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Thread: Turf Toe issues

  1. #1
    Registered User Red Sky's Avatar
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    Default Turf Toe issues

    I've been having some pain in my right foot recently, specifically the base of the big toe. Has really limited my section hiking this year. Finally got it checked out by a good sports medicine ortho, and the diagnosis is a sprain of the ligaments at the base of the big toe, or "Turf Toe". In a boot, taking advil, ice when I can, and it's better, but looks like a couple of months off the trail. Have any of you experienced this particular problem before? If so, how long before you could hike again?

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    Sure it's not gout?

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    Registered User Red Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randy.shopher View Post
    Sure it's not gout?

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    I thought it was at first, and treated it as such. I've had the problem three times now, and it really gives me fits for about a week, and then gets better. That does sound like gout, so that's one of the reasons I finally went to see someone about it. He assured me that what I currently have is a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe, probably from hyperflexion (sp?) in the upward direction. I explained to him the type of activity I've been doing, and he thinks I just injured it somewhere along the trail, and it's never fully healed.

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    Wouldn't be the first misdiagnosis nor the last. Just sayin'.

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    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    A stiffer shoe might help. I have an old fracture of my mid foot and just can’t make those minimalist shoes work. My left foot is fine, but right foot aches terribly and swells up to double. A stiffer insole might be enough. Rei sale is on, might be worth a look.

    Good of luck to you.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kestral View Post
    A stiffer shoe might help. I have an old fracture of my mid foot and just canít make those minimalist shoes work. My left foot is fine, but right foot aches terribly and swells up to double. A stiffer insole might be enough. Rei sale is on, might be worth a look.

    ^ this. Having had a variety of foot issues over several decades, my first question is what kind of footwear are you using on the trail and perhaps more importantly, when off the trail?

    I too have had foot issues that moved me out of a light trail shoe, changing to a heavier boot that helped for a short time until the problem returned. My podiatrist asked me to bring in my trail footwear and shoes I wear frequently in everyday life. He looked at the trail shoe, boot, and casual every day shoes then told me to stay with the trail boot for a while but get a more sturdy casual shoe. I got a stiffer soled casual shoe and the problem disappeared in a few weeks not to return. Turns out it was the casual shoes that started the problem.

    Sometimes it's not in the gear we use on the trail but the in-between gear we use that we don't pay as much attention to.

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    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    Yeah, those sexy high heels for special events and even kitten heals for everyday are now out. I’m the lady in the clunky man shoes now. not so stylish, but worth the relief from pain. Limping isn’t very sexy, or fun either.

    Keep trying til you find what’s right for you. The insolestore.com has a pretty good tutorial on the subject as it can be a bit overwhelming. Lots of people on this website swear by superfeet green. I’ve had luck with powerstep pro. Bring any insole and your trail sock system with you when trying out new shoes as they will affect sizing. Then buy 1/2 to 1 size bigger as your feet will swell. Also, google different lacing styles as these really do affect fit and comfort by preventing slide, securing heel and not over crimping feet and toes. Might need a wide when you never did before. The damn sizing system is different for every brand and style, so try in a brick and mortar store if possible, when dialed in you can search for bargains. Rei has return policy, I try not to abuse it as I want it to continue.


    The time spent securing the right foot system will really affect your quality of hike. Happy footsies make happy hikers, the $150 I spent on foot system gives me greater comfort than the fancy ultralight pack and gizmos.

    Happy hiking!

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    Registered User Red Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    ^ this. Having had a variety of foot issues over several decades, my first question is what kind of footwear are you using on the trail and perhaps more importantly, when off the trail?

    I too have had foot issues that moved me out of a light trail shoe, changing to a heavier boot that helped for a short time until the problem returned. My podiatrist asked me to bring in my trail footwear and shoes I wear frequently in everyday life. He looked at the trail shoe, boot, and casual every day shoes then told me to stay with the trail boot for a while but get a more sturdy casual shoe. I got a stiffer soled casual shoe and the problem disappeared in a few weeks not to return. Turns out it was the casual shoes that started the problem.

    Sometimes it's not in the gear we use on the trail but the in-between gear we use that we don't pay as much attention to.
    Very interesting. I hadn't thought about it that way. I wear La Sportiva's on the trail, with superfeet green insoles (great by the way). What I wear off trail are good quality Dubarry deck shoes. I did a little research into carbon fiber insoles designed to keep support the big toe, and I may try one and see what happens. Thanks for the input all, very helpful.

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    You may also want to analyze what your toes do when you hike. I too, had Turf Toe and realized when hiking or walking long distances I did hyper flex my big toe for some reason. I had to literally train myself to keep that toe down. Even now, I have find myself having to force my toe down in my gait. After a month or so, it got better.

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