OR Podiatrist Comments on Toe Spring Running Shoes
In an effort to document exactly how toe springs affect your feet, a team led by Freddy Sichting of Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany, put 13 volunteers on treadmills and had them walk barefoot and in four different types of specially designed sandals. These sandals had curving soles that created toe-spring angles of 10, 20, 30, and 40 degrees—a range of curvature designed to mimic that found in modern shoes. What they found was that toe springs reduce the amount of work done by these muscles. And as the angle of the toe spring goes up, the less work these muscles do.
Dr. Ray McClanahan
Portland, Oregon, sports podiatrist and minimalist-footwear advocate Ray McClanahan, DPM (who was not part of the study team) says toe springs keep the toe-controlling muscles of the arch constantly stretched, preventing them from contracting as they otherwise would during each stride. That means they can’t do as good a job as they should at buffering stress to other parts of the underside of the foot, such as the plantar fascia. Toe springs also perpetually contract the tendons on the top of the foot that would normally help to elevate the toes. This too can contribute to plantar facia problems, McClanahan says.
Source: Richard A. Lovett, Podium Runner [9/17/20]