View Full Version : toenail fungus

09-09-2006, 03:45 PM
I keep getting a toenail fungus, and I am wondering if it has anything to do with my cycling shoes. Two summers in a row now my big toes have ended up with toenail fungus. Are there any other women who are having the same problem? Any advice/suggestions?:confused:

09-09-2006, 05:24 PM
no - can't say i have had the fungus - but my big toes REALLY hurt after a ride, and it's not because my shoes are too tight.
I'd be interested to hear from others about the effect that bike shoes can have. You got me thinking that the pain I get, could lead to other problems.

09-09-2006, 05:32 PM
me too on the painful big toes (but no fungus). Sometimes I wear sandals for several days to get the soreness out. Is there something wrong with my pedaling technique?
Ideas out there?

09-10-2006, 09:23 AM
Yes...I have spoken to the podiatrist as well as some runners and nail technicians. They have all said that repeated injury (or pressure) on the toes can leave them open to infection. I have some serious runner friends who have this problem...their big toes end up infected because of all the miles they do in their sweaty shoes. But I did not think the cycling had anything to do with the first infection I got. I had injured my big toe doing something else entirely, and it eventually got infected. Now I am wondering if the cycling is contributing to it.

I should have replaced the shoes after last summer...but I was cheap and did not want to spend $200+ on another pair of Sidi's. I will definitely be looking for new shoes now. I really love my Sidi shoes...they are so comfortable. I went to the Sidi website, and they carry a certain style of shoe that comes in half sizes and has more mesh for breathability. I might try a half size bigger shoe for a little more toe room...unless I get other suggestions.

I am so frustrated...my two big toes look so ugly (and one of them hurts) and I feel like I can't wear open-toed shoes without disgusting people out. I live in Texas...so I wear open-toed shoes most of the year. :(

09-10-2006, 10:08 AM

I've had problems with toenail fungus, too, on my big toes...... VERY difficult to get rid of! I tried OTC nail cremes. Didn't do much. Went to the doc and got a prescription for Lamasil, which may have worked, if I'd continued to take it. But I didn't like the possible side-effects so quit taking it. Now I try and go barefoot whenever I can - keep the toes aired out. I keep them very clean. I have a tea tree oil solution that I wash my feet with now, then dry very thoroughly. I don't know if that is helping, or if it is going away on it's own, but it is definitely improving. As my toenails grow out, the fungus is growing out, also, and not coming back. For me, I don't think it was from bike shoes, as I rarely wear them. I wear the bike sandals as much of the year as possible. However, I am on my feet at work all the time. I haven't always chosen the best shoes, thinking more of fashion than function......... :rolleyes: :eek: Finally wised up and now I wear Keens, Eccos, or Danskos. My feet are much happier! :D But probably still recovering from the stress of poor shoes. If that can cause fungus, then I bet that's how it started. Never realized that could be a cause until reading this thread.

As for the toes looking so ugly - just wear a colored polish. It hides the fungus pretty well. And keep them filed as smooth as possible.

No idea on the pain - unless its from your cleat position putting too much pressure on your foot? Maybe causing your toe to go numb or to hurt?


09-10-2006, 03:17 PM
Hi Righteousbabe

My partner has had this problem for a while and just like a man, has not bothered doing anything about it.

However, we visited some friends recently and my friend passed a comment to me about it, discreetly of course. The following oil was suggested, I bought it on ebay................ it has worked extremely quickly. I paid 5.95 and if you ordered it the postage would only be an extra 1.95.

Gehwol med.
Protective Nail and Skin Oil (contains Anti fungal properties) 15ml

Protects effectively from fungus attacks, cares for nails and skin leaving them elastic and beautiful.

Gehwol med. Protective Nail and Skin Oil contains precious substances such as wheatgerm oil, panthenol and bisabolol to care for the nails and skin.

Fragile, brittle nails are made supple and beautiful. The nails natural silky sheen is restored.

Simply massage in a few drops 1-2 times daily. The nails will soon recover and reveal their natural healthy appearance.

This product will compliment any treatment you are receiving from your GP for Nail Fungal infections, or can be used as a stand alone product.

Dermatologically tested.

Actually, click on the following, http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160026392168&ssPageName=ADME:B:EF:UK:11 there is one bottle for sale on ebay which finishes on 13 September.

Good luck. :rolleyes:


09-12-2006, 08:27 AM
What with all the activities I do, my feet and toes are in a general state of discontent. They don't get a rest, either.

