Second toes black nail

by Yiorgos
(Athens, Greece)

I would appreciate any idea or tip(s) so as to overcome second toe black nails on my right and left foot under certain circumstances.
Given the following:
Foot length: 28cm  I buy shoes at 29.5cm (size US 11.5 usually),
Weight: 92Kg (approx.),
Protective toe caps used for both toes,
Running socks used (Adidas, New Balance, Mizuno, Nike).

The problem arises when running over 15Km (9,3miles) and not with all running shoes!!!
I have noticed that shoes with a high flexibility factor (not stiff) in the longitudinal and torsional axis are better for me. I have run a Marathon and a Half-Marathon with no problem at all when I used i.e. Adidas Solarboost (Model: B96286, which is really very flexible in the forefoot). In contrary, using Hoka Clifton 8 even when running 15Km will end up with a second toe nail pain in either foot.
In addition, Brooks Ghost 14 although they are quite flexible I have run two half-marathons (road races) of which the first ended up with black nails in second toes while the second didn’t!!!
Is there any idea to overcome this problem?

Further info/sources:
https://runrepeat.com/guides/flexible-vs-stiff-running-shoes
https://runrepeat.com/guides/soft-vs-firm-running-shoes

Comments for Second toes black nail

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A few suggestions
by: Jackie

Yiorgos, black toenails can be such a nuisance and unfortunately you seem to be prone to them, particularly with your second toe. I have a few suggestions which may help you.
1 - you could buy slightly bigger shoes, even though you are already wearing a larger size.
2 - wear shoes with a wider toe box
3 - try wearing toe socks, such as Injinji or Vibram. They separate the toes and thus protect them more.
4 - try changing your running form to a midfoot landing. As your feet will then land on the forefoot, they will not slide forward in your shoes.
5 - consider switching to minimalist (barefoot running) shoes. They are the most flexible and they have a wide toe box. There is a transition period, but worth it for many reasons IMHO.
PS: I have not had a black toenail since I switched to BF running over 11 years ago.

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