Help. Second toe too long ... rubbing.

Second toe is longer than the first, and rubs to the point that the nail came off 3 months ago.  Now growing back, but painful, still rubbing and affecting training for first marathon in 3 months time. Had gait analysis and trainers checked but made no difference to this issue. Have you had this and how did you overcome it? 


  • meat cleever??

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Have you tried going half a size bigger with the shoes?
  • Look up Morton's Toe it's very common, try getting right shoe size and tape the nail tight but not too tight. It will still occasionally bruise and fall off, but you need to learn how to relieve the pressure and soreness to be able to train and run with it, also toe socks work well. I got it first time when training for first 10k, I'm now on ultra marathons so it can be handled
  • The two things that occur to me is that either your shoes are too big (maybe aroun the heel) and your feet are sliding forward, or else your shoes are too small, perhaps because feet tend to swell a bit on long runs.

  • Thanks for all the responses.  LOL Jason - don't mind if I don't try this one!! Well, only as a last resort.  Trainers are a half size bigger than normal footwear, to allow for expansion. They do feel a little big when I start, so I will try a heel grip. Don't think it's Mortons Neuroma, but will look into it again - liking the idea of funky toe socks! Are these special running ones? If the Marathon goes well, may step it up and see you on an ultra ...

  • My second toe is bigger than the first too - my trainers are a size bigger than my everyday shoes.


    I used to use double sided tape to stick an offcut of an old insole into the heel to help with grip

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Cut a hole in the shoe where the toe rubs.

    If there's nothing there, the toe can't rub against it.

    Same with blisters (some)

  • Jackie, Morton's toe is not the same as neuroma, and try I find these best for running socks
  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    I have this prob too. I don't wear R &L socks, and I tape the toe every run with a small square of melonin and micropore. Seems to work for me!

  • Thanks EKGO, this is what I have! Found the socks too, at, will try some, and if I still have issues, will try larger trainers with heel grips so there's simply not so much to rub against.  

    Thank you all for your time and advice.

  • Hi, same problem here, solved by using soft gel corn wraps and putting one of those over each second toe. Only cost a couple of quid for a pack of 3 so cheaper than plasters and last reasonably well as washable. I find I get a couple of weeks worth out of them doing between 25 - 35 miles per week.

    Have attemped a link, hope it works!

  • God idea Jen, will have a look, the other thing to do is to sort and bruising ASAP. Not nice but you need a sharp needle under the nail to release the fluid a steady hand and Bob's your Uncle, and to put it in context I used to get this when I started 10k runs, the last problem I had was after a hard off road marathon so it gets better
  • Thanks Jen, and EKGO (again!). The corn pads sound really helpful, and I'll keep the needle handy. Can't imagine doing this, but will try when needed and hope my feet get used to it all as yours have done.

  • Are you tying your shoe correctly. Unless your heel is locked in, your foot will move around in your shoe, particularly on hilly routes. Google 'heel lock lacing' as one method.

    I lost 5 nails on my 1st marathon. I've learn't to tie my shoes now
  • I had to go up 2 sizes and tie my laces properly to prevent me loosingy toe nails!
  • i have the same problem...2 and 3rd toes are longer than my big toe. went up one full size bigger. still getting bruising. should i go up another .5? still haven't settled on shoes. tried the salomon but they're more of a trail shoe and just feel too chunky. any good Nike's? lunarglide? i live on a small island so trying on different brands and then buying online is not an option. i have to order online and then try on. we do get Nike/Adidas/Saucony though...

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    I have it too, 2nd and 3rd toes. Went up half a size, shoes tied correctly blob of Vaseline on the ends of my toes and its been ok. Occasionally get a blister but only if nails aren't trimmed enough.
  • i went up one full size and still same problem. not all the time but especially on 21km and when i'm pushing it. something i have to live with. what shoes you run in Jeremy?

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    I use brooks pure flow for road (up to 50k) and brooks cascadia for trail. It can take a while to find the right shoe. It did for me as well as the mutant toes I have narrower heels and wider at the toe end although making sure they are laced properly each time does help that.

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