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black toe...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
It happened.. again.. I got a black toe when I bought my boots and skiied them for the first time.. a little bit of strecthching the boots solved that.. Yesterday conditions at Killington were a big bumpy and cruddy and I found myself in the back seat more than once.. Now both my big toes hurt and the right one is already getting black.. Any remedies you can thing about.. skiing wise and treatment wise?..
-Coug..
post #2 of 26
if i told ya maybe your stance would you believe it...in my stock liners i had both big toes killin me and my 6th toe area real soar...i was in the back seat and after i worked on my stance and wieght distribution it prety much went away...then again if your feet are slammin forward maybe boots are to big
post #3 of 26
Coug,

Careful - if you don't fix the problem and keep skiing on it, you could end up losing the toe nail. Hopefully the stretching has resolved it and your toe will get better from here out, but you need to watch it closely.

Sometimes, it's lots of little things that contribute to a problem. Sometimes fixing one thing is enough to solve the problem. Other times you need to work on all the little things. There are lot of exercises for getting out of the back seat. In the bumps, it could be as simple as just spending a little more time going across the trail versus down it. For boot fit, footbeds, thin SKI socks and clipping toe nails can help.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Coug,

Careful - if you don't fix the problem and keep skiing on it, you could end up losing the toe nail. Hopefully the stretching has resolved it and your toe will get better from here out, but you need to watch it closely.

Sometimes, it's lots of little things that contribute to a problem. Sometimes fixing one thing is enough to solve the problem. Other times you need to work on all the little things. There are lot of exercises for getting out of the back seat. In the bumps, it could be as simple as just spending a little more time going across the trail versus down it. For boot fit, footbeds, thin SKI socks and clipping toe nails can help.
rusty, I got the boots last Jan and you are right, I did end up loosing the nail .. It took a long time as well.. I will try taking a direct line as you suggested and relax in the bumps a bit more..

skidbump, It maybe a stance issue.. I have been working on it since last week.. I am getting new boots next year and think I might go to a nice bootfitter or surefoot or something like that.
-Coug..
post #5 of 26
Tighten the third buckle a bit more (the lower one on the cuff). You are banging the toe on the front of the boot.

If that does not solve your problem, the chances are good that your boots are too big. I know that sounds counter-intuitive (that they are too big), but that is most often the case. There is really no effective way to make a boot smaller (some people get lucky with a footbed to re-position the foot, however).
post #6 of 26

Last

Another thought about the boot size, is not that the boot is just too big, but it's too wide, so you ended up with a shorter length (size) than you should be in, and your toes are getting slammed. With a more narrow last and a longer/proper length (bigger size), you could get a boot that holds your foot properly/tightly but your toes are not getting jammed into the front of the boot.

Go out and try different makes/models (with your footbeds if you have them), and click into some skis when you try them on (they should have rentals you can use), and lever your foot into the front of the boot by leaning back, and see if you don't cram your toes too hard. Note that they should still be in contact with the front when you lean back, but not so much that it'll destroy your toes. What you really want is a boot that doesn't allow your foot to move fore/aft much (as little as possible) when you lean forward and back.
post #7 of 26
Clean your toe, hold a paper clip with pliers and heat on gas stove til bright orange.
Apply to toe, it will smoke and sink through the nail making a hole for the blood to escape.
Sounds barbaric but it works, Hospital will do same thing.
Good Luk
GET OUT OF THE BACK SEAT...
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1
Tighten the third buckle a bit more (the lower one on the cuff). You are banging the toe on the front of the boot.

If that does not solve your problem, the chances are good that your boots are too big. I know that sounds counter-intuitive (that they are too big), but that is most often the case. There is really no effective way to make a boot smaller (some people get lucky with a footbed to re-position the foot, however).
I think you are right.. Now that I recall, several times I hit some of those bumps pretty hard, at speed sideways.. The backseat is not the culprit although I did feel some pain if I was in it..

I think volume wise they are a bit too big and sometimes, they do have a bit of play heel forward at times.. I know that blows but it doesnt happen all the time.. Unfortunately I was a bit too green the time I bought these boots and I wasnt an epicski member as well.. ..

Thanks for the pointers John..
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katabch
Clean your toe, hold a paper clip with pliers and heat on gas stove til bright orange.
Apply to toe, it will smoke and sink through the nail making a hole for the blood to escape.
Sounds barbaric but it works, Hospital will do same thing.
Good Luk
GET OUT OF THE BACK SEAT...
I might try that.. or have somebody try that when I am sleeping ..
post #10 of 26

black toe problems

Hello Coug,

While researching the development of a new ski boot years ago we took x-ray images of feet in ski boots from side and top views. We were amazed to see how crushed and deformed some feet were in cases where skiers reported they had a "good" fit. Most noticeable was the misalignment of the big toe as feet were crammed into the symetrical pointed toe area typical of many ski boots. It's curious that the fact that the average human foot is asymmetrical in plan view and wider at the front than at the back is a detail most bootmakers seem to have missed. Comparing your bare foot to the profile of the insole may highlight that. Skiers that rated their boots as "comfortable" showed the boot to be on the big side which allowed the toes to be back in a wider space. Unfortunately, in advanced skiing that also predisposes one to black toe because retention isn't as good. The other noticeable thing was how often the boots seemed too big, even among skiers that considered themselves experienced.

