In all the years I have been making shoes and boots I have yet to hear a rational or mechanically sound explanation why lower toe spring is wanted on a shoe.
To the contrary, the theory is...based on the mechanics of the foot during gait...that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed. And vice versa.
All things being equal--heel height, last length, construction and leather--a low heeled shoe with less toe spring will crease more deeply than a low heeled shoe with more toe spring. It stands to reason.
It may be what customers want to see, but that doesn't make it rational.
Edited by DWFII - 2/21/12 at 7:21am
First of all, no one has to give you an explanation why a "lower toe spring is wanted." A want is not something that has to be approved or even understood by you or anyone else but by the individual who decides what fit is right for them.
You refer to "the theory" saying that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed but you don't say why except that it must have something to do with the "mechanics of the foot during gait." ... What about it?
Your focus seems to be in the wrong place. The construction of the shoe should FOLLOW what's best for the foot, not make the foot conform to somebody's mechanical theory (so it seems). Your post says little to nothing about the foot but priority should be the health of the foot, and you're concerned that a shoe with less toe spring will crease?!! I could care less!! Looks over health? Sorry, I'm not with you on that at all.
The foot outside of a shoe sits with ALL toes on the ground and provides superior balance! You can observe this in nature, can't you? Perhaps a study of the mechanics of the foot while jogging or running can help construct a better running shoe. But most people aren't that athletic every day, and the only thing I can see a 1/2" to 3/4" toe spring good for is falling down and creating back problems. Toe spring is bad for standing!
If the shoe flexes with the foot, the toes will turn up when they need to all by themselves, just like they have for thousands of years! But I highly doubt the motivation for the toe spring has anything to do with what's good for consumers. It's a sales pitch because they look good in pictures and that's turned into a fad. A number of years from now someone will come up with a "new" idea of putting toes on the ground for good balance, overall control and the health of your spine.
My chiropractor tells me that shoes that don't let you keep your toes on the ground are bad for you. Bad for your feet, bad for your posture and ultimately bad for your back. How's that for rationale?
I wish they would grade toe spring like they do width or size. The only thing I want to do to them is burn them.