The Trials and Tribulations of my Toes

My feet are weird as fuck.

This problem has plagued me my whole running life. I simply have genetically odd shaped feet.

Truth be told, I didn’t know how strange my feet were until I noticed other people’s feet…in college. My sister and mother also have this similar foot shape, so I thought it was normal.

They’ve both also had foot surgery.

No bueno. No surgery for this lady.

I easily spend 10-20 minutes on my feet each day, not including wearing correct toes. I’m experimenting with wearing correct toes while running in Altra shoes. Haven’t tried it yet, but that’s how it goes.

Right now, I have a blister-bruise-callus going on between my second and third toe. I have always managed my calluses, but this one is a bitch.

I believe I have a form of Hallux Vargos, which basically means my feet are squished together naturally at the toes. So they rub, and callus, especially when I run higher mileage.

I just haven’t been able to manage them this time. It’s gotten out of my control, and it’s frustrating.

And painful, oh so painful.

Think about it, essentially every time I take a step, it’s pushing on that bruise. Then it gets inflamed and fluid builds up behind the callus. Then the bruise gets bigger and worse.

The only thing I’ve been able to do is keep it lubricated, wear my correct toes or sandals and cover it when running. I’ve seen a sports doctor and talked to a few PTs, and really that’s all I can do and wait for the swelling to go down.

Lube, bandaids and prayers.


It was infected.

My toe was so painful that finally, I decided to lacerate it. And oh boy that helped so much.

The next day the swelling was down and now I’m only dealing with a residual bruise.

Thank the Sweet Lord.

This whole process has reminded me how important it is to stay on top of my body. If I had cleaned it appropriately earlier, if I had not worn sweaty socks, if I had used correct lubrication beforehand, this could have been avoided.

I was convinced my toe was broken. It was that bad. I was upset at myself for something I felt was going to keep me out of my goals.

So silly, but so important, this small reminder.

Take care of yourself, your body is the only one you have.

Ellie Pell