The rigid carbon fibre plates are often used for making the shoes stiffer or more rigid when you walk to restrict the motion of the joints in the big toe and ball of the foot. These shoe-stiffening inserts are used for things like osteoarthritis of the big toe joint, turf toe injury of the big toe, and Freiberg’s disease of the smaller joints in the ball of the foot. This reduction in movement of the joints across the ball of the foot help reduce the symptoms from the conditions that they are used for. Typically these shoe stiffening inserts are made of a rigid carbon fibre plate come in two basic designs: “Full Width” and “Morton’s Extension“. The full width design is the shape of the foot and the Morton’s extension design only goes under the big toe and not the rest of the forefoot and toes.
Which Rigid Carbon Fibre Insert should you use?
The choice will depend on the nature of the problem. If the problem is just in the big toe (eg hallux rigidus, osteoarthritis, or Turf toe), then you can use either one. However, the Morton’s extension type of insert or insole does allow for a more normal movement of the lessor joints in the ball of the foot while restricting motion more in the big toe joint. For some conditions, like Freibergs Disease which mostly affects the second joint and sometimes the third joint in the ball of the foot, then the full-width plate insert will be needed as the Mortons’ extension plate will not have as great effect on those joints.