Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (
-   Health & Fitness (
-   -   Will my TOES ever fully recover? (

TahoeTennis 09-17-2012 10:03 AM

Will my TOES ever fully recover?
Hey everyone,
So I play tennis 4-5 times a week very competitively, for at least 3 hours at a time. I played in a tournament this past weekend and played 7 matches in 2 days. I wear size 15 shoes and my toes are perpetually blistered, calloused, black nails, losing nails, etc. I even have a "compounded" black nail, that seems to be layers upon layers of nail growth upon each other. I'm currently wearing Nike Vapor 9's and they are comfortable while on the court, but after a few days of hard play, my toes continue to hurt. I then take a couple days off, and repeat the cycle.
Any advice/tips to break this cycle?
Consider a pedicure? I use level 2 Thorlos and have tried creams, powders, gels, etc. Is it more about the shoe/socks/style of play. Anyone else have this problem?

Will Wilson 09-17-2012 10:24 AM

I have very narrow feet and had the same problems due to my toes ramming against the end of my shoes. I started wearing B width shoes and the problem basically went away. I also use Thorlo level 3s to take up even more room in my shoes - I swear by them as well.

Sumo 09-17-2012 10:49 AM

The black toes happen in skiing because boots are too big. Might be worth exploring shoes that fit snugger (smaller, narrower, etc) and using an insole to reduce the movement of your foot in the shoes.

slice bh compliment 09-17-2012 11:07 AM

^INteresting....good point.

Fellow shoe size in the teens here. From my experience, it's best to go up a size, wear two pairs of socks, use socks that do not slip much, and tie your shoelaces tight when playing (so you do not slide forward).
That combination has helped me avoid blisters, blacktoe and all kinds of typical foot problems for the past decade.

Chas Tennis 09-17-2012 12:08 PM

Are the lowest laces snug?
My opinion is that many players do not lace the shoe strings in the front of their shoes properly. I have seen lose lower laces on some people. After they are laced up, how easy is it to slip a finger under the bottommost laces? I believe that the design of athletic shoes, using many laces, is intended to make the shoe conform to your foot while not being tight enough to bother circulation.

LeeD 09-17-2012 02:36 PM

You can try high tops, or mids, laced tightly at the ankle to keep your feet BACK.
You can add on a arch support, to bend your feet so they're shorter in the shoe.

BreakPoint 09-17-2012 03:45 PM

Try switching to socks made mostly of cotton. Thorlos are made of 100% synthetic materials so are very slippery. They can cause your foot to slide forward inside your sock and the sock to slide forward inside the shoe, both of which causes toe jamming when your stop abruptly and your toes slam into the front of your shoe. Mostly cotton socks are less slippery and lock your feet inside your shoes better when you stop.

slice bh compliment 09-17-2012 07:40 PM

^Yes. But watch out. There is a conspiracy afoot to discredit cotton. They will tell you cotton gives you blisters. They will tell you cotton does not breathe, and that the only thing that breathes is a petroleum product that they make for almost nothing out of refuse and sell to you at a great profit.

Cotton is on the chopping block. So stock up. I did.

I'm half kidding. Which naturally means I am half-serious. Thanks, BP for having the guts to even suggest cotton. The military~industrial~entertainment~sporting complex might come after you, though. I pray for your safety.

That said, I do like everything about VitalSocks/EuroSox. No slip. Well-made. Durable. Some cushioning. Lots of compression.

Uhm, EDIT... actually Nike sox are awesome! They did not pay me to say that. They just offered not to hurt my family.

LeeD 09-17-2012 07:42 PM

If you're poor enough to never be able to afford 5 dollar socks, and cotton is your only alternative, then you're good to go.

neil1b 09-17-2012 09:30 PM

I have size 15 as well. The barricade 6's did my two toe nails in two consecutive days. Went to Nike and no more black nails. My big toe nails were always sore.

Rewind a bit. I had ingrown nails when I was 18 and had the sides of each big toe cut and the root killed. I didn't want to have the whole nail removed back them. Problem solved.

Fast forward. Toes hurt as I got older and when the adidas caused both nails to fall off, my feet felt wonderful. As they grew back......pressure and pain.


Off with both big toe nails for good this year. Now i am Pain free....

charliefedererer 09-18-2012 07:48 AM

Cotton compresses down to nothing when wet. Then there is no cushioning. Acrylic yarns like in Thorlo socks don't compress down nearly as much, providing better cushioning throughout play. But even with Thorlo's you've got to keep your laces tight. That means re-tightening your laces after your warm up, and likely at least once more during play.

A good replacement insole supports your body weight over the entire surface or the sole of the foot. It helps prevent your foot sliding in the shoe. I like Superfeet Orange because besides the support, there is an extra cushion for the balls of the feet, and the textured surface helps prevent socks from sliding.

You've got to cut your nails ridiculously short if you are a tennis player. You've got to cut them at least once a week - I inspect them more often and give them a trim as needed.

slice bh compliment 09-18-2012 11:48 AM

^Good point about trimming the nails.
I've heard some guys cut a little v-notch in the big toes just to keep them growing in and not out toward the sides where the flesh is.
I just cut them totally flat. The curve grows funny and could lead to ingrown nails

r2473 09-18-2012 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by slice bh compliment (Post 6905439)
That said, I do like everything about VitalSocks/EuroSox. No slip. Well-made. Durable. Some cushioning. Lots of compression.

I like the looks of those myself. Do you know where I can get the best deal? Amazon?

Any idea if any retailer runs sales on these? Maybe a coupon code out there somewhere?

Presently, I wear "Powersox" made by Gold Toe. Are you familar with these? Can you make any comparisons?

I don't like much if any padding in my socks (so no Thorlos, etc). How much padding do the Vitalsox have? It doesn't look like much.

maleyoyo 09-19-2012 05:57 AM

Cotton socks work best if they are new or like new. I bought 20 pairs of decent thick socks, costing the same as 4 pairs of Thorlo socks and only wore each pair 3 times. If you play 3 times a week, those will last at least 3 months.
No more smell, blisters, and my black toenails feel much better.
Even better if you can do what David Beckham does, never wear a pair of socks twice!

dman72 09-19-2012 06:01 AM

I've found that wearing a cotton sock over a synthetic give some of the benefits of still have some cushioning even when your feet are wet, but they don't slide around inside the shoe like they do with a synthetic sock.

What you lose is the breathability, of course, and your feet sweat more.

PimpMyGame 09-19-2012 07:25 AM

Had that before, two nails kept falling off then regrowing after playing tennis in the wrong trainers. No real pain, just hassle. After a couple of years it went back to normal.

AYone 11-19-2012 11:42 AM

Hey Tahoe, just wanted to add that I recently went through this myself and lost a toe nail. My foot was definitely banging against the front of my tennis sneaker and causing the bruising and pain. After healing, a heeded advice to get half-size larger shoes and thick Thorlo socks and, whalahhh, it worked. The shoes at times feel a little big, but I lace pretty tightly and so far haven't had any ankle problems or anything like that. I'll keep taking note to see if I stay healthy there, but so far so good. I wear wide NB tennis sneakers -- the 1187s and 1005s, with thorlo level 3s. Best of luck.

El Diablo 11-19-2012 01:12 PM

Do people who abuse their bodies this much deserve what they get? I suspect they do.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse