At least once a week I treat a runner with painful calluses under one or both big toes. This type of callus is known as a pinch callus and typically goes unnoticed until it gets so thick a blister forms underneath it, or causes pain due to lack of cushioning from the running shoe.
Removing the pinch callus alleviates the pain, however understanding the cause is key to preventing a recurrence.
Today, a runner came in having a pinch callus and didn’t realize the cause was his unsupportive running shoes. When the foot collapses, or pronates, during running, push-off of the big toe occurs on the side of the toe as opposed to the bottom. This in turn creates friction, and when there’s skin friction, there’s callus. Using our scientific gait analysis video software, you can see how this runner’s right foot pronates significantly. This is made worse by wearing the wrong type of running shoe for his alignment.
If you or someone you know suffers from pinch callus, don’t wait until it causes pain. Make an appointment with your Sports Medicine Podiatrist to have it shaved down. Also ask them to check your gait for excessive pronation, which may be the underlying cause.
Sometimes a more supportive shoe is all that’s needed to reduce a pinch callus buildup and sometimes custom orthotics will be necessary to reduce excessive pronation. Either way, pinch callus is not protective and should not be ignored.
Life happens. Don’t wait.