Educational Articles

Correct Toes & Orthotics

Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

Disclaimer:

The above content is for educational or informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or augment professional medical instruction, diagnosis, or treatment. Read full disclaimer here.

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What Is Natural Arch Support?

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The idea that the foot’s main arch—the medial longitudinal (ML) arch—needs to be propped up and supported is a long-held belief... Read more
Comments
April 22, 2015
Nina Puustinen

I have a very painful situation that I have been told is a hammertoe on my right foot. I am a nurse & have been wearing Dansko clogs. I feel they have not helped and may have hindered the condition. I am going to buy the Correct Toes today. My questions are: Can I return them if they are not helpful or hurt? And what brand of shoe do you recommend for nursing and for exercising (walking)?

April 22, 2015
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Nina,

Thank you for your questions. And thank you for your order! We appreciate your business. To answer your questions:

1. Yes, absolutely, you can return your Correct Toes. We offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on most of our products (www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/money-back-guarantee).

2. We find that a lot of nurses like the Lems Primal 2 (www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/lems-primal-2-shoes), which is also a great walking shoe. Another option that is not offered on our site (but that could work for both purposes), is the Crocs Rx Relief shoe.

Please do send any other questions my way, Nina. I’m happy to help.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 22, 2015
Gary

Hello,

I have had problems with my feet all my life. I’m 24 and joining the military. I have been running 3-4 times a week in preparation for fitness tests to come. I have a very flat left foot but a decent right foot arch. I have Correct Toes to hopefully undo the damage I did when younger from wearing shoes too small which caused a twisted second toe, bunion, and a build up of dead skin on the side of my left big toe. When running, if I don’t wear sport insoles, my Achilles and calves tighten up. The reason I don’t wear the Correct Toes in shoes is because I’m a UK 14, which is a US 15. It is quite hard to get shoes in my size anyways without Correct Toes. I just wear them around the house as much as possible. I was wondering if you know how I could better look after my feet, or if you have any advice. Thank you!

April 22, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Gary,

Thank you for your comments. Rest assured that you’re not alone, as many people discover that their foot problems originated with childhood practices. Fortunately, we’re very adaptive creatures, and in our experience, taking steps to restore natural foot anatomy often yields positive results. The best advice we can give you is to educate yourself on proper foot anatomy (www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/foot-anatomy-101) and research your specific problems, which should allow you to begin taking steps toward healing.

If you check out the Conditions pages of our Education section (www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/tagged/conditions), you’ll be able to see which products may be helpful for specific problems. In your case, Correct Toes might be a good starting point for addressing the bunion and twisted second toe, as this device promotes proper toe spacing. If you want to run in Correct Toes, which many people find particularly helpful, you would need to find footwear with a wide enough toe box to accommodate them and allow proper toe splay. All the shoes we offer on the Natural Footgear site, including athletic footwear, have a toe box that is wide enough to accommodate Correct Toes (though larger sizes may be difficult to find).

I hope this helps answer some questions for you. If you have further questions or concerns, please do send them our way!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

April 22, 2015
Reuben

I bought Correct Toes a couple of months ago, but I have recently noticed one of them is developing a small tear. What should I do? It is past the 30 day limit. Can they be repaired?

April 22, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Reuben,

Thank you for your message. You’ll want to contact the company from whom you purchased your Correct Toes to see about getting a replacement. Many companies (including Natural Footgear) offer a 90-day materials warranty for products that break down under heavy use. Alternatively, you can repair your torn Correct Toes by using fish tank glue/sealant. People have reported that this type of glue is particularly effective in restoring torn spacers back to their original glory.

Kind regards,
Marty Hughes, DC

April 22, 2015
Danielle

Hello,

I have a large bunion that has developed over time on my left big toe joint. Additionally, a bunion is also forming on the right big toe joint. I have been considering having surgery this summer but am interested in trying the Correct Toes. To what extent could Correct Toes repair or take away these bunions so that I wouldn’t have to have corrective surgery?

