Many (most?) people I have met have big toes which are bent inward from their "natural" positions, probably due to lifelong confinement in pointed shoes. In contrast, photographs of the feet of people who spend their lives without shoes indicate that all their toes tend to splay outward.

Does anyone have any data, opinions or references to literature regarding how this does or does not affect our walking/running/jumping? I've noted that even sports shoes have pointed toes, and I speculate that non-pointed toes may perform better. Wouldn't basketball players, for example, jump better if their shoes were shaped more like Birkenstock sandals?


-John K.

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