How Do I Know If I Need A Wide Toe Box?
Use your insoles to know if you need a wide toe box or not. If your feet fall within the outline of the insoles, you are good to go with your current shoes. If your feet hang off the sides of the insoles, you probably need to ditch your pair and lookout for a new one, one with a wider toe box. Here are the details on how to do this test right:
- Take the insoles out of your shoes.
- Lay a piece of white paper on the ground and lay the insoles flat on it.
- Using a pencil, draw an outline along the edges of the insoles. Now, you may put the insoles back in your shoes.
- Place your feet on the imprint of your insoles. Make sure your heels lay exactly on top of the heels of the imprint of the insoles.
- Using a pencil, draw an outline along the edges of your foot.
- Get your foot off the paper and pick it up.
Now you have two outlines on the paper, one of the insoles and another of your foot, superimposed on top of each other. All that is left is to observe the two imprints and notice if your foot imprint is narrower than your insoles imprint or not. If the answer is yes, you do not need shoes with a wider toe box (Like Altra). If the answer is no, you definitely need to look out for shoes with a wider toe box.
If you are still not sure or the above-given process does not work for you for any reason, there are a few more quick tests that you can perform to know if you need a wider toe box or not. The first test is very easy and quick to perform.
Just look at your shoes from behind the heels. If you can see your toe box protruding on both sides, you are likely to have pretty wide toe box shoes already. You do not need to replace them. Another quick tip is to wear your shoes and notice if you are getting any pressure from the walls of the shoes. If the walls of the pair squeeze your feet, you definitely need to replace your shoes and get a pair with a wider toe box.
Last but not least, try to splay your toes and pull them apart from each other with your shoes on. If you are able to do this, you are the owner of wide toe box shoes. Otherwise, you need a new pair. If your shoes fail to pass the tests suggested above, do not try to be cheap and replace your shoes at your earliest.
The pinching inside the narrow toe box shoes may cause nasty calluses, hammertoe, ball of the foot pain, etc. So, the sooner you can replace them with wide toe box shoes, the better. Over to you. Thanks!