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#13965 - 05/12/11 04:22 PM Anybody lost their nails?
quillansculpture Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 552
Loc: Murrieta, CA
I've lost nails before from long hikes, but never two nails....and never my large toe nail. I've got two black nails right now. I'm not too concerned about the middle toe nail, but the large nail looks like it may not be too much fun. I've been okay on the stair master these last couple of days, but after my legs and body feel good enough and recuperate from last weekends marathon, I want to do Baldy or San Jacinto, but am nervous about what the nail situation may be.

So, my question is.....have you ever lost the nail on your big toe? AND, is there anything special I can do to protect it while taking on some elevation?
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#13968 - 05/12/11 04:33 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: quillansculpture]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Well, we trim our nails extra close.

If the boots have too much toe-room, you slam the toes at the end as your foot slides forward (especially descending).
You can lace the bottom half of the boots up extra tight, & tie a knot before lacing the upper section, which can be looser.

Another trick to balance out a boot is the heel-sock method.

Someone on WPS sells them, I think you can get them at the store.
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#13969 - 05/12/11 04:43 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: quillansculpture]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I used to lose my big & sencond toenails on a regular basis when I was running trails. (they hardly ever finished growing in).

Using the double tie method (knotting the shoestring about 3 holes below the top) AND cutting the toenails thisclose was huge help. Also, there should be enough toe space in your boot/shoe that there is no contact on a steep downhill (my problem was in order to get boots to fit, I wore a very small size...which was fine until the downhill)

Since tying the shoes properly & wearing the correct size, I have never needed to tape my toes OR wear two pair of socks (I DO prefer the SmartWool Trekker)
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#13972 - 05/12/11 04:59 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Bee]
mmauer Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Alexandria, VA
All I can add is that I'm convinced that the reason I lost my big toe coming down Whitney a couple of summers ago was (1)that my shoe had too much room for my foot to slide forward, and (2) that it was the downhill that did me in.

I later tried all kinds of shoe inserts, etc., but ended up realizing that I had to ditch the shoes and just switch to a better-fitting pair.

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#13973 - 05/12/11 05:19 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: mmauer]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
here are some things I have experienced, learned, and read about (and confirmed) having gone through so many, many boots:

I don't understand wagga and bee

your tying method "low" means the ankle is not the job of "holding" the rest of the foot from sliding forward in the boot. I always tighten up the top 2-3 rows even more for downhill to prevent black toe syndrome

Low-toppers are more risk for black-toe syndrome than high-toppers. They obviously cannot grip the ankle.

get a boot a half size larger than what you think. Most shoe places don't even fit you right. Put on the shoes/boots, lace them up, stand, lift one foot up behind you, then point the toe end down and whack the toe-end on the floor. Even with the whacking, the toes should not "bottom out" inside the toe-end of the shoe. Toe-box should be big enough to prevent that, and ankle-lacing should be tight enough to prevent movement.

another factor- sweat. allows slipperiness inside the boot and thus allowing foot to slide forward on downhill. Thin liner socks under thick wool works well for blister prevention and wicking sweat away. You could even spray antiperspirant all over your feet if the slipperiness is a major factor.

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#13974 - 05/12/11 05:20 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: mmauer]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Too much toe space is just as bad as not enough - toes get momentum. Your very best stores have something like a railroad tie bolted down. If you can kick it full-on without hurting, you'll be jake.

The double tie helps if your feet/ankles are proportionately different to the boot last, ie the horizontal & vertical fits are different.


Edited by wagga (05/12/11 05:24 PM)
Edit Reason: almost a tie...
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#13977 - 05/12/11 06:10 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: wagga]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
For long downhill slogs, like Whitney, I sometimes do a double over my instep if my feet are slipping forward. Whether my foot slips on any given day depends upon lots of factors. It isn't always necessary, so I don't adjust them until after I've got down a mile or so.

Sometimes I double over the laces at the instep. This has the benefit of "locking in" the heel, and it also means the last 2 or 3 laces can be a bit looser, providing better circulation.

