If you’re interested in foot health, you’ve probably been seeing those toe spacers all over the place. Are they really necessary? I’m all about foot function, but even I was on the fence for a while. So let’s break it down and talk about why they’re a thing. Read on for my full Correct Toes review.
Correct Toes can now be purchased in Anya’s Shop!
Why Toe Spacers?
Toe spacers are meant to realign your feet to their natural position. Most of us modern-day humans have been squishing our feet into tiny shoes our entire lives, and now they look more like shoes than feet. Spacers are a way of passively coaxing your feet back into their natural position with a full toe splay. Since toe splay is a powerful indicator for general foot health and lower extremity function, we want it!
It took years for your feet to look the way they do today, so it takes time for them to get back to what’s natural. This is what makes toe spacers so handy. You put them on and the work is being done while you go about your life: they’re a foot exercise you can do while sleeping! The effect of toe spacers will be most powerful when combined with barefoot shoes and other foot exercises, but you get a lot of bang for your buck with spacers alone.
A Word of Caution!
There is one caveat. Just like shoes, toe spacers can deform your feet if they are not anatomical. We’re interested in improving foot function, not having the widest toes possible. So I advise against putting on the cheapest pair of spacers you can find until you’ve done your research. No spacers are better than bad spacers, which is why I am recommending Correct Toes in this review. What makes Correct Toes great? Keep reading.
Correct Toes Review: The Benefits
Correct Toes were invented by podiatrist and runner Ray McClanahan as an alternative to standard “foot care.” He learned through research that toe splay is vitally important to foot function and set about finding a solution to the root cause of foot pain.
Correct Toes are made of medical grade silicone and come in 4 sizes. They are flexible, a little stretchy, they hold their shape through wear, wash off easily, and are ANATOMICAL. We’ll get to why this is so important in a minute, but first let’s talk about how Correct Toes benefit your feet.
Getting your feet aligned helps with a whole host of issues. Bunions, Hammer Toe, Morton’s Neuroma, and even my own Hallux Limitus and flat feet, are all conditions that can be improved from proper toe splay and strong intrinsic foot muscles. Just getting your tissues properly aligned can help a lot with foot pain, and in some cases resolve the problem altogether. We know that our feet are malleable because they have taken the shape of our shoes. So it stands to reason that we can shape them back.
For a long time it was believed that bunions were genetic and there was nothing to do about them except surgery, but it’s time to say buh-bye to that thinking. While there is a genetic component to just about everything, including bunions, research has shown for a while now that foot deformities can be corrected and prevented!
Improved Foot Function
Besides the benefit of foot alignment, when your toes are splayed you are able to activate your arch more easily (aka natural arch support). This is where benefits come in even if you don’t have bunions or other deformities.
It’s very likely you’re not using your feet much when you walk or exercise. Decades of restricting your feet make it hard to access those muscles and nerves, and most of us hobble around on dormant feet. Wearing Correct Toes while moving helps you engage that foot, which provides stability all the way up through the ankle and even to the hips and glutes.
Better movement is an immediate benefit you get from wearing CT, but it also helps you re-learn those patterns so you can continue to move well after you’ve taken them off.
Looks deviate from function here. A foot that looks “good” (aka toes are straight out) might not be helping you at all while you move, whereas a foot that looks ruined by shoes could be a total bad-ass at supporting your body. Active feet trump pretty feet.
I personally have a very good toe splay when I want it, but I still need to consciously think about engaging my feet when I move. With Correct Toes on I am primed for foot stability, and the more I wear them the more natural it becomes to use my feet. Engaged feet are foundational for all functional movement, which is one reason why Correct Toes are considered a performance enhancer
One of the secondary benefits of toe spacers is that they bring blood to your feet. Foot injuries turn chronic for a lot of people and one factor is a lack of sufficient blood flow. More blood = faster healing. Feet that are not used very often and/or squished into restrictive shoes are just not going to be getting much circulation, which is detrimental to health. When you put on a pair of toe spacers blood flows to the area, and blood is queen.
Common Questions About Correct Toes
Will They Fix my Feet?
Good toe spacers like Correct Toes can actually change the way your feet are physically structured. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get picture-perfect baby toes after using them. Foot health is all about function over form, and you can expect to see improved function and fewer symptoms with strong aligned feet. Will your bunion completely disappear? I can’t say. Some people will use them for a while and find they don’t need them as often once the acute problem has resolved. Other people, like my own mother, will wear spacers forever to keep the toes from turning inward. Every experience will be highly individualized.
