Diagnose my Toes plz

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20+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2003
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After seeing the first thread i thought why not :D.
My big toes both hurt me whenever i run for 45 min, blister up that kind of crap.
I was playing basketball a week ago, and ppl kept stepping on them but they hurt really bad. Now my toe nails are purplish, are they going to come off or what?

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There could be one or two things wrong. First, check your shoes - get some assistance at a real shoe store like The Fitting Stool or something to make sure you have the right size & width. Second, check your feet - maybe you need a pedicure to control those toenails, even out the rough spots, moisturize, etc.

This advice comes from an old Glamour column about a guy whose girlfriend took him to get a pedicure and his running time improved and he was in general a happier person with no more purple toenails.

Good luck :)
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Abe said:
pedicure? a bit extreme =o. Why dont i go tan and get a wax while im at it :D

I'd agree. Getting those toenails clipped down would reduce the amount of friction that you're experiencing from the force of your toes jamming against your sneakers. Plus, it'll help with those blisters. Men with soft feet are in. :laugh: If you're too embarrassed to tell your boyz where you're going, just tell them that you're going to a podiatry appointment. ;)

When they ask you to pick a color, try a french. :D
What about Gout? Some people have too much uric acid and it usually affects the big toes and is very painful. But then again, seems like your toes have seen too much trauma lately.
Actually having played a ton of bball myself, the toenails being black and purplish is probably a direct result of someone stomping on your toes.

A friend of mine gets it all the time, where some big post player will step on his toes while he drives or something. His toenails usually turn all purplish, and then eventually fall off. The good news is that its mostly painless, but the bad news is that it usually takes awhile for the toenail to grow back and your toe is left unprotected during that period.

I always thought he wore shoes that were too bit too small, because I never had that problem. And it still might actually be part of the problem (tho it sounds like you need another 1/2 size or 1 size larger for your big toe to stop blistering). But recently I got stomped on by another big guy and although it wasn't too bad, part of one of my toenails did turn black and blue and fall off.

Other things you might want to look at is your gait, and whether that might affect your running. New balance's website has a good explanation of the different gaits, how to diagnose and the type of shoes you should get. It turned out that I was wearing a type of shoe that was compounding a pronation problem that I had, and as a result, I kept on randomly spraining my ankles. I got the right pairs of shoes and the problem went away (might do it for your blistering). Good pairs of shoes are really nice :D .

Oh.. and I'm headed to medschool next year, so all the information above is from my personal experiences from basketball, and having a readily sprained ankle. Take the advice at your own risk :laugh: .
Yeah...keep your toe nails relatively short. Runners and basketball players will often jam them into the end of there shoes. How old are your shoes and are they right for your foot type. You may just have to get some better fitting shoes. Do you pronate or supinate? Where do you blister at?
When buying shoes, I was told by my podiatrist to look at the heel to ball measurement rather than the heel to toe measurement. Everyones digits are different in length and so this measurement varies from person to person. Have you ever wondered why you are a size 10 in Nikes but a size 11 in Adidas? That is what I'm talking about. Take the measurement at the medial prominence of the 1st MPJ with the little arrow pointer that cups the 1st MPJ and look at that measurement...mine says 12 but my toe on the Brannock device says 11. Additionally, you want the shoe to bend at the level of the MPJs so this is the measurement you want. I learned this in biomechanics also...I went to pod school and will be entering med school this fall.

Good luck to you all and I hope your toes feel better! :)
PS. go to your doc or get a referral to a podiatrist. There may be other underlying problems...I don't think it's gout but you may have an early stage hallux limitus...I'm not a doc so don't take my word for it...
I've seen gout before and it's not gout. Gout does usually first present at the big toe but you won't have bruising or pain only after you run. If you had gout you would know it. You wouldn't be able to walk with that toe, the area around the joint would be red and inflamed, and it would hurt like hell. Sounds like you just got beat up playing basketball.

I've run a couple marathons and the first time I ran I made the mistake of not cutting my toenails as short as possible. My toes were black and blue and one of my toenails did come off. Keep those babies down if you're going to be playing sports for a length of time.

I've also always been one to get lots of blisters when playing sports. Always athletes foot and blisters. It's more of a nuisance than anything. You don't really need pedicures if they dont bother you that much.