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PureWow

Dara Katz

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality & Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetic: 15/20
  • Pain relief: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 91/100
Pronated ankles and flat feet have riddled me with years of plantar fasciitis and the pain and swelling that comes with it. (Also, hi, nice to meet you too.) I've done the podiatrist-prescribed custom orthotics, the calf stretching, the frozen water bottles and the expensive arch-support shoes, but I have to say, nothing has helped me more quickly relieve pain than these bizarre-looking toe separators from Yoga Toes.

I first learned about toe separators through my midnight YouTube scrolling. One night, I fell down a plantar fasciitis hole—videos of physical therapists massaging and/or prescribing cures for the common foot problem—hey, I'm not judging what you're watching. But one video in particular caught my eye because it mentioned nothing of the usual elixirs. Instead, it brought to my attention toe separators. Hmm. Toe separators. Like the toe spacers you wear when getting a pedicure but on steroids, toe separators fit snuggly between you toes, gently spreading them out.

The idea is that the human foot is meant to be unencumbered, giving our toes the opportunity to starburst out. Alas, the fashion industry isn't as into wide toe boxes. Even your typical sneaker will smush your toes together, resulting in a lifetime of foot pain (read: bunions, hammer toes, etc.). Personally, I think a naturally wide foot and years of ballet flats with narrow toe boxes have really messed with me. So, a $30 investment compared to weekly sessions of therapy or more expensive custom orthotics that seem to do more harm than good was a no-brainer. I ordered the Yoga Toes and they showed up on my doorstep the next day.

Dara Katz

I started off with the recommended 15 minutes, placing the semi-squishy gel forms between my toes while watching TV. Apparently, you can dip them in water to make it easier to glide on, but I'm pretty lazy and flexible enough to bend over, so it wasn't a problem. During the first couple of sessions, the sensation is strange and a bit uncomfortable. But as soon as I took them off, my feet felt anew. The swelling went down and the pain disappeared. I've since upped my Yoga Toes sessions to entire Survivor episodes and forget that they're on, but as soon as I take them off, I remember exactly why I put the the first place: to erase the pain that accumulated that day.

So yeah, while they're not the most attractive apparatuses in the world—and the gel material collects some unsightly dust—they're miracle workers. I'm no doctor, so I can't quite explain how spreading the toes relieves the rest of my foot, but it sure does. Now, I'll also wear them more frequently—sitting at my desk or even right after jog. Are Yoga Toes complete substitutes for a podiatrist or physical therapist? Probably not. But for now, they're really saving my feet.

Buy Yoga Toes ($30)

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