No one wants to have cracked, roughed up, yellowed and ragged toenails. These symptoms can be an indication of nail fungus which can be easily treated. If your foot treatments don’t make them go away-then you should blame your shoes. And, you should go for the best walking shoes for flat feet to get remedies of all kinds of messing up your toenails.

Here are the 3 ways your shoes are messing up your toenails:

1. Working out is great for your body, but it’s bad for your toenails

Ballet dancers and runners know that bumping your toes up against the slippers and sneakers can make the toenails brittle. Squeezing your feet into tight cycling shoes can also do the same thing.

“Feet have a tendency to swell up during prolonged periods of exercise and this can cause your shoes to be too snug, leading to blisters, or even your toenails falling off,” explains Beth Bishop, partner and lead instructor of The Phoenix Effect.

How to fix this:

Bishop recommends to get your cycling shoes professionally fitted or to invest in a quality pair of cycling socks.

2. Shoes that are too tight

More than 70% of people purchase shoes that are too tight and too small. When buying shoes, it’s crucial to pay attention to the toe box, the front part that goes up, around and over your toes. If that part is too tight, your toes will bang up against at every single step. Those tiny injuries can actually cause onychodystrophy- better known as nails that look nasty.

How to fix this:

Choose shoes with a wider toe box. Anytime you can, wear open-toed shoes to give your nails a rest.

3. Your Athlete’s foot is commuting with you

Even though you’re extra careful at the gym, you can still get fungus. Once the fungus sticks into your shoes, it can stay there for a long time. Most of the anti-fungal creams of athlete’s foot don’t cure toenail fungus only a laser treatment can help you. Unfortunately, if there’s still fungus in your shoes, your infection will get back very fast.

How to fix it:

Open your shoes, undo the buckles, pull out the shoelaces and leave them to ventilate. You can also leave them directly exposed to sunlight since sunlight can kill fungal spores. Keep your shoes dry and spray the inside with disinfectant at least once a week.