Andrea Ivins

Question: Recently while exercising on the cardio machines, my toes went numb within a few minutes of working out. Any ideas as to what is causing this?

Answer: Numbness in the toes is a common complaint among treadmill and elliptical users. Often, the cause is wearing shoes that are too tight or tying the shoelaces too tight.

Feet swell when exercising, so make sure when purchasing shoes you try them on at the end of the day and opt for a wider toe box so toes have room to move.

If you believe that your shoes are the correct size, make sure you allow for some time to stretch the foot and lower leg before beginning your workout.

Tightness may lead to improper form, which could lead to numbness. If the numbness persists, you may have a nerve issue called Morton’s neuroma, where the pressure on the nerves between the 2nd-3rd toes or 3rd-4th toes causes the numbness. In this case it’s important to see a podiatrist to help treat the condition.

About the author: Andrea Ivins is the club manager and Zumba Instructor at Anytime Fitness in Palestine, TX.

To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at

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