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#13979 - 05/12/11 06:55 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
I think that KevinR describes it best when he mentions cinching down the boot a bit above the instep (I count about three holes down from the top of the boot) I found that the true anchor point (for me) is the lower 1/3 of the ankle, rather than the top top lace holes/hooks on the boot. It takes a while for me to get the whole thing correct, because if you over-tighten the "anchor point", the foot starts to tingle from lack of circulation.

The whole boot-fit thing is a nightmare to me because I wear a AAA-AAAA, so most of the time I am wearing huge socks + two or three insoles!
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#13983 - 05/13/11 02:43 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Bee]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Bee
AAA-AAAA,
skinny-minnie feet

mine are wide, fat,and flat. guess that explains some of the tie technique differences.

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#13984 - 05/13/11 04:05 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: wagga]
So.BayMark Offline


Registered: 11/01/09
Posts: 78
Loc: Torrance, Ca
wagga a year or two ago you told me to kick a railroad tie when I had problems I thought you were just being a smart*ss(you know wagga being wagga) at the time but yea thats the ticket...thanks

Yep earlier last year I lost 2 nails on the big toes, problem has been fixed-socks and arch support..

thanks all

mark

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#13986 - 05/13/11 05:40 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: So.BayMark]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Reno, Nevada
I can't even count the toenails I've lost. I ended one summer with only three intact toenails. I finally had the toenails on my big toes permanently removed.

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#13992 - 05/13/11 06:39 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
> I finally had the toenails on my big toes permanently removed.

Ohmygosh! Now THAT's a "Big Hammer" solution! sick

...but I'll bet it makes your hiking life easier.

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#14015 - 05/13/11 02:17 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Steve C]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Reno, Nevada
Having the nails removed wasn't as bad as what I went through every year before I had it done.

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#14025 - 05/13/11 10:43 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: bobpickering]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7209
Loc: Fresno, CA
There's got to be a nickname in there somewhere. smile

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#14029 - 05/14/11 07:43 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Steve C
There's got to be a nickname in there somewhere. smile

Toeless Joe Jackson

Name the movie (adapted from)

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#14030 - 05/14/11 08:22 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2205
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn.
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#14031 - 05/14/11 08:39 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Bee]
smithb Offline


Registered: 10/04/10
Posts: 80
Loc: ventura county, ca
there's a shoelace tying website.

for 'lock lacing' or 'sherpa': lock lacing

here are other lacing techniques relative to our needs: shoelace tips for sports

i've found the website to be most helpful.

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#14038 - 05/14/11 01:14 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: wagga]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 981
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: wagga
This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn.


imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

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#14045 - 05/14/11 06:58 PM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 625
Loc: OrangeCounty
Nearly everytime I hike or do a marathon or 1/2 marathon, I bruise a nail and then lose it because I forget to clip my toes nails shorter. I think it's best to clip nails short but not too short, and then file them even shorter if you choose to do so. I like wearing my walking shoes and hiking boots a half size to a full sizer larger. The only good thing about losing a toe nail is you get a pretty new nail to replace the old one.


A shoelace walks into a bar and asks for a drink. the bartender turns to him and says sorry we dont serve shoelaces here. The shoelace leaves the bar goes and gets a haircut and ties himself into a knot. The shoelace then returns to the bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says your that shoelace again I told you before we don't serve your kind around here. To that the shoe lace replies I am not a shoelace, I'm a frayed knot.

Harvey, I'm with you, I don't have a clue what Wagga and Bee are trying to say, but I think they understand each other, as Charlie Chan might say, "very interesting" communication between those two.

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#14062 - 05/15/11 10:59 AM Re: Anybody lost their nails? [Re: bobpickering]
KathyW Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 39
Loc: Redlands, CA
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
Having the nails removed wasn't as bad as what I went through every year before I had it done.


I had my big toenails permanently removed a few years ago, and it was a big relief. I lost them too many times and they wouldn't grow back normally. The podiatrist took one look at them and told me that had to be removed. Life has been much better without them, but now some of the smaller toenails are giving me trouble. I know someone who had them all removed and he was happy after it was done; so I might get to that point too.

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