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Proper Toe Alignment in Posture & Movement

Proper Toe Alignment in Posture & Movement

The human foot is one of the most underappreciated areas of the body when it comes to posture and movement. What if I told you it wasn’t the foot in general that has the greatest impact – but really our toes!

The position in which our toes sit and the associated toe strength have some of the greatest impact on how we move.

Proper Toe Position

The ideal position of our toes is long, straight and flat to the ground. Any deviation of toe position, such as that observed with bunions and hammertoes, can greatly impact foot strength, power at push off and overall balance and stability.

When cueing our clients to find a proper toe position we want to build a stable base. The key features of a stable foot base include:

  1. Foot tripod (under the 1st metatarsal head, 5th metatarsal head, heel)
  2. Toes lifted, then spread long and wide before placing on the floor
  3. Slight external rotation in the hips to lift the medial arch
  4. 20% engagement of the toes into the ground

Products that Support Toe Position

Keeping the toes in a lengthened and straight position can be difficult, especially for those clients with bunions and hammertoes. Two of the best products for supporting proper toe position includes toe spacers and toe socks.

Toe spacers, such as the Naboso Splay, are a great option to align the toes during a workout or throughout the day. They can easily be worn in the shoes and help offset the foot instability that can follow chronic toe misalignment.

The Naboso Textured Toe Socks not only have individual toe pockets to create a more natural toe alignment but the added texture inside the sock further creates foot awareness and toe strength.

It is important to note that improper toe alignment, which is often associated with restrictive shoes and certain foot muscle weaknesses, is progressive. This means that the attention and cueing you give to toe position and toe strength should be at the foundation of your Pilates practice.

Learn more about Natural Toe Alignment below:


Dr Emily Splichal, Functional Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of EBFA Global, Author of Barefoot Strong and CEO/Founder of Naboso Technology. With over 22 years in the fitness industry, Dr Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot to core integration and sensory integration.

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