Every day, you put tremendous pressure on our feet, whether you are a dedicated runner or not. \
The health of your feet depends on several factors, including your anatomy and choice of shoe. If your shoes are too narrow, your toes can become misaligned. Over time, this can change your feet’s natural shape, and you may develop injuries.
Toe separators, sometimes also referred to as toe stretchers or toe spreaders, are effective devices for relieving pressure on your feet and improving your toes’ alignment. They can also help with many other conditions that often plague runners.
Hammertoes, crooked or claw toes, bunions, and especially plantar fasciitis can all be eased with toe separators. What’s more, these versatile gadgets can improve issues in other parts of your feet, including the arch and balls. Using toe separators may help avoid injuries to the nerves, joints, and tendons.
Our choice for best overall is the Original YogaToes, but there are other styles that are also great options.
Modern toe separators are comfortable to wear and thin enough to easily fit feet of all sizes. They come in a range of sizes and materials. Their padding can be made from foam, gel, cotton, or moleskin. You can clean most toe separators with water and soap. For the style-conscious, some brands come in colors from ice blue to hot pink.
We believe that investing in a durable quality pair of toe stretchers is absolutely worth it.
Top 4 Best and Favorites
Pro Tec Athletics Toe Flexors
YogaToes for Men
Top Gel Toe Separators
1. Original YogaToes
Our number one choice for gel toe separators are Original YogaToes. These versatile toe stretchers feel amazing on your feet while aligning and stretching your toes into a healthy position. They are easy to put on, comfortable to wear, and relax your entire body while you wear them.
YogaToes are filled with soothing medical gel, which gently eases foot pain. They are designed to realign your aching toes. By stretching your toe joints, YogaToes help with bunions, hammertoes, and overlapping toes. They even offer relief for pain in the arch of your foot from plantar fasciitis.
As the number one toe separators recommended by doctors, these models will ease your foot pain in no time.Wearing them for as short as fifteen minutes a day can make a difference. You can increase wear time up to an hour per day. Wearing YogaToes on a regular basis will make them even more effective.As your toes become more aligned, your balance will improve, and so will your athletic performance.
YogaToes are easy to put on, as they open on both ends. Here’s a pro tip: moisten your toes with water or YogaToes’ own Purifying Spray to slide them on even quicker.
- We loved the feel of the soothing and relaxing medical gel
- Different models for men and women are available
- The open ends make them easy to slide on
- We appreciate how much YogaToes improve foot health, including conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis
- While we loved the cooling gel, some wearers may find them a bit cold at first
Best Foam Toe Separators
2. Pro-Tec Athletics Toe Flexors
The Pro-Tec Athletics Toe Flexors are our favorite foam toe separators.They are small and convenient, but also truly relaxing. This model is a so-called triple-toe separator. By focusing on the middle three toes, the Pro-Tec Athletics Toe Flexors provide stretch and relief to the forefoot area. Wearing them increases circulation and foot flexibility.
Pro-Tec Athletic Toe Flexors are made from comfortable, soft foam material.It’s tough enough to spread your toe joints, but sufficiently gentle to give you an overall feeling of coziness and relaxation. These toe separators also help relieve many medical foot problems, including metatarsalgia, bunions, pain in the arch and forefoot area, and inflexible toes.
This model covers your three middle toes, excluding your big and small toe. Because of that, Pro-Tec Athletic Toe Flexors fit most people’s feet and are extremely easy to wear. Wear them after a long day of work or an intensive workout.
By providing spacing between each toe join, the Toe Flexors relieve strain and pressure, while increasing your flexibility. By developing elasticity in your foot muscles, they can help prevent injury during future workouts.
- We appreciated the high-quality material, which provides both stretch and comfort
- They are light and small, which makes them easy to wear
- Fantastic for post-workout relaxation
- We love that these stretchers ease pain associated with conditions like metatarsalgia
- People with larger feet and toes may find this model a bit tight
Best Toe Separator for Women
3. YogaToes Gems
We found that YogaToes Gems are the best toe separators for women on the market. These amazingly relaxing toe stretchers exercise and heal your toes, making you feel refreshed in minutes. The best part about them: they are super stylish.Your feet will look royal as the individual stoppers between each toe look like actual gems!
