This image shows a bony prominence on the top of the foot. The medical name for this bump is exostosis. They develop more often in people having a high arched foot than people having a flat foot. They usually occur on both feet but can occur on just one. They are not worrisome at all, unless you wear shoes that strangulate your foot in this area.
This means no lacing directly over the bump in running shoes and no buckles or decorative trim over the bump, which are often found in loafer style shoes.
Here’s an easy way to modify your running shoes if you have an exostosis on the top of your foot. Unlace to where the exostosis is and then skip the eyelets that would otherwise criss-cross over the prominence. You shoe will still fit secure and this will alleviate pressure that would otherwise cause pain.
Additional posts about top of the foot bump, may be found here:
thankyou!! i have had a bump on my foot and had no idea what it was!!
Thank you for providing this service. I will show the bump to my doctor at my next check up but it seems to fit your description very well.
I’ve just recently noticed the large bump on the top of my foot and became very worried, tried looking up all kinds of info , even tried to find out if it was foot cancer. Sill right, but now I know its not just me and I can breath again!!!
Thanks for the clear, concise info. Unfortunately my “bump” is considerably larger than in the image, but I’m going to re-lace my shoes right now. Thanks, Lynn
Ahhh, okay I always wondered what they were. I have them on both feet and they protrude about two times further than what is shown in the posted photo. I was never too worried about them, though perplexed by them. However while growing up I developed some kind of tendon problem in my right foot from wearing shoes that were slightly too big (about a half-size) while being very active for extended periods of time. If I’m not careful about support in my shoes/boots now, I begin to feel pain in the arch of my foot after walking about a hundred meters. Just a fair warning for other people with this bump, or if their kids have them.
Funny story, when I was practicing martial arts the bumps ended up getting the nickname, “Balls of Destruction.”
balls of destruction that’s pretty funny.
my ‘bump’ freakin hurts! but the other day, while sitting on a medicine yoga ball (those big ones) leaning forward, my foot ‘cracked’ and i felt a great relief. I’m sure something snapped back into place or some build up snapped. But now its back and forth but atleast i feel it’s recovering perhaps…. we’ll see.
Thank you for the advice – this is exactly what I have in this moment. It’s painful to touch but otherwise fine. Relacing shoes as we type.
I have had exostosis on my right foot (bony growth on top of my foot) for about 4 years now, but only in the last couple of years has the condition become painful if I walk any length of time while going either barefoot or while wearing flat shoes. My podiatrist said that simple surgery will remove the extra bony growth and provide relief to the tendon running down to the big toe, which tends to curl up due to the condition, and provide relief to the arch. I am just glad to be soon out of pain, and will be able to hike and walk trails again.
Do any of my high-arched dancer friends have this? i do on both feet and it is driving me crazy because i can’t wear any shoes but flip-flops and sneakers!
mine happened I believe (or atleast noticed it then) when I wore tight leather dress loafers on a plane trip (4 hrs) and when I got off, my foot killed… what a mistake. Sneakers folks!!
“It’s NOT better to look good then to feel good… darling.”
It’s not uncommon for the feet to swell during long flights. Because of this, loafer style shoes without elastic insets will strangulate the top of your foot and irritate the bony prominence. If this has occurred then lace shoes, flip-flops or a slip-on style which avoids the bump should be worn instead.
Thank you so much for this post! I just developed a bump on my one foot and it sends shooting pain down to the toe next to my big toe. I am going to relace my sneakers right now!
I definitely have this type of bump on my foot. I’m training for a marathon and recently wore out my old shoes and replaced them with a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. It seems like these might be too narrow of a fit for me as they really dig into the bump on my foot. I tried the lacing technique but I’m wondering if I should return them and try another type? I’ve heard good things about the Kayano 18s but I just keep getting sales pitches from the stores. Any help would be much appreciated 🙂
Thank you for this info! i didn’t know what was going on!
Please help me!!! I have a bone protruding from my left foot in the middle sort of. It causes throbbing pain especially at night. I was walking 5 miles a day, and don’t think my sneaker’s were right. Is this lump anything to worry about, it’s located in the soft tissue area of foot. Thank you so much….I am losing sleep over this.
You will want to have the protruding bone evaluated by a podiatrist. A simple, inexpensive x-ray should be able to determine the cause, which can then be treated.
Thanks for the tips. This is the exact location on my right foot that is bothersome from skating.
I’ve taught aerobics for 30 years, and just recently I have a bump on the top of my right foot only, However it is a burning pain throughout the day whether I have shoes on or not.
Sounds like a nerve irritation. Since you’re having pain in and out of shoes, I would seek treatment with a podiatrist and have the bump/burning pain evaluated.
I’m trying the lacing! I play soccer and lately I’ve been having to loosen my laces on left shoe. I had bone bumps on top of both feet, but the left one is much bigger. It only hurts when I put tie shoes on. I thought it might be arthritis. Or maybe someone stepped on it in a game a while ago and this is what happened. Don’t really want to have surgery if I can help it. So thanks again for other options.
Does this come and go? Will it disappear?
An exostosis is bone and once formed will not disappear. A ganglion on the other hand is similar to a balloon in that it will inflate and deflate based on fluid accumulation, occasionally disappearing entirely. Either way, you will want the diagnosis confirmed and treated by a podiatrist, especially if causing problems.
I’ve always had a large bump on top of each of my feet, but never really paid any attention to them until, when recently a friend asked me if I’d broken both of my feet when I was wearing some flip-flops because they’d never seen anything like it before.
This blog post has really given me some insight into what they most probably are; thank you.
Thank god that’s all it is I thought I had bone cancer
Thank you for sharing this. I could do that to my poor foot. It has an unsightly bump and really chafe against my shoes. I am used to wearing sandals and open step ins. Its nice to fit them in running shoes again.
My 3 year old son has a hard bump on the top of both feet..he is also completely flat footed and has severe pains throughout his legs and feet that last up to 5 hours at a time…could it be this? also the bump starts to bruise when shoes are worn..
The bumps very well may be bony, but due to his flat feet and let/foot pain I would have him evaluated by a podiatrist.
I thought it was cancer. No worries!
I have had lumps on the top of my foot for as long as I can remember, just in the last year I have worn my sandshoes and went walking, then my toes would go numb, or pins and needles, I would loosen my laces, but it made no difference. I have recently had an xray and ultrasound, now I am having it removed next month.