Athletics Magazine

Stupid Runner’s Feet

By Brisdon @shutuprun

After my 18 mile run today (you can tell me to shut up about my running if you want, or you could just not read), I cleaned myself up (think: hot bath with Epsom salts) and jumped into my compression wear. No, let me rephrase that – squeezed into my compression wear. It is so tight my ass might start pooping diamonds or something (that does not make sense, but whatever. I’m tired).

I guess tight is the point of compression stuff, n’est-ce pas? (did I ever tell you I was a French major in college? My son always asks what the heck I thought I might do with that degree. Ummm…run a lot and use a French word on the blog every other year?)

These are my favorite compression tights from 100% Play Harder. I did a review on them a couple years ago HERE. The best thing about them is they have little pockets along the hamstring and quad areas where you can put ice packs (or condoms or jellybeans). Genius.


I also added in my compression socks, but no picture. Sorry.

Over the last three miles of the run many of my body parts hurt (not injury-hurt,  just I’m-sore-and-tired-and-ready-to-stop-moving-hurt). At least the scenery was decent.


One of my many aching body parts was my feet. So, let’s discuss feet. I have not been blessed in this area. Toenail polish can only do so much. It’s kind of like putting a girdle on Homer Simpson.


First of all, check out that freakishly long second toe. That toe could go to a costume party disguised as a finger. I can pick all kinds of things up with that toe – dirty underwear that needs to go into the hamper (this an advantage because no one wants to touch that with clean hands), dust balls, and used syringes I find on the street (kidding). I could also probably even flip people off:


Morton’s Toe

I’m sure you all know but this long second toe (longer than your big toe) is called a Morton’s Toe and can be a runner’s nightmare.  It can (but not always does) lead to inefficient running and problems with biomechanics (some say it can cause the knee to not track straight when running).

Basically this means I was screwed as a runner from the day I was born. Oh, well. Nothing to do but keep running and getting injured I suppose.  Also, having a Morton’s Toe can cause excessive pressure on the second metatarsal of your foot. There is also something called Morton's neuroma can also develop, which is an inflammation of the nerve between the 2nd and 3rd toes. Very painful apparently and sometimes requires surgery. What to do to help prevent issues with this pain in the ass toe?

  • Add more cushioning in the forefoot of your shoes (where you push off)
  • Wear shoes with a wider toe box
  • Consider orthotics if you have pain or constant injury
  • Ice after runs


How do you like my fancy bunion (an enlargement of the big toe joint)? I have them on both feet. The first time I ever went to a sport’s medicine doctor when I had just started running, he asked if the bunions caused me problems. He said they are an issue for lots of runners.  What does one do to prevent it from getting worse and causing pain?

  • Wear a shoe with a wider toe box to give the bunion room
  • Arch support inserts might help take the pressure off of the bunion area
  • When not running, avoid wearing high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes
  • Do some foot rehab exercises
  • Surgery is apparently the only way to completely eliminate bunions

Don’t even get me started on other foot issues like black toenails (a great reason to wear nail polish), non-existent toenails (you can’t even tell, but my Morton’s Toe actually does have a nail) and blisters. I did hear on the Doctor’s show today that you can put antiperspirant on your feet to keep them dry and to help avoid forming blisters.

How about you? What feet issues do you have? Ever lost a toenail? Yes, I’ve lost a few in my day. I collect them and make necklaces that I will hand down to my children.

Do you wear compression stuff after every run or just the really long, hellish ones? I wear compression during and/or after runs of 10+ miles.


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