Toe Spacers: Game-changing hack or gimmick?

Toe spacers are also known as toe spreaders are now the essentials of walking barefoot. They claim to restore your feet by passively pulling your feet into the correct anatomical position. We will try and determine if this can be a game-changer for you or a mere gimmick.

The majority of people spend their days wearing shoes that are not designed for proper foot care. Most conventional shoes lack the support and architecture for the foot’s natural shape. Instead, they often constrict the feet into tight, sometimes painful positions negatively impacting foot health. Correct Toes, top-of-the-line silicone toe spacers, were designed to prevent these foot adaptations or reverse them.

What are Correct Toes?

Correct Toes were designed by Dr. Ray McClanahan, DPM, and are one of the tools we are proud to offer to patients at MOTUS. It’s a very simple device with four dividers designed to fit in between the five toes. The piece is made with flexible silicone that’s comfortable, but firm enough to hold the toes into a spread position. This is the way that the toes were aligned at birth when the feet were at their most natural. Wearing Correct Toes toe spacers regularly with weight-bearing activity helps return the feet to proper design and functionality, with many benefits that follow.

Worn while barefoot or as in shoe toe spacers, Correct Toes work passively to correct the toes and feet back to their natural position. This helps to restore foot health, function, and strengthens muscles over time. As we said before, improper footwear is one of the leading causes of foot health problems. Ill-fitting shoes can cause the feet to adapt in unhealthy ways, oftentimes leading to toe deformities over time. These adaptations can cause foot pain and even lead to other health conditions if left untreated.

Correct Toes toe spacers help correct the feet back to their natural position, preventing these adaptations from occurring in the first place. As we stated before, many benefits follow correcting the foot’s natural alignment. When the feet are allowed to function in their correct anatomical position, the whole body begins to realign and function more appropriately. This is because the foot is the foundation of the body. When it’s not functioning properly, neither is the rest of the body.

Why do toe spacers work?

Toe spacers are intended to allow natural alignment of the toes and feet. Almost everyone today squishes their feet into narrow shoes. Spacers are used to achieve proper toe and foot alignment to ensure optimal positioning. Thereby, correct toes help to correct muscle imbalances, correct toe deformities, and provide relief from common foot problems.

The idea behind Correct Toes is that by gently stretching the feet into their natural shape, you can relieve years of discomfort and correct any muscle imbalances you may have. When the feet are in their correct anatomical position, the muscles and ligaments that support the feet work more effectively. This can help to correct toe deformities (such as hammer toes), relieve foot pain, and improve balance.

How do Correct Toes toe spacers work?

If you look at a baby’s feet, you’ll notice that the toes are splayed wide, creating broad support that helps them find their balance. That design is how our feet are meant to work. Correct Toes restore the feet to maximum balance, stability, and strength by holding the toes in a splayed position. When worn regularly, Correct Toes will progressively adjust the natural foot architecture, and the muscles follow suit and adapt to the adjustment. Correct Toes are great to wear during a workout, either barefoot or with healthy footwear. 

Correct Toes are made with medical grade silicone in four sizes. The material is flexible, slightly stretchable – it retains its structure through wear. They are the only toe spacers designed to be worn during weight-bearing activities. Wearing Correct Toes during periods of rest is helpful, but using them while you’re active goes a long way. Your body’s habits, movements, and postures are easily trained by the repetitive motion that comes with a workout. With Correct Toes on during a workout, your feet will move the way they were meant to, which will help you build foot and toe strength for consistently healthy movement in the future and improved athletic performance. To get the greatest benefits from Correct Toes, you’ll need to leave your poor-fitting, conventional footwear behind in favor of a pair designed for the natural, wide-toe box shoes.

