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My wife doesn't believe me - Report your black toe horror stories

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
The first year I got my wife into skiing, she tore her ACL on the first morning of a week long trip at Steamboat. This year, she has lost one big toe toenail and is now losing her second. Well, I guess that's an improvement.

I told her that many skiers get black toe, lose toenails and most have a horror story or two of the big piggie. She doesn't believe me. I fear she thinks it's the ski gods out to get her. Help me prove her wrong. So, let those dogs bark and relate your nasty, stinky ski-related woes of the toes.

Rob, who is trying to combine skiing and marriage.
post #2 of 28
post #3 of 28
Though black toe is not unheard of, many skiers manage to get by without such suffereings. I have never gotten a black toe nor have I ever lost a toe nail due to skiing, for example.

It may not be so much that the ski gods are out to get her as much as her equipment might be ill-fitting. Make sure her boots are fitting properly. Since she is just starting out, she might not know enough to claim that her boots are not fitting properly. If you are trying to combine skiing and marriage, the first priority is to make sure your wife's toes, fingers, and everything attaching those digits to her body are comfy, warm, and snug.
post #4 of 28
I've lost both toenails to blacktoe and now have constant ingrown nail problems. No biggie, all part of the inherent risks of the sport. It happens to many of us somewhere along the line.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yes, we changed boots and had the news ones refitted. Help me out here, Joe. I'm looking for a marital stress reliever more than technical advice.

Thanks for sharing.

post #6 of 28
Rob, you should have checked out the whole skiing thing before you got married. Seriously though, this is quite a common problem and one that even skiers with years of experience, that one would expect to have good fitting boots, seem to have.

My other half has just lost a toe nail following a ski trip last December. It looked better black than when it dropped off! But there was no pain, and skiing has not been affected.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks Taylor. Thanks Eve.

Keep 'em coming.

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
This reminds me of what a doctor told me after I broke my big toe in a fall:

Doctor: There's only one thing to do when you have a broken toe.

Me: What's that?

Doctor: Don't look at it.

post #9 of 28
Torn ACL to black toe, that's a good improvement. Maybe next year will only be chapped lips. I lost a toenail or two many years ago due to pressure of toes jamming against front inside of ski boots. I blamed it on aggressive skiing, including aerials, bumps, etc. in boots that were probably a bit too short in length and/or too loosely buckled. I haven't had the problem in over a decade. Doesn't sound like your wife is that aggressive, perhaps her boots are just too short in length?
post #10 of 28
My wife just scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist to get hers checked out. They went from black to ugly to normal looking and now they're about to fall off. The boots worked great for her when skiing, but I guess her big toes didn't fare so well walking around. That was a problem in Vail since you have to walk so far to get to the lifts from the parking area.
post #11 of 28
Originally posted by Jamesj:
perhaps her boots are just too short in length?
More likely a combination of being too long and not buckled snugly enough to keep the foot from jamming forward once in awhile with momentum against the front of the boot.

Many black toes and lost nails over the years - it's all part of the game. The good news is it does not affect your skiing!
post #12 of 28
OK, so the only toenail I've lost was because some huge guy in a bar stepped backwards without looking and crushed my big toe (seriously, I couldn't make it up!)..but other than that 30+ years and (knock wood) no toe nails sacrificed to the ski gods. One good thing about wearing your boots extra race fit - your foot never slides for impact.

However, Rob - it happens to more skiers than it doesn't, but to be safe, buy your wife some gift certs for pedicures, before the season starts!
post #13 of 28
Yup, I had black-toe too. Was quite unsightly, fell out, and didn't really look normal until the following summer.

It was the result of trying to break in a new pair of boots. I could feel the big toe of my left foot slamming into the front of the boot the first time I wore them, so obviously they didn't fit propertly. I took them back to the ski shop and got all huffy, and the guy gave me a free pair of inserts that stabilized my foot in the boot. That did the trick. So maybe your wife can try that.
post #14 of 28
look back in the archives as I am sure black toe has been a subject before, more than once. I have had it, in what seems to be fairly often the case, only on one foot, in my case the left. Since then I have padded the left big toe and that solves the issue. Also changed boots since then, but I still pad the big toe just in case.Never had a problem, in any boot, with the right foot. I am predominantly left sided eg left handed, left footed at soccer so it may be the left foot is a bit larger than the right
post #15 of 28
If you don't get her some better fitting boots, or teach her how to buckle them, you're in for lots more marital stress.
post #16 of 28
Many black toenail problems can be prevented by cutting your toenails fairly short and keeping them trimmed well.

this won't always prevent it but it will help, unless you like to ski zipperline bumps in the back seat.
post #17 of 28
My second day of skiing this year, Dec 12, I had a slow-speed collision with someone who turned into me, fell backward, tore my right ACL and blackened my left big toe, all at the same time. Had a surgeon put in a new ACL, but I'm keeping the toenail glued on myself with clear nail polish till it's grown out.
post #18 of 28
The most common cause of black toes and lost nails is a too big boot so that the foot slides forward and the nail is lifted by the front of the boot. Not pleasant! :
Another cause can be a skier who is in the back seat with weight on the heels and the toe lifted. This results in pressure of the toes against the top of the boot with the same result.

