Top of my foot

I have found the last few times running in my VFFs that the top of my feet get sore.  Is this normal?


  • It is fairly common due to doing too much too soon in VFFs, but it's not "normal" - it's a sign of over training and likely injury.
  • It is similar to what was described there.  It is more sore that hurt - meaning it's sore to walk but not to the touch.
  • qcassidy352 and I already suffered through this.  qcassidy352 had a stress fracture.  Mine was tendinitis along the top of the foot.  Both were caused by too much mileage too soon.

    How many VFF miles are you doing per week?  Best to cut it in half, or even down to a quarter.  My longest VFF run since my recovery from my injury has been just under three miles.  I'm running in VFFs no more than twice a week, and for very short distances only.  The rest of the week I'm running shod.
  • yes, cut back now.  If you're lucky, it's just tendonitis, and you'll be Ok in a week.  It's a good sign that it's not sore to the touch, but that's not dispositive of anything.

    If I were you, I'd do ice/ibuprofen, cut my mileage in half, and stop doing ANY running in VFFs until this pain goes away.  Even if it's not a stress fracture yet, it can get there if you're not careful and keep putting strain on your already-sore feet.

    Take it from those of us who have made this mistake already - back off before it's too late.  MUCH better to do reduced mileage in shoes for a couple weeks than to push it and end up in a boot for a couple months.
  • I've just recovered from my top-of-foot-pain. As soon as I got the pain, I stopped almost all barefoot activity (except from walking around in the house and stuff like that like I've always done), but it did not go away. The pain indicated uncomplicated overuse and not stress fracture, but it did not go away. After 3,5 weeks without getting any better I started the following:

    1) wear supportive shoes all day, also inside the house - purpose: simulate total rest. I used regular stability motion control jogging shoes. It was immediately evident how passive the foot gets in such a shoe, since I felt much less aching when moving around in these shoes -- good for rehab, weakens the foot in the long term.
    2) eccentric strengthening exercise for the top of the foot: lift toes all you can, press down toes with hand while resisting. Repeat 20 - 40 times (until reasonably tired), about 5 times a day. Purpose: trigger healing process and supercompensation
    3) hot water bath 15 minutes a day, as hot as you can bare - purpose: heat the injured structures to get better blood flow and speed healing
    4) stretching of top of foot by pushing down toes with hand, hold for one minute. Purpose: it just feels good

    During the first 4 days I noticed no difference, but then the ache started to reduce and after 7 days I had my first pain-free day [edit: okay, morning 8th day and I have some pain again, but anyway, it's getting better].

    So my experience from this is that top of foot pain even if it is not stress fracture can get stuck for weeks (not getting worse, but not better either) if you step back on the load but not enough.
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