Feet Go Numb When Running

Sometimes your feet go numb when running long distances. It may happen when you running on treadmill or elliptical as well. As a runner, you anticipate the periodic aches and pains like muscle soreness and blisters. However a foot that goes numb when you’re running is a strange sensation. You are certainly used to the sensation of your foot “dropping off to sleep” when you sit cross-legged on the floor too long. But when that numbness and tingling develops while you’re running, you might be alarmed. Fear not: Foot numbness while running is not uncommon, and most of the time, it’s quickly corrected.

Causes of Foot Numbness

Foot numbness is frequently caused by a compressed nerve. The nerves that cause sensation in your foot and ankle can get trapped in between bones or soft tissue. Since the nerve is compressed, it’s not able to send the appropriate signals to your brain from your skin and soft tissue. Nerve compression can make your foot seem like it’s on “pins and needles,” or it can make your foot entirely lose sensation. The feeling sometimes makes you wish to remove your shoe and rub your foot. It’s normally localized to one part of your foot, frequently your toes; sometimes, your whole foot may feel numb.

Causes of Nerve Compression

Nerves in the foot can end up being compressed for many factors, including:

Improperly fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight, which don’t have adequate space in the toe box, or are laced too tight can cause the nerves in the foot to become compressed. Thick socks might be another perpetrator.

Injury. An injury that causes the tissue in the foot to swell, or causes direct issue to a nerve, can cause foot numbness. Increasing your running mileage unexpectedly can cause trauma to your feet; similarly, inappropriate running kind might cause damage that in turn can cause foot numbness.

feet and legs go numb when running

Foot structure. If your feet are flat, or if the sole of your foot is extremely flexible, you are more likely to compress the nerves of your foot when you run.

Scar tissue. Occasionally, a nerve that is consistently compressed ends up being thickened and establishes scar tissue. This is called a neuroma; the most common neuroma is in between the 2nd and 3rd base of the toes, and is called a Morton’s neuroma.

Foot numbness, specifically heel and base of the foot numbness, might also be caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, a big nerve that runs from the spine down the back of the leg. This nerve may be compressed by a herniated/slipped disk, or by muscles that overlie the nerve.

Self- Help

There are steps that you can require to prevent or reduce your foot numbness: Buy bigger shoes, and make certain that there’s appropriate space in the toe box at the front so that you can wiggle your toes easily. Buy shoes with a stiffer sole; shoes with a flexible sole can cause swelling and trauma to the ball of your foot, where the nerves to the toes travel through the bones, according to artplay-katok.ru. Don’t lace your shoes as tightly. Loosen up the laces on your shoes to alleviate any pressure points on your foot. Try using thinner socks, which take up less room in your shoe. Pay attention to your running form. Prevent “slapping” or “pounding” your feet on the ground as you run. Do not unexpectedly increase the duration or range of your run. This might cause injury.

Medical Treatment

If these actions don’t relieve your foot numbness, a trip to a foot and ankle expert, orthopedic cosmetic surgeon or sports medication doctor may be in order. The expert will inquire about your case history, to rule out any illness that might be causing your foot numbness. He may get X-rays and analyze your foot to aim to identify the source of the nerve compression. He might recommend unique shoe inserts, anti-inflammatory medications, or special exercises. Periodically, more severe cases of foot numbness, including numbness caused by a neuroma, may require treatment with injections to the nerve, or with surgery.


Although foot numbness while running is uncomfortable, it is often easily corrected by relieving pressure on the compressed nerves. Easy remedies such as purchasing bigger shoes, lacing your shoes less snugly, focusing on your running type and making increases in running time or range slowly may be enough to keep foot numbness from occurring. If self-help fails, a physician might try other treatments to ease the discomfort.

Last modified: August 30, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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