10 Best Hallux Rigidus Shoes: Healthy Feet & Toes

best shoes for hallux rigidus

Hallux Rigidus is a condition that’s often overlooked, but can really affect day-to-day life. Luckily, there are shoes available that have been designed to help sufferers cope with the pain and discomfort of this condition.

We’ll be offering some advice on treatments, as well as a buying guide so that you know exactly what to look for in your next footwear purchase.

We’ve found the 10 best shoes on the market for those suffering from Hallux Rigidus and Limitus, whether you’ll be wearing them to work, run or head out on the town...


Comparison Table - Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus


Image 
Product Name
Type of Shoe
Colour Options
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
Propet Stability Walker (Black)

Propet Stability Walker (Black)

Walking Shoe

16 Options

$

New Balance Men's MX608V4 Training Shoe

New Balance Men's MX608V4 Training Shoe

Training Shoe

19 Options

$

ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

Running Shoe

15 Options

$$

Onemix Men's Lightweight Air Cushion Sport Running Shoes

Onemix Men's Lightweight Air Cushion Sport Running Shoes

Running Shoe

7 Options

$$$

Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog

Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog

Clog

White, Navy, Black

$

Propét Women's TravelActiv Fashion Sneaker

Propét Women's TravelActiv Fashion Sneaker

Sneaker

11 Options

$

Propet Stability Walker (Brown)

Propet Stability Walker (Brown)

Walking Shoe

15 Options

$

Vionic With Orthaheel Amber Woman's Sandal

Vionic with Orthaheel Amber Women's Sandal

Sandal

9 Options

$

Vionic Adrie Women's Casula Ankle Boot

Vionic Adrie Womens Casual Ankle Boot

Ankle Boot

Taupe

$$$$

Dansko Women's Professional Leather

Dansko Women's Professional Leather

Clog

Black Patent, Black

$$$$


What is Hallux Rigidus?


Hallux Rigidus is the abnormal stiffness of the big toe, and can really take its toll on sufferers of it. Due to issues surrounding the joint at the bottom of the big toe, or ‘hallux’, motion is often extremely limited and uncomfortable.


This lack of movement can cause pain and makes general tasks, such as walking, more difficult. This can be an inherited issue, or may simply arise from foot-type. Lifestyle can play a role, too, with overuse of or putting too much pressure on the big toe at certain angles leading to longer-term issues.


Hallux Rigidus often refers to the later stage of this disorder, with Hallux Limitus normally being diagnosed earlier, and being less severe. Rigidus indicates the extreme stage of this disorder and is identified through the fact that it becomes near-impossible to move the toe(s).


What is Hallux Limitus?


hallux rigidus shoes

This is usually the initial stage of the disorder, and arises before Hallux Rigidus.


At this stage, there is still motion around the toe but there will be pain and discomfort present. People with this condition can still move the affected toe(s), but will struggle to do so without painful side effects. 


As with the later stages, this can be an inherited issue or may arise from lifestyle choices.


While in the earlier stages, there are ways to manage the pain and discomfort that’s caused, including a change in footwear. The joint may feel stiff, tight or ‘in the wrong place’, as well as being inflamed.


It’s important to address this issue early on, as long-term sufferers often find other parts of their bodies suffering. Hip pain and general joint issues can arise due to sufferers walking in an unnatural way in order to compensate for the toe pain.


Causes


It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what causes these issues, but there a few causes that can be identified early on. Foot-type can play a large role in foot issues, due to arch-issues and problems since birth.


High arches, for example, lead to an imbalance in pressure distribution - when walking, people with high arches unintentionally place too much pressure at the front of their foot, thus causing issues with the toe joints.

Big or long toes can also cause issues, due to pressure and force problems, again.


Ill-fitting shoes, high heels or incorrect shoes for running are all contributors. Again, it comes down to where the pressure and force of walking and moving is being directed.


