When you have hallux rigidus, you tend to adjust your gait in response to the pain in your big toe. This might result in pain, fatigue or stress on your body especially the hips, knees and lower back. However, with the right kind of running shoes, this complication can be effectively treated or avoided.
The best running shoes for hallux rigidus come with zero-drop platforms and rocker bottoms to minimize pressure on the ball of the foot. Plus the toe-box should be wide enough to allow ample toe splay.
See the reviews below!
Related: Running with Hallux Rigidus
Reviews: 7 Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus 2022
As an ideal running shoes for hallux rigidus, Clifton 4 features a wide toe box and a seamless construction to enhance comfort during workout. The EVA material utilized in its midsole runs full-length to provide a responsive cushioning throughout the shoe. With its Meta-Rocker construction, you’re sure not to hurt your toes because of the smooth heel-to-toe transition.
The outsole has been redesigned with the aim of improving the heel-to-toe transition and the surface traction. The outsole design also aims at amplifying the energy return during work out.
The upper unit makes use of Engineered Mesh, an upgrade from its predecessor. The mesh is breathable to enable ample air flow inside the shoe and it’s also elastic to conform to the shape of the foot. Thus, no extra pressure is added to the toes. Unlike in the third edition of Clifton, the Engineered Mesh in this Clifton 4 is more durable and lighter.
To add to the durability of the upper unit, there is a 3D Puff Print Frame which also helps in locking the foot to prevent any wobbling. Plus the Ortholite Sockliner is molded to mimic the shape of the foot. What’s more, this insole also absorbs moisture from the foot, while promoting a healthy environment inside the shoe.
Hoka Bondi 5 is designed with a snug fit to cater for those with hallux rigidus. Not only does it have a wide and deep toe box, it also offers a comfortable fit from heel to toe. The Heel Bevel design delivers a thick and stiff outsole to bar your toes from flexing thereby preventing/correcting hallux rigidus.
The midsole features an updated EVA material that runs through the entire length of the shoe. This guarantees you of a responsive cushioning and hence one of the best running experience. You’ll also be impressed with the new fresh look of the midsole.
The upper unit makes use 3D Puff Print Frame and a Comfort Frame both of which enhance lightweight and add support for maximum comfort. In addition, this material is breathable to keep the foot dry and odourless.
The shoe is available in medium to wide widths for men and medium widths for women. Plus there’s a wide range of colors to choose from especially for women.
One of the salient feature with Altra Torin 3.0 is the wide toe box, a key benefit for people suffering for hallux rigidus. The midsole features a two-layer EVA material to establish an excellent ground experience so that your underfoot is comfortable and resistant to impact shock during landing.
An additional contour foot-bed takes the natural shape of the underfoot to support the arch of the foot thereby minimizing pressure on the toes. The flexibility of this shoe is further enhanced with the inclusion of Inner Flex grooves. This allows the foot to move naturally while ensuring a smooth transition from toe to landing.
With its Natural Ride System (NRS), Altra Torin 3.0 is created to offer a zero heel-to-toe drop. This feature allows for natural foot movement while protecting your toes from pain related to hallux rigidus.
The upper unit of Torin 3.0 features a Strobel Last design to provide further cushioning and conforms to the shape of the foot. This means your foot will stay in place when running to minimise injuries on the toes. This shoe is a great remedy for foot positioning and improving toe splay.
Magnify 3 comes with a zero-drop platform which maintains your feet at the ground level. This is aimed at encouraging minimalistic running style which does not put pressure on your toes.
The midsole is essentially a dual-density EVA foam which entails a soft layer and a firmer layer. The former offers a soft cushioning while the latter is responsible for the propulsion. In addition, there’s a firm ortholite footbed meant to deliver extra comfort and enhance the resilience of the midsole.
The toe rocker configuration of the sole unit provide a means for lifting your toes above the ground. This results in reduced pressure at the ball of the foot to prevent or treat hallux rigidus/limitus.
The rubber outsole exhibits sufficient robustness for tackling rough and abrasive surfaces. Plus it delivers excellent grip on surfaces to enhance your safety.
The wide toe box helps in treating hallux rigidus by allowing ample toe splay to minimise stiffness on the big toe. Plus the toe box is designed in the foot anatomy to enhance your stability and comfort.
The breathable mesh keeps the foot chamber very comfortable because of the absence of moisture, odor or excessive heat. The foam collar and the lacing system results is comfortable and secure fit.
The forefoot of Olympus 3.5 comes in a Foot-Shape design which is meant to promote adequate and natural toe movement. Thus, it makes a good remedy for alleviating hallux rigidus.
A full-length midsole cushioning delivers ample impact mitigation which makes you comfortable when running. The platform keeps your heels and forefoot at the same level to minimise pressure at the forefoot. Such a design aims at allowing appropriate toe splay and hence minimize stiffness on the big toe.
A foam-based compound known as A-Bound is also incorporated in the midsole of Olympus 3.5 to make it more comfortable and resilient.
