Troublesome Toenail


Any advice re toenails blackening and coming off.  Only have one that this happens to but as soon as its grown back proper it starts to discolour and eventually falls off...and the cycle starts again!

Hasnt really bothered me in the past but just recently its getting very painful, my shoes are fine and i have no other complaints...just this damned toe!

 Any advice to prevent or help reduce the pain would be great thanks!

 ps. sorry if this has been raised before 



  • Which toenail? I'd think about the fit of your shoes, check you've got enough room. If it's a little toe, you may need shoes with a wider toebox. If it's a big toe (or second toe) you may need longer shoes.
  • i would agree. alot of people think their shoes fit fine but are often too short. the foot with the blackened nail is usually alittle larger than the other foot. you can't get odd shoes but i know of people who end up buying 2pairs of shoes, a half size different so they fit.if the toe nail is a browny colour it may just be fungal, but blackened is usually from trauma.
  • Thanks!

    Its the toe next to my big toe on my left foot.  Ive gone through 3 pairs of trainers in the last 12 months (2 pairs of raod shoes and a hybric xc pair - all asics) all different types but have had them all fitted at my local running shop after having my gait measured so assumed they fitted fine.  All my running shoes have been a size 10 (my normal shoe size is 9) and as my big toe is easily the longest toe on my foot id have thought if it was a case of not having enough room then that would be the toe that would be affected.

  • Hi Adam

    I have the same problem. The 3rd toe loses the nail because it curls down and the nail catches on the sole of the shoe. The 2nd toe lifts above the 3rd and the nail catches on the top of the upper. Nothing that bigger shoes could solve.

    However, have a look in Boots chemist. They have various toe caps and little tubes for toes made either of foam or of gel backed fabric. Trial and error which suits your toes, but they might protect the nail a bit.

  • I have a interesting purple second toe most of the time. It's not my longest toe, and my shoes fit fine - not hitting the end of the toe box. But I know that my toes have a tendancy to grip the sole of whatever shoes I'm in, and I believe it is that action in conjunction with running that causes the trauma to that toe.

    It's something that I've done for years without being aware of it. I've got narrow heels and I think I do this to prevent shoes slipping off the heels. Didn't realise it until I bought some sandals, and could actually see them doing it!

    Not sure what to suggest, but it might be worth trying some padding on or around that toe. I've been trying to spend part of my easy runs concentrating on what my toes are doing when running, to see if I can't train my feet out of their bad habit.

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