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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Is it my high heels...or my cycling shoes

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    Here's a question, today I took the polish off my toes, my toes are never naked (or without polish) I noticed that both my big toes, the toenail has become recessed in the corners, equally on both toes, so has to be something i'm wearing. My toes are still pink and healthy, no bruising, they don't hurt. I do wear heels almost every day, or pumps rather. I've never noticed this and i've been wearing pumps for a long time ie Madonna era. I've only been clipped in since April, and bought a pair of Bontrager mtn bike shoes (yes for my road bike, i'm too chicken to get the slick road shoes) and spd cleats.

    Question is, could my cycling shoes be causing this problem with my big toes? My running shoes are size 9 (which were fitted at a pro running store) and my lbs put me in 8 1/2 cycling shoes.

    When I search the net I come up with runners losing their big toenails but nothing on cycling and toes.
    I've already decided to stop wearing pumps to work for awhile.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    How do your feet feel in your bike shoes? Can you wiggle your toes easily? Do they feel cramped or shoved up against the end of the shoe?

    The main problem I have re: cycling shoes and toenails involves my fourth toes, next to the pinky. They complain first if my nails are too long. But I had both of my big toenails narrowed years ago due to repeated ingrown problems.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I wouldn't rule out running. Not necessarily a problem because of the size of the shoes, but my toenails have been squished in like that on the outer corners since I started running years ago. I think it has to do with the pressure when you push off (but I have no scientific proof of that). Make sure you cut them more square than curved, or they can end up ingrown.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I thought most people wore a size or two larger in cycling shoes than street?

    My street shoe size is 10-10.5 or 41.5 -42 European. I wear size 43.5 cycling shoes. (Except in Mavics, which run large, in those I wear a 10, or 42 2/3. Yeah, weird sizing, the 2/3 was not a typo! I think Specialized run large, too).

    By the end of a ride, my feet are swollen, and the shoes 'fit.'

    Do you feel the ends or sides of the cycling shoes?

    Also, are your shoes designed for more tapered toes? Some people have a very square forefoot, others not. If the shoes are pointy, that could hurt, but you are supposed to get pointy shoes long enough to mitigate this problem. (In fashion shoes, anyway).

    Some people like e-soles for cycling, there are some others, but can't remember the names. I have custom orthotics, these help to keep everything level, and have nice arches. Of course, they take up room inside shoes, too. But I had size 43 in Shimano before, with no orthotics or insoles, and they weren't long enough. If you feel your toes hitting the shoes when you pedal, imagine that receptive motion on your toes over hours and weeks.

    It's also possible that the mountain bike shoes are softer, causing you to 'grip' your feet in the shoes' insides. And SPD pedals along with softer soles give much less support, another reason for your feet to do more work (and move more) than in road shoes.

    But really, they sound much to small.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 07-28-2012 at 02:20 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.


    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Everett, WA
    I have similar shoes and I am confident that they fit properly. But even though I have been running for more than a year it was cycling that gave me black toenail.

    I think honestly that cycling shoes do require you to keep your toenails short. If I let mine get long AT ALL I have that issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I have been jogging a lot more lately and have had the same problem. Every time I increase my jogging due to an upcoming race/event, I notice that I have the same issue. Once the event is over and I lessen my miles it usually grows out and is fine. Then when I increase the intensity again it happens again. I just keep them painted and shorter and nobody can see it.

    Nice to know I'm not the only one.



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