Runner's Toe

Runner’s toe is usually a minor yet painful injury. It is sometimes referred to as “tennis toe” or “black toenail.” This painful bruising of the toenails can be experienced after higher levels of activity such as long distance running, playing basketball or playing tennis. Minor cases will result in sore toes. Mid Level injuries, due to soft tissue damage or broken capillaries, will result in black and blue toenails. In the most severe cases, the black and blue toenail can detach themselves from the toes and fall out over a few days time. Closely monitor the feet and toes during the healing process. Consult your physician immediately if there are any concerns.

The sore toenails are the result of constant pressure and friction somewhere on the toes. Most people wear their running shoes too short and many athletes experience this injury while wearing footwear that doesn't provide adequate toe room. The repeated contact between the tips of the toes and the end of the shoe is a very common cause of this injury. Running down hill for longer distances can also increase the chances of sliding forward in a shoe that’s too big. This is especially true for runners with improperly laced, too wide or too long footwear.

Proper shoe size is critical. Select comfortably cushioned shoes with enough length and width to avoid cramping, pinching and squeezing, keeping in mind that feet swell during heavy activity. Shoe shape is also extremely important. Footwear that offers a rounded toebox will give toes extra wiggle room. The heel and mid foot of the shoe, however, should fit snugly, like a glove.

Upgraded insoles can also provide extra cushioning and protection underneath the toes.


We offer a wide range of New Balance footwear for a wide range of foot conditions. Click the link below to view recommended shoes for both men and women suffering with runner's toe.


Recommended shoes for Runner's Toe


*Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a diagnosis. A qualified allied medical professional should fit all therapeutic footwear purchases. These shoes are available over-the-counter with or without a prescription. Therapeutic footwear offered through this site does not treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. Always consult your physician for questions pertaining to your specific diagnosis and treatment protocol. Product Specialists will be happy to speak to you about any recommendations your doctor may have provided, or information regarding recommendations based on biomechanical principles. Please call 1.800.728.6247.