Painful toes after 6 miles


I started running about a year ago and I have done GSR and hastings Half.  In both races and during my training after about 6 miles or so my toes are in agony.  Its a cross between cramp and pins and needles.  I feel like I have plenty of room in my trainers as I'm able to wiggle them about freely. 

I have GSR coming up and I've just entered Paris Marathon so any help gratefully received



  • Are your ruuning shoes half a size to a size bigger than your "street" shoes? If not that could be your problem.

    Or it could be your laces are too tight or perhaps socks too small.

  • Hi jacs t

    Thanks for your reply

    Yes they are a half size bigger, socks could be bigger as the ones I have fit quite well

    I will order some new ones today


  • So I loosened my trainers and put different socks on and my toes didn't start getting painful until 7 miles today so that is definately an improvement but now I have a great wacking blister on the inside of one of my arches.

    I've ordered some silk socks as I read that can help, any other advice?



  • I'd say you're wearing shoes with too much motion control, although if you are very new it will take a bit of time for your soles to toughen up a bit. Why don't you tell us a bit about your shoes, or alternatively go back to the shop and ask to try shoes with no motion-control, suitable for normal pronators.

  • Steve C. wrote (see)

    I'd say you're wearing shoes with too much motion control, although if you are very new it will take a bit of time for your soles to toughen up a bit. Why don't you tell us a bit about your shoes, or alternatively go back to the shop and ask to try shoes with no motion-control, suitable for normal pronators.

    Hi Steve 

    i am quite over pronated, I am wearing Nike lunaglide I've had them just over a year went to a local running shop earlier in the year who are meant to be experts but they just tried loads of different pairs on me, watched me run in them and then asked me which i felt was more comfortable.  I didn't think any of them were as comfortable as mine, the pair that were, asics gt 2000 did feel a bit narrow and the guy told me to go up another size.

    wasn't that impressed considering I waited over an hour to be seen!  

    the trainers I have don't feel tight and I like the cushioning but I need to sound a solution to stop my toes hurting so mmuch thanks for all yur help

  • I'm having similar problems at the moment - after 10 or 12 miles. Today, on a 10 mile run, it was after 5 miles!  Definitely shoe related in my case. Don't forget old shoes can cause problems, however comfy,  My new shoes are the problem. Changing shoes as my old ones are definitely shot (black toenail every time I wear them) but thinking of going back to them for the Chester Marathon.

    Look at different lacing techniques, so that the shoes aren't as tight. I've read elsewhere that it's worth stretching out calves and achilles as well.

  • I went for a shoe fitting the other day and they said there is nothing wrong with my trainers as there is plenty of room in them and plenty of wear.  I'm seeing the physio next week so I'm going to speak to them.  I just hope its a problem that can be solved!

    Any ideas would be helpful

  • I know its no help but I had the same problem up to and including the VLM.  Then spent £200 on orthotics but as I then had a piriformis problem before I could use them I decided to sort one thing out at a time so the orthotics went unused and over the summer my toes gradually got better on long runs.  Last Sunday was the first time since April my toes have hurt again which is really disappointing.  The only difference was that my feet were quite hot before I went out as I'm back to shoes and popsoxs after months of fipflops.  I'm wondering if it is either a circulation problem, or my feet were slightly swollen in the summer due to the heat and now I need to tighten the laces.  I always wear X Socks.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Try missing out the lowest holes in your shoes and starting lacing them from the second hole up.  This will give your toes more room to move?

    You don't want loose socks - a certain route to blisters.

  • Yes I am suffering the consequences of loose socks - Blisters that won't go away! I have compeed plasters now so hopefully they will be ok by the GSR.

    There really is not problem with room in my shoes I've had them checked and there is if anything too much room.

    Teresa - What is piriformis? 

    Thanks guys


  • Its a small muscle behind the glutes (or round about there) from the pelvis which attaches to the top of the hamstring so as it's tight I'm getting pain in my glutes and top of hamstring when running.  Sorry if the exact anatomy isn't quite right !

    I did 7 miles today and made sure my feet weren't too hot before I started and I didn't have a problem with my toes - 1 problem at a time is enough!


  • SM, piriformis is basically a condition that causes all the symptoms of sciatica.  I have sciatica symptoms caused by my sacroilliac joint playing up but the pain is quite similar.

    Super sore and stiff lower back, shooting pain down your bum cheek (for me it's the right hand side) and pelvic pain

  • I definately don't have A problem with piriformis it's just my toes.  I've booked to see a podiatrist a week Tuesday so I hope they come up with something.  8 miles in the morning planned so I will see how they are then

  • Hi everyone

    I've been to the podiatrist today, a very expensive way to find out which trainers I should be wearing but hey ho, he said I'm wearing completely the wrong trainers but that also the different pairs that 2 different running shops recommended were also completely inappropriate so maybe money well spent? Time will tell.

    He said I am severely overpronating when I run and that I'm not using my big toe so the other toes are struggling to cope are 45 mins or so.  He hopes that the trainers he's recommended (Brooks adreneline GTS 13) will do the trick but if not I may have to have orthoctics.  Hopefully not as they will cost £300.

    Ordered new trainers today so I will let you know


  • I had a similar problem once when I binned my "old faithful" asics nimbus 9s (loved them so much I went through 3 pairs) and updated with asics nimbus 12s (I think, maybe 13s) assuming they would be pretty much the same, however once I went over about 10K (up to that was fine) I found my toes first went numb, then pins n needles and eventually pain in my toes and ankle. 11 miles into a 13 mile training run I had to stop and take them off, walked the last 2 miles home in my socks!

    Changed trainers and haven't suffered the problem with any trainers I've owned since, the shiny new asics were kept on as a gym shoe only and were fine for that.

    I fear whilst shopping around for a bargain on t'interweb I may have been sold some knock offs as I haven't heard of this from anyone else. Out of curiosity is this in all trainers or just your current pair?

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