How Long Does it Take?
The thing about Correct Toes is that you get benefits immediately. The stretching of the feet, blood flow, etc all work to make your feet feel better right then and there. But if you are dealing with a bony deformity, you might need to be spacing your toes out for a long time, or for life. Same goes for a soft tissue problem like plantar fasciitis. There’s no way to really know what your journey to functional feet will look like. Combining your spacers with healthy footwear and lots of strengthening exercises is a great idea if you are looking for big change.
What If I Already Have Spread Out Toes?
I didn’t think of getting toe spacers myself for a long time because I can move all my toes individually and splay them wide. But that is only when I’m actively engaging my feet. Passively my toes still like to hug each other, so when I put on a pair of Correct Toes I still get extra width. That gives me increased stability while moving and the extra blood flow never hurt nobody.
Do I NEED Correct Toes? Maybe not. But I’m getting benefit out of them and since my foot health is very important to me I am going to continue using them. I consider it to be a natural pairing with all the other things I do to take care of my body.
Should I Wear Them While Active?
Having space between your toes is one thing. Having strong feet that are fully engaged is another, and wearing Correct Toes while being active is powerful. I really enjoy wearing mine while I do exercises and walk around the house, but I do all those things barefoot (and no, they don’t slide off my feet. If they do for you, wear them with socks). I don’t, however, love wearing my Correct Toes inside shoes, even shoes that are wide enough to accommodate them. The spacers are designed to give your toes room to wiggle and move, but it’s an odd sensation that I haven’t gotten used to yet.
If you plan to wear your spacers inside shoes, make sure they are wide enough to comfortably accommodate them. You can find lots of great recommendations for shoes with a wide toe box over in my Shoe Lists category!
How Long/Often do I Wear Them?
It can take a while to get used to toe spacers. As with most things, hurting yourself is not a good idea. So start with short periods of time and work your way up as you are comfortable.
There has been no irritation for me from the silicon, but it can be a pretty strong stretch. I have wide toes, and the first few days I wanted to take them off after 30 minutes or so. After a week I could wear them long stretches and didn’t notice them at all. For my husband the process was slower: the first week he was only wearing them for about 5 minutes at a time before ripping them off, and has been working up from there. My one “rule” is to not overdo it, like you would approach any stretch for the body. Sensations are good, pain is bad.
How Do I Make Modifications, Fit Issues, Etc?
One of the best things about Correct Toes is that it comes with an extensive guide to customizing your toe spacers to your feet. I did not modify mine, but there are MANY things you can do to get a custom fit. Be sure to check this out if you are having trouble with your spacers for any reason. You can find all the info you need here.
Why Do They Cost $65?
And here is the big question. Why do they cost so much?? You better believe I asked the same thing when I first looked into Correct Toes. Now that I have a pair and have researched the brand I can answer it. Correct Toes offers an incredible amount of resources and support so that you can actually make progress on your path toward foot health. Besides a wealth of information in the package that arrives at your door, you also have access to customer support and tons of guides on their website. Everyone who works for the company understands principles of foot health and will answer your questions. The product itself was thoroughly researched and expensive molds were purchased because foot health is the goal, not a huge profit margin. They are in fact better quality than cheaper alternatives, but you’re also getting a lot more than toe spacers when you purchase.
Correct Toes Vs Amazon Spacers
The truth is I’m pretty cheap. A 3-pack of toe spacers for $10 from Amazon is an almost irresistible pull, so I had to try some to compare. Spoiler alert: they’re not great. But I’ll let you see for yourself.
Correct Toes come in 4 sizes. Cheapo toe spacers? They are one size fits all. I wear shoe size 36 (Women’s US 6) and a small in Correct Toes. My husband wears shoe size 47 (Men’s US 13) and a size large in Correct Toes. But with the Amazon spacers, we both tried on the same size.
On me the Amazon spacers were definitely too bulky for my feet and pushed my toes out too far, but were somehow still tight and restrictive. On my husband, the spacing of his toes looked about right with the Amazon spacers, but they were REALLY tight around each toe.