The outsole uses MegaGrip technology which entails a grippy rubber and TrailClaw lugs. This gives it outstanding traction on trail surfaces. Due to the sturdiness of the rubber material, Olympus promises dependable longevity.
To withstand the rough conditions encountered on trails, Altra employs a sturdy mesh and overlays. The overlays promote proper foot clamp-down to ensure your shoes are intact.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 bares the ideal features of a hallux rigidus shoe. The outsole features HPR Plus, a blown rubber compound to give you a responsive foot-bed. Stretching up the forefoot section, this blown rubber adds more cushioning to the toe, thereby reducing pressure on it.
Also present on the outsole are Omni grooves whose main purpose it maintain the natural foot movement. The midsole makes use of BioMoGo DNA, which is responsible for the underfoot cushioning inherent in this shoe. The Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar provides a means for stabilizing the foot and providing enough rigidity to prevent the big toe from injury.
The Omega Flex Grooves together with the Caterpillar Crash Pads work in tandem to absorb impact shocks and make the shoe adhere to the natural movement of the foot. Plus there is a molded insole, plush tongue and collar and lace closer to keep the foot in place
The adjustable mid-foot saddle in upper section holds the foot in place, thereby ensuring comfort and preventing injuries on the big toe. The element mesh makes the shoe breathable, while its lining prevents the shoe from absorbing moisture. Thus, the interior of the shoe remains dry and odourless.
What’s more, this shoe improves your overall running performance while correcting or preventing hallux rigidus.
Altra Instinct 3.0 is designed to give runners an experience that encourages natural foot mechanics while allowing the foot together with the toes maximum freedom. If you are suffering from hallux rigidus, this is exactly what you should be looking for.
The midsole makes use of the A-Bound foam, to offer a more responsive cushioning which is necessary for reducing ground impact. There’s also a lightweight EVA which together with the A-Bound foam help deliver support and comfort during workout. The flex-grooves in the midsole ensure that the cushioning mimics the natural mechanics of the foot.
The forefoot of Altra Instinct 3.0 is designed with a wider toe box allowing runners to wear the shoe without experiencing injuries on their toes. This is good news to those suffering from hallux rigidus. The wide toe box allows the toes to spread out efficiently without suffering injuries.
The upper unit features a lightweight material that efficiently allows good air circulation. The fabric is also comfortable and maintains dry and odourless conditions inside the shoe. In addition, the shoes has a seamless design which makes it soft and smooth to the foot. In fact you can comfortably wear it without socks.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
Running with hallux rigidus can be extremely frustrating. Not only will it cause pain in your feet and toes, but it can also cause pain, stress and fatigue to other parts of the body.
Even worse, hallux rigidus can make abandon your running activities or workout. However, with the right kind of running shoes you can easily recover and prevent recurrence of hallux rigidus.
Before you go out shopping, it’s worth looking at some of the features inherent in these shoes.
1. Thick And Stiff Sole
A shoe that has a thick and stiff sole will do you good if you suffer from hallux rigidus. Such shoes limit the big toe from bending, thus preventing pain related to hallux rigidus. Your gait will therefore not change and other parts of the body will not experience strain.
A thick sole will also protect the joint from the effect of gravel that presses underneath the sole. The thickness of the sole will vary depending on the flexibility of your big toe.
If your big toe is a bit flexible, you may require a sole that will allow some flexibility. On the other hand, if your big toe is stiff, you require a sole that does not allow any flexibility at all.
2. Rocker Sole Shoe
The sole of a rocker shoe has a rounded heel and is thicker than normal. When you run with the hallux rigidus condition, this shoe helps to compensate the lost flexion in the Metatarsus. This ensures that you don’t bend the big toe and thus no pain related to hallux rigidus.
3. Wide Toe Box
Generally, people suffering from hallux rigidus are recommend to go for shoes that have a wide toe box. These shoes allow the toes to spread effectively during landing. Remember that the toe box may be reduced in cases where orthotics are used as a remedy for hallux rigidus.
4. Use Of Orthotics/ Insoles
Investing in orthotic devices can help alleviate pain related to hallux rigidus. The pain/stiffness in the big toe results when the joints between the metatarsal bones strain due biomechanical movements within the foot.
Orthotics are meant to ease the pain by providing the necessary support to the bones of the feet to prevent them from bending. Orthotics help in aligning the bones with the ankles, hips and knees so as to ease the pressure on the metatarsal bones in the big toe.
Also Read: Best Orthotics for Hallux Rigidus
5. Slip On Or Lace Up Shoes?
Lace up shoes fit properly when the laces are pulled up and fastened tightly. This might not go well if you suffer hallux rigidus since it would exert pressure on the big toe. But running shoes need to be securely laced. You can’t run on slip on shoes.
Alternatively, you can opt for elastic laces. These will flex around when weight is exerted on the big toe thereby preventing injuries.
If you suffer from hallux rigidus, this shoe review accompanied by the buying guide will be a handy tool for you. As a general rule, the best running shoes for arthritis in big toe or hallux rigidus are those that have a rocker bottom and a stiff thick sole.
In addition, the shoe ought to have a wide toe box to alleviate pressure on the big toe.