April 22, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Danielle,

Thank you for your comment. Bunions are caused in part by the big toe’s migration toward the foot’s midline (due to wearing shoes with tapering toe boxes), so a splint between the big toe and second toe can be very helpful in returning your foot and toes to their proper alignment. Correct Toes serves this purpose, and when worn regularly with foot-healthy footwear (i.e., footwear that doesn’t continue to push the big toe toward the second toe), many individuals with bunions have found that symptoms can improve. If you want to read more about some foot-healthy options for bunions, we recommend reading this article:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17856628-bunions

I hope this has been helpful. If we can answer further questions, please just let us know!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

April 22, 2015
jan

I have plantar fasciitis and hammertoes. I stand on concrete and walk on concrete all day long. Will the Correct Toes work for me, and what would be the best shoes to wear?

April 22, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hi, Jan,

Thank you for your message. Our recommendation for you would depend on the type of work you’re doing, and whether or not you’re required to wear casual shoes on the job. All of our shoes are foot-healthy, promoting toe splay and allowing room for the foot to act like a bare foot inside of the shoe. We suggest following the link at the bottom, and from there determining which style would be appropriate for your workplace. If you have further questions, or need sizing help, feel free to contact us at info@naturalfootgear.com. We’re happy to help out however we can!

www.naturalfootgear.com/pages/shop

Kind regards,
Andrew Potter

May 19, 2015
Mary

I have arthritis romothoid and toes looks tall and short I just need to know if those correct toes will works for my case

June 14, 2015
Natural Footgear

Hello, Mary,

Thank you for your post. Though we cannot give medical advice here, we have certainly seen Correct Toes help feet to feel better in many types of painful situations.

Here are two additional resources that might help you to make a more informed decision in your particular instance:

Regarding hammertoes generally:

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17883716-hammertoes-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

Regarding arthritis (with special mention of rheumatoid arthritis):

www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17853104-arthritis

Please do let us know if you have additional questions. Feel free to email us directly at info@naturalfootgear.com.

Kindly,
Sarah K. Schuetz

February 08, 2018
Joyce Smith

I have a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot. It seems to be between my big toe and my second toe. I’ve used custom orthotics and I’ve been wearing the Brooks Ghost running shoe. I would say that my foot is suffering from wearing the tight runners, as I don’t wear high heels. I’m not getting much relief from the orthotics or the running shoes. I need a good gym shoe (not for running, just for gym work and walking), and I don’t feel that the Brooks are ideal for this. Could you please advise me on what would be suitable for my needs? I’ve only had this problem for four months, but I can’t go to the gym or do long walks.

February 08, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Joyce,

Thank you for your comment! I’m sorry to hear that your neuroma is keeping you from being active.

Neuromas are caused by two main forces acting on the nerve: pinch and stretch. Conventional footwear (with its tapering toe boxes, toe spring, and heel elevation) tends to squeeze the forefoot, pinching and stretching the intermetatarsal nerves that pass through the ball of the foot.

A natural approach to addressing your neuroma may be helpful for you. An important consideration is to use footwear that allows your foot to sit completely flat on the shoe’s footbed while offering your toes enough room to splay and function as nature intended. This usually helps with the healing process and reduces neuroma-related pain or discomfort.

In addition to foot-healthy footwear, we’ve also found Correct Toes toe spacers (www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/correct-toes) and metatarsal pads (www.naturalfootgear.com/products/pedag-metatarsal-pads) to be quite helpful in addressing neuromas. Both of these items are designed to restore proper foot and toe alignment.

In terms of footwear, we recommend using models that are flat from heel to toe, wide in the toe box (especially at the ends of the toes), and flexible in the sole. I’ve included a link below to the women’s footwear we offer on our site, and also another link to a helpful video detailing the causes of neuromas and the natural methods we’ve found to be helpful.

Women’s Footwear:
www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/womens-shoes

Neuromas & Natural Foot Health:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17888880-neuromas-natural-foot-health

If you have any further questions, please do let us know!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

March 30, 2018
Jeet

I was impressed when I read this article. “They violate the natural anatomy of your foot’s arches by artificially lifting them and placing material under them in a manner never seen in nature or in human-made structures, such as arch bridges." BAAAAANG ON.

This is especially true in skiing, where bootfitters think they are making the foot stronger by building a big, solid arch. This locks up the foot and prevents it from achieving the fine balancing movements it needs to make, and so the movements needed to stay in balance move higher up the kinetic chain.

Excellent post.

March 30, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Jeet,

Thank you for your kind words! We’re happy to hear that you enjoyed the article. We think these concepts are especially important for athletes (and athletic shoe manufacturers) to understand. Skiers could most definitely benefit from wider, flatter boots.

