Couch to 5K
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Should I worry about my toenails...?:/

Weird run first thing this morning. Always intrigues me how many other people are up & around in the pitch black. Like the shuffling zombie-like woman in a burgundy coat who crossed the road just ahead of me & went into a drive. As I passed I turned to look at her... Not there....

Then I realised my town centre is putting on a fair this weekend, but no fair staff were up & the main square was strangely deserted. So I found myself weaving amongst deserted rides & stalls like a scene from some sort of teen horror movie.

However, despite these strange scenes (Halloween is approaching after all!), I had a reasonable run & got home safe.

Now something has been on my mind for a bit: my toenails, my 'big' toenails to be precise. I have noticed some discolouration/bruising in the last month or so. Has anyone else experienced this with running? Could it be abrasion or something causing it do you think? Is it something that I should worry about?

I will go to the docs if it becomes problematic of just concerns me more. But I just wondered for now if any of you guys had experienced something similar..?

10 Replies

No need for a doc just cut your nails, straight across, file across the top to smooth the edge

Black nails are caused when you run downhill and the toes hit the front of your shoes


Fab, Miss Wobble you are the font of all knowledge! I shall get a-clipping & a-filing! Cheers!


Oh that sounds like a fab run! Spooky and strange isn't it sometimes when you're up and about early. But wonderful at the same time.

I imagine the toe thing would be caused by either toenails which are a bit long like missw says, or perhaps ill fitting socks? Or time for new running shoes? let us know how you get on x


Thanks, yeah it was quite a cool run in many ways. Sounds like a process of elimination for the nails, I'll try cutting & filing shorter first before moving on to different socks/shoes. Thanks!


It maybe friction with the shoes, nothing to worry about, just one of the unpleasant side effects. Since you posted earlier about gear and shoes, if you decide to change shoes and go for a gait analysis you may find that the problem will vanish. To be completely honest, I have been looking at sites on trail and ultra running (this is what the running bug does to you!) , and one thing managed to put me completely off my idea of train to run in the Alps... images of black toes [I am not usually bothered by appearance, but a little bit of vanity got the better of me there! :)

Do not click on the link if you are squeamish !!


Ha ha! Oh my, that sounds a bridge too far for me too! Yes next time I need new shoes & have the spends I will get a gait analysis, etc done. Sounds like a good idea


can also be toes pressing together. I had a lot of trouble with a couple. One I just put tiny scraps of cotton wool under the nail to keep it elevate from the nailbed while running and taped well with micropore and it sorted itself very quickly (was a lot of bloody mess before that.)

The other actually detached halfway down and became progressively more troublesome, so I removed it entirely and just tape over it for runs. A new one is about halfway regrown and trouble free.


Thanks Rignold, good tips from how you coped with your toenail issues. Sounds like it is yet another runner's ailment!


I have the same thing, but I paint over mine so I can't see it. When I change my colour I check its ok. I agree with miss wobble mine worsens after I run down hill so over the next two months it's going to get bad, I try to keep them short, I have new trainers which has a bigger toe box so I am hoping this will help. If my calves can cope with the new trainers


Painting over them sounds a plan vixchile thank you! Yes it sounds like when I need a replacement for my current trainers that an upgrade & more toe room might be an idea


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