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Running with Overlapping Toes

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Everyone has their own opinion about what kind of running shoe is the best, but no one can deny that your footwear has a significant impact on your feet and ankles. Whether you go for thick, highly-engineered, motion-control running sneakers, or prefer going barefoot, how you protect your feet makes a difference for your run, especially if you have overlapping toes.


You may already know how toes that overlap can make it hard to find comfortable shoes. The crooked digit can press painfully on the other toes and make it challenging to get in your miles. The condition can rarely be corrected using conservative treatments, since it’s typically a congenital deformity in the bones. It can, however, be managed and padded so you can run more comfortably, or even corrected surgically if the pain persists.


Padding and taping the affected toe can help relieve the pressure and friction on the neighboring ones. It can also add a layer of protection between your toe and the shoe around it. Orthotics can provide extra cushioning and support around the toes and ball of the foot if you need it as well. If conservative measures don’t help ease the discomfort, surgery to realign the overlapping toes may make the difference.


Current advancements in lightweight shoes may help, too. Lightweight shoes are a fast-growing category of running footwear, benefitting from the minimalist running trend. They’re built using low-weight materials for a more natural—rather than motion-controlled—stride. When those lighter shoes also have roomy toe boxes, your end up with less pressure on the front of your foot overall, and less pain from your overlapping toes.


If you have overlapping toes, don’t let them stop you from finding the right shoes or cause trouble for your runs. Contact the doctors at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie for an appointment or more information to see about how you can improve your toe comfort. Visit the website contact page, or call (504)-708-4810 to reach us.


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