What am I doing to my foot?
July 9, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I've taken up walking on a treadmill lately, and as I ramp up the intensity I seem to be bruising one small spot on one foot. I'm not sure what I'm doing to cause it. It's not a shoe issue. I get this whether I'm wearing regular running shoes or my Vibrams.

After about fifteen minutes, I'll feel a sort of pinching or spike in my right foot between my first two metatarsals. It becomes more pronounced as I go on. If I keep going for a while, the area will feel a bit tender after I get off the treadmill and walk around and when I check afterwards, there's a red squishy spot on the bottom of my foot. [photo] (It looks more raised in that photo than it really is). Some of the redness is definitely blood, because I get that blood-under-skin effect as it heals. It's not like the usual blisters I get from overdoing it, which (a) are just on the surface and not "deep" like this, (b) don't really hurt, and (c) go away pretty quickly. The sore spot is on the part of my right foot that gets pressure on push-off, not landing.

I'm obese, which probably isn't helping, but if it were just that, I'd expect my other foot or knees to be giving me trouble, and they're not. I've temporarily switched to the stationary bike, but I don't like it as much as the treadmill.
posted by Karmakaze to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Is it in the neighborhood of where your foot strikes? Even if you don't think it is, you should try changing your gait and altering the way your foot is striking the treadmill. Try a heel strike if you're currently doing a toe strike.

I got spots like that when I started running (visibly red and deeply sore). I don't remember what I did about them. I think they just eventually went away, but mine weren't bad enough to make stop.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:22 AM on July 9, 2010

Do you wear good socks that fit tightly around your feet?
posted by furisto at 8:46 AM on July 9, 2010

I get these from time to time from using an elliptical. I noticed that it becomes much more pronounced when I wear a certain type of shoe that is much looser than my usual running shoes. I know you said it wasn't a shoe issue but I thought I'd throw my anecdotal data on the pile.
posted by msbutah at 8:47 AM on July 9, 2010

Response by poster: It happens with and without socks. (Well, I always wear socks with the running shoes, but sometimes wear the Vibram's barefoot.)
posted by Karmakaze at 8:51 AM on July 9, 2010

That's pretty weird. I would see a podiatrist. Also, a podiatrist can make you custom orthotic inserts molded to your individual feet. Custom inserts are the best thing ever!
posted by Jacqueline at 9:11 AM on July 9, 2010

Just because it happens with "all" shoes doesn't mean it's not a shoe issue. What Jacqueline said about custom inserts, only they're expensive. Your foot hits the "ground" in a way that causes bruising and you need to change it, either by modifying your gait (hard to do) or by modifying your shoe (with an insert). You can make your own if you can figure out what kind of motion is causing the problem.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:18 PM on July 9, 2010

Walking in a shoe made for running can cause a lot of pain. There really is a big difference between walking shoes and running shoes. I learned that the hard way!

Try a walking shoe for walking before you go so far as to get custom orthotics.
posted by ErikaB at 4:37 PM on July 9, 2010

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