Between the too-small climbing shoes (really much too small, but I paid over $100 for them, so I have to tough it out until I wear the rubber out, thankfully very soon!), and the uncomfortable ski-boots, my toenails (specifically the big ones) have broken down in the middle and let in fungus. Now I can't get rid of it. I have been using the creams and it seems (somewhat) to be helping, though slowly. I've been paying more attention to keeping the nails trimmed and from now on will be paying more attention to the shoes I will be buying.

However, my cycling shoes are far more comfortable than either my ski boots or climbing shoes (maybe this is just in comparison, though? I know I am less aware of 'comfort' in my feet due to practically living in too-small climbing slippers) so my tootsies are always really happy in them.

I used to be a fan of the too-small shoe thing, because some people feel that in climbing, really tight shoes will make you climb harder, and while it may be somewhat true in that if you have a snug fitting shoe you can have better precision, etc., if your shoes are so tight that you end up getting foot and toe problems (a friend of mine has had repeated surgeries on her feet due to poor foot-care) you will only end up hurting your technique instead of helping it. I would imagine this logic transfers over into cycling as well.

The thing I like about cycling shoes is that they don't NEED to be extremely tight to work. Try a slightly larger pair of shoes, it may take some time to get used to but I bet after a year in them your toes will be happier, and you'll be wondering why on earth you subjected yourself to such pain and uncomfort.


09-12-2006, 12:06 PM
I had it once and was given an antifungal in the form of a nail polish, you put it on every few days and sand down as much of the affected nail. it basically takes until the nail's grown out to disappear, but I am sure the fungus is dead sooner than that.

09-12-2006, 12:23 PM
Like Annie, I have toenail fungus that my doctor said I could treat with oral lamisil if I wanted to, but told me about the side effect. She also suggested that I first try "Vicks VapoRub" - she said that several patients she knew had tried this and found it worked, however weird it seems. I haven't tried it yet, but who knows...

09-12-2006, 02:03 PM
make sure your toenails are filed down properly. because i run i have to keep them very short (in salons, state regulations prevent us from trimming them down to short for sanitary reasons) or my toes/toenails get sore. shape should be straight across and rounded at the edges to prevent ingrown toenails. it is also better to trim down your nails with a clipper first then file instead of filing them down to as short as you want them. a file is to shape not take off massive amounts of length.

its true that a former injury to the nail bed will cause an infection/fungus if it isn't healed properly. if the nail bed is damaged things like to grow underneath. specially if it is in a moist environment often. to help prevent it make sure you wash your feet with an antibacterial soap if you have problems often. tea tree oil is a good natural product to use. you can put it on your nails to help "sanitize" them and help get rid of infections.

a major problem is wrong fitting shoes. yes i know its hard to throw out those shoes that are oh so cute or so expensive that you bought and you still feel you have to wear them (i have been guilty of this also) but proper fit is important. not only for your performance but for your feet and nails. if a shoe is to small it has a tendency to put extra pressure on your nail beds and cause problems. either the nail bed will lift and bacteria will get under the nail or you can have the splits in your nail itself and the bacteria will get under as well.

foot and nail problems aren't fun at all, specially when we have to use them all the time. for fungus treatments, like lamisil or the nail polish one or any otc treatment, its one of those things you do have to wait out untill the nail completely grows out to see the complete result when the fungus is gone. its frustrating i know, everyone just wants it to go away NOW! just like a bruised nail, that you have to wait to grow out, it just takes time. just put nail polish over it and make sure you change your polish once in a while so you can keep an eye on how the fungus (or other damage) is doing while it grows out.

and don't make me tell you some of the horror stories that i have of toenails, everyone who didn't want to go to a salon, went to beauty school to get their nails done, and i mean EVERYONE. :eek:

09-12-2006, 02:38 PM
I was diagnosed with nail fungus last year. My podiatrist gave me samples of a medicated nail polish to use. I had to apply it every day for several months, it did kill the fungus and all is well now. He also advised me to spray my shoes (work, cycling, tennis, etc) with Lysol before I wore them and to spray them again after I took them off my feet.

Hope this helps.

09-12-2006, 05:03 PM
She also suggested that I first try "Vicks VapoRub" - she said that several patients she knew had tried this and found it worked, however weird it seems. I haven't tried it yet, but who knows...

Weird as is seems, it does work. It also works on athlete's foot too. It took the better part of a year, but I have all my toenails back, and no athlete's foot anymore. Probably would have worked faster if I'd been more diligent in applying it daily instead of every few days, but it worked well and made my feet feel nice and cool on hot sweaty days.