Here at YouBeauty, we have no problem admitting that feet get gross. That includes gnarly toenails. If yours are looking roughed up, ragged, cracked or yellowed, you might think you've got a nail fungus—which is entirely plausible, especially after a long, sweaty summer. But if your tough-actin' treatment isn't cutting the mustard, it could be that the problem lies not with your feet, but with your shoes. Here are three ways your footwear might be tearing up your toenails
1. Your workout is good for your body, but bad for your tootsies.
Runners and ballet dancers have known it for years: Constantly bumping up against the front of your sneakers or slippers crunches your toes, making toenails brittle and pedicures a waste of time and money. (Don't even get them started on the blisters and bruises.) But listen up, Revolvers, SoulCyclists and FlyWheelers. Squishing your feet into those undersized-by-design cycling shoes will do the same thing. "Feet have a tendency to swell up during prolonged periods of exercise and this can cause your shoes to be too snug, leading to blisters, or even your toenails falling off," says Beth Bishop, partner and lead instructor of The Phoenix Effect.
The fix: Bishop recommends getting your cycling shoes professionally fitted at a bike shop and investing in a good pair of socks made for cycling or distance running that won't bunch up. During class, avoiding putting too much pressure on your toes by keeping your feet flat or heels down as you pedal.
Nearly 70 percent of people buy shoes that are too small for them.