very painful large toe when in rock climbing shoe

Hi –

I have started rock climbing, and my left foot is reasonably comfortable in the climbing shoes, but my right is extremely uncomfortable – to the point that I cannot wait to take the shoe off. The shoes are not overly tight by any means – and I do not feel that the right shoe is more tight than the left. The problem is on my right foot on the big toe.

So – on my right foot – the pain is exacerbated when even moderate pressure is applied to the area on the left forward edge of the big toe, near the left side of the nail, and continuing on the left side of the toe down toward the joint. It also continues around the front of the toe. In some spots the pain is quite dull and aching, on the front it is almost a ‘numb’ pain (this sounds really stupid, but I cannot think how better to describe it). Almost like the pain you get from very mild frostbite.

In some ways, it feels like it is a problem in areas close to the edge of the nail, but the front of the toe is painful a little further away from the nail.

This is about as vague a problem as you will ever likely hear – but I thought this was worth a shot.


wishing I could climb more 🙂

One Response

  1. Foot-com

    Thank you for your question. Based off of your description it sounds like the issue is your toe nail. Ingrowning nails are very common in the great toe and are often associated with pain in shoes and along the upper/outer most border.

    If you suspect that this may be the case you can try to soak your foot in epsom salt which will loosen any debris or you can cut the corner of the nail to see if that provides any relief. If the pain persists I recommend seeing a Podiatrist who can more aggressively cut the corner of the nail out in what’s called a slant back procedure. Good luck!

    Dr. Emily Splichal
    Please be advised: we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    By law, we cannot give specific medical advice over the Internet.

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