Whenever I go for a long run or put extensive stress on my feet I end up bruising on the bottom side of my feet. The bruises are incredibly painful but only last a day. They occur near the ball of my foot or near the toes as well. I get the same sort of bruising after spending time in the pool (in areas where I can touch the bottom with my feet).

On my own research I found Metatarsalgia to be the closest related inflammation that matches my symptoms. My question is, what causes this bruising and what can be done to avoid it while remaining active?

Update: It seems like any high-impact activity can cause the bruising. I have minor bruises after playing basketball.

Update 2: I spoke with a foot doctor in the past and his diagnosis was that there was a higher load of stress on the bottom of the foot from activity. His remedy was stretching my legs out before activity to allow the proper support.

  • 1
    Have you tried using insoles or sneakers which are specific to relieving your condition? There seems to be a few found via Google search.
    – RonE
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 2:36
  • I have in the past and find them to be too much of a hassle. I think the problem is that loose movement of the foot in the shoe causes friction and leads to the bruising. In the past, throwing out my old pair of shoes for a new pair with proper support helped remedy the situation.
    – le_garry
    Commented Jul 16, 2012 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


I used to face the same problem as the one you are describing. The balls of my feet used to hurt when I used to run.
However, I realised that my running technique might be wrong. Have you tried running only on the toes? Ideally, you are not supposed to touch the whole foot to the ground while running as this is detrimental for your knees in the long term.
However, if this isn't the case, then you might want to try out a long term strategy-Yoga. Not only does it heal the body over a long term, but also gives you flexibility and agility.

  • 1
    Can you cite studies for the not touching the whole foot? Other than Chi/Pose/whatevertrendynameitisnow saying it's bad to sell their system?
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 15:29
  • @JohnP This sounds like a personal anecdote where the poster had a similar problem, made a change, and it helped. I'm not sure studies are called for in this case.
    – michael
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:02
  • @michael - Running strictly on the toes is bad form, and much hyped by the "no heelstriking" crowd that don't really understand what heelstriking is. The poster also claims that touching the whole foot is detrimental for the knees. I don't believe that, and I asked for proof/studies.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:45
  • Yes, touching the whole foot is not detrimental for the knees, but avoiding touching down the whole foot helps in reducing your running time. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 2:57
  • Using only the front part of your foot, called pawing by ...Dr. Nicholas Romanov - I think. This is usually done by sprinters and might be bad for you over long distances. I know of at least two high school sprinters who took up running and experienced pain from doing this.
    – Jason
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 22:25

Possibly your feet are not landing directly under your center of mass as you run. Scott Jurek and Greg McMillan both say that failing to do this is inefficient and can cause injuries.

When landing in front of your center mass you are constantly breaking and putting stress on your muscular skeletal system. When landing behind you are not using the spring motion of your feet and legs and require more power to remain upright.

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