Many people spend their entire lives wearing shoes that are bad for their feet. A study from 2005 showed that incorrectly fitting footwear is extremely common in people ages 62 and older, the main cause of foot pain. That’s because most shoes are made for feet that are shaped like a narrow rectangle. If your feet are anything other than this shape, you’re likely to experience pain whether that’s shin splints, foot pain, or runner’s knee. Wearing the wrong shoes can also cause tailor’s bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, and other foot problems.

Toe spacers are a game-changer when it comes to wearing the correct shoes. With toe spreaders, you can wear almost any type of shoe, as long as it has a wide toe box to fit your foot width comfortably. Correct toes are a foot orthotic, toe spacing device that is inserted between the toes in order to realign and correct the alignment of the feet. Over time, regular use will change the structural alignment of the foot, which will become wider to provide better balance and stability.

What are the benefits of Correct Toes?

Correct Toes are simple and affordable, but their many benefits can make a big impact on a person’s comfort and quality of life.

Their main accomplishment is returning the foot to its natural architecture. Just as braces can gradually adjust the alignment of teeth, Correct Toes can change the alignment of the feet. Over time, regular use will change the structural alignment of the foot, which will become wider to provide better balance and stability. A better toe alignment will also lead to an improved posture and proprioception, allowing the full body to function better.

In a 2014 study, Adam Richard Kelly proved that the use of Correct Toes combined with healthy footwear will improve dynamic balance in a young and healthy population. Better balance means a maximized workout. When feet are using a wider stance, they give a confident foundation for full-body activity. If the feet are compressed inside of poorly designed shoes, the rest of the body will have to compensate.

As Correct Toes adjust the shape of the foot, it encourages the foot to move and flex more. The process stretches and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, and teaches the foot to support itself better over time. Greater foot strength leads to improved foot function, which enhances your body’s overall musculoskeletal movement.

Ultimately, the many benefits of Correct Toes combine to get your feet back into their natural, healthy condition. In this way, Correct Toes will alleviate foot pain and fix common foot issues for much less money than surgery.

How to Use Correct Toes?

Correct Toes are placed between the toes and are designed to be worn either barefoot or within naturally shaped footwear. Best results occur when using Correct Toes during daily weight-bearing activities. It’s important to incorporate Correct Toes into your foot care routine slowly and progressively. Begin wearing Correct Toes for only 30 minutes the first day, increasing wear-time in 30-minute increments each consecutive day, to tolerance.

Correct Toes encourage muscles to flex, move and work in new ways. Fatigue, muscle soreness and tenderness are normal during the transition process. Similar to any new activity, the soreness should subside while strength gains occur.

The proper alignment promotes strengthening of the intrinsic foot muscles restoring foot balance and proprioception. Improving the natural arch support assists with ankle and knee stability. Proper weight distribution eliminates common causes of pain.

Are Correct Toes for me?

Almost everyone can benefit from correct toes. The majority of shoes are not designed to accommodate the natural foot shape. Anyone who has spent their life wearing shoes that are too narrow for their feet will find benefits from Correct Toes. Correct Toes can improve some specific common foot problems. If you experience pain from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, or crooked toes, Correct Toes may be an affordable and effective solution.

Even if you’re not experiencing discomfort, it may be worthwhile to try Correct Toes as a preventative measure. As we’ve outlined, their regular usage can give your feet better strength and functionality, so your whole body will feel better in action.

Toe spacers are the latest fitness game changer. These small pieces of silicone are designed to space out your toes and create a wider base for improved balance and stability. A better toe alignment will also lead to an improved posture and proprioception, allowing the full body to function better making Correct Toes essential to better health and athletic performance.

MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy is happy to be a supplier of Correct Toes in Orange County. If you’re looking to improve your overall balance, strength, and stability, or to alleviate foot pain, we encourage you to give Correct Toes a try. Correct Toes are available for purchase at our office.


  1. Menz H.B. and Morris M.E. – Footwear Characteristics and Foot Problems in Older People
  2. Adam Richard Kelly – The Effects of a Foot-Toe Orthosis on Dynamic Balance and Hallux Valgus Angle

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