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Runners… Do You Have Numbness in Your Feet?

feet go numb when running Runners… Do You Have Numbness in Your Feet? www.walkjogrun.net

Numbness in feet is a major aggravation while running. I personally experience numbness in my toes when I run and it was cold outside. But, this only lasts for maybe the first mile or so. Meaning that this happens around 2-3 minutes into my first mile and my toes and/or feet are no longer numb after 10-11 mins into my run. At this point, my body is heated up and I am radiating heat like a furnace.

Feet Going Numb When Running

If you are experiencing your feet going numb when running and it persists for too long, you may want to check your shoes and make sure nothing is obstructing the flow of blood to your feet. Running with numb feet can be very dangerous. Our hands and feet guide us through this world by sending sensations of feeling to our brains to let us know that something is hot, that we have stepped on something sharp, or that a surface is wet.

feet numbness

Numbness and tingling usually go hand in hand and one always comes before or after the other. Tingling is the creepy, bug crawling, burning sensation that is felt in the feet or toes right before numbness occurs or when it is about to go away. Both numbness and tingling could be caused due to a number of things to include and these causes are not limited to the following…

The Causes of Numbness in Feet

Cold Temperature

If you are experiencing numbness in your toes and/or feet due to cold temperatures, you may want to wear more layers or warmer socks (i.e. wool). I wear toe shoes, so I prefer doing indoor exercise and I defer my running to warmer months of the year or I do outdoor exercises that allow me to wear warmer shoes.

Then, there is always the infamous treadmill. I have running friends who refer to it as the dreadmill because it is not out in the open air where they can share camaraderie with other run mates.

Shoes That Don’t Fit

Shoes that do not fit well may also be the cause of numbness in your toes or feet. This may be due to your shoes being tied or strapped too tight, which is an easy and inexpensive fix. If your shoes fit too tight, you may need to purchase a new pair of running shoes.

running shoes that don't fit

Usually, it is helpful to go to a shoe store that specializes in pairing the right shoe with your feet, gait, and running needs. Wearing shoes that do not fit well can apply unneeded pressure on the nerves in your feet, and make running uncomfortable which can put you at risk of hurting yourself.


There is also the issue of overuse that may cause numbness in your feet. I know you have experienced the runner’s high and now you want to experience this release of endorphins often. To avoid overuse, it is important to ease into new exercising habits and giving your body time to adapt.

Be sure to gradually increase your pace and distance. Meaning, you cannot jump up off the couch and try to run a 10k and you have not gone running since you were 10 years old. Shoot, there may be other things for you to be more concerned about and overuse could be one of them.

Switching up your routine and incorporating low-impact exercises like walking, skating, swimming, and yoga, will help target different muscle groups. It is also important to remember that rest days are vital to muscle repair and help decrease your chances of overuse.


Diabetes comes with many challenges and sometimes the nerves in your feet may become damaged from having abnormal blood sugar levels for long periods of time.

This numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain is known as diabetic neuropathy, which occurs commonly in your legs and feet. It is not reversible, but maintaining normal blood sugar levels may help to slow the progress of your symptoms.

running with diabetes

Movement also helps with the management of blood sugar levels. Running is a step in the right direction to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Everyone, give yourself a pat on the back.

Other Chronic Conditions

Numbness may also be associated with having a pinched nerve in your back or foot. It could be related to other acute or chronic conditions.

If you start running indoors and it has warmed up outside, you have adjusted and changed your shoes, have been resting between workouts and switching it up, and do not have any underlying medical conditions, but you are experiencing numbness in one foot or both feet, I highly suggest that you consult your Physician or Primary Care Provider (PCP) before you continue exercising.

What If You’re Experiencing Foot Pain When Running?

If you are experiencing any pain while running or during any exercise, do not continue. Please remember that you should always consult your Physician or PCP prior to starting any exercise regimen, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

All of the above information is suggestive and should not be taken as a diagnosis or supersede your Physician or PCPs recommendations.


  1. Luff, C., When Your Foot or Toe Goes Numb When Running , Health Website
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff, Overuse injury: How to prevent training injuries, Clinic
  3. Mayo Clinic Staff, Numbness: Causes, Clinic
  4. Nall, R, Numbness of Foot, Health Website