I had lost many toenails over the years and these revelations led me to a homemade solution that has worked for me. Stretching the boot shells did not solve my problem because stretching is usually localized and tends to pull material from somewhere else. I work in a furniture shop in the summer. I made a crude wooden model of my forefoot with a simple mechanism using 3/4 inch threaded steel rod to push it forward. I applied sufficient heat and stretched the entire forefoot to the shape of my foot. I went from a size 27.0 to 25.5 and the fit is fantastic. For the past 6 years I have no more cold or sore feet and best of all, I think my balance is better. In a sport where balance is everything it feels better that my foot is evenly supported and relaxed. Bootfitting is a very personal thing and my solution may not be for everyone but I can attest that the result has been excellent for me.
post #11 of 26
hmmm - interesting idea.... I have a woodworking uncle that could make copies of my feet I think.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by martino
Hello Coug,

While researching the development of a new ski boot years ago we took x-ray images of feet in ski boots from side and top views. We were amazed to see how crushed and deformed some feet were in cases where skiers reported they had a "good" fit. Most noticeable was the misalignment of the big toe as feet were crammed into the symetrical pointed toe area typical of many ski boots. It's curious that the fact that the average human foot is asymmetrical in plan view and wider at the front than at the back is a detail most bootmakers seem to have missed. Comparing your bare foot to the profile of the insole may highlight that. Skiers that rated their boots as "comfortable" showed the boot to be on the big side which allowed the toes to be back in a wider space. Unfortunately, in advanced skiing that also predisposes one to black toe because retention isn't as good. The other noticeable thing was how often the boots seemed too big, even among skiers that considered themselves experienced.

I had lost many toenails over the years and these revelations led me to a homemade solution that has worked for me. Stretching the boot shells did not solve my problem because stretching is usually localized and tends to pull material from somewhere else. I work in a furniture shop in the summer. I made a crude wooden model of my forefoot with a simple mechanism using 3/4 inch threaded steel rod to push it forward. I applied sufficient heat and stretched the entire forefoot to the shape of my foot. I went from a size 27.0 to 25.5 and the fit is fantastic. For the past 6 years I have no more cold or sore feet and best of all, I think my balance is better. In a sport where balance is everything it feels better that my foot is evenly supported and relaxed. Bootfitting is a very personal thing and my solution may not be for everyone but I can attest that the result has been excellent for me.
post #12 of 26
As has been mentioned boot fit both in length and volume can be a culprit. The stance is a separate issue but certainly part of the cause. A well fitting boot should prevent the blacktoe even if you are heavily in the backseat. Of course never getting in the backseat will also help but often at the risk of being on the tongue too heavily, one set of troubles traded for another.

Although shell fitting for length goes a long ways it is only part of the equation. As mentioned too much volume can also allow the foot to move around even when the length is right and so too can too high an instep on the boot (specific volume).

Part of the solution can be getting into the right shaped boot to allow your foot length to be accomodated with the right volume in the rest of the boot. My problem is a long first toe meaning a shell long enough to accommodate this length usually led to too much volume elsewhere. Similar to Martino reshaping the forefoot allowed me to fit a much smaller shell that held the rest of my foot more snugly.

An easy (bandaid) fix may be to shim or pad the front of the tongue down low in front of the ankle to drive and hold your foot back. The long term solution would be the boot shape and size that is right for your foot either by a different model/make or customizing.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by martino
I had lost many toenails over the years and these revelations led me to a homemade solution that has worked for me....
An alternative, which is more common, is to get a "plug" boot, which has very thick plastic, and have the shop grind away the plastic where it needs to be wider. A big advantage to grinding is that it's permanent. I've found that when stretched, then warmed and cooled a lot of times, the plastic on the boot tends to revert to it's original molded shape.
post #14 of 26
Lets not forget the merits of custom footbeds.

If you don't have them, GET THEM!

The problem is that if your foot, especially under the arch, is not supported properly, when you stand on the flat stock footbed and boot board, your foot will flatten and widen. As you ski, and pressure comes off your arch once in a while, your foot will become more narrow and be sloppy inside the boot. If you have custom footbeds, but bought the boots without getting the right size with your footbeds in the boots, then you take them home and put the footbeds in, the boots could possibly be too wide with the footbeds in place, allowing your foot to move around.

