Tuesday 3 November 2015

Toe spring

Yesterday evening I stumbled across the concept of toe spring on the internet. I can't recall how I ended up there but it started with a search for wide fitting trail running shoes. The natural running scene is full of zealots, successful athletes, charlatans and sensible anatomists so it is hard to separate fact from ideology!

The concept appears to be intrinsic to all contemporary conventional shoes and is theorised to impose excessive load on the heads of the metatarsals and overstretch the plantar connective tissue; whilst inhibiting natural toe and arch flexion. Websites such as Somastruct give pretty clear overview of the issue.

Currently I'm trying to move on from my peroneus longus ligament pain and the associated 'oddness' around the metatarsals and articles such as the one mentioned struck a chord. I found my rather worn Brook Green Silence shoes to be clear of my ankle and pleasant in that regard but after a few days of wear the centre my right foot became more painful.

My left shoe after nearly 800km 
Stock photo of a new shoe
These images show that my much-loved Green Silence shoes had a considerable toe spring when new, and presently have massive curl. This will have occurred due to repeated flexure of the sole whilst running (which is a good thing) but now forces my feet into dorsi-flexion all the time; which is a bad thing. I suspect that these shoes now have to be retired.

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