If you have any questions in the future, please feel free to let us know!

Cheers!
Andrew Potter

March 30, 2018
Kim Marie

Hello! I am a surgical technologist of almost 12 years. I have worn almost every kind of healthcare professional shoe out there. About two years ago, I started developing plantar fasciitis. It wasn’t too painful, and I saw a podiatrist and she did injections and gave me an $85 insole to use in my shoes for work. I was using Calzuros, rubber clogs from Italy, at the time, and the inserts kept sliding out of the back of them, since they were slingbacks. The injections didn’t last too long, and the pain from standing in one place for 8-12 hours a day started affecting me, even at home. Over the last 8 months, my pain has become so terrible that at night, if I need to use the bathroom, I have to shuffle there because I cannot put full pressure on both of my feet.

These past 3 weeks, I started a new job and bought $320 Good Feet Store orthotics. I don’t have a job where I can remove my shoes and pull inserts out after 2 hours; once they’re in, they’re in for the day because I am scrubbed into surgery. I’ve tried cheap orthotics, middle-of-the-road orthotics, and the expensive ones. And all of the shoes I’ve tried, including Danskos, KILL my feet. Several others were a bust, too. I bought ABEO sneakers this past weekend and bought their high-end inserts. They felt good wearing them outside of work all day Saturday, but once I hit the OR to stand in one place for several hours, the pain kicks right in after 30 minutes. I shuffle down the hallway it hurts so bad. I’ve massaged my feet, stretched them, stretched my gastroc and soleus, iced my feet, rolled massage balls under them, and worn night braces, but nothing takes away the pain. I’ve tried, with no success, ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, turmeric pills … nothing touches the pain.

The only shoes that do not give me trouble are my Vionix flip flops, which I bought while on a beach vacation because I couldn’t walk due to the pain. I wear 15-20 mmHg compression socks by Sockwell, but the aching goes well up my legs and into my hips, buttocks, and lower back now. I’m 36, and I just feel defeated over all of this now. I’ve spent a lot of money on shoes and tricks to alleviate the pain, but am I possibly making it worse? I’m afraid that I’m going to have to quit working at a profession that I love because I simply cannot stand for longer than 30 minutes without agonizing pain. I’m tempted to try injections once more, but I feel I have more going on now than just plantar fasciitis pain, possibly muscles are involved now. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

March 30, 2018
Natural Footgear

Hi, Kim,

Thank you for your message. We’re really sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with foot pain for so long. Foot pain can be particularly problematic for folks, like yourself, who spend most of their workdays on their feet.

In our experience, we’ve found that conventional footwear (which pinches the toes and elevates the heel and toes above the forefoot) is the primary cause of plantar fascia pain (we call it plantar fasciosis, due to the underlying pathophysiology; more about that here: www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17889080-plantar-fasciitis-or-fasciosis).

We’ve also found that footwear that’s widest at the ends of the toes and has no built-in arch support, toe spring, or heel elevation allows the foot to rest naturally, which can help restore proper blood flow to and from the plantar fascia (plantar fascia pain is usually a circulation issue, not an inflammation issue). Correct Toes toe spacers are another important consideration in addressing plantar fasciosis. These toe spacers encourage better foot and toe circulation, and they promote proper alignment of the toes, which in turn promotes the natural strengthening of the main foot arch.

You can find our women’s foot-healthy footwear offerings here:

www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/womens-shoes

And you can find our Correct Toes offerings here:

www.naturalfootgear.com/collections/correct-toes

Also, we have a lot of plantar fasciosis-related resources on our site. You can find several in-depth articles below:

Plantar Fasciosis:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17889104-plantar-fasciosis

Heat or Ice for Plantar Fasciosis?:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17883800-heat-or-ice-for-plantar-fasciosis

Plantar Fasciosis: The Underlying Cause:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17889940-plantar-fasciosis-the-underlying-cause

Plantar Fasciosis: Conventional vs. Natural Approaches:
www.naturalfootgear.com/blogs/education/17889116-plantar-fasciosis-conventional-vs-natural-approaches

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions after exploring these articles, please do let us know; we’re happy to help out however we can!

Kind Regards,
Andrew Potter

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