Toes do so much more for you than just get stuck when you’re pulling on socks, or give you a place to put nail polish. The toes are critical for balance. They help distribute the force and pressure your feet sustain when you’re walking. And toes are fully functional tools that in many cases are every bit as useful as fingers, for tasks like manipulating objects and judging temperature. That’s why you should take great care of them, and do your best to avoid one of the most common maladies that affect these valuable digits.

Ouch. Even the words “ingrown toenail” are painful. When a couple of toes are jammed unnaturally together over days or weeks, sometimes a toenail can grow right into the skin around its edges. This very uncomfortable phenomenon usually happens on the big toe where it presses against your second toe. Inflammation can turn the whole area into a very sensitive, very painful hotspot.

Soaking and possibly even antibiotics will clear it up in time, but wouldn’t it be better to prevent this unwanted event before it happens? It turns out most cases of ingrown toenails come from wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Yes, good nail hygiene plays a role, but there’s no quicker way to get an ingrown toenail than mashing your toes together day after day in a shoe that is not designed to fit, support, and protect your foot.

It’s time to let your toes breathe. That doesn’t mean you have to wear open sandals. But you should absolutely make sure your shoes fit you perfectly and are designed with toe health in mind, especially if ingrown toenails keep cropping up in your life.A lot of foot health discussions focus on the arch and the heel, but at Ascent we also strive to support and protect the toes. Across Ascent’s entire range, you’ll find designs that allow ample wiggle room at the toe, while delivering shock-absorbing cushioning and high tech stabilisation.

Toes should never feel like they are crammed into the front of the shoe. You should be able to lift them freely without pain or pressure, even in the case of heavily reinforced workboots. Ascent’s collection of world class workboots provide industrial strength toe impact protection without cramping flexibility and space. And if you need even more breathing room, undo the damage of years of too-tight shoes with our extra-wide and super-deep Avara and Geelong Plus series. These are also perfect if a health condition like diabetes makes you pre-disposed to ingrowns.

Finally, don’t forget to update your shoes regularly – over time, normal wear and tear can distort a shoe’s shape and rob your toes of the protection they need. Our toes do so much for us. Let’s pay them back by giving them the freedom they require.

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