You can see in the above videos that the Amazon spacers are really thick in between each toe. This pushes my toes at extreme angles and does not allow them to move freely. Correct Toes are genius because they insert space between your toes, but your toes can still move up, down, and side to side! This is exactly what you want your feet to be doing, and it also allows them to rest in a natural position. Amazon and other cheap spacers don’t give your toes a choice, because they are abritrarily spaced. You may get a good stretch in them, but wearing them for long periods of time or while active could change your feet in ways you don’t want.
This is how I feel about lacing your fingers in between your toes (see the end of this post for an example of this exercise). It is an extreme stretch that gives you lots of blood flow and loosens the tissues. It works great as a 30 second- 1 minute exercise. Would I want to walk around with fingers in between my toes all the time? Hell no. These one-size-fits all spacers are the same way. Fine for a little while, but not long periods.
Just Plain Cheap
The Amazon toe spacers are obviously lower quality and cheap. They’re harder to keep clean, and my mom (who has been using cheap silicone spacers for years) reports that they shrink over time. You get what you pay for. The End.
So are Correct Toes worth it? If you have a chronic foot issue, then I say yes. Feet are important, and if they are hurting you I wouldn’t mess around with cheap options. If you already have thriving feet but really want to improve your performance, then again yes. Go with what’s best rather than risk hurting yourself. If you are on the fence and not sure about dropping $65 on foot care, I understand. If you decide to go with a cheap option make sure you are tuned in to your feet and use them only for a short duration while resting. There’s a good chance you’ll circle back around to Correct Toes in the future!
Are you trying to improve your foot health? Foot exercise are the best way to get started and completely free! Check out my 5 Favorite Foot Exercises here. And if you’re serious about your foot health, you should also be considering the shoes you want. Check out this post on why barefoot shoes are best for your feet for more info.
41 thoughts on “Correct Toes Review – Are They Worth It?”
Now there’s a new product called Awesome Toes available via YogaBody.com…. any knowledge or experience of these? Under $30…..
Thanks! Just discovered and am enjoying your reviews.
I saw those actually! They look suspect to me, in all the pictures I see of people wearing them the pinkie toe looks like it’s being pulled in by the spacer. Being one-size, I think they will only fit well on a specific size of foot. Might be good for a quick stretch though!
Thank you for this information! I have 2 pair of the cheapos (Amazon and from Earthrunner). As you said, I’m circling back to CT because I’m not satisfied with fit. Specifically my pinkie toe likes to hug inward and I feel like more space and awareness here could help my constant battle to fight off plantar fasciitis. Thinking of trying CT for a bit and eventually a virtual consult with Gait Happens. Thank you for all you do to normalize healthy feet!
Hey there! Thanks for your kind words and best of luck dealing with your PF.
I live near Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I have a crossover toe (2nd toe) and would really like to find an effective treatment to straighten the toe out. I tried Correct Toes at a shop in Vancouver, but was told that they wouldn’t work for me (possibly because my toes are too short.) Correct Toes are hard to find in Vancouver. Can you give me some information on the sizing of Correct Toes.
Here you can find their sizing guide: https://www.correcttoes.com/foot-help/sizing/
They also have really good customer service so you might reach out to them with info about your foot size for help. Best of luck!
I live in Vancouver too. Which store did you find correct toes at? Have you found any other alternatives since?
I know Cool East Market in Canada has Correct Toes!
Wow…Incredible article..really helpful! Well done and thanks!!
I just found your site while researching toe spacers. I appreciate all what you shared in this article. Thank you especially as I am just starting to learn about the wide world of foot health. I do have a request and would love your opinion on the following product: https://bodyfeet.co/products/kit
This kit has 2 “levels” available, but yes it’s a one size fits all, which per your article now has me doubting them. In addition to the 2 levels, I do prefer the slimmer profile as I have never used spacers before.
Correct Toes is pricey, but I am really concerned by the bulk, potential blisters even with toe socks, etc.
I have a feeling I know what you’re going to say 😊, but I’d love to hear your thoughts so I can make a determination of what I should purchase. Thank you so much!
Hi Jen, and welcome! I checked out the link. They look ok and may be a fine option to start with, but they don’t look like they spread your toes enough. The pictures I’m seeing of customers wearing them still have toes that are all squished in. I suppose that might be a better option than the ones that are too extreme, but it doesn’t seem like a good long term tool for improving foot alignment. So again, might be a gentle way to start. I also have some questions about their claims that it leads to a faster metabolism and weight loss… But putting that aside, they seem about equal to any of the other cheap spacers you see out there that might get the job done but probably aren’t developed with the same rigor as Correct Toes.
