Despite being judged by their looks, your toes are the unsung heroes of keeping you active and mobile. Fact is, our feet take a pounding each day. The amount of force they are required to absorb and dissipate is far greater than your body weight. Consider the excess stress that jamming your foot into a tight fitting pair of–albeit great looking–high heels may cause. Ill-fitting footwear, namely shoes with a tight toe box, puts your feet and toes in an less than ideal position for them to function properly.
The “toe box,” is the technical name for the part of a shoe that provides space and protection for the toes. Ideally it should provide space and protection from impact while allowing your toes to move comfortably.
For example, your toes provide balance and support when you walk. In fact, your toes maintain contact with the ground about 75% of the time. They exert pressure in a manner similar to the metatarsal foot bones integral to movement. Toes are also vital in helping propel us forward while walking or running; They give that last bit if force to push forward.
Factoid: The 14 bones of the toes are among the smallest in the human body.
A shoe might fit lengthwise, but if it is tight around the toes, your feet won’t be able to keep their natural movement, which can lead to the problem.
Here are factors to consider when caring for your toes in regards to footwear and the toe box design:
Worst case outcomes of wearing shoes with ill-fitting toe box
Shoes that cause toe cramping or mashing your toes together not only results in unattractive feet, but more importantly can lead to:
- cramps corns between your toes
- ingrown toenails (even black toenails) calluses on the top
- nerve pain
- ball of the foot pain
- more likelihood to develop hammer toe or overlapping toe
- can foot calluses be cured
- Can high heels cause a tumor
The best kind of toe box to look for – one that offers extra depth, and is leather-reinforced, which makes the box “breathable.”
Toe boxes are not really box shaped – the word “box” may be misleading, because toe boxes come in a number of shapes and styles. Podiatrists believe that oval or rounded boxes provide the best care because it allows for most breathing room.
Shoes that have unhealthy toe boxes – those with pointed toes, often found in heels or some boots. This pointed style will prevent your toes from lying flat. This can cause condition known as metatarsalgia: pain and inflammation in the metatarsal bones and in the ball of the foot.
Shoes like stilettos and ballet flats are stylish, but they have notoriously bad toe boxes. Aid your toes with a wider toe box, and try to wear lower heels. If you must wear high heels, look for styles with a platform underneath the toe box.
For shoes that are specifically designed and manufactured for healthy feet and comfort with style check out dtfootwear.com
Aside from completely avoiding heels, the key to keeping your feet healthy is to make sure you give your toes a break every so often with shoes that have roomy toe boxes.
We believe in Happy Healthy Feet and all our styles have those great raised toe box’s in Men’s and Women’s styling.
One of our main goals, in life, is to see as many people as possible have “HEALTH HAPPY FEET” forever all over the world. I still own a Medical Company (DTF CO) that handles footwear for the diabetics coast to coast, and in 18 years, we have had the pleasure of working with over 1/2 million patients. How our, www.dtfootwear.com, the website was born by having the nurses (in over 850 facilities) asking for the same footwear and inserts for themselves as well. The nurses heard and seen the smiles, the faces of happy clients, and the God Bless you, etc. all the time, and we have had a 98 percent satisfaction rating with our service and products. Now, we are working on having one of the top footwear lines on the internet – dealing with widths, lengths, sizing, fitting, major support issues, up to 3 sets of Heat Customized Moldable Over the counter Inserts and the only website that will give up to 3 sets of these inserts FREE.