Black toenail

I took up running this year and have built up to 20 miles a week. My shoes are very comfortable although a week ago the toenail on my second toe on my right foot felt saw, after the next run it went grey. Is this just bruising? Will it drop off? what can I do about it? Thanks


  • Mmm... nice!
    In my (albeit limited) experience, grey means it's black but the nail's started to lift.

    Start worrying when it goes green!
  • Bid welcome to your Runner's Toenail and wear it as a badge of honour.

    Grey means the nail on top of the black nailbed has thickened up.

    I got a pair of runner's toenails soon after I started running, but they've settled a lot. I don't think I've changed anything - same socks, same type (if not model) of shoes, same sort of mileage. They're still a bit thinkened, but no longer black or tender.
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    black/grey toenails is a dead giveaway that your shoes are too small, so bear that in mind next time you buy new shoes?
    I would keep an eye on your toe in case it starts turning a funny colour... otherwise it should be ok
  • I got a couple after competing in a hilly race, I think the problem was my toes banging against the front of the shoe on the downhill sections.

    Make sure you have plenty of room at the front of your shoes and that the laces are tight enough to stop you feet sliding forwards.

    My toenails dropped off eventually, but I grew some new ones.
  • My 2nd toes turned black also...I went up a 1/2 size in my running shoes, and haven't had a problem since.
  • My 2nd toes also went black, I went up half a size and I still have that problem - but only sometimes.

    I think I have lost both toenails about 4 times now.

    At one point I had 4 toenails co-existing on one toe.

    which was nice.

    (classy bird me)
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    But if you think runners have bad feet, look at a climbers' toes.

    Two of my toenails just grow in a weird, stumpy deformed shape now ... the result of wearing size 37 climbing shoes when my shoe size is 42 ...

    Apparently, ballerinas are even worse. I one met a beautician who did pedicures for ballerinas .. and reported seeing toenails more than half a centimentre thick ... ugh!
  • LizzyB is right. Climber's toes are the worst, and if they also do ski-mountaineering, ice climbing and the occasional expedition they look even worse. I figure that if I only lose two toenails a year I'm doing pretty good.
    My second toe is longer than the big toe so it gets all the punishment.
    Gets to the point that I can't show my feet in public - pretty classy act myself.
  • I used to do a lot of ballet/pointe work. Fortunately it didn't affect me too badly except for a couple of corns, but the horror stories of bleeding toes are all true!
  • I find that if I really have to wear sandals in the summer, I have to paint my nails a really garish colour to disguise the evil purpleness which are my toenails.

    green is my favourite :)
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Mine is metallic blue at the moment .... the nail varnish, that is.
  • also i climb, if anyone knows what i'm talking about, i wear the pink laceup anasazis and the are so technical that they do butcher the feet. for about an hour after training at the indoor wall my toes keep this pointed shape!

    the little toes on both feet are split in half and that can be sore, and the second toes haveboth come off, they left thicker replacements...........

    my tip is to try and keep the black nail on as long as possible, as a shield of sorts for the other nail growing beneeth it, you can do this with zinc oxide tape around the toenail and then vaseline over the top, this means you don't get blisters from the tape rubbing on the adjacent toes, and that by the time youve finished your run, the tape is soft enough to slip ofdf and not take the nail with it.

    don't worry, you'll get used to it. try a shoe with a roomier toe the nike range from the bowerman line(pegasus especially)--------and no, i'm not sponsored by nike!
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