R&D Story of Our Mobility Toe Spacers
As foot health advocates it was only a matter of time before we started to experiment with the benefits of toe spacers. It quickly became apparent that our No Toe Box™ Earth Runners sandal design and toe spacers were a fated pairing of foot health technologies! Our ancient huarache running sandal design consists of one continuous lace originating through the bed of the sandal between the first and second toe. This strap binds the foot to the sandal– creating an incredibly effective and elegant design. Due to the natural toe splay stimulation of our sandal thong design, we sought to develop a toe spacer for toes 2-5. Our 4 toes spacer design ensures max compatibility with our sandals and tabi shoes alike.
Our original (1.0) four toe spacer was the product of modifying a conventional 5-toe spacer to our desired specs. After launching our original toe spacer design in 2018, the quick adoption of our 4 toes spacer design by our customer made the demand for a 4-toe spacer apparent! We soon thereafter began work on developing our own custom 4 toe spacer design that incorporated all of the key design elements that we had identified over the years of wearing and modifying toe spacers while integrating feedback from our customers. As a result we have formulated our own philosophy on how to obtain the benefits of toe spacers while maintaining max comfort and aesthetics.
When introducing toe spacers to the uninitiated we explain them as similar to orthodontic braces for the toes. Just like braces for the teeth, their corrective potential is a result of time wearing the corrective device allowing it to slowly spread one's physiology to be less impacted and more naturally spaced.
Drawing inspiration from the trademark barefoot shoe design of the Vibram Five Fingers, we have developed a form fitting active toe spacer design that offers moderate spacing between the toes to allow all day comfort. This is in contrast to other toe spacers on the market, which can be uncomfortable and insecure, limiting their wearability.
Our active ergonomic design allows you to reap the benefits of toe spacers all day long with any (healthy) footwear of your choosing. We believe the benefits of toe spacers are a result of time spent wearing them in combination with active use to help correct all the biomechanical chains of 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments of each foot.
Unsatisfied with the durability of our original toe spacer silicone material, we decided to adapt our 2.0 design to be made of superior medical grade silicone. We found the more stable chemistry of medical grade silicone to be firmer than our previous 1.0 spacer silicone, which led to the development of our unique voided holes between toes to ensure a squishy feel between the toes. This was a novel breakthrough in the design that not only allows for a comfortable and durable design– but has many additional benefits including being lighter weight, more fashionable, more secure, more elastic for easy installation, and allows for modification of the toe spacer widths– insert material into the holes to increase spacing effects!
Mobility Toe Spacer Development
||Reverse engineering the universal toe spacer design.|
||Ensuring structural integrity via our computer assisted design (CAD) software.|
||Fine tuning the ergonomic form of the toe spacers for max comfort and security.|
||Testing the slot tension of our 5th out of 10 prototypes.|
||taking measurements on Earth Runners staff for ideal fit on our 3 sizes.|
We are happy to contribute to the development of this well needed footwear technology and help s-p-r-e-a-d awareness of the benefits of toe spacers. We look forward to seeing our toe spacers out in the wild and hearing what our customers have to say!