Can I Hike With A Missing Toenail?



Group Hike

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Missing toenails are common on the trails, but it’s important that you don’t let that stop you from hiking.

Can I hike with a missing toenail? The answer is yes! It can be hard to know if you should cancel your outdoor plans because of an injury or ailment. You don’t want to miss out on the fun, but you also want to avoid making things worse by pushing yourself too hard.

We’ve put together this handy guide for hikers with injuries so that you can make the best decision for your situation based on our experience as avid hikers and medical professionals.

The question is can I hike with a missing toenail? As long as you can tolerate the tape and discomfort, you can probably get back to normal activity pretty quickly.

It’s not like a broken bone. As soon as skin forms on the nail bed, you are solid (in my experience). Lots of Ultra Runners and hikers have lost big toenails a few times.

Injured Toenail
Injured Toenail

What to Do if You Are Missing a Toenail?

Use a nail file to smooth any jagged or sharp edges. Clean your toe, make sure you remove any debris such as dirt, and apply an antibiotic ointment.

Cover the area where your toenail fell off with a bandage. Seek immediate treatment if your entire toenail falls off or the area around your toenail won’t stop bleeding.

Should I Cover My Missing Toenail?

Protect any exposed part of the nail bed for 7 to 10 days until this skin hardens and isn’t sensitive anymore. Coat the area with antibiotic ointment and top with a nonstick bandage. Change the bandage every day and whenever it gets wet.

How Do I Stop My Toenail from Falling Off when Hiking?

To avoid this: Make sure your running shoes or hiking boots fit properly. They should have one thumbnail’s length from the tip of your longest toe (which for many is the second toe) to the end of the shoe.

This may mean that your running shoes and hiking boots need to be full size or larger than your everyday shoes.

Does It Hurt to Regrow a Toenail?

Both toenails and fingernails grow slowly, with toenails taking longer to regrow. On average, it can take up to 18 months for a toenail to completely regrow, and about 4 to 6 months for a fingernail to grow back.

Will Detached Nails Grow Back?

After a nail separates from the nail bed for whatever reason, it will not reattach. A new nail will have to grow back in its place. Nails grow back slowly. It takes about 6 months for a fingernail and up to 18 months for a toenail to grow back.

Can You Get a Permanent Fake Toenail?

Toenail reconstruction is a cosmetic procedure. Toenail reconstruction is performed by a podiatrist using a specialist gel that is layered on top of unsightly or misshapen nails so that the nail is more aesthetically pleasing

Blister Under Toenail from Hiking

If you have a blister under your toenail, it’s important to take care of it so that it doesn’t become infected. You’ll need to keep the area clean and dry, and you may need to take antibiotics if the blister becomes infected.

You could also use some antibiotic ointment and cover the blister with a bandage.

Hikers Toenail Treatment

If you are a hiker with a missing toenail, the best thing to do is to treat the injury as soon as possible. You can do this by following these simple steps:

Here’s how To Reduce Your Chances of Getting a Black Toenail

  1. Try silicone toe pads. They may help absorb some of the pressure from hiking.
  2. Find a hiking boot that fits. When shopping for hiking boots, visit a store that specializes in the sport to get a professional fitting. A good rule of thumb when buying hiking boots is to make sure you have enough room in the toes, but not so much that your foot slides around in the shoe. Make sure your toes are not pinched at the top and consider how your socks fit with the shoe.
  3. Keep your toenails cut short. The less your toenail extends out, the less likely it will hit the top or side of your boot when hiking. Be sure to cut your nails correctly to avoid ingrown toenails.
  4. Tie your laces properly. Adjusting the laces may help you get a better fit.
  5. Wear good socks. Preventing moisture whether it be from sweaty feet or the weather, socks matter and will reduce the shearing and friction and prevent the moisture that can damage your skin and nails.

Bruised Toenail from Hiking

If you have a bruised toenail from hiking, you should probably give yourself some time to heal before hitting the trails again. Try applying a cold compress to the area and elevating your foot to reduce swelling.

You can also take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary. If the bruise doesn’t heal within a few days, it’s best to see a doctor.

Toe Caps for Hiking

If you’re looking for a way to protect your toes while hiking, toe caps can be a great option. They fit over your toes like socks, and they provide protection from bumps, scrapes, and other injuries. Toe caps are also a good option if you have toes that are prone to blisters.

If you’re going to be using toe caps, make sure that they fit well and are made from a breathable material. You don’t want them to cause more discomfort than the hike itself!


The conclusion to can you hike with a missing toenail is yes.? We hope this article has given you some useful information about how to handle hiking with an injury or ailment. The answer is usually yes, but it’s important that you listen to your body and take care of yourself first. If you’re still not sure whether or not to go on a hike with a missing toenail, rest a few days if you can.

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