Earlier this year I started noticing a dull pain in my bunion joint on one of my feet, I think this was made worse by running a lot more. I used to run for exercise last year but decided to sign up to a couple of races this year and every time I came back from a run I could feel my joint being more sore than usual. So I saw my GP about it and she recommended I get some over the counter remedies, in this case a toe spreader. So I popped into my local Boots and picked up one of their toe spreaders.
It cost me £4.50 which I found quite pricey, but I'm sure you could pick one of these up a bit cheaper online or in a discount store of sorts. I just did not have the time to shop around then and wanted something there and then.
The spreader is made from a gel and is squishy. You just pop it in between your big toe and the next and wear it throughout the day. I definitely knew it was there at the beginning but you forget about it after a while. I wore it all day, in my shoes etc.
in the evening I just gave it a rinse under hot water and left it to dry. You are not supposed to wear this 24 hours a day as your skin can get a bit sweaty bring stuck to a gel spreader all day.
Have I noticed a difference? Quite honestly no. I have also had a specialist appointment in the meantime who has given me insoles as it may not be a bunion problem after all. It's tricky to tell I guess as it's only the early stages and is only noticeable when I run a lot.
The toe spreader definitely does what it is supposed to and it is comfy to wear so if you ever have need for one I definitely recommend this. Although you could probably get it cheaper elsewhere!
A number of years ago I broke the big toe on my right foot, I was living in North Africa at the time and the grand sum of medical help I received was a rather soft splint in an attempt to realign the bone. It worked in the short term but as time has gone by I find my big toe is slowly turning to overlap the next toe, while this doesn't cause me a lot of pain I do find it rather uncomfortable at times especially in this warmer weather as my skin is beginning to chafe.
Luckily a few months ago my daughter bought me the Boots Toe Spreader (from Boots, just in case you were thinking it was a toe spreader to be used only whilst wearing boots!) and it has honestly been a god send for me.
The concept is a very simple one. The Toe Spreader is simply a small piece of solid gel which you slot between your big toe and the next one along, this naturally forces the big toe into the correct position and makes walking (and even just wearing shoes) more comfortable if you have an overlapping toe like me or if you suffer with bunions.
The Toe Spreader is very comfortable to wear, when I have put it into place I can feel it for a while but then when I am up and about I forget all about it. It sits nicely in the gap between my toes and is shaped to stay there without moving around too much, luckily it is exactly the correct size for my toes and barely moves at all - which is great as I don't think I could cope with the feeling of it sliding around in my shoes all day.
The outside edge of the Toe Spreader has an almost dusty feel to it, which is apparently a mineral oil which has been added to help moisturise the skin and provide a little extra comfort. I can't say that the skin between these two toes is any more moisturised than any other part of my body (hmmm) so the reason for the addition of this oil is a little beyond me, although perhaps it is this which stops the Toe Spreader itself becoming irritating as those awful foam things you use to separate your toes for a pedicure are.
Please be aware that this Toe Spreader is not a cure, it simply relieves the pain and discomfort of a bunion or overlapping toe. For this reason I would absolutely suggest you visit your GP should you have either of these conditions to see what they can do for you as a more long term solution, unfortunately my health prevents me having the operation I need to correct my overlapping toe so this is something I have to live with - hence my love of this Toe Spreader as I believe my mobility would be severely affected without it.
For me it works well, very well indeed. The only problem I have encountered really was when I wore a pair of sandals last week, then I found the Toe Spreader looked a little unsightly and anyway it didn't stay in the correct position as well as it does when I wear shoes that cover the top of my foot. I find the chaffing I was beginning to experience has disappeared and my big toe feels much more comfortable now it's aligned correctly to the rest of my toes.
Because this is made from a non-porous gel, the sweatiness of feet don't affect it in a whiffy way but it will become grubby over time. Then I find a quick rinse in warm soapy water will bring it back to looking as good as new, remembering to leave it to air dry as it can become rather wrinkled in appearance if you try to dry it too quickly on top of the fire. I have had my Toe Spreader for around four months now and it's still in decent condition, it's starting to lose its shape a little now though so I think I shall pop along to Boots at some point this week to buy another one.
Each Toe Spreader costs £3.99, which I think is an absolute bargain for the relief it provides. There is nothing worse than pains in your toes and feet so this is definitely money well spent if you are suffering.
I've suffered with a bunion on my foot for around 10 years. I always associated bunions with older people but as I'm only 24 now you can see that they struck me at a very young age! I've always found the problem slightly embarrassing because when I tell people what they are they look at me and say 'aren't you a bit young for those'! Actually bunions can affect anyone - I have no idea how mine were caused, perhaps some poorly fitting shoes when I was younger!
At first I just ignored the bunion but eventually it became quite painful. I was walking through Boots one day and saw these on the shelf. They said that they provided relief from the pain of bunions, so I snapped one up!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The toe spreaders cost £3.79 from Boots. I don't think that they would be available in the smaller Boots stores but they seem to be in most places. They are found among the corn pads, food creams and rough skin removers. They are also available on the Boots website.
The spreader comes on a card backing, which is then surrounded with plastic. It can be difficult to open as all the plastic is stuck on.
Once you've removed it from the packaging you are left with a rubber spreader. It is made from an 'advanced polymer gel', which is soft and squidgy. The gel is opaque. The shape of the spreader is a bit like an hourglass if you're looking at it from a birdseye view. Looking at it sideways you can see that the top and the bottom are wider so that they rest over the toe and the top and underneath.
You put the spreader between the big toe and the second toe. It can be used on either the left or right foot. The relief is instant. The spreader moves my big toe over so that it is aligned properly. This stops the pressure of my shoes being only on the bunion. It relieves the pain for all shoes, and is an absolute godsend on a night out in stilettos!
The only problem with the spreader is that its not really practical to wear as much in the summer as it it doesn't stay where it should if I wear sandals.
The spreader can obviously become quite dirty, spending all day between my toes! To clean it you just wash it in soap and water and then pat dry and put talcum power around it. Each spreader lasts me for the about 6 months and after that the gel tends to tear and they become a bit misshapen.
The spreader is supposed to contain a mineral oil to moisturise the skin but I haven't noticed the effects and if there are any I suspect they won't last long between my toes!
If you have a bunion which is giving you pain then this could provide relief. I find them fantastic and really notice the difference when I haven't got it between my toes, as the pain in my foot gets bad. I quite often find myself stuffing some screwed up toilet paper between my toes when I forget it! I think that the spreader is good value for how long it lasts and the relief it provides. Definitely recommended!
This polymer gel helps to relieve pressure and friction, as well as, straighting and aligning the big toe. Use this gel to help relieve pain of bunions and overlapping toes.