YogaToes Gems can ease the pain caused by foot health issues, including claw toes, crossed toes, bunions, bunionettes, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis. Wearing them regularly will relieve existing problems and help prevent more issues in the future.
If you’ve spent hours walking in pumps, stilettos, tight flats and other torture devices the fashion industry has invented for women, you know what foot pain feels like. High heels can cut off your blood flow and put extreme pressure on the toes and heels. YogaToesGems help improve circulation, strengthen your tissue, and most importantly, they realign your toe joints after years of wearing shoes that don’t fit.
YogaToes Gems are also fantastic for women who love sports and intensive workouts. Athletes who wear YogaToes Gems will find that their balance, endurance, and overall mobility improve over time. As a result of wearing these toe spreaders, you can even improve your athletic performance.
- Regularly wearing them will realign toes and thus improve balance and endurance
- Relieve conditions like claw toes, hammertoes, bunions, and plantar fasciitis
- Super easy to slide over your foot
- We loved the style of this model: they look like actual gems!
- We wish they’d come in more than one color
- While these gems would look fab on men, too, they may be a bit small for bigger feet
Best Toe Separator for Men
4. YogaToes for Men
Our favorite toe separator model for men are YogaToes for Men because they combine practicality with comfort. With so many men suffering from foot pain, these toe stretchers are exactly what is needed.YogaToes for Men help relieve common foot problems while helping you improve your athletic performance.
Equipped with a cooling medical gel, YogaToes for Men are engineered to treat and help with several medical foot problems. For example, if you suffer from mallet toes, flat feet, heel spurs, poor circulation or diabetes, YogaToes can provide relief. Wearing these toe separators will comfortably stretch, exercise, and strengthen your feet.
Wearing YogaToes over prolonged periods of time will increase circulation and improve the posture of your foot. Too, they make your feet strong so they can recover more quickly after an intense workout. As a result, you will gain in agility while ridding yourself of pain from arch to toe tips.
Many men struggle to find shoes in their proper size at the shoe store, so they end up wearing toe-crushingly small shoes for years. YogaToes for Men can undo that damage by spreading your toes, stretching them, and realigning the joints.
- YogaToes for Men can treat and prevent countless conditions including mallet toes, flat feet, heel spurs, diabetic feet, and poor circulation
- They easily fit people with larger feet (sizes 10 and upwards)
- The gel feels relaxing and soothing
- First time wear can be uncomfortable – but after that, they are amazing.
Best Toe Separators for Bunions
5. Dr. JK Original ToePal
Bunions can be extremely uncomfortable. These bumps form at the joint of your big toe when some bones in your forefoot shift out of place. As a result, the tip of your big toe is pushed sideways, so that the joint at its base sticks out at an angle. The added stress on your skin can cause it to become sore and red.
The Dr. JK Original ToePal is our absolute favorite toe separator model for bunions. These toe stretchers provide relief for the aggravated joint using a medical-grade gel. Their positioning lengthens your toes, stretching out the joints and taking pressure off muscles and other parts of your feet.
Of course, you can also wear the ToePal if you do not have bunions, as they are designed to help with other conditions too. These stretchers are engineered to relieve stress from tired, throbbing, or aching feet.
The ToePal is easy to slide onto your feet and provides an immediate feeling of relaxation. By realigning your toes, wearing these separators will bring immediate relief of discomfort. Athletes, ballet dancers, and yogis will appreciate that the ToePal can relieve and prevent bunions, as well as overlapping toes.
Flexible and soft, ToePals are relaxing and comfortable to wear, as your toes gradually become less tense and strained.
- These are especially helpful for bunions, providing fast relief as well as prevention
- We love that they are so comfortable and flexible
- The medical-grade gel feels very relaxing
- People with very small feet may find they are too stretchy.