Work that involves a lot of squatting can mean that the big toe is elevated, or placed in an upward-facing position, for long periods of time. This puts strain on the joint and surrounding cartilage.


How do Good Shoes Help Reduce Pain?


So, does wearing suitable shoes actually help? Yes!

And, lucky you, we’ve found the 10 best shoes for Hallux Rigidus and Limitus. Wearing shoes that are designed to make things easier for you is never going to be a bad thing, let’s be honest.

And they’re not hideously ugly, either...

Even Pressure

Shoes can make a huge difference to how your feet feel, and this condition is no exception. Hallux Rigidus shoes are designed to cushion the toe and evenly spread the pressure of walking across the whole foot.

Rather than putting force on one tiny area of your foot, or toes, specialist shoes will even things out and make moving more comfortable. 

Shock Absorption

The right shoes will have great shock absorption, again, protecting your toe from impact when walking or running. This is often featured in the outer soles of the shoe, and helps to distribute the pressure of moving.
If you’re looking for shoes to run or exercise in, make sure they have shock-absorbing technology. This will reduce any pain when your foot hits the floor, whether you’re walking, running or jumping! 

Plenty of Room

There are lots of shoes with plenty of room at the front, meaning that your big toes can rest comfortably, whatever position you are in, without being squashed and cramped.

This reduces the amount of unnecessary pain caused by Hallux Rigidus and Limitus, making things less traumatic than they need to be. 

Support

Overall, good shoes will provide support to your feet. Simple as that! This is very important for everyone, but especially those with foot pain.

Supportive shoes will make sure your feet are in the right position while you move. Added cushioning will help your feet stay protected and allow you to walk, run and stand without experiencing excessive pain or discomfort. 


Features of the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus


Soft Material

 

While the shoe itself should be nice and sturdy, opt for soft material. You don’t want something too stiff that takes a lot of effort to get on and off, as this will cause further problems with your big toe.

They should fit tightly to your feet without feeling cramped or too small. 

Roomy Toe Box

 

Look out for shoes with a large toe box area - this will give your toes enough wiggle (or not wiggle, really!) room and your big toe won’t feel squashed in.

Your big toe may be slightly elevated or may stick out at a strange angle, which can be made more painful by tight toe boxes. Shoes that become considerably narrower at the front are a no-no - avoid heels, too!

Sturdy Soles

 

Of course. Is there a ‘sensible shoe’ in existence that doesn’t have sturdy soles? Don’t worry, they don’t need to look like clumpy school shoes, but you should keep an eye out for shoes with a supportive, thick sole.

You need shoes that will distribute your weight evenly, rather than crushing your toes due to high heels, thin soles or impractical shoes. This is where shock absorption will come in to play, too.

Arch Support

 

Depending on the reason behind your toe issues, your arches may need some extra support. Some sufferers have high arches, meaning that their weight lands on the front of their feet, namely the big toes!

Imagine constantly walking downhill and having your toes rammed against the front of your shoe with each step - painful, right?

Luckily, shoes with arch support exist and actively distribute your weight more evenly, meaning you can walk, run or stand without being in more pain.

Rocker Soles

 

This is an interesting one, and may not really be your style! Rocker soles are essentially shoes that have an upward-curving sole rather than a flat base. This adjustment can be found on all types of shoes, from running to work shoes.

There are two main types - one which raises the front of the foot (the toes) and keeps them from directly hitting the ground each time you step and from moving much in general; one where the centre of the rocker-curve is in the middle of the foot, meaning your feet roll up from the heel when you step.


For Hallux Rigidus shoes, I’d suggest going for a front-based curve. 


10 Hallux Rigidus Shoes Reviewed


Men’s Top Five

New Balance Men's MX608V4 Training Shoe

Our Rating

1. New Balance Men's MX608v4 Training Shoe

New Balance is an amazing sportswear brand, and these shoes are ideal for exercise, work and daily life. They have a nice, wide fit to allow plenty of room for your toes to be comfy, but also offer support while you move.

