoot for 5 second holds with the isometrics, and as for reps and sets, the usual 3 sets of one million should do nicely. Quality over quantity 👣 Bunions aren’t genetic. The hip architecture that contributes to bunions, perhaps, but bunions themselves, nah. Your grandma had bunions because she wore less than ideal shoes and had faulty movement patterns. Just. Like. You. Good news is, you can work on them. And this goes for those of you who have had surgery to correct those bunions! You’ve simply treated a symptom, you haven’t fixed the problem. Strengthen those feet. Assess those hips. Check out those ankles. It all matters 👣 #thefootcollective #barefoot #Bunions #alignment #toes #happytoes #healthyfeet #strongfeet #prehab #education #movement #painfree #balance #physicaltherapy #ottawa #human #beinformed

      A post shared by The Foot Collective (@thefootcollective) on

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