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The agony of da-feet

August 29, 2009

For those of you training for the NY Avon Walk in October, you have probably started to add some long distance walks into your training.  My experience has been that until you walk over 10 miles, you can’t trust your shoes.   Any of the sneakers I purchased have all been fine for the shorter training walks – 7  miles and under.  Once I start pushing them into double digit territory is when I discover which are the keepers and which are the ones to toss (or at least get relegated to the gardening/rainy weather, etc. pile).

Blisters seem to be the most common complaint of the walkers on walk weekend.  Most blisters are self limiting and once cleaned and wrapped will resolve in a few days.  There is another foot problem that some of the walkers experience.  Black Toenail.    

Caused by a blood blister underneath the nail, black toenails are typically not painful. The damaged toenail eventually falls off and is replaced by new growth.  There are ways to prevent or at least minimize black toenails.

One of the best prevention for black toenail is properly fitted shoes. Your feet swell a full shoe size over the course of a longer walk, and your toes must have someplace to expand into. The toebox must be wide enough, yet not too wide or your toes will bang around in it.

Keep toenails trimmed – straight across, without digging into the corners.

If the toenail becomes painful, it may require draining the blood to remove pressure. Consult a physician or podiatrist for help.

Additional information can be found on these websites:

Legal jargon alert – – Disclaimer: The advice on this website is not intended to substitute for a visit to your health care provider. We will not be held liable for any diagnosis made or treatment recommended. Consult your doctor if you feel you have a medical problem.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. LisaMarie permalink
    August 29, 2009 10:30 pm

    I put alot of vasaline and some foot balm on my feet the weekend of the walk, I stop every few miles and applied it. one thing I know I should have done was stop at mile 23 on the first day and apply more for the last 3 miles. That is were I ended up getting to massive blisters on the heal of one of my feet. Otherwise all was good.

    Keep on training Karen. I know you can do it. I might be in NY cheering with the moo crew. Talk to you soon

  2. August 30, 2009 9:11 am

    My friend Jayme sent this to me:
    Well I actually find 13 miles to be the point where issues start.

    There are some good tips here, but they did forget 2 things that I think are vital 1. Really good socks. Socks designed for walking or running. Preferably with padding in the right spots. I actually pay $15/pair, but they are anatomically correct (marked left and right) and are worth every penny.
    2. Once you start walking long distances (10 or more miles) you should also lube up your toes, so they slide past each other. You can use Glide or just plain vaseline, just make sure you do it!

    I have suffered with black toe and it did not hurt, but…now I have one that I think will need to be drained.

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