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Hi guys! I need some help with this. I currently have a pair of trail shoes (Brooks Adrenaline) and I wore them for a 50k trail run. I ended up with 5 black toenails. I know I have to make an adjustment before I do another ultra. I was at the Chicago Marathon expo and asked the Brooks rep. about this. He had me try on the next size up but, it seemed too big. I also have wide feet. What shoe should I get? Most of the running places around here do not know anything about trail shoes. Same thing with the Brooks rep I talked to. I usually wear a size 8w in brooks and have never had an issue with my feet. I thought I heard somewhere that for ultras I needed to go up a size. Educate me in trail shoes and how to solve this problem. By the way, I love this ultra stuff!!!!
 

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I don't have an answer but this book does:<br><br><a href="http://www.zombierunner.com/store/product36.html" target="_blank">http://www.zombierunner.com/store/product36.html</a>
 

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i'd go up a half size. Black toe nails will happen for two reasons 1. shoes too small or 2. stubbing your toes on the trail. mine are all from the latter <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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My toenail issues were from too small of shoes. I now have shoes in 2 sizes: the "normal" size pair for midweek runs, and the half size up pair for long runs. On longer runs, my feet swell! Any friction becomes more and more of a problem over time.<br><br>
Also make sure you are socked up right for your feet. I'm using injinji's (toe socks) with a second pair over them (thin pair for midweek, thick cushiony pair for long run). Two pairs of socks seems to help me by causing the friction to disperse between the 2 pairs of socks.<br><br>
ALSO! Trim your nails! Trust me, long toenails are just asking for toenail issues.
 

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True that... The only time I've ever lost a big toe nail was because I drilled my foot into a rock in a brook section at Jay... It really only hurt for a split second... the icy cold water helped with the pain <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> Short of steel toed work boots, I don't think there's a shoe that can prevent black toenails from toe stubbing on the trail.
 

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Also make sure your electrolytes are in check. Here's a really good article to check out:<br><br><a href="http://www.succeedscaps.com/blisters.html" target="_blank">http://www.succeedscaps.com/blisters.html</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies! I think the one thing I need to do is go up a 1/2 size. I wear smart wool socks, I just can't do the toe socks it bothers me. I noticed that I have stubbed my toes, but also could it be jamming my toes at the front of the shoe when I go down a steep hill? I really want to solve this problem before my next ultra, which I'm in the planning stages for right now.
 

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It could be the downhills! You should be feeling that as it happens... *cringe* My toes just curled up in sympathy.
 

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Shoes with a roomier toe box - both side to side and lengthwise - can help. Having some extra space in front of your tootsies can act as a "crumple zone" when you take a hard stumble. Of course that also depends a little on how the shoe is constructed up there.<br><br>
An ultra friend put me into a pair of Golites as a way to address the toenail problem. So far they seem to help me. YMMV
 

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Newbie trail runner here. Actually very newbie trail runner. I am signing up for a half marathon and found out that 12 miles of it are park trails.<br><br>
Are trail shoes absolutely necessary if running this short a race. (short in yall's terms.. since you are used to running 100 miles!)
 

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what are the trails like? are they gravel roads? single track? roots? rocks? dusty?
 

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okay.. from the photos of last year it looks like gravelly dirt trails. No roots that I can see. Fairly flat, about 3-4 feet wide-type trails.<br><br>
seabrookmarathon.org is the site.
 

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you should be fine in regular running shoes. If you are near by to the trail, it would not hurt to do some runs there and see what you think. Looking at the pictures you should be fine.
 

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Thanks Meri!<br><br>
I knew I could count on you to help me out.<br><br>
I am hoping to make a trip out there soon, if so.. I'll definitely run the trail to check it out.
 

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I agree with Meri - if it's 'fire road'/cinder path/gravel/ well groomed trail... I'd just wear my running shoes. We have some trail races here that are like that, and that's what I do. In fact, I've run some pretty technical trails in 'regular' running shoes.<br><br>
If the trail has lots of rocks, stream crossings, mud, roots, and is gnarly - you might get by with an old pair of running shoes - or you might want some trail specific shoes.<br><br>
If you end up getting trail specific shoes - find a good running store with people who know trails. Have them help you out.<br><br>
Also, like Meri said - if you can try out some or all of the trail some time, it's worth the 'recon' work.
 

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Been running since the fall of 2004 and I have NEVER lost a toenail. I've never even had a black or bruised nail either (knock on wood)<br><br>
My feet have carried me through races of all kinds: 100 Milers in Mud/Water, VT100 and The Grand Tetons 100. I've run 50 miles on pavement... no issues.<br><br>
I attribute it to a few things<br><br>
1.) proper nutrition<br>
2.) shoes that are not too big (or small)<br>
3.) Cutting my toenails as short as comfortable
 

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.... and I'll bet you floss three times a day & eat nothing deep fried!
 

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(Probably) the same friend as Hippos' turned me on to the Golite Trail Flys, and they're the only shoe I run with on trails. They are super comfortable and cushy, offer great protection, and have a huge toebox. I love 'em!
 
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