Is taking up running or walking your new year’s resolution? If yes, you absolutely need to read this, it might just motivate you to look at your feet (and your runners) in a different light.
As a reflexologist I see a relatively large number of feet so it is easy to notice similarities. One of these I notice on many of my clients, especially those who regularly run or walk or wear heavy duty footwear at work is the angle of the toes as seen in the illustration below.
And of course many of my clients’ new year’s resolutions have something to do with their feet, such as taking up jogging, walking, running and of course more regular reflexology treatments :D.
When the toes are angled, it is more difficult to reach and release imbalances on the sinus reflex area, so it has been on my mind for a while.
I make it my business to look after my client’s feet, so I was delighted when I found some relevant information online. According to Squat University this is what most modern shoes (and heave duty footwear) do to our feet compared to a natural barefoot style shoe.
The angled position of the toes in the top shoe is called “toe spring.” If you closely examine many of your shoes (especially those designed for athletics) the front tip will be elevated a few degrees.
Originally this feature was built into thick and inflexible shoes as a way to help “roll” the foot forward as you walk. Think about this as having the bottom of a rocking chair on your foot.
So why is this a problem?
Toe spring basically forces the toes of your foot “out of business.” Your foot was designed to have all of your toes completely flat on the ground when weight-bearing. This allows the toes to grasp the ground and provide stability for the entire foot and therefore the rest of the body.
Because 18 of the foot’s 19 tendons are attached to the toes, allowing them to remain flat essentially anchors your entire foot to the ground and enhances stability (one reason why toe spring on a weightlifting shoe or any shoes you wear to the gym makes absolutely zero functional sense).
So if you currently wear a pair of shoes that have toe springs to the gym or for your walk – I’d recommend getting into a pair of shoes that allow your toes to splay out flat against the ground or just going barefoot (if the weather allows it, that is).
Alternatively you are welcome to book a few hot-stone reflexology treatments where I use specific stones at the end of the treatment to separate your toes and improve their position.
Looks crucifying but according to my clients, it is the most delicious, relaxing feeling – don’t believe me, try it!