Best Toe Spacers: A Barefoot Guide

December 10, 2021
Inside this article:

Toe spacers are pieces of soft, flexible silicone that fit around your toes to encourage them back towards natural alignment. They're designed to help the foot rehabilitate from the negative effects of wearing conventionally shaped footwear.

Benefits of Toe Spacers

The benefits of toe spacers can be broken down into 3 main areas: Alignment, Strength, Restoration.

Alignment

Over time, toe separators change the way the foot is structured. These make your feet a larger foundation of support, helping to improve balance, proprioception, gait, and posture.

Strength

With proper alignment, toe spacers promote the proper use of all the muscles in the feet and lower legs. Many of these muscles are underdeveloped with the use of conventional shoes. When paired with barefoot shoes, toe spacers can remove the need for artificial support (orthotics).

Restoration

With improved alignment and strength, along with better circulation to the toes, the foot begins to work as it was designed. This can alleviate many common foot pain and problems.

Image Rights: Correct Toes

Best Toe Spacers

Correct Toes - Website

  • More expensive than other brands.
  • Probably the thoughtful design.
  • Can be worn with barefoot shoes and when being active.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Correct Toes

TFC Wild Toes - Website

  • Can be worn with barefoot shoes if wide enough.
  • Good value.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: The Foot Collective

Yoga Toes - Website | Amazon

  • Can only be worn when inactive.
  • Can't walk in them.
  • Tricky to wear inside shoes.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Yoga Toes

Awesome Toes - Website | Amazon

  • Can walk barefoot in them.
  • Difficult to wear them inside shoes.
  • Good value.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Images Rights: Awesome Toes

Earth Runners - Website

  • Can be worn whilst being active.
  • Good value.
  • Designed to be worn with sandals not shoes.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Earth Runners

Zalik - Website

  • Good value.
  • Difficult to wear inside closed barefoot shoes.
  • Can walk barefoot whilst wearing them.
  • Slightly lower build quality.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Zalik

Happy Feet Socks - Website | Amazon

  • Can only be worn when resting and inactive.
  • Comfortable to sleep in whilst wearing them.
  • Look pretty cool and warm.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Happy Feet Socks

ToeToe Socks - Website

  • Pretty much the same as Happy Feet Socks.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: ToeToe Socks

Relax Tony - Amazon

  • Poor design as they are often reported to be insecure when wearing them.
  • Toe spread is quite large and so may be uncomfortable.
toe spacers | toe separators | barefoot shoes | minimalist shoes
Image Rights: Relax Tony

Cheap Amazon Toe Spacers - Toe Spacers | Toe Separator Socks

  • Difficult to know the build quality and effectiveness of their design.
  • Often you get what you pay for. Buy with that in mind.

Other Techniques

On a tight budget or don't want to take the plunge into toe spacers? Here are a couple of ideas that are free!

  1. Interlace your fingers with your toes for short periods to stretch them out.
  2. Wind a normal sock through your toes.

Toe Spacers vs. Pedicure Sets

A good set of toe spacers should be designed in a way so that they can be worn whilst wearing barefoot shoes and living an active lifestyle.

Pedicure sets sadly don't meet this bar. They are designed to be used whilst your feet are at rest and not active and can go a bit too far in stretching the toes apart. Their design is typically bulkier and so it's hard to wear them inside shoes.

Conclusion

Finding toe spacers that suit your needs can be difficult. If you want to wear toe spacers inside shoes whilst being active, be mindful of the design of the toe separator so they are not too bulky.

Remember, toe spacers are a tool not a replacement for a movement practice.