Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's all fun & games until someone loses a nail

Lest you think I've been exaggerating about the clientele at the Y, this guy was getting his walk on a few treadmills down from me last week. Button down shirt tucked into his belted jeans and sensible shoes.  It's a look that says athlete for sure.

I should have asked him, but I was kind of intimated by the hat, so I'm asking you.....

Why are my toenails so sore after I run? And am I doomed to have them fall off if I keep running? As you know, I'm vain like nobody's business and I wear flip flops and sandals all year long which means my toes are out there in the world a lot. (Don't tell my granny. I don't even want to think about what would happen if she knew I was disregarding the before Easter and after Labor Day rule.) Help me. I'm starting to feel better and more comfortable about the actual running, but my toes. Arghhhh.

Of course I Googled it. I found lots of suggestions like using a toe cap and/or wearing shoes that are a size bigger than I normally wear with thick socks. Maybe I'm crazy (hahah, maybe I'm crazy.) but wearing shoes that are too big seems like a terrible idea. How could that work? Should I leave them untied too? The toe cap thing is an okay idea, but are they comfortable? Someone suggested fake toenails. Um.....I don't think I can really get behind fake toenails. I don't want to stop running but I also don't want to have funky feet that can't be seen in public.

So, tell me what you know.....
Bigger shoes & thick socks? Toe caps? If so, can you recommend a brand/type? Do you know some other awesome trick to keep my nails intact?


Scott Thomas said...

Your shoes are the wrong size. Your shoes should be a little big at first. See your feet swell when you run, which make them push up against your shoe. The fit should be good around the ankle and not a ton of movement, but no room for swelling is bad. I have a pair of shoes that I ran in for a while and my first 10K was all downhill and I lost 2 nails, because the shoes weren't right. It is worth it to go to one of those nice running stores and have them watch you run on a treadmill and then they will tell you what shoes are right for you. Note though you do not want to buy the shoes there, because they are much more expensive than on-line. They should give you recommendations for free, just write them down and tell them you will be back on payday.

lori.huffaker said...

Scott is right and that is what darin and I did when we were running. i have a pair of shoes that are just a size bigger and I wore good socks that wick moisture. It helped alot with. We went to the Roadrunner store at Tempe Marketplace for teh test and then bought our shoes at Sports Authority later.

the running couple said...

I think you should go get fitted but I also say support your local running store. If they fit you that first time, buy the shoes there. Then buy the next pair online.

P.S. Why is it so flippin hard to prove I am not a robot?


the running couple said...

Your shoes are not necessarily the wrong size. I lose toenails all the time, and I wear good shoes that fit well (I know that sounds conceited, just making a point). If you go with shoes that are too big your going to risk blisters, which tend to be more painful than dead nails, trust me.

Your nails die from impact, just like if you smashed a fingernail. The repeated beating against the top of your shoe, or kicking rocks and roots if you run on trails, is the culprit. Thicker socks are an option, if you can stand the heat. You could use moleskin, but that could get expensive.

You could be less vain, but that's probably not a viable option. You could give up running, and get reacquainted with your couch. I'm pretty sure no one loses toenails watching Dancing With The Stars (unless they drop a can of PBR on their foot).

Your feet will get tougher as your body gets used to the miles, but there's a good chance you will still lose toenails occasionally. My wife has a friend who paints the skin where the toenails used to be when they fall off so no one can tell.

But really, in some circles, missing toenails are like a badge of honor. Display them with pride is what I say.

PS - About the fitting thing, it is a good idea, and I think that if you look online you'll find that your local running store is selling those shoes for about the same price as anywhere. You may be able to find similar shoes online cheaper, but I would wear any shoe before I bought it. Just saying.


carrie said...

OR, cut your toenails.