How can I prevent black toenails while hiking?

Consider a change in your hiking shoes or socks to prevent black toenails while you’re on the trail. Sometimes, too-tight shoes or too-slippery socks can cause your toes to bump up against the front. This can cause bruising and bleeding underneath the nail.

You can also try lacing up your shoes differently. The way you lace can affect how stable your foot is inside the shoe. The more firm the placement, the better. (Lace them all the way so your foot is firmly seated in the heel and won’t slide forward.)

Walking downhill can also cause this problem. Avoid long stretches or make sure you modify your shoe lacing to keep your toes from repeatedly pounding on the front of your shoes.

Trim your nails shorter next time—but not so short that you develop ingrown toenails. Cut straight across and more frequently to maintain the same length.

If none of these solutions work for your black toenails on the trail, try a custom-made orthotic from Sierra Foot & Ankle. You can call our office in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, at (775) 783-8037 to make an appointment.