Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I feel an occasional numbness in my toes after running?"
I am an avid runner, and always have been. I bought a new pair of running shoes three weeks ago and I think they might be causing me more harm than good. Before throwing away a potentially good pair of shoes, I would like to get another opinion. My feet feel fine when I am running but when I take off my shoes to get into the shower, they feel numb. I can feel the big toe just fine, but the three smaller toes on the outside just feel odd. What could this be?
I recommend discussing the issue with your primary care doctor, especially if the symptoms are persistent. I would also definitely consider going back to the running store that sold you these shoes! The most likely cause of numbness or tingling in the toes is compression from a pair of shoes that is too tight. The shoes may fit nicely everywhere else but could still be too tight in the toes, which might be leading to your problem. Most professional athletic shoe stores will be able to help you properly size a pair of running shoes to prevent this sort of problem in the future. However, it is important to discuss this issue with your primary care doctor. Although it is likely that simply switching to a different, roomier pair of shoes will probably solve the problem, your doctor will be able to examine your feet to make sure there is no sign of a more serious problem. For example, although rarely in someone as healthy as yourself, new onset of numbness in the toes might be a sign of a general medical condition causes damage to the nerves in your feet or evidence of impaired circulation in the feet and legs. Again, I doubt that this is going on, but is a good thing to bring to the attention of your doctor.
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