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An ultra runner’s best friend?

by kirsty
Thursday 27th November 2014

Product review: Run247 columnist Kirsty Reade gives her verdict on the Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors

Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors

As a long term sufferer of blisters and black toenails I was very excited by the opportunity to try out the Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors.

I’d tried everything: bigger shoes, smaller shoes, every conceivable type of sock, powder, Vaseline, taping and pre-emptive blister plasters, all with mixed success. I had come to the conclusion that I just had freaky toes (a fact which is corroborated by those who know me very, very well). I had actually tried another type of toe protector but they were made from fabric and ended up just rubbing the toe next to it, so I just got blisters on those instead.

So, while I was excited to try out this new product, I also had little confidence that it would sort out my freaky feet.

When they arrived they were quite different to what I was expecting. They’re made of a very soft silicone and they fit very closely to your toes. You don’t notice that you’re wearing them and they don’t rub or come off. I planned to put them through a few highly scientific tests over the course of a few weeks, and in doing so I discovered several different uses for different situations.


The preventative measure.

I always suffer from not exactly blisters but just very sore second toes on long runs so, before the hilly, off-road Broadway Marathon I anointed my ‘ET finger-like’ second toe with an Ultimate Performance Toe Protector. I didn’t notice it for the whole run, it didn’t rub and, hey presto, no sore toe! Even after running through lots of mud, which is usually a sure-fire way to wreck my toes. The only strange thing was having one perfectly preserved pink toe on an otherwise muddy and disgusting foot.


The ‘OK, the toe is already sore and could do with a little TLC’ measure

A week after the Broadway Marathon I went out to Majorca to do TransMallorcaRun, a very fun new event consisting of 4 stages in 3 days. The rocky terrain played havoc with my feet on day one and my second toe was particularly sore. Day 2 I donned the toe cap and it got me through the run with no problems at all.


The ‘survival situation’

While my second toe had survived day 2 without dropping off, my big toes were in turmoil. The large amount of downhill running on rocky ground had created huge blisters under my big toes (I do have a photo if anybody wants to see it). That night I was doing that thing where you have to walk around barefoot and without putting your big toe on the ground. Fortunately I was hanging out with lots of other people who were walking funny by that point so I didn’t get too many strange looks in the dining room. I was honestly a bit worried about how I was going to deal with the pain on day 3. Then I had a brainwave – put the toe cap on my big toe to cushion the nasty blister (ok, it was hardly rocket science but I was quite tired by that point). It worked a treat! I got through day 3 absolutely fine and barely noticed my wounded toe.


Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors

So my highly scientific conclusion is that Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors are an excellent investment if you suffer, like I do, with blisters and black toenails.

They are very soft and flexible but they’ve already survived a good month of abuse from me so I’m confident that they will last a long time. They’re quite different from anything I’ve tried before and are well worth a go if you’re suffering with your feet, or if you’re doing very long runs and need a bit of toe protection.

I can see them being an ultra runner’s best friend and they would make a perfect, though slightly unromantic, Christmas present for the runner in your life. They might even give them slightly nicer feet.

Find out more about the Ultimate Performance Toe Protectors HERE


About The Author

Kirsty Reade

I’d describe myself as borderline obsessed with running, racing, reading about running, and watching others run so hopefully I’m fairly typical of Run247’s visitors. I tend to do longer races, particularly off-road marathons and ultras, but am pretty much a fan of any distance. I'm passionate about helping runners of all levels to improve through running communities I'm involved in, such as Underground Ultra and Free Range Runners. 


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