Time for this month's black toenail count courtesy of my monthly pedicure. The results at in. Right foot, one new bruiser. But two old bruisers growing out with new nails behind them. Yay! And left foot set a PR: no new and all the old completely grown out, leaving new white pearlies in their stead.
Running has its negative externalities, and black toenails are chief among them for me (right in front of the tan lines, oh the tan lines). I have had so many black toenails that I have lost count, seriously.
However, they are nothing a little nail polish can't hide. And once you get over the shame of revealing them to your nail technician, you never really have to deal with them again. If the shame is too much, just go to a new salon every time!!
What causes the dreaded black toenail? Well, for me I think it has been wearing running shoes that were a little too snug in the toe box. I have noticed an increased incidence rate after races, so I think speed and distance are also factors.
Lewis G. Maharam, M.D., AKA the Running Doc (and author of Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Running, a staple of any runner's library), says: Simply put, they're caused by improperly fitted running shoes. All running shoes should have one thumbnail's length from the tip of your longest toe (and in some that means the second toe) to the end of the shoe. Don't worry about the shoe size number because most of us need running shoes a full size or larger than the number of our normal shoe size. Fitting your shoe in the evening is preferable since your foot swells normally during the day and you want to fit it at its largest time. Read more.
And because we love to post pictures of our feet on this blog!! Here is my sparkling new pedicure, a bright orange-red, flattering on any skin tone: