Hallux Rigidus, sometimes referred to as “stiff big toe,” is a degenerative arthritic condition. It is caused by bone spurs at the base of the hallux (the big toe).
At the base of the big toe sits the MTP joint, and Hallux Rigidus can lead to pain and stiffness throughout the toe, both during movement and rest. It’s an ailment that can prevent people from participating in activities such as running or other forms of exercise.
It can even make going up the stairs a struggle. The inflammation and swelling around the MTP joint can become worse with time, so it’s crucial that people with Hallux Rigidus wear proper footwear to prevent any further changes in their condition.
To find the best shoes for Hallux Rigidus, it’s important to look for options that keep the foot in a stable and secure position, even while in motion. The shoe should also prevent the big toe, or any of the toes for that matter, from shifting or bending while walking.
The shoe’s uppers should be flexible and soft, while the sole should have more sturdiness to it. A more snug fit will be more accommodating for someone with this condition, and orthotic inserts or cushioned insoles can help, too.
Check out some of the best footwear choices for Hallux Rigidus below.
Altra Intuition 4.5 Sneaker
The Intuition 4.5 from Altra features a six millimeter contoured footbed with an EVA top-layer midsole and engineered mesh uppers. Using Altra’s InnerFlex and FootPod technology, these sneakers have grooves in the midsole to allow for greater flexibility while in motion.
In addition, the outsole is more responsive to the anatomy of the wearer’s foot to help it bend and move in a more natural way. For those with Hallux Rigidus, the roomy, FootShape toe box of these shoes might raise some concerns, but it should be just enough space to allow the feet to breathe without compromising their stability.
Altra’s running shoes are known for their great shock absorption, so they’re a good choice for those who are constantly on their feet or out and about.
As far as Amazon reviews go, these sneakers earned 4.4 out of 5 stars among buyers. The overwhelming majority of customers found the shoes to fit as expected.
The sneakers provide good shock absorption and don’t put pressure on the toes, a huge plus for those with Hallux Rigidus. Moreover, the shoe is lightweight enough to allow for all day wear or longer runs.
The slightly wider toe box means that those with hammertoes, Hallux Rigidus, and similar conditions can rest assured knowing that their feet are not squished inside the shoe. Many buyers have also reported back that this pair of sneakers can last hundreds of miles, making them a worthy investment.
If there are any complaints, it’s that they can be quite spacious for some people.
- Altra cushioning technology
- Encourages natural walking form
- Good shock absorption
- May be too soft for some
- Too much room in toe box
- Ideal Uses: Running, Long Distance Walking, Cross Training
- Designed To Improve: Natural Foot Positioning, Walking Form, Toe Splay, Comfort
- Platform: Fully Cushioned Zero Drop platform and FootShape toe box
- Upper: Engineered Mesh Upper
- Other Features: Natural Ride System, All New Upper Design; Full Rubber Outsole; Same Last as Instinct/Intuition 1.5
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 Running Shoes
The GTS stands for “go-to shoe,” a title it earned for being an all-around good choice for so many people. These sneakers are best for those with flat to medium arches, as they have a softer underfoot and a midsole drop of 12 millimeters.
The Air Mesh uppers provide greater breathability, and the securely structured saddle wraps around the heel and midfoot for a more snug fit. Brooks put a lot of their patented technology into these running shoes.
Their BioMoGo DNA midsole is padded, but still responds to the wearer’s stride. The Progressive Diagonal Rollbar prevents pronation, or the inward rolling of the foot.
The soles are equipped with a segmented “crash pad.”
These are grooved textures that ensure the foot stays stable, no matter how it makes contact with the ground. Paired with the swooped sidewall, the impact moves away from the foot so every landing feels soft and even.
This shoe is definitely stylish and will turn heads on and off the track. Amazon buyers gave these sneakers 4.4 out of 5 stars, and many cited it as one of the best versions of Brooks’ Adrenaline series. Some of the reviewers stated that they struggle with foot conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis or bone spurs, so that’s a good sign for Hallux Rigidus sufferers.
Others have combined these sneakers with their own custom orthotics for the best fit. The arch support is great and the feel of them mimics the natural shape of a foot.
It’s a sturdy shoe and a common compliment is that customers felt stable in these sneakers. It’s also nice that they’re breathable and have a moisture-wick lining.
This is great for runners, as well as those who are constantly moving on the job.
- Brooks crash pad cushioning
- Excellent foot stability
- Tailored to flat feet and medium arches
- Not suited to more severe Hallux Rigidus
- Sizing runs small
- With stellar cushioning and a more streamlined look, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 running shoe will have you ready to perform at your best!
- Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 17.
- Support Type: Overpronation/Stability.
- Cushioning: High energizing cushioning.
