Running is something you enjoy, and it’s good exercise. Your toes may not be happy when you take them on a strenuous run or if they are running on the treadmill. Sometimes, your toes can feel numb after running. These are some possible causes and treatment options.
What causes numb toes?
Running shoes that are not correctly fitted: Too-tight shoes can cause constant pressure on your feet. This reduces blood flow to your feet and causes numbness. When you run, your feet will spread out. Consider getting shoes in a bigger size or lacing them differently if your toe box doesn’t allow for enough space. To get a looser fit, some runners run with every loop.
An injury from the past: Have you ever broken a bone in your foot or injured your ankle? Unfortunately, old hurts can come back to haunt us. You may still have tissue damage from past traumas that caused damage to your feet. Running on hard surfaces or without warming up can cause numbness and pain in your feet and toes.
Low arches: Flat or low angles can increase the risk of overpronation, which is when your feet turn inwards as you run. This can affect your body’s weight distribution and cause your feet to protrude over your toes. This puts a lot of pressure on your toes, which can cause them to become numb.
Back problems: You may have injured your sciatic nerve if you have back problems. This nerve is directly connected to your feet and legs. This can cause numbness in the soles and toes.
What you can do about it
Make sure you choose the right shoe. Shoes should be at least one inch between your toes and the front of each shoe. A sports therapist or podiatrist who is trained in sports medicine may be able to fit you.
Change your gait. Change your speed if your running gait causes numbness. A podiatrist will examine your pace to determine if you need to change.
Walking is a great addition. You can slow down by adding walking to your runs. Add a minute of walking for every five minutes of running. After a few weeks, you can start running straight. The numbness may have disappeared.
Massage your toes. Regular stretching and massage can keep your toes flexible. It will also help to ease any pain associated with numbness. Although it won’t solve the underlying problem, this will make your feet feel better.
Talk to a doctor. If none of these options provide relief, consult a podiatrist. To determine if you have any medical conditions, an x-ray may be necessary. Your doctor might also recommend custom orthotics or stretching exercises.