I always get hurt the index toe of my right foot when doing my long run, the nail is black and very thick. In my last run I applied a little vaseline, it was better but still the index toe get hurt. How can I protect better that toe. I bought new shoes, one size bigger. My long run is for 18-20k

I saw Anton Krupicka to take of something from his toes when he was running with Kilian Jornet (Kilians' Quest)

  • is your index toe longer than your big toe? Commented May 28, 2013 at 18:47
  • yes, but just a little bit. Commented May 28, 2013 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Blackened and/or losing toenails is very common among very long distance runners (half marathon and longer). One of the primary causes is the foot being too loose in the shoe, and being rammed into the front of the shoe repeatedly.

Oddly enough, buying shoes one size bigger can lead to worse problems, and still not solve the original problem, as the toe/foot now have even more room to move and slide around, and will promote bad practices such as tying the laces too tight to try and prevent it.

Get proper fitting shoes, and if possible, get a gait analysis done. It is possible that your natural running motion is promoting the smacking of your toe against the front of the shoe, and changing your stride/plant pattern slightly can help alleviate any damage.

  • 1
    Feets gets bigger after 10k, thats why I bought my shoes one size bigger. Commented May 28, 2013 at 20:24
  • @Artemination I understand, I've been a runner for years. You want some room, but when you start upsizing the shoe (Unless you were too small before), then the sides, soles, arches and other pieces of the shoe don't quite fit right.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 20:26
  • Then get orthotics that help fill the additional space at the places where there's too much, then you have the best of both worlds
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 12:35
  • Maybe a little gauze around the toe for cushion.. Commented May 29, 2013 at 12:52
  • Ooh. Orthotics. Hopefully a truly last resort. Commented May 29, 2013 at 14:24

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