With hallux limitus, you need to do exercises and change your soles to match your increasing flexibility. I’ve done the hallux limitus exercises I found on YouTube. One of them, which requires bending all of the joints in the great toe (retraining the brain to recognise the joint not being used), can be done with Correct Toes on. I find it easier to wear them–the slight pressure they provide when I try to bend that non-responsive joint–to remind my brain that I can bend the joint.
I also have been dealing with hallux limitus in my left great toe and I saw you mentioned correct toes can help. Wondering if you are just referring to realignment or any other things that they help with? Have you seen improvement in your mobility?
It can help with hallux limitus, but there are a lot of things that factor in and it’s a good idea to consult a physician if possible. Northwest Foot & Ankle (Ray MacClanahan’s practice) has some good resources on YouTube that might help you get started.
I know I have supination of the feet (walking on the outsides of your feet). I forget the nickname for the other bunion type (tailor’s). But I have them on the outsides of both feet. My little toes are trying to hide underneath the next toe. Any thoughts on using CT as a part of correcting my supination myself?
I think they would help, but the supination might be coming from something farther up the chain and gets outside my expertise. Gait Happens is a great resource for those types of things, and they offer virtual consultations!
I’ve tried 4 kinds – one of the cheapest, YogaToes, The Foot Collective, and Correct Toes. The cheapest and TFC killed my plantar between the great toe and the next. YogaToes were only good enough to do exercises in or lounge around with the on; they did not fit in barefoot shoes (I wear a 91/2 US or 7-71/2 UK). Meanwhile, the Correct Toes fit in my barefoot shoes and I adapted to them almost immediately.
It’s great that Correct Toes comes in different sizes. They could use another size between the penultimate and largest size, as that would fit me better (the larger is much bigger), but other than that I have no complaints.
I had orthotics for fallen arches and Morton’s neuromas. The orthotics never helped the neuromas. My feet were always killing me. Since switching to Correct Toes, I rarely notice the neuromas and even then it’s not anything like what I experienced before. And more, I now have an arch, which also helps with ankle pain. If I have to wear these for the rest of my life, I will. Far better to be pain free with Correct Toes and barefoot shoes than to struggle in pain for the rest of my life.
I’m 65. Not too old to learn new tricks.
Amazing! Thanks for sharing
I’d really love to think that the review of this product is entirely bias-free but the cynic in me sees that it’s available for purchase on your site, so, with the greatest respect, I find it difficult to think that that doesn’t influence your opinion to some extent. I’d love to start using toe spacers but a modest income entirely prohibits spending $65 on a pair of Correct Toes. Is there really nobody making anything close that’s a little more affordable?
You are totally right to be a skeptic, and I completely understand. I did own and review Correct Toes several months before deciding I wanted to carry them in my shop (I make a point of only selling products I stand by), but that doesn’t change the cost of them. I have yet to see another toe spacer that comes in multiple sizes and doesn’t squeeze the toes, but you can probably still benefit from the cheaper ones if you have average sized feet. I just wouldn’t wear them inside your shoes or while being active.
Thanks for your honesty. I’ve been looking at Wild Toes by the Foot Collective but I notice a negative comment on this thread about them. It’s so difficult to make a decision about these things because what works well for one person makes for an uncomfortable experience for others. I’ve read quite a few comments on forums from people saying Correct Toes just wasn’t right for them at all, didn’t stay on inside footwear, required cutting or padding etc. $65 is a high price tag for something that may require risky modifications and comes with little in the way of guarantees. I think I’d rather be $20 out of pocket for something that didn’t work (Wild Toes) than $65.
Thanks so much for your review of Correct Toes. It guided me into investing in a set and I’m glad I did. They’re the only thing that has helped the neuroma I’d developed from using the orthotics I was prescribed to correct a bout with plantar facsiitis. Love the reviews of the shoes as well. They’ve been helpful. Keep up the good work!
Most people routinely spend $60, 80, 100, or >125 on shoes. I think $65 to help toe alignment seems worth it, and I assume these will last for years and years – what can you say about their durability? Thanks
Well I have had mine for years now, no problem. The silicone is far more durable than the cheaper ones I’ve tried. I just rinse them off when they get dirty.
I would love to know your thoughts on Wild Toes vs Correct Toes.
