15 doctors weighed in:
Why has my toe nail started to bruise after walking and hiking?
15 doctors weighed in

Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Orthopedic Surgery
10 doctors agree
In brief: Check your shoe fit
Inappropriate shoe size (too big or too small) can cause significant problems.
If your affected toe is repeatedly striking the inside of the shoe (too small), bruising and pain result. Shoes that are too big can allow your foot to slide to and fro within the shoe resulting in repetitive microtrauma to the toe as it repeatedly strikes the shoe. Appropriate socks (snug & breathable) are also helpful.

In brief: Check your shoe fit
Inappropriate shoe size (too big or too small) can cause significant problems.
If your affected toe is repeatedly striking the inside of the shoe (too small), bruising and pain result. Shoes that are too big can allow your foot to slide to and fro within the shoe resulting in repetitive microtrauma to the toe as it repeatedly strikes the shoe. Appropriate socks (snug & breathable) are also helpful.
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
Dr. Thomas Deberardino
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3 doctors agree
In brief: Nail
This is called cumulative trauma.
Your toe is striking your shoe and causing the trauma. There may be some foot or toe pathology so see your podiatrist for an evaluation.

In brief: Nail
This is called cumulative trauma.
Your toe is striking your shoe and causing the trauma. There may be some foot or toe pathology so see your podiatrist for an evaluation.
Dr. Thomas Inwood
Dr. Thomas Inwood
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1 comment
Dr. Donald Shenenberger
I would also add, and not to cause you anxiety, melanoma of the nail area can sometimes mimic a hematoma. It is not common but should always be considered. However, Dr. Inwood likely is 100% correct. As a Dermatologist I always feel obligated to allow melanoma to cross my mind in these situations.
Dr. Robert Purchase
Orthopedic Surgery
In brief: This is common
In most instances, it is because the toe nail is a little too long.
It usually occurs on the longest toe, probably your second toe. If the nail is a little long, it hits the end of the shoe at "toe-off". This causes the nail to wiggle a little on the nail bed, the soft tissue under the nail. After many cycles, that can cause tissue damage & bleeding under the nail. The fix = trim your toenails.

In brief: This is common
In most instances, it is because the toe nail is a little too long.
It usually occurs on the longest toe, probably your second toe. If the nail is a little long, it hits the end of the shoe at "toe-off". This causes the nail to wiggle a little on the nail bed, the soft tissue under the nail. After many cycles, that can cause tissue damage & bleeding under the nail. The fix = trim your toenails.
Dr. Robert Purchase
Dr. Robert Purchase
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