Numbness in Foot during running



  •  Hi Bob

    Hope you find the answer, mine was mostly my trainers being too tight and also running with my heel striking first, since I've changed those two things - no more numb feet! Just need to work on the tired legs, motivation and heavy breathing now!


  • hi all

    i am 42  and about two stone over weight, i have just started running and did my first 5k last week and got the numbness and pins and needles in my right foot at about 2 miles. was a bit worried at first due to it being my first big run [ for me ].

    i am wearing addidas runnig trainers[ cushioned] but i wear them quite loose, so i am not sure if this going against the grain but i don't to stretch as much as i proberly should , so not sure if this is going down the tight calf path.

    as a new runner i would be interested in your feedback.

    would also be grateful for any advise how to pace myself at my age in becoming a regular 10k runner in the future, would like run to run this aprox three times a week.

    thanks in advance


  • Hi all,

    I too had/have this problem. For some reason running on gravel tracks or trail running aggravate this numbness for me. One thing that has really helped me is to perform about 10 calf raises with a medium weight. If you don't have weights get someone to jump on your back (obviously not too heavy. The weight needs to be fairly challenging. Hope this helps
  • Hi All - I have had the same problem for the past 10 years and in the last two months I've finally managed to solve it by fore-foot running. I damaged my ankle running over some rough ground - if I remember rightly it was my deltoid ligament. The doctors said that the sheath around the ligament becomes inflamed after running for a certain amount of time (in my case it was around 5k), when it swells it stops the circulation to your foot and then eventually your lower leg.

    Naturally I land on my heel and roll off the front of my foot - my girlfriend suggested that I should try landing on the ball of my foot rather than my heel. Until I tried this I would struggle to run further than 10k because my leg would become completely numb (it feels like a dead stump when it happens) - I've just got back from a 13 mile run with absolutely no problems - seriously I'm over the moon! I hope this technique works for some of you guys, I know how frustrating (and expensive!) the problem can be.

    Good luck - Gareth.
  • If you're losing circulation (as in you're get pins and needles, and/or pain after the numbness) in any part of your lower leg - this is an indication of compartment syndrome.

    If you're leg is going numb with no pins and needles/pain, i have the same issue. My doctor seems to think it's a nerve problem, and i'm giong to get it looked into. But if you're getting compartment syndrome that's a little bit more serious.

  • !!!!!!!!!!!!! I get this too! When I tell people they just think I'm a bit weird. I brought some good new shoes, but after about20 minutes it starts! Bloody thing does my head in. I try and land a bit differently and got new socks. But nothing. I just run through it now. But I don't get it all the time. I'm glad I'm not the only one that runs apwith a brick for a foot.
  • I am new to running and dont go for a terrribly long runs. Today while running on a treadmill that I have used befor and after stretching I ran for about 4K whne my right toes and then eventually the whole left foot went numb. This has never hapend before and I am hoping that this is just a problem of shoes tied too tightly. Fortunately this occurred near the end of my planned run but I would have had to stop had I been trying to go further. Just left foot, no pain in foot or calf just pins and needles in left foot as if it had gone to "sleep" so to speak. This thread has been very helpful and I will try some of the suggestions listed here. After I broke from the run to a fast walk and cooled down the numbness went away. Thought it might be a circulation problem but the nail beds on the toes look fine and no problems at all now. Weird and scary but I will see if it occurs again and try various suggestions listed here to see if they remedy the issue.

  • I have read the whole thread as I too get the dreaded numb feet scenario!!!  I personally start by getting a slightly numb left big toe at about 3 or 4 miles.  This then spreads to the ball of my foot and then the whole foot.  It gets to the point where I can't feel my foot at all and it's like I'm running in concrete blocks with my feet just slapping on the ground and making loud noises!  I then compensate by putting a bit more weight on my right foot and I then get numbness starting in the big toe there as well.  The numbness then eventually spreads across the whole foot in the same way as it does with the other one.  This really puts me off running and slows me down.  What is then very strange is that the numbness then goes in my left foot and then my right foot at about 5 miles and all is back to normal.  If anything, I appear to run a lot better at this point.  I can hear that my feet are a lot quieter and they seem to be a lot more biomechanically sound.  I can then run on to full marathon distance if need be with no re-occurrence of the numbness.  I find that this happens pretty much on every run and always at about 3 or 4 miles and has gone by 5 or 6 miles.  It especially happens if I'm tired and not running well in the beginning.  I have tried different shoes, e.g. Mizuno Wave Alchemy, etc. but always the same thing.  Like everyone else, I find that it's better if I loosen my laces and make sure my shoes are not too tight.  I think it must be something to do with muscle swelling and pushing on nerve but it's really strange that this numbness then goes about a mile later down the road.  Why that happens, I don't know.  I'm pretty sure that there are multiple issues on this thread causing numbness but I don't think my issue is compartment syndrome, etc. because it goes away after a mile or so.  Very strange.  CAN SOMEONE OUT THERE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT MY ISSUE IS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?!!!  ARRGHHH!!!! image

