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Couch to 5K
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Sore Toes (weird feet)

I've been doing this for a while now but I have recently added long walks of between 1-2 hours over the weekends. It's only since I started the walks wearing the same pair of trainers that my little toe is rubbing against the toe next to it and has started to form a hard bump on the bone inside part of the other toe and is quite sore. My little toe sort of bends in underneath the other (sorry, I can't think of how else to describe it). Now my middle toe is also being affected.

I'm in training for the Great Wall of China Trek (Royal Marsden Charity) in September and following their training program in conjunction with c25k. I will be increasing my walks to 4hrs then 6hrs and finally 8hrs Sat/Sun back to back over the coming weeks as I get closer to the Great Wall trip so I need my feet to be ready for the onslaught.

My husband thinks it is my trainers but I think it odd that my half hour jogging (shuffle) C25k session has not shown up this problem before but my long walks have.

Apart from a blister plaster (it's not a blister) that is padded what else could I use? I was thinking of some kind of foam thing or gauze to keep my toes from rubbing together? Or is it in my trainers? Any thoughts?

12 Replies

I would use different shoes for walking than running. They are two different things entirely. I walk in walking boots which support the ankles. Mine are waterproof leather as I walk a lot of muddy, wet trails. I also have good walking socks, usually Bridgate - the wool ones to keep my feet in good order

As regards running you need good, proper running shoes and socks. If you've not got them already I'd make it a priority.

If you went to a proper running shop and had your gait analysed you could discuss the toe curling under issue and hopefully that could be sorted out with proper shoes

Obviously your feet are paramount in all of this, the tools of your trade so to speak, so getting them sorted is key. It feels dead funny though switching from walking boots to running shoes but you soon get used to it.

Good luck with it all!


Thanks, I hadn't thought of it that way.

My running shoes seem fine for running. I haven't had any problems with them or pain or anything while doing c25k. It's just started since my long walks started.

I was going to invest in some hiking boots once I get the confirmation that I've reached my minimum sponsorship to allow me to go on the challenge. I thought my trainers would suffice until then but seems possibly not.

Thanks for the tip on the walking socks and will look into getting my gait analysed.

Best wishes


Sounds like you're getting a corn or callus - you could try corn plasters to treat the problem you have at the moment. Do your toes normally rub together? If they don't then it sounds like your trainers might be too narrow.


Thanks, I've never had a corn, just looked it up and what has been described online is exactly what I've got. I've always taken my feet for granted, they just get on with whatever I ask of them normally.

OK I'll try a corn plaster for my next long walk at the weekend and see how I get on. I would much prefer to start out with a simple remedy and escalate from there if that doesn't work.

I didn't know my toes rubbed until I started all this walking! It's great though, even with sore toes. C25k is one of the best things that has happened to me.


it could be that your feet are swelling a little with fluid retention on your long walks, hence your toes not having the same room in your shoes. If you have another pair of trainers or walking shoes use them instead. Look after your feet you have a wonderful journey ahead of you, well done for signing up for what I'm sure will be a terrific experience, I'm very jealous, good luck with your training. :)


Thanks, I am extremely excited to be going and it is to support some very special people in my life. It makes the hard part of training/jogging easier to overcome with them in mind and everything they are going through makes my low days look like nothing by comparison.

Good thing I've started training now and discovered this little niggle well in advance. Makes sense about the swelling as I'm longer on my feet than before, maybe had I increased my jogging time this problem would've cropped up as well.

I'll have a rummage through my wardrobe and see what other shoes I can try out that might be a bit wider. Otherwise it's off the shops I go to get some proper walking boots - I've been putting this off until I start the really long walks but it may be I'll need to get them sooner rather than later.


My walking boots are Hi-tec waterproof ones and are not all that dear compared with some posher brand ones. They last years though! The dog destroyed my last pair or I'd still be wearing them. He dragged me down a railway embankment after a rabbit and the front of the boot ripped clean out. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr When I wear my shoes and get them real filthy, I clean them and put some leather treatment on them to keep them supple, and hopefully last a long time.

Enjoy your walking and running! I know I do


Where did you get them from? Is Hi-tec a brand name? Sorry, I'm new to all this hiking stuff but from a couple of searches online I was quite surprised at the general cost of hiking boots. I don't know why I was surprised because they are made of sturdy material and have more to them than trainers so it stands to reason they would be expensive but if there are more reasonable ones out there that are just as good I'm certainly interested. Thanks for your help.


Yep, hi-tec is the brand name mine are waterproof leather but were only fifty quid which is at the low end of the price bracket but I really like them


Sounds good to me. Thanks I'll have a look this weekend.


Just to add when I went to the runner shop for new trainers and gait analysis I went up a whole size in trainers! I am never a size 7! But my toes were sometimes going a bit numb after a long run and I was told it was my feet swelling and a bigger size has really helped. Good luck


I take a size 7 in normal shoes but the guy in SweatShop fitted me for size 8.5 running shoes. They look huge but are very comfortable.


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