While this may or may not apply to your situation, it makes for a good PSA
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug
I might try that.. or have somebody try that when I am sleeping ..
Jesus !!!!: Why dont you just geta damn drill, lol. If someone tried that to me while I was sleeping you can damn well count on getting lynched!!!
post #16 of 26
I've got a big toe toenail for the first time in years. It's pink! Sadly, the other one is going weird, but this is the best they've been since about 99. I must be skiing better... or clipping them every few days and painting on Dr Scholl Nail Softener is working!
post #17 of 26

Get rid of them!!!

Quote:
I got the boots last Jan and you are right, I did end up loosing the nail .. It took a long time as well..
Coug the best thing to do at this point is go to a good podiatrist and have the nail permanently removed. I discovered this after tearing my left toenail off in a surfing accident. Best thing that ever happened was getting rid of the damn thing for good. Now boots fit so much better and no more black toe! We haven't needed the damn things since we ate with our feet anyway. Couple years later I got rid of the other one and now my feets quote the words of the old....spiritual: "Free at last, free at last, Great God Almighty Free at Last!!!

- Fossil
post #18 of 26
Mine was from skiing with boots loose. Left one came off a month later, right's still hanging in there after two months.




The left's so tender I'm still covering the exposed nail bed with a bandaid.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
Mine was from skiing with boots loose. Left one came off a month later, right's still hanging in there after two months.




The left's so tender I'm still covering the exposed nail bed with a bandaid.
Thanks Kneale. NOT! There's a visual I didn't need. Now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight:
post #20 of 26
I did lost my toe.....Nails: last season, when I bought a pair of new boots WITH custom foot bed.
I found that my stance was incorrect and after correcting them, now I ski much better and no longer have the same problem. The new boots actually exposed my incorrect skiing techniques and the lesson was learned.
post #21 of 26
A friend of mine recently solved a career-long toenail abuse problem with an inspired bit of knifework on his liners, immediately above the big toes. The boot fit was fine (length and volume), but the liner was just a little shallow and its semi-rigid outer shell was cruel.

This was life-changing stuff for him (I'm not kidding). Saved his nails, his holiday and the expected cost of new boots.

I'll get a photo of the altered liner and post it.
post #22 of 26
coug,
All of above with footbeds and proper bootfitting. When you ski, do you have contact with the front tongue or the back cuff of the boot?? Do your quads get tired quickly? If the answer is the back cuff and yes to the quads getting tired, you need to get a better balanced stance over the middle of the ski and flex your ankles more. This will help you keep your heels is the heel pocket of the boot and not let your toe get mashed into the front and top of the boot.

RW
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
coug,
All of above with footbeds and proper bootfitting. When you ski, do you have contact with the front tongue or the back cuff of the boot?? Do your quads get tired quickly? If the answer is the back cuff and yes to the quads getting tired, you need to get a better balanced stance over the middle of the ski and flex your ankles more. This will help you keep your heels is the heel pocket of the boot and not let your toe get mashed into the front and top of the boot.

RW
Hi Ron,
When I ski typically, I have contact with the front and my quads rarely tire(thanks to biking).. Its only when conditions get bumpy, do I have this problem...

Thanks for the other pointers folks.. Lets see what transpires this weekend... at least the conditions are going to be hard...
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
Mine was from skiing with boots loose. Left one came off a month later, right's still hanging in there after two months.




The left's so tender I'm still covering the exposed nail bed with a bandaid.
Are these the feet of a human
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidbump
Are these the feet of a human

There ARE those who think my toes should be longer for grasping branches.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by katabch
Clean your toe, hold a paper clip with pliers and heat on gas stove til bright orange.
Apply to toe, it will smoke and sink through the nail making a hole for the blood to escape.
Sounds barbaric but it works, Hospital will do same thing.
Good Luk
GET OUT OF THE BACK SEAT...
I'm with Hucking on this one. There's a much better way to drain the fluid and/or blood from under the toenail. With the above recommended technique you may break through the toenail suddenly and jab the very sensitive nail bed underneath causing severe pain at best and a burn at worst. If nothing else it's a relatively frightening procedure since it takes quite a bit of pressure to get through the toenail even with a red hot paperclip melting it. Trust me. I've done it to patients and even if I do it absolutely correctly it's always a bit shocking when you get through the final layer of toenail.

A better way is to take the smallest drill bit you can find and sterilize it by holding the tip under flame for a few seconds. After the bit cools just drill a hole all the way through the toenail in a location that appears to have lots of blood or fluid under it. You'll know you've gone all the way through when the blood or fluid starts squirting out. Your toe will feel much better after you've drained the fluid. Since the fluid or blood can reaccumulate after a day or two you may need to probe the hole again with the tip of the bit to break through any dried blood or fluid and allow any additional fluid to drain.

I've done it both ways on myself. I much prefer the drill bit. It may take a bit longer but it's time well spent.
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