Can your toes go black after hiking? This is a question that many hikers and trekkers ask themselves.
The answer is yes! It can be really scary to think about, but luckily there are ways to fix it.
In this blog post, we will discuss how hiking could cause black toenails and how you can prevent them from happening again.
Why do toes go black after hiking?
Hiking can cause black toenails because it places a lot of stress on the toes. Especially, your toes hitting the front part of your boots when you are coming downhill.
The toes can also go black because of the blood vessels pooling under your nail bed. This is known as a subungual hematoma.
The blood vessels pool under your nails because of too much pressure placed on the toes from hiking boots. This causes damage to the small capillaries and veins in the area which then form into a bruise underneath the nail bed.
This can lead to serious infection if not treated properly.
On top of that, low-quality hiking shoes don’t give much cushioning or support for your feet so your toes are constantly being banged around.
Should I be worried if my toes are black after hiking?
In most cases, it should heal on its own. To access this you want to wait 24 hours and see if it’s getting worse or not.
If it does get worse, make sure you go get it checked by a physician.
What can I do to fix my black toe caused by hiking?
The first thing you want to do is soak your foot in warm water. This will help bring the blood back into circulation and if it’s a subungual hematoma, this should release some of that excess pressure under your nail bed.
You can also try to massage the area and tap it along with applying pressure on top of your nail.
You want to rest and not irritate the area after that.
If it doesn’t seem to get better after 24 hours contact a physician.
How do you prevent black toes from hiking?
- You should also remember to wear high-quality hiking boots with good cushioning and support so your toes can be protected from the hard impact of walking downhill in them. I recommend Merell’s hiking shoes because they are really high quality and provide decent arc support.
- Take advantage of a quality insole like SoulInsole, I personally use this and it helps cushion and support. I have tried many other ones but, this one seems to be the best one.
- Make sure you also wear quality hiking socks which don’t cut of your blood circulation and after moisture wicking.
Learn More In-depth Guide on 18 Effective Ways To Protect Your Toes While Hiking Downhill here!
So we’ve discussed how to fix black toes and what causes them. We also went over how you can prevent these from happening again if it’s happened to you before.
Hopefully, this blog post helped ease your mind a little bit about why do toes go black after hiking? If not, let me know in the comments section below!
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Hey, I am the founder of Outside Origin! I love hiking in my spare time and have gone to various different hikes. You can check out our about us section to learn more about what our team and I do over at Outside Origin.