How to Keep Your Running Toenails Happy


Sometimes, no matter what you do, it seems like you can’t prevent your toenails from falling off or hurting like crazy after an event. However, most of the time, there are things you can do to prevent or at least lessen the pain that can come to your toenails from running. Don’t take this advice for granted, especially if you’re new to running. If you haven’t experienced toenail pain, just know that you don’t want to! Here are some steps you can take to help yourself out.

Get Bigger Shoes

    Wearing shoes that are your size or smaller can leave your toenails pushed up against the front of your shoe. Think of how many steps you take during each mile. Now think about that multiplied by the number of miles you’re running each week. That can equate to thousands of steps, meaning thousands of times that your toes are forcefully hitting the front of your shoes. Ouch! You’ll want to get running shoes that are half a size to one full size bigger than your normal size. How big you’ll want your shoes depends on what’s comfortable and what keeps your toes safe. You may want to try out a few sizes to see what works for you!

Invest in Great Socks

    Socks are something a lot of runners take for granted. Many people don’t realize the HUGE impact they can have on your comfort during and after a run. Having the right socks can keep your toenails comfortable and healthy and prevent blisters. You’ll want a pair of socks that are moisture wicking and keep your feet dry. You’ll also want to make sure that your socks aren’t too small. When you stand in your socks, they shouldn’t be tugging on your toes. Playing around with thickness can be beneficial to you as well. Some runners do really well with thin socks while others have much more success with a thicker sock. Some companies even make toe socks that a lot of runners swear by. Invest in finding the sock that’s right for you!

Keep Your Shoes in Place on Downhills

    Even if you have the right size shoe and the perfect socks, downhill can be tricky for your toes. If you’re doing downhill running, make sure that your shoes are laced snug and secure so that your feet don’t slide around. Many runners don’t notice how hard their toes are hitting the front of their shoes until after their run. Nothing like taking your shoes off and finally realizing what a terrible mistake you’ve made. And then paying for that mistake for the next three days or more. 

Don’t Skip the Pedicure!

While some may argue that toenail polish is the secret to success, you probably won’t see a change in your running from a fresh coat. Really, just keep your toenails trimmed. Simple as that.

Foot Soak = Bliss

    Each run puts a lot of strain on your entire body, especially your feet! Reward yourself with a foot soak or full body soak. Not only will this feel amazing, but it can also help to prevent ingrown toenails. Whether you decide to soak just your feet, or take a full on bath, add some Epsom salts. Epsom salts contain magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function and is better absorbed through the skin than through the digestive tract. Magnesium can help with muscle relaxation, stress and sleep which is important for your training and for health in general. Sadly, experts say that many people are not getting the amount of magnesium they need through their diet. Now you have lots of reasons to take time out of your day for bath-time!

Do you have any secrets to keeping your toenails happy during and after your runs? Tell us about it on our Facebook page at