If you have been running consistently over the past couple of months, there is still time to train for the 7th Annual Mill Mountain Mayhem 10k on April 11. We wouldn’t recommend that you attempt the 10k this year if you are just getting into running, but we know the event will appeal to some of the runners we see at our office. We also know that some individuals in the running community view black toenails as a “badge of honor” of sorts for the long distances logged, but it’s important to keep in mind that this is actually an injury.
The good news about black toenails (and most injuries, actually) is that there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of developing them. Black toenail prevention includes:
- Keeping your toenails trimmed properly. Be sure to clip your nails straight across and not too short to reduce the risk of this injury.
- Wearing shoes that fit properly. We cannot emphasize enough how important this is for your overall foot health, but it certainly applies in this regard. You should choose models that have wide toe boxes so your toes are not crowded against one another.
- Protecting your feet with appropriate footwear. In addition to running, you can develop a black toenail from dropping something heavy on it. If you work in a place where this is a high risk, invest in a pair of steel-toed shoes.
- Avoiding trauma to your toes or feet by not walking barefoot. You can still let your feet air out by wearing sandals (supportive ones with adequate cushioning, of course!), but make sure they are protected.
- Tying your shoelaces tight when you go running. A common cause of this injury is a toe hitting the inside of the front of your shoe when you run. Tight shoelaces will help keep your foot securely in place and eliminate this risk.