This is about shoes:
- Being more narrow inside (at metatarsal heads) than the bare foot would be when stood on comfortably
- Keeping toes together; at best hardly letting the toes separate, at worst squishing them into a point (rather than offer a wide toe box)
- Soles sometimes being even more narrow than the part above it (frequent in soccer cleats)
I run as though barefoot, weight on forefoot much of the time.
In shoes recommended to me, the forefoot feels cramped and I can't engage the toes for fear of mangling them. I notice the same with other people, but they tend to not pay it any attention (their general attitude being "I don't have time to question such trivialities").
From my point of view - verified best I could - it feels as though the design is dictated more by some shallow, arbitrary definition of "elegance" than anything else, and since fashion fads do frequently override practicality, it is absurd to assume that "someone smarter than me must have already proven this is healthier".
I expect these designs to be responsible for bunions, hammertoes, corns, calluses, ingrown nails etc. "Sports" shoes are better, but rarely deviate from the "slender foot" aesthetic.
So, with all this in mind - what are the benefits?