I don’t have Wild Toes, but I have the exact same type of toe spacer from another brand and I have the same issue in them as the Amazon ones. My feet are too small to be comfortable in them, they are way too aggressive for me. I think they would work best for someone in the larger female size range or average male range.
Thanks so much for the great content! I recently bought my first pair of barefoot shoes and the Correct Toes spacer before I found your site. I tried using them with the shoes but the toe box is not wide enough and my big and pinky toes started to hurt after a while because of the constant rub against the shoe. I couldn’t find specific shoes in your other articles that are especially recommended to use them in combination with the toe spacer. Could you recommend some shoes in several styles and for different purposes (casual, athletic, hiking…) that would accommodate Correct Toes perfectly? Thanks!!
Hi Ivan! Thanks for the kind words. It’s hard to suggest shoes that work with Correct Toes, since it depends on your particular foot width and shape. But your best bet is to check out the width comparison chart here and pick something from the bottom couple rows.
I LOVE my Correct Toes but have a hard time with them staying on when active, even while wearing socks on top.
Would love to know your thoughts on toe spreader socks like the “Original Foot Alignment Socks” and/or Happy Feet toe spreader socks.
Also, your site and all your reviews ROCK! So happy to have found you!
Hi Lauren, thanks so much! I think the toe spreader socks are great – they’re a more gentle stretch but it’s still productive (and maybe more comfortable).
Hi Anya! Love your site and just recently purchased all sorts of toe separators and barefoot running shoes. I was wondering which toe spreaders you like better: Correct Toes or The Toe Spacer from thetoespacer.com
I purchased the amazon ones that look more updated and are from “Healthy Happy Long Life”. Also purchased the Toe Spacers 2.0 from Earth Runners which are supposed to be easily compatible with their sandals.
Hi Jordan! My experience with toe spacers is heavily influenced by the size of my feet – because I have small feet and all the full toe spacers (except Correct Toes) are one size fits all, I have trouble with all of them (except Correct Toes). I think the Toe Spacer obes are better than the Amazon options because they are more durable and firm, but they still squeeze the toes so probably aren’t best for all day wear or for inside shoes. That being said, if you have an “average” sized foot and just want to wear them for short periods during the day I think the Toe Spacer ones are perfectly fine. The Earth Runners spacers do come in 3 sizes but they don’t go over the big toe. This makes it so you can wear them with the sandals, but IMO the big toe alignment is the most important piece so I’d say go for the others if foot realignment is your goal.
Hi Anya! I am about to purchase a pair of correct toes, and 2 pairs of shoes on the correct toes website. I did try the sizing guide, printed it, and the small is small for me and I am apprehensive to get the medium. My shoe size is 7, actually between 6.5 and 7 as some of my shoes are 6.5 but mostly 7, depending on the brand. Please help me decide, should I get a medium? My only apprehension is it could be loose. Thank you.
My Correct Toes are a size small and I wear a 6.5-7.5 women’s and have a wide toe splay, so my instinct is to say the small would be right for you. You could shoot them an email asking and showing a photo with the printouts, they have good customer service. If you have extra wide feet/toe splay then it’s possible a medium would be better.
Their customer service is terrible. I ordered and paid for one pair and it was never delivered, and they refuse to cancel charges
I was wondering if you have any thoughts on “The Original Foot Alignment Socks?”
I think they are great for wearing around the house to get a light stretch! They are not very technical or anatomically designed, so it’s possible the pinkie toe separator feels too big for your particular foot or maybe the big toe separator isn’t big enough, etc. But I think they’re a good way to get a passive stretch and they should feel comfortable because they’re sock material.
My foot length is 25,5 cm. Which size of correct toes I should choose?
Is the goal for your toes to eventually be spaced the way they are in the correct toes on their own, all the time? Or are they more of an extreme stretch, and the ultimate spacing will be somewhere in between? I ask because I’ve started to use them but I’m not able to delay my next shoe purchase until they’ve had a chance to take effect. How much toe splay should I expect to gain?
Correct Toes are not meant to be an extreme stretch, but to put your feet into their optimal alignment. It can take quite some time, depending on where you are now, for that to become a permanent change (if it ever does). I recommend buying shoes that allow for some extra toe space for your toes to spread, but you don’t need to go extreme. You want them to fit you today, since you don’t know for sure what will happen over time.