Have you heard of “toe spring?”
If you haven’t, you’re not alone. It’s actually only coming to our awareness recently. It’s a condition that leads to foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and inflammation in your foot’s soft tissue. It can also lead to crooked toes, and lower leg and knee problems.
Most shoes, and especially most running shoes, are designed in a way that creates more toe spring. This actually results in your feet needing less effort to walk and run. And that means you perform a little better when exercising.
But, toe spring also leads to the health problems just described.
If you’re looking at shoes solely for health purposes, having shoes with flat soles is the ideal. However, because so many people always want to perform better, most shoes are designed such that the end curves up from the ground a little (about 15 degrees or so).
It’s that upward curvature which leads to toe spring.
What Can You Do About Toe Spring?
Given the fact that most footwear has at least some amount of toe spring which can cause lower leg and foot injuries, what can you do?
Nicholas B. Holowka, a researcher in a recent toe spring study published in the journal Scientific Reports says, ”We’re not suggesting everyone abandon their sneakers and go barefoot.”
Further study with more conclusive proof will be needed.
In the meantime, you’re not helpless. Here’s what you can do to avoid toe spring and the injuries it may cause:
1. Fold Your Shoes In Half for 24 – 48 Hours
You can break the natural fold your shoes have by folding your shoes and placing them under a heavy object (like a bookcase) for 24 – 48 hours. Most of the toe spring should be gone by then.
You will lose the performance benefits of your shoes. But you won’t be exposed to potential injuries caused by toe spring either.
2. Buy Flat Footwear
It’s hard to find flat footwear out there. But, it can be done. While this will reduce or eliminate toe spring, you might end up with footwear that makes your feet more susceptible to other injuries too.
3. Minimize the Time You Wear Shoes Susceptible to Toe Spring
Instead of ditching your shoes entirely, you can also simply reserve them only for times you actually need that additional exercise performance. Only wear those shoes when playing sports or exercising.
The rest of the time, wear footwear that doesn’t expose your feet to the risks toe spring presents.
4. Consider Orthotics
Custom-designed orthotics designed specifically for your feet are an effective solution. Not only do they help you completely avoid toe spring, but they help you avoid every other injury your feet could experience also because they’re made specially just for your feet.
Don’t use the ones you see in large retail stores or the mall. You don’t get nearly the same quality that you do with a specialist.
Hope you learned something new and useful there. It can save you some health problems, pain, and inconvenience. For now, enjoy your life!
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