Feet & Toes
Healthy feet are widest at the ends of your toes (not at the ball of your foot, as is common among long-term shoe-wearing individuals). In many cases, healthy feet and toes are prognostic indicators of biomechanical function and musculoskeletal health throughout the rest of your body.
Toes and Activity
Your toes are among the most important body parts used in many physical activities. Your toes help you generate the propulsive force required for skiing, walking and running, and they provide you with enhanced balance, especially when they are allowed to splay (spread).
Balance is particularly enhanced when your big toe is in-line with the inside edge of your foot and your little toe is in-line with the outside edge of your foot. Your big and little toes, in the wide, splayed configuration, and in combination with your heel, serve as an important tripod of support.
Your toes are also important for proprioception and providing tactile feedback. Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense the position of its parts, both at rest and during movement. Tactile feedback is the information your body parts send to your brain about your surrounding environment, including the snow you ski upon. Both proprioception in and tactile feedback from your toes help you accurately place your feet during skiing, running and walking.