• Polaroid Android: Toe Wriggling

    Article by Ey@el

    Original en français

    Polaroid Android

    Toe socks (also known as finger socks, glove socks, 5-toe socks or digital socks) first appeared in the United States in the late 1960's — though the Japanese tabi is an earlier variant dating back to the 16th century, which is like mitten socks with a separate compartment for the big toe only. Among other things, these socks allow better toe movement, less sweating, and improved balance and posture.

    I came across these after ordering a yoga kit online. The pair enclosed looked like fingerless gloves for feet with grippy soles. And yes, I immediately felt more balanced and more stable on my feet. Eventually, I became fed up with regular socks that keep slipping all the time and inevitably end curled up by the toe when you walk a lot with boots. So I did a research to find out whether toe socks were available not just for sportswear which fortunately turned out to be the case. Since I've been wearing them, gone are calluses and foot pains. I don't even sweat anymore even with trainers in hot weather. A forceful argument against frictions, blisters, and athlete's foot. But not only.

    Strong Footing

    Many diseases start with your feet.
    ~ Japanese saying

    Our feet are the basis of our mobility. Their structure consists of a complex system of nerves, blood vessels, bones, joints, muscles and tendons and they are one of the most heavily used parts of our body. The downside of the shoes, created ten thousand years ago, that we're wearing almost all day long is that the complex structure of our feet is generally inadequately or poorly used, generating long-term poor posture and pain not only in your feet, but also in your knees, hips, spine, and body muscles.

    Conventional socks (without fingers) not only match the unergonomic shape of shoes,  but in order to prevent them from slipping, most of them tend to squeeze your feet and toes, which is not without consequences over long periods. Thus our toes are no longer able to move independently for one another. Their disused muscles and tendons atrophy, ultimately depriving them of many functional motor abilities. Foot compression also impedes blood flow which can cause cold feet syndrome. Unseparated toes promotes friction, sweating and the development of germs and fungi. Last but not the least, since the entire weight of our body rests on our feet, it increases the risk of injury from “incorrect loading”. When your toes are squeezed, it generally forces the big toe to bear a heavier load, creating deformity. In some cases, it causes some toes to remain off ground, no longer assisting the other toes to support the weight of the body which is transferred to other areas of the foot.

    Get Your Feet Back On Track

    This is the reason why walking barefoot improves our comfort and pain. Unfortunately, urbanisation with ground covering, pollution, scrap, etc., do not allow us to do it anywhere. The daily use of toe socks allow the regular movement of all toes, encouraging them to resume a proper posture thus replacing the centre of gravity and uniformly redistributing foot pressure. These positive effects should also benefit other conditions such as Hallux valgus and flat feet, ankle, knee, hip and back pain (also neck and shoulder), cold sensitivity, ankle sprains and balance issues.

    So, this type of socks allows our toes to regain their sensorial and motor functions, strengthens our foot muscles, and ultimately improving blood circulation in lower limbs.

    Except for sportswear models, you may have a hard time finding toe socks in conventional clothing stores. You'll have to resort to online shops, some even sell socks exclusively. Just type “toe socks” in your search engine. Like regular “tubes”, they come in all heights, thickness, fabrics, and colours. For women, you can even find “toe stocking protections” to wear with pumps or low-cut footwear. I found some made of breathable cotton fabric with a silicon stripe to maintain them on the Achilles tendon and no more friction of foot swelling after walking for hours. And I, for one, found my feet stayed dry and unsmelly even in extremely hot weather. Let's put it straight: I just cannot do without. However, I couldn't find any toe tights/stockings, but you can always wear footless tights or leggings.

    Take good care of your feet for greater comfort and flexibility of movement.


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