Thursday, April 19, 2012

Toenails are for Sissies

My feet take a beating.  They are ugly.  Bulging bunions.  Callused.  Blood blisters.  Missing toenails.  I am actually honored when I get a pedicure and they ask me if I "run a lot".  Yep.  Me and my ugly feet run alot.

Courtesy of One More Mile Apparel

I have had two newish runners tell me this week that they are losing toenails for the first time.  Welcome to the club, Rockstar!  YOU ARE A RUNNER!  I was asked for advice on how to prevent them or how treat them.  I kind of "suffer through the pain", since there seems to be no rhyme-or-reason to my lack of toenails. 

Here are some suggestions I've heard to prevent toenail loss:

- Try thinner socks and make sure you are wearing socks made of a wicking materials.  Your feet may just be sweating too much.

- Go up a half size in your running shoes .. give those piggies some room!
- Keep your toenails trimmed short ... even if you THINK they are already short!

- Treat yourself to a pedicure periodically ... but not TOO often, because it is good to have calluses on your feet when your feet are enduring long distances.

Some people say to release the fluid from the blood blister under your toe.  While, others say just to let it take care of itself.  I've done both, depending on the amount of pain I'm in (it tends to get better day-by-day).  I do find that if I don't release the fluid, that the blister tends to harden up, and get back to normal in 7-10 days.  If I do release the fluid, the pain seems to go away much quicker.

If the weather allows, I tend to wear a lot of flip flops or go barefoot as much as I can when my toes are freshly in pain.  I try to keep any pressure off of my toes, when I'm not running.  Yet, at work I still suffer through the pointy-toed high heels!
If you try all of the above suggestions and you still continue to lose your toenails.  Keep running.  Embrace your nail-free digits ... and join the club of painting imaginary nails with brightly colored polish!

Have you found a way to prevent
toenail loss?


  1. I remember losing my first toenail and thinking Yes! I am a runner now! It was like a badge of honor!

  2. For me it's actually better NOT to wear a larger size shoe. I didn't have any problems with my toes until I went up a half size and then my poor big toenails took a beating. Since going back down to my normal size I haven't had any more problems. I'm probably weird though!

  3. Trying buying your running shoes a whole size bigger than your normal day-to-day shoes. This helps prevent a lot of the toenail, blister issues.

  4. I count myself lucky that I have never lost a toe nail. I have had some bruising, but nothing major. I keep my nails super, super short and make sure I have plenty of rooom in the toe box of my shoes.

  5. I've never lost toe nail but I have a beautifully deformed one. Can I still claim the title of rock star runner?

  6. I wish I knew a way to stop losing toenails. My feet swell a LOT on long runs or in warm weather and even going up a full size doesn't help much. My last pair of shoes, Brooks Glycerin, felt great during the winter but when the weather warmed up I felt like someone had started pounding on my toes with a hammer. I loosened the laces on my shoes so much I almost didn't have enough lace left to tie a bow with! I have recently gotten a new pair of running shoes - Brooks Launch - and the trim on the toebox is different (there's less of it), and I think it's cut a bit different too. My toes are MUCH happier, but it's too late for three of my toenails. Just in time for sandal season, too.....

  7. Lovin the tee-shirt! I too am a toenail loser. I thought it was for sure my shoes had been too small for the past two years. I bumped up a whole size in January and just yesterday lost another one. I think once you start, your nail beds are prone to losing them easier.
    I will say this though flip flops are not so good, unless they have some support to them. Chaco's or Keen's are great ones. If you can bend your flip flop in half, then it shouldn't go on your feet. Our dogs need all the help they can get!

    lovin your blog....glad my DIL sent me your way