I would suggest checking both the fit of the boot, and your wife's stance. Having boots on the roomy side and skiing in the back seat are both common problems for new skiers.

I am an ex-marathoner and beat my feet up for years losing nails regularly, and have yet to see skiers removing boots to reveal bloody socks and torn nails which are quite common in long distance running! [img]redface.gif[/img]

That being said my feet are still a cause for comment when my bootfitter or inline skate retailer looks at them! :
post #19 of 28

Non-woven tape that is used for holding dressings in place is great to keep toenails still until they are ready to die properly....

Over here the brand names are Fixomull, Mefix, Hypafix....

Tip: This stuff can be left on for about a week at a hit - just wash normally...
When it gets grotty looking & you need to change it then DO NOT RIP IT OFF!!!! Apply some oil (yes like olive from the kitchen) wrap gladwrap around it (clingfilm foodwrap) wait about 1/2 hour... it should wash off by then (the oil dissolves the adhesive)
post #20 of 28
My first real attempt at skiing-Otis Ridge-my wife bought me a lift,rental,lesson package.Got all set up-got my lesson and was skiing most of the day.Got back to the rental place took off both my boots-Toes seemed to be a little sore.Looked at my white socks and noticed both had some red stuff at the end of my big toes.Didn't look them over until I got home.Then they were really sore.Lost both of my big toenails very soon after that.Still went skiing the next week but I made sure my boots fit properly next time.Lost another toenail the next year too.
post #21 of 28
gerathlete 1 is right. Toe nail loss is the result of ill fitting boots and poor stance. Check both!! Boot pain is not a requirement for a close fit that maximizes control.


[ April 30, 2004, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: PowDigger ]
post #22 of 28
I must suck then! My last pair of boots, I went down from a 26.5 to a 25.5. My right foot is wider, and I guess longer, as the right toe touched the end of the boot all the time. I had to keep the nail clipped every 3 days or so but if I forgot, the nail would start turning black. Now with this idea of a more upright stance and not leaning/pressuring the front of the boot, my toe has been very miserable.
post #23 of 28
No toe nails problems because of skiing, in 32 years of...
But, one of my friends lost hers, the boots were too narrow (or short)at the tip and to stiff for her.
My mom too had one last year, again becuse she snugged too closely the boots (which someohw affected her blood circulation, as all of us may well know)
post #24 of 28
Losing my third black toenail at moment; the other one has already up and awayed. Before you ask, no I don;t have three big toes. , I lost the last one through breaking in new boots before major fit.
The latest two were caused by one ill-judged moment of teaching small kids without doing my boots up.
My toenail beds point up at tip and I must cut them very short and abrade the surface daily to prevent problems during the season.
For minor damage (slight redness and blackening) I use a cider vinegar wrap overnight. Smelly but reduces bruising and the chances of black toe.
If all else fails, bright red nail varnish!
post #25 of 28
Who doesn't like the smell of a back toe nail when it finally falls off ??? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #26 of 28
I've had plenty from tennis, but (knock on wood) not from skiing. I also broke my big toe and lost the nail from dropping the steel insert from our extra large doggie door on it, guillotine style. For 20 minutes, that was some of the worst pain (yes, including labor) I've ever felt.

I've heard that walking with your boots completely unbuckled (as in, practically falling off) will do it.
post #27 of 28
Black toe nails had 'em, hate 'em. Usually get them from a quick moment in the back seat or landing a jump in the back seat. The real culprit is too long toe nails. gotta keep 'em trimmed real close all summer. I like a boot that fits real tight. Most call this a performance fit. I've been known to drop a toe nail or two by the 4th of July. The last time was two years ago in February. I like getting it done quickly. Band-aids work to keep the nail from flopping too much while swimming and windsurfing. athletic tape works too.

hiking down hill can cause this too.

gotta run now.

good to see you're wife's doing ok.

post #28 of 28
There Right!! Boot Slam, and Back seat Driving.

Better fitting Boot's the Cure.

Been There Done That!! Bummer!

Be Good or Eat Wood!!!
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