Do you feel like your black toenails are a necessary part of running?
They don’t need to be!
There are many different causes for black toenails – some are due to your strength, mobility, flexibility and running gait, and some causes are due to how your shoes fit.
Here we will go over the most common general reasons you get black toenails.
- If due to poor fitting shoes –
- As you run, or late in the day, your feet swell and your feet will be larger, causing the toes to push against the end or sides of the shoe and cause bruising under the toenails.
- Your shoe may have been fitted for the first (big) toe and the 2nd toe is actually longer – causing the rubbing and bruising on the 2nd toenail.
- If due to foot and ankle instability –
- Your toes will splay or reach up to the top or sides of the toebox, trying to help stabilize and balance your foot, and rub on the surface of the shoe causing black toenails (and sometimes a hole in the top of the shoe by the toes).
- Your foot will flatten out too much, causing the inside (big) toe to get pinched on the inner area of the shoes.
- Learn how to improve foot and ankle stability and improve your running form through a Refined Run functional examination or video running gait analysis.
- If due to poorly laced shoes –
- Your heel could slip and the foot will slide forward or around causing relative instability or pressure on the toes, causing the bruising and black toenails.
- If you think lacing could be an issue, check out my piece in Shape Magazine here for ideas on how to modify your shoe lacing strategies to minimize foot issues on the run.