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Toe problem's
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Joel Waddell
(TenderPaw) - F

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Toe problem's on 12/15/2010 14:09:10 MST Print View

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping someone here has a solution to a problem I'm having with with my pinky toes. When hiking my pinky toe's slide under the next toe. This causes the nail to dig into the other toe ending up as a blister or a cut. I serviced in the field by wrapping both both toes separatly and then taping them both together kind of like what you do when you have a broken finger. Also it's not from my shoes being to narrow. As I write this I can feel that my toes are in that position.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Any thoughts on how to prevent or fix this issue?



Stephen B
(8bodi7) - F

Locale: Michigan
Injinji Socks on 12/15/2010 14:59:05 MST Print View

Maybe try some Injinji Toe socks? It seems likely it would help prevent the nail from digging in and causing cuts/blisters.


Joel Waddell
(TenderPaw) - F

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Injinju socks? on 12/15/2010 15:17:42 MST Print View

Steve do you think they would prevent the two form over lapping?

Jace Mullen
(climberslacker) - F

Locale: Your guess is as good as mine.
Toe Problem on 12/15/2010 15:54:19 MST Print View

I had the same thing after day 20 of not cutting my nails on the trail. The Injinji socks wont stop it from happening however they should keep the nails from digging into each other. Or cut your nail?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Toe problem's on 12/15/2010 17:11:38 MST Print View

"Any thoughts on how to prevent or fix this issue?"

If your toe is sliding under the adjacent toe, it sounds like an anatomical misalignment. If I were you, I'd have a chat with a podiatrist. Injinji socks and trimming the toe nail will help prevent the blister/cut, but the underlying cause will still be there and might lead to other worse problems if you don't get the toe back in proper alignment. My 2 cents.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
silicone toe separators on 12/15/2010 17:37:21 MST Print View

Look online to see if you can find silicone toe separators; I have the same problem on and off, and this has worked for me, as have also injinji toe socks.
For some products that help this, look for example at:

Note that when I was diagnosed with bunionettes (little toe side bunions), I was told that overlapping little toes are often associated with this, so if you do end up seeing a professional, be sure to explicitly ask about (and perhaps read up a bit first on) bunionettes. In particular, if you think there's any chance you have or might develop this particular problem, you should be looking for shoes with a wide toe box (and in particular wide at the outside part of the foot).

This is a little tricky; I've bought shoes that look fairly wide at the proper place but I still end up feeling sore in the bunionette area after doing some mileage in them. The shoes that work for my particular feet, at least, are Golite brand shoes. Note that I'm not saying this is the only good option, but just the one that works for me (whereas a couple of other brands known for wide toe boxes do not).

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: silicone toe separators on 12/18/2010 11:51:00 MST Print View

First choice is a professional - a podiatrist. They deal with stuff like this all the time.

Second choice is to follow Brian's advice and use the toe separators- or make your own with silicone sealant (protect your skin with Saran Wrap until the silicone dries) The store bought ones may not fit your feet properly. They look wide to me - AND get shoes with roomy toe area. Shop around...

I have never had a pair of Golite shoes last more than 100 miles and that with duct tape holding them together. Had a big fight with Golite over getting my first pair replaced. It had gone only 70 miles. They insisted on replacing it with a different model instead of just returning my money. That second pair fell apart too, but duct tape saved the hike and my feet.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Golite shoes: durability on 12/18/2010 13:21:07 MST Print View

I managed to thru-hike the PCT using first and second generation Golites, but indeed they were not very durable. I had no question about the utility of gaiters on that trip, as for much of the time debris was getting into my shoes from the tops of the shoes themselves (so why bother with gaiters).

Last years models of Golites were much more durable, or at least the two models I tried. I used a pair of Versa Force to start my AT thru-hike, and used Force models for the rest. Had a couple of lugs tear off in the Whites, but otherwise these held up very well. I will likely use Golites on the CDT this year.

Can't get last year models anymore (rats), so I'm currently trying out one pair each of Mizuno Wave Ascend 5's, Montrail Sabino Trail's, and Golite Amp Lites. I'm pretty sure I'm getting bunionette soreness from the first two (haven't done any really high mileage on either). I'm not at this point thrilled with the feel of the Amp Lites, so might try out another type of current-model Golites too before I pull the trigger, but I'm not super concerned about durability.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Toe problem's on 12/19/2010 19:10:15 MST Print View

I have had this problem with the pinky toes sliding under the other toes causing painful blisters. Much wider shoes have helped.

I've also done prevention with foam toe separators and injinji socks and even with pre-applied bandaids. Seems that post-applied bandaids can sometimes be even more painful because my problem is I usually get a big blister on the pinky toe (it turns into a sharp callous.) I've even done field repair with napkins or paper towels. Anything to wrap up the pinky toe and force it not to go under the others.

Wearing wider shoes sometimes doesn't help at all, though. I don't know why. Some wide shoes seem to prevent the problem and others seem to make it worse and I don't know what the difference is. And some shoes will feel fine in the store, feel fine on a day hike, but on a longer hike or backpack not work out at all.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Toe problem's on 12/20/2010 03:08:24 MST Print View

> pinky toes sliding under the other toes causing painful blisters. Much wider shoes have helped.

Widest fitting - yes. Going up a size in length might also help. You would need to experiment with this though.


Joel Waddell
(TenderPaw) - F

Locale: Lake Tahoe
footsmart toe separators on 12/21/2010 12:12:56 MST Print View

Thanks for the tip Brian, they just arrived with a pair of injinji socks the combo works great. I've only tested these out in the house. I will post an update once the feild test is done.