Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Why Are My Toes Numb?

My middle two and sometimes three toes go numb when I hike. I have very good boots that fit well. Any ideas?

Question:

My middle two and sometimes three toes go numb when I hike. It is usually about 4-5 miles in, and not always on the same foot at the same time. I have very good boots that fit well. I’ve also noticed this with athletic shoes when working out. Any ideas?

Submitted by - Glenn, Aquebogue, NY

Answer:

Yes, I have, at least, an idea. Numbness is almost always caused by inadequate circulation. That can come from compression of your feet (sometime simply standing for a long period of time may cause numbness) or from some swelling that may or may not be noticeable. It may be treatable by using insoles with more cushion, or you may need insoles with more arch support or custom insoles. The cushioning and/or additional support for your feet often alter the pressure enough to increase circulation. If off-the-shelf insoles don’t help, I suggest a visit to a foot specialist who can offer more personal advice.

Leave a Reply