I'm just getting into running, and got my first proper pair of running shoes last night. I got to try them out today. They felt great for the first 20 minutes or so, but then I noticed they were chafing my big toes. (On top, right at the first knuckle.)

Is this something that can be corrected by something simple, like, say, tightening my laces? Or is this a sign my shoes don't quite fit? (If it's the latter, the place I got them from has a very generous return policy.)

1 Answer 1


My guess is they don't quite fit. You might need a slightly bigger shoe, most places recommend a half size larger as your feet tend to swell(which is probably why it hurt after 20 mins). The other general recommendation is to have about a thumbs width between big toe and top of shoe (NYTimes, 2010).

If your store has a generous return policy(as you indicated) I would take them back and let them know what happened. Most specialized running shoe stores will give you a pretty thorough review including looking at your feet, watching your gait, and having you try on a few pairs to fit you properly.

  • You may have to choose a different brand. It sounds like you might need more depth in the toe area. Take them back, as suggested Mar 30, 2014 at 15:03
  • Went back to the store today. The lady working there suggested a re-lacing that should hopefully open up some space for my toes, though given that the problem didn't show up until 25 minutes into the workout, it's hard to tell whether it'll work. The return policy is 30 days, so I figure I'll let my foot heal up a bit and give it another go, and exchange the shoes if the chafing is still an issue.
    – BlairHippo
    Mar 31, 2014 at 2:49
  • Thanks for the update, please let us know how that works out for you.
    – Marc K
    Mar 31, 2014 at 4:24

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