Return shoes?

My new running shoes have given me 3 x black toes and make my foot go numb when I run. The shop says they won't take them back as they have been worn outside. Is this true? Is it legal? They are not fit for purpose, surely.

It was a reputable running shop and I had my gait analysed etc. 

Any advice welcome. 



  • Sounds to me like they are too small for you.

    Did you speak to the manager about it?  The staff may be just repeating the store policy without having any discretion to make a refund.

    I would say that if the shop advised you to get that size, then maybe they could give you (at least) a partial refund for goodwill.

  • and on the other hand if you brought them and were happy with them at the time then why should the shop take a loss with shoes they cannot resell?

    I am with Wilkie, appeal to the manager and see if you can come to an arrangement about a new pair

    If your foot is numb then it could be a lacing issue ??
  • did the shop ask you how they felt.....did you say they felt tight or did you say they were ok....

    I would try and speak to the manager and state that you went to the shop for expert advice and feel that you were not given the correct advise....

    the shoes are fit for purpose though because the can be used for they do not appear to be mydiscussion with the manager would be on the advice given rather than the shoe

  • Thanks. I don't think they are too small as they are 1.5 sizes bigger than my shoe size and the toes which are black are not the longest toes.

     They are also the same make and model as my last ones, which gave me 1 x black toes and were half a size smaller. 

    I think Seren is right, I need to focus on the advice given rather than the shoes. 

    Is the lacing too tight then if my toes are going numb? 

     As for being happy with the shoes at the time, how can you tell if the shoes are going to give you black toes? It doesn't happen in 30 secs on a treadmill. They don't feel too tight, they feel fine. But when I run for over a mile I get black toes and numbness. The black toes I can live with, but the numbness cannot be good. 

     I do understand that the shop cannot resell them, but I can't use them, and I paid £90 for them, so I'm pretty unhappy. 

  • I get a numb foot when I run for over an hour, whatever trainers I ware and however tight or lose my trainers are. Similarly, black toe-nails come and go whatever trainers i'm wearing, if I don't go down hills properly.
  • That's interesting. But I get numb toes after around ten mins with these. And isn't it bad for you to have no circulation to parts of your body over a prolonged period? I'm training for a half marathon, so my toes would be numb for over two hours at that rate.

     As I said, the black nails I can live with as part of being a runner. 

  • The numbness wears off after ten minutes or so. Numbness doesn't always indicate a lack of circulation. I think with me, it's something applying pressure to a nerve in my foot / ankle. A lack of blood flowing to toe would be dangerous, but unless your trainer is acting as a tourniquet, I doubt the numbness is due to a circulation problem.
  • "They are also the same make and model as my last ones, which gave me 1 x black toes and were half a size smaller."

    I think the shops defence would be "she's bought them before and came back and bought them again - who's fault's that?"

    How far are you running in them?  I get sore toenails when I run more than about 13 miles.  They don't often go black, but sometimes.

    Also you're more likely to get sore/black toenails if your shoes aren't laced tightly enough when you run down hills (your toes get pushed to the front of the shoe).

    You could try selling them on eBay - get some of your money back?

  • Ebay is a good idea.

     I don't think the shop should argue that. I came in and said 'I'd like some new shoes, and here are my old ones. They gave me a black toe, so I'd like to avoid that this time'. They gave me the same model but just a half size bigger. I didn't just pick them up off the shelf. They advised me to buy them. Sigh.

     I'm running long runs of 11 miles, but the numbness happens after about a mile and doesn't ease unless I stop. 

  • I think you should look at easing off your laces ... that should at least solve one problem and who knows it may solve the others as well!   image
  • Thanks. I will certainly give it a go.

  • the running store i use will refund after a few out door runs, but most retail places will not, sports direct certainly dont, and even after speaking to their head office i was told (quite rudely i might add) that it was my problem so tough.

    my shoes were fine for me but defective, they said i should have bought them back before running in them, but they didnt fall apart until the 2nd run sooo..
  • sportsdirect are totally crap for get them cheap and take your chance.............but hopefully LindsD can get soem joy from the shop as she has gone to a proper running shop
  • I think Sweatshop do a 30-day return period on shoes, if they recommend the shoes to you - even if you have run outside in them.
  • The place I buy mine has a return or exchange policy for shoes that have been used on a treadmill. Once they've been on the road that's it, and that's fair enough.

    A shoe worn on a treadmill can be resold, one that's been torn up by tarmac can't.
  • I think your problem may be lacing Linds.  It sounds like maybe your feet are moving around too much from back to front causing the toes to get bashed.  Is your heel firmly placed at the back of the shoe in the heel box?  Have a look here.  I lace my shoes as in the 5th video - keeps the heel in back and in place and stops the toes from hitting the end of the shoe.
  • That's all v helpful, thanks.

     The shop did say that they will take shoes back if they have been worn on a treadmill, but I don't have easy access to a treadmill. I guess I'll have to try and get access for the next pair. 

    They think (in the shop) that I am 'splaying' my foot so the toes are pushing into the bottom of the shoe, causing them to go numb. So I need more flexible shoes. But then would I be at risk of knee injuries? 

     I'll have a look at the videos. Thanks everyone for wonderful help. 

  • What are these brilliant shoes, my last ultra gave me 5 black toes and I'd have paid good money for numb feet image
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