Best Toe Separators for Plantar Fasciitis
6. Chiroplax Gel Toe Separators
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot. This band of connective tissue is, when inflamed, the most common cause of heel pain. If you have struggled with plantar fasciitis before, you know the stabbing sensation associated with this condition. It’s extremely unpleasant and can ruin your entire day. Luckily, toe separators are a gentle way of helping you treat and prevent this painful inflammation.
The best toe separators for plantar fasciitis are Chiroplax Gel Toe Separators. Made from medical grade TPE gel, they are perfect for treating inflammations to the band at the bottom of your foot. However, they also help with other medical conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, and misalignment. The material is great on your skin, too. Chiroplax ensures there are no harmful substances like lead, phthalates, BPA, or latex.
Chiroplax Gel Toe Separators are sold as a kit: you receive one pair of looped separators, one pair of crown separators, and a convenient carry pouch. These amazing toe stretchers come in three different colors: lavender, milky white, and hot pink.
- Great for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis
- They come in several colors: lavender, hot pink, and milky white!
- We love that the spacers are made from cooling medical-grade gel
- Made from high-quality materials: no latex, BPA, lead or phthalates
- These toe separators are on the smaller side and may not fit you if you have very large feet
How do I use toe separators for running injuries?
Many runners experience toe and foot problems, such as bunions, claw toes, crooked toes, and plantar fasciitis. If you are one of them, toe separators offer an easy, non-invasive option to address your issues.
While toe spreaders are mainly built to treat issues with your toes, they can help prevent many other foot problems that runners have to deal with, such as pinched nerves (neuromas) or joint problems (such as capsulitis).
After your first time wearing toe separators, you will notice immediately that your toes are more aligned and relaxed than before. Be sure to examine your feet before and after wearing the stretchers: you will see that after wearing these devices, your toes are more spread out and have more “ground contact.” This effect will increase if you wear them regularly. Doing so will relieve your running injuries, while also improving your recovery time, balance and endurance for future runs.
How long should I wear toe separators for?
The first time you put on your toe separators, be sure to wear them no longer than 10-15 minutes.
This is important because your feet are not used to being stretched just yet: stretching them for too long can cause a cramp. While this is not dangerous, it can be a bit uncomfortable.
If you build up the time of wear slowly, you will not experience this issue. Increasingly, you will find that wearing your toe separators is relaxing and provides relief to your aching feet.
As you get used to wearing toe separators, you may wear them for up to an hour at a time. Note that while some toe separators can be worn while moving around, others should be worn while you rest.
Generally, soft gel models provide greater mobility; some can even be worn in shoes. Be sure to read the label on the package of your toe spreaders to avoid injuries.
How do I put on toe separators?
Putting on toe separators is easy. How you put them on depends on the type of toe separator you are using.
Among the models we selected, there are two different types: looped and crown. The looped models close at the top and bottom of your toes, forming an oval around the front of your feet. Crown stretchers are open at the top, leaving the spacers to poke out between your toes.
Most looped models can be opened on the side. Starting with your big toe, carefully place each toe between the spacers. If there is a looped top, close it after you have positioned each toe in between the spacers.
Gel toe separators can be a bit sticky sometimes: a great trick to getting them on is to splash a bit of water on your toes. This will help you slide them on in no time.
How long does it take to get used to them?
How long it takes you to get used to toe separators depends on you, your feet, and the type of separators you choose. Some people report that they immediately like wearing them. Others find the first time uncomfortable but have no such issues on the second wear. The first few days can be a little uncomfortable, but you should definitely not give up too easily.
Be sure to keep trying for at least a week, because you will reap the most benefits from wearing your toe stretchers regularly. You might also want to experiment with a few different types of separators because preferences can be very subjective: what works well for one person may not work well for another.
If you have sensitive feet, we recommend medical-grade gel toe spreaders, such as YogaToes or Chiroplax Gel Toe Separators, because they are soft, comfortable, and soothing. Most people find that after a few wears, they actually start to love the feeling of their toes getting stretched.