Why are feet so important?
There are 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons in your feet. You would think that would mean we have evolved to have all of these structures for a reason. Unfortunately, shoes these days tend to be rigid and inflexible, narrow at the forefoot and with a raised heel. It’s no wonder that ankle sprains, heel, foot pain, and bunions are becoming more and more rampant. If our shoes are restricting movement in the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, are we really that flabbergasted that pain and symptoms throughout the body are going to arise?
Feet form the foundation for all activities besides perhaps sitting. If you don’t have a stable foot and are unable to load the proper structures at the right time during gait with walking, running, or during any form of strength training, do you think your body will be able to sustain that 400 pound back-squat or 26-mile run long-term?
Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to injuring yourself with running, Crossfit, or any type of exercise/sport, there are MANY factors at play. But I would not deny that if people were able to load their feet and allow for the proper stabilization to take place in the first place, that there would be much less pain and injuries occurring overall.
With that being said, I have started on my journey with Correct Toes, of which my first three weeks have been summarized below.
At the start of my Correct Toes Journey:
My pinky toes aren’t looking or feeling too swell. Over the last 3-4 months, I have been experiencing burning pain at the bottom of the right ball of my foot, between the 3rd and 4th toes. It is feeling uncomfortably familiar to how my left foot felt a couple of years ago, after marathon training. I typically experience the burning when I am wearing shoes that are constricting or too narrow. When I run, I begin to feel the burning and discomfort after about 1 mile. It eventually goes numb.
My professor in undergraduate school happened to be a chiropractor. He adjusted my metatarsals (that’s a fancy word for your toes), stating that I had “dropped metatarsal” at my third toe. It always felt great after he would work on it, but it never remained that way. I would also always make it worse with running following (we runners tend to be a little stubborn, maybe?) Since then, manipulation (adjustments) of my toes has continued to be the most relieving, although never lasting for very long. I’ve had multiple providers give me different solutions or ideas on how to combat the problem, to no avail.
I am so excited to begin this journey! I feel like my feet don’t want to cooperate in these! They feel peculiar, and my pinky toes definitely aren’t used to being where they’re actually meant to be. Throughout the first week, I have begun to forget when I am wearing them. When I have to take them off and put less than ideal shoes on, I immediately can feel the discomfort, especially with my pinky toes feeling like they’re squished inside whatever shoe I have on.
I had a wedding over the weekend of the first week and, you guessed it… I wore heels. Thank goodness for dancing barefoot! I was wishing I had brought my Correct Toes though. It felt like a small massage for my feet when I put them on the next day waiting in the airport. I wore them for 3 hours the following day while on the plane (our flight got canceled the day before), which is the longest time thus far.
They felt good initially, then I began to experience an “itching” sensation at the outside of my right pinky toe and big toe. I would think it’s weird, except I had some neurological itching of the same foot about 6 months ago. Hmmm… I’m intrigued! About 30 minutes later, I’m starting to notice the itching sensation at the left outside of my pinky toe too. The following day, I wore my Correct Toes at work the majority of the day! I wore them with wide sandals while walking my dog, Lola, and the right big toe portion kept slipping off. I’m thinking this isn’t a coincidence that it’s the right foot…
Why not start the second week off with a bang? I ran 3 miles for the first time with the Correct Toes. Since I haven’t had socks over the Correct Toes yet, I was definitely more aware, especially with the addition of the running shoes as well. It was hard to ignore them for the first 2 miles, but I eventually got pretty used to their sensation and felt pretty strong! I ran about 15-30 seconds faster than I have been (the heat and humidity has been brutal), which surprised me because my legs were pretty sore from a tough Crossfit workout the day before.
Throughout this week, I continued to use them with my Crossfit workouts, and although I didn’t notice a difference with everything, I did notice a difference with some movements. For instance, I felt more grounded in my feet during wall balls. I realized I had no burning in my feet (especially the right) after box jumps and burpees, and back squatting (as well as air squats) felt more fluid. I also tend to grip the toes on my right so much that I slide my insert in my shoe back so it’s sliding up the heel. Since wearing the Correct Toes, I don’t seem to be doing this as much either! In addition, my right big toe has not been slipping out this week like it was the first week.
I continue to wear my Correct Toes with my runs and all Crossfit workouts. I tend to still feel them at the start of my workouts and running, but by the end of both, I hardly remember I’m wearing them! When I don’t have them on, I feel slightly naked! I had a little bit of achiness and fatigue in my feet after a 6-mile run yesterday, but did not experience the typical burning that persists following! Take a look at the pictures of my feet below and see if you can see a difference!
I am going to continue to wear my Correct Toes for the coming months, and will report back with updates in around 3 months!
Before starting Correct Toes: After week 3: