Toenail Injuries from Running

WARNING: The contents of this post WILL be gross.


This past weekend has been…well…rough.

I went to the gym with mother dearest yesterday, and we started talking about what my topic for today was going to be. Which lead into the discussion of how many toenails we have lost between the two of us (don’t worry, they all grew back).

The unfortunate fact is this: due to the extended pressure that is placed on your feet, your toenails are going to be forced up. Do not fear! This is extremely common in runners.

In fact, the conversation yesterday led to my mother talking about a co-worker who just finished the half (or full, I can’t remember which) marathon in Hawaii and how one of her toenails fell off.

For the females out there, here’s my advice: paint your toenails and try to fill in the area. It makes it appear normal from a distance.

For the men? Well, unfortunately most of you aren’t interested in pedicures, so I would steer clear of open-toed shoes if the appearance bothers you. If it doesn’t, then wear your nail-less toe with pride! You earned it.

Now here is a question that might be burning: does it hurt?

Answer: heck no! You don’t even usually notice until you take your shoe off! Luckily our bodies can handle this kind of injury, so pain that would usually be felt if the nail was unexpectedly ripped off is absent when the toenail falls off. It’s kind of an eject button for your body; the toenail was in the way, so your body removed the obstruction. No pain involved.

Every half marathon I participate in I injure a toenail on one of my toes. It’s just apart of long distance running. Some people claim it could be an issue with your shoes, but even if you have the best shoes in the world, this can and probably still will happen.

During the Tinkerbell I ran back in January, I cracked my big toenail in half, which later fell off after getting caught in my sock a few too many times. It happened during the race, and I did not even realize it until later that night when I returned home. See below:


Lovely, isn’t it?

In any case, my point is this: don’t fear if your toenail cracks or falls off. It’s actually normal and it WILL GROW BACK. Just give it time.

Have a magical week!



2 thoughts on “Toenail Injuries from Running

  1. I haven’t entirely lost a toenail yet, but I have one that is black from bruising. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!

    Liked by 1 person

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