  • For around a month now I've had a similar problem, I went for a run yesterday and my legs didn't feel right from the start as if there not apart of me no pins and needles just numb in both legs from the calf down.

    When I got to a set of traffic lights I stopped for a minute then when i started running again felt uneasy on my feet. After around 3km i come to a hill, I feel fine running up the hill but on the way down I felt as if i could have fell over as i couldn't feel my legs properly so i had to stop and I've never had to stop while running before, I finished my run witch was only 10km and had the same problem at another hill.

    Its definitely not getting any better so I went to a physio and am going for an mra scan on my back this week, I also switched running shoes about six months ago to nike runners witch I've not been happy with because it feels like to much impact while running think I'm going to change running shoes too this might have been the course of the problem.

    Would love to hear from anyone who can help as I'm starting to get a bit worries and frustrated, thanks.

  • I have the same problem! For me numbness starts after 15/20 mins on my middle toe, before speading to my smaller toes, down the side of my foot and along to my heel. At its worst point, the whole of my foot would be completely numb, with stabbing pains in my middle toe. But bizarrely, after around 90 minutes, the pain goes away (or maybe the other parts of my body hurt so much I don't notice any more!). I'm a mid-foot striker, and have experimented with changing my foot strike to see if it helps. I can't say that I noticed much difference.

    I've now tried five completely different types of shoes of varying support/width/size along with tying them differently, and the problem remains. That said, it is better now that I have insoles and neutral shoes than when I used a stability shoe. I also realised that I clench my toes when I run, so I've been working very hard at relaxing my toes and that seems to help. That said, I'm not sure that will be the case after a 20 mile training run! Glad to know I'm not the only one, because up until now people have looked at me bizarrely when I mentioned it.

  • I'm so happy I've finally fixed this issue!


    I've had this for about two years - as with most of you I could run for about 15 mins and then my right soleus (lower calf) would get uncomfortably tight before my foot began to go numb. Then I'd eventually have to stop as it essentially felt like I was running on a lead stump. I had no pain after running, or even the minute or so after I stopped - very annoying.

    First I tried varying my pace, I found that running fast delayed the onset but inevitably it would strike. Then sometimes it just wouldn't happen at all, very weird.


    Anyway, lately I had to run with no music (headphones broke) and I found a great way to deal with the monotonous boredom was to analyse my gait and running style - scary stuff, everything was 'technically' wrong. However, I noticed that my right heel seems to strike the ground much harder than my left, and when it did - it made the soleus hurt a little.

    Being fed-up-to-death with this issue, as soon as I got home I went onto amazon and bought some 'Sorbothane Shock Stopper' heel slips. To hell with research, I was clutching at straws.

    After about a week (I forgot to update my delivery details and ordered them to my parents house - derp) I popped the heel slips in and went for a fast and angry (late evening) 30 minute run.... BINGO.

    NO soreness in my soleus AT ALL, well no more than on the left. Lo and behold, no numb foot either! image

    Being so happy with this revelation I went out for a run immediately the next morning... Another revelation:

    The next day I once again had no pain in my soleus, but after a while I noticed the tendon between my heel and the ball of my foot getting very sore when I 'stepped off' (for lack of a more technical explanation). The motion of rolling through my hell to my toes every step made it noticeably sore. Which after about 20 minutes turned into numb foot again - great! No seriously, great! I've narrowed down the cause.

    After some internet research and scientific prodding of the sole of my foot (more to look like I knew what I was looking for than anything else). I noticed that the arch was slightly flatter - this I believe has been causing me to over-stretch the tendon - made worse by the fact my soleus is inoperable due to the impact causing tighness.

    So, I selo-taped some very technical paper towel to the underside of sole of my shoe in order to support my arch and now I'm running free.

    Tomorrow I'm going to buy some orthotics and I should be gravvy! I've completed about 10-15 full speed runs without the issue re-appearing - Thank you heel slips!


    Hope this fixes it for you!

Sign In or Register to comment.