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Ingrown Toenails And Other Foot Maladies

by Tyler Hurst » on Apr 21, 2011 6

I’ve had an ingrown left big toenail for most of my life. Because it’s not super-gross looking or horribly painful like most of the image and pictures I’ve checked out online, I’ve learned to ignore it. It hurts at the inside base of my toenail AND the top of the outside. When running in normal shoes, I assumed the pain stemmed from my toes slamming against the end of the shoe.

Self Diagnosis

FiveFingers have shown me that I was very, very wrong. Thanks to the improved feedback from not having cushioning, I’ve been able to track how my foot lands, what it feels like if I land on my fore or midfoot versus heel and just how different my right and left feet are. I discovered that my feet like to pronate a bit, that my left foot lands straight while my right turns out a bit and because of this, it causes an imbalance and pain on my left side, which is really weird, as I would expect my right side to be having issues.

Not JUST a running injury

But either way, ingrown toenails aren’t just a running injury, nor do they only appear in runners with shoes. In fact, I’ve run less than once a week for the past two months and the ingrown toenail is getting WORSE.

Treatments I’ve tried

Treatment for this kind of injury ranges from using nippers to remove the offending nail to complete removal of the nail by a podiatrist. I tried the former route, but my issue couldn’t be solved that way, nor did cutting a V do anything. I have an appointment with a podiatrist in ten days, when I imagine she’ll numb my big toe and take my nail completely off. Everyone I’ve talked to who has had this done say it’s grown back pain free, so I’m optimistic that my lifelong pain will be over.

Understanding my feet

Had I never worn FiveFingers or paid so much attention to how my feet feel and work, I would have never been gotten help for this. It could be because I wrongly assumed I was just cutting my nails wrong or it could be because the shoes I was wearing weren’t helping much, but either way, the greatest thing about FiveFingers is that they’ve prompted me to pay much closer attention to how my body operates.

Anyone else have long-standing pain or annoyances that you’ve been able to overcome because of or with help from FiveFingers?


  1. b87

    April 21st, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Haven’t had any ingrown toe-nail issues, however I did lose a nail 10 years ago, and it grew back quickly, without any problems.


  2. Corey

    April 21st, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I’ve had two done. They didn’t completely remove the nail, just the offending portion plus a little extra.

    Heads up: The shots hurt worse than anything they’re going to do to your toe. It’s something akin to kicking a jellyfish until it actually starts to take effect.


  3. Annie

    April 21st, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I am prone to ingrown toes, I get one every year. They just crop up sometimes for no reason, or happen because of a very minor occurrence i.e. stubbing my toe. Some heal on their own. I have had 3 surgeries, and I still get them. If I were you, I would start painting my toenails with clear polish to thicken them, keep a bit of cotton under the corner to allow draining, and if it gets severe just get antibiotic. The surgery is definitely a last resort, it’s expensive and doesn’t do much. It doesn’t hurt too much though, so don’t be afraid of going. :) I wear a pair of my homemade huraches to allow my toes time out of my five fingers


    • Annie

      April 21st, 2011 at 5:34 pm

      In fact, I have the beginnings of one right now. Praying that it just heals up on its own.


  4. Chris Lee

    April 22nd, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Had them too. Used to clip/try to address them myself. Then sometime there they just stopped recurring. I think I just took a little more nail & it sorted itself. Sorry about the shots! Doesn’t sound like fun but it will be good to get it behind you.


  5. erwin

    October 03rd, 2015 at 1:12 am

    I have had them all my life …removed the nails several times only to have them come back again I gave up going to the doctor and just pull the whole nail off myself about once a year …


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