- Surface: Road. Differential: 12 mm. Breathable, flexible mesh and structurally supportive synthetic upper materials. Adjustable, asymmetrical mid-foot saddle creates a more secure, customizable fit. Lace-up closure. Plush tongue and collar. Comfortable fabric lining offers a great in-shoe feel. Removable molded foam insole supplies light underfoot cushioning. BioMoGo DNA has a gender-friendly cushioning design, making for a dynamic ride. Progressive Diagonal Rollbar: tri-density midso
Hoka One One Clifton 4 Running Shoe
Hoka One One might not be a familiar brand to some people, but they’re committed to innovative athletic shoes. That being said, a person doesn’t have to be a gym rat to enjoy these sneakers.
The Clifton 4s are lightweight and have neutral stability so the foot can achieve a natural placement in the shoe. They have modest cushioning and are available in standard and wide sizes.
The fully-EVA midsole features a consistent foam padding throughout its length, and the forefoot is adaptive and smooth. There is a heel-toe drop of five millimeters.
A breathable upper mesh allows for a more relaxed, yet snug fit. This sneaker comes with Hoka One One’s molded Ortholite Sockliner to add to the pillowy support.
The soles are geometrically designed to provide a more stable landing, which also helps with shock absorption. In addition, Hi-Abrasion rubber soles take some of the weight off the joints.
These sneakers come in a variety of colors and have an average user rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They’ve been recommended by podiatrists and customers with metatarsal bone injuries have reported great things about the shoes.
The wide curved sole is a crowd favorite because it reduces the stress from landing in one spot on the foot. Many of the reviewers expressed satisfaction with the shoes’ ability to stand up to all-day walking or standing jobs, such as nursing.
While there is padding throughout the sole, there seems to be more of a focus on the heel, which might not bode well for those with severe Hallux Rigidus. Furthermore, the uppers could be a bit more supportive; there are users who said that they started to get pain on the dorsal, or top, surface of their feet.
One way to combat this is by tying the laces a different way, perhaps looping them in the opposite direction.
- Supportive cushioning
- Wide curved sole
- Not suitable for severe Hallux Rigidus
- Uppers could be more supportive
KEEN Newport H2 Sandal
During the summer months, people don’t want to have to wear ugly, protective footwear. These sandals from KEEN are a best seller on their website and look great on the trail, at the beach, or chilling at home.
It’s a fresh take on a water shoe that will suit all ages. An enclosed toe box ensures the toes stay safe and protected from the elements or environmental debris. They’re constructed of PFC-free water-resistant materials and include KEEN’s Cleansport NXT for odor control.
The EVA footbed is designed to be anatomically consistent with natural human feet for great arch support and cushiony cradling. The midsole is compression molded for additional softness.
A webbed polyester upper combines comfort and ease, as it’s super washable. A rubber toe bumper adds another layer of protection, perfect for those with Hallux Rigidus. The lacing system is designed to create a snug fit that’s still breathable.
Amazon buyers gave these sandals 4.4 out of 5 stars, with the majority of them saying these shoes are well made and can stand up to trips and daily use. They come in a range of colors and styles to suit anyone’s personality and preferences, too.
Compared to other KEEN models, it’s clear that the Newport H2 sandals provide more in terms of reinforced protection. That should set some people’s minds at ease, especially if they’re worried about doing further damage to their feet.
In fact, these sandals cup the entire foot to create a more even layer of protection. This also makes them more robust. These seem like a good fit for those who need something to accommodate wider shoe sizes.
- Anatomically-designed footbed
- Rubber toe bumper
- Suitable for daily use
- Bulkier fit
- Sizing runs small
- Sporty sandal featuring contrast stitching, ghillie lacing, and rubber toe bumper
- AEGIS Microbe Shield lining,Fit Tip: This style is running a 1/2 size small. We suggest ordering a 1/2 size larger than your usual size!
- Compression-molded EVA midsole. Secure fit lace capture system. Hydrophobic mesh lining
- Multi-directional lugs. Secure fit lace capture system. It has the airiness of a sandal and the toe protection of a shoe.
- TPU stability shank ; PFC Free materials ; Washable webbing upper is suitable for hiking, walking, and all adventures, in and out of the water.
Propet Travelactiv Sneaker
Propet’s a low-key brand, but their Travelactiv sneaker can hang with the leading fashion sneakers. Affordably priced, they’re lightweight and have a removable EVA footbed.
The insole is cushioned to accommodate the wearer, while the outsoles have the flexibility to allow for a freer range of motion. They’re stain and water resistant, so they’re great for taking on the go.
The engineered outer mesh makes walking more comfortable, and they’re true to size. Speaking of which, they come in standard, wide, and extra wide sizes.
These lightweight sneakers have earned 4.4 out of 5 stars among Amazon buyers, with a number of them saying they’re great for foot conditions such as bunions and Plantar Fasciitis. The wider sizes can easily accommodate these kinds of ailments while still providing the comfortable support they need.
The shoes could use a second insole, but they’re not a bad deal for the price.
- Can fit orthotics
- Wide, comfy fit
- Could use extra cushioning
- Plain looking
- Two tone mesh upper with mesh lining
- Lightweight traveltek eva outsole for durability and traction
- Cushioned eva insole
- 6 XX-Wide