big toe injury

Some advice required please.

I trail run in a local reserve. Many of the paths are eroded and thus have an inward camber, much like a very gentle V. Whilst running downhill I hurt my left big toe on the strike, on the top inner stretch of the toe, it did also feel like iffy on the joint, but mainly on top. It hurt enough to make me stop that day. Took a few days off, then started up again, but the discomfort has not abated. Stopped now for a week or two, but still went walking, which did not help either, depending on shoes I wear. And this varies from narrow to broader shoes, i.e. Converse type plimsoles, Timberland boots and my running shoes, Salomon Speedcross 3. The only shoes which do not hurt when i wear them are my Merrel True Gloves, but running with these highlighted another problem some months ago, pain beneath heels in the morning, stiff achilles and heels, which made me use the Salomons, which now...and so on.

Another oddity, if I extend my foot away from me, pointing my toes like a balerina, and then grip/scrunch my toes the big toe make a nasty, but painless, crunching sound, this sound also occurs higher up close to where the foot meets the shin/ankle complex. In the morning if I do this whilst still in merry repose the sound is much louder and once i actually locked my toe in that position, then clicked it out. Painless, but not desired. 

If I push and pull at my toe with my mitts there is no pain, I can flex it to my heart's content. If I arch my foot towards me and bend my toe up, also no discomfort. 

The only 'shoes' I am comfortable to wear are, as mentioned, Merrels (minimalist/barefoot type shoe), Birkenstocks and, the best, walking barefoot all day. Seeing as I live in sunny South Africa this is a possibility, but running barefoot is not, too many nasty thorns, very nasty. And snakes. And ticks.

Any ideas?


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