These trainers offer shock-absorbing technology to keep your feet safe while you move and are made from soft leather. They come in a variety of colors, so can be bought as work shoes or active-wear.

Their laces allow you to fit these to your foot however securely and tightly you like, making sure you’re always comfortable.

These are the best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus sufferers.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Soft leather keeps your feet comfortable
  • There’s a wide-fit option that doesn’t compromise on style
  • New Balance design shoes for people who move, so these are great for sports
  • The toe box is roomy and allows your toes to rest in a comfy position
  • Shock-absorption cushions and protects your toe, reducing pain

Cons

  • Not as padded as the older versions of this shoe, so be warned if you’re a repeat-buyer
  • They offer some arch support, but there are better options available to those with real arch issues!

2. ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

Asics are another brand renowned for their comfy sports-wear, and these GEL trainers are perfect for those with toe problems.

These trainers are designed to be worn while running or exercising, meaning that they have a sturdy and supportive sole.

This makes them one of the best shoes for Hallux Rigidus available, as they cushion feet and spread pressure evenly. As a friendly bonus, the shoes also feature a gel pad to keep your feet comfy while you move.

These are a great choice for anyone with toe issues as the toe box is roomy allows you to keep your feet in a comfy position, whatever you’re doing.

ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

87%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • These trainers are made from a breathable fabric, so can be used for light jogging or running
  • The inner sock-liner can be removed and replaced with a special Hallux-related insole
  • The heel area is nice and deep, so your entire foot will be cushioned, not just your toes!

Cons

  • Although suited to casual running, these don’t offer enough support to be used solely for professional runners
  • The sock-liner can be swapped but the insole cannot be taken out and replaced, which can be frustrating for those with orthopedic insoles they wish to use
Onemix Men's Lightweight Air Cushion Sport Running Shoes

Our Rating

3. Onemix Men's Lightweight Air Cushion Sport Running Shoes

These shoes are designed for those who enjoy running and exercising outdoors, and keep your toes protected while you do so. Slipping can cause your toe to jam against the front of your shoes, making Hallux Rigidus or Limitus even more painful.

These trainers feature anti-slip, and super grippy, soles to keep you safe. Despite not coming from a world-renowned brand, these shoes are made to high standards and feature all the tech of known brand.

The rocker-sole keeps the pressure off your toes and supports your whole foot while you move.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • The color and style of these shoes is pretty vibrant and fun, which makes a nice change from most orthopedic-recommended shoes
  • The material used is breathable and lightweight, so these are perfect for runners
  • These shoes have a non-slip sole, as well as great traction - these are ideal for outdoor exercise

Cons

  • Due to the colors and style of this shoe, they’re not suited to most workplaces
  • For a relatively unknown brand, these seem a little pricey. In terms of comfort and support, however, they’re worth it!

4. Propet Stability Walker

These rocker-sole shoes from Propet are ideal for anyone struggling with toe-related pain and discomfort.

They’re made from soft leather, meaning they will comfortably fit your foot and allow movement.

The rubber sole is curved to take pressure and impact off the toe area.

They also offer arch support, again cushioning the feet and not adding unwanted pressure to the front of your feet.

Propet Stability Walker (Black)

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

71%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Great for walking due to the sturdy soles and added traction
  • Soft leather will mould to your feet, keeping you comfy
  • Elevates your big toes and takes pressure off them whole walking
  • Wider toe box than many standard shoes
  • Option for wide-fit shoes while maintaining support

Cons

  • Due to the added ankle support, they take a little time to wear in
  • Not the most stylish shoe! Good for labourers and outdoor work, however

5. Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog

Ah, Crocs! One way to divide a room, that’s for sure. Those who wear them tend to swear by their comfort and practicality; those who don’t tend to be put off by their appearance.

However you feel about them, Crocs are well worth giving a try if you suffer from foot or toe pain. The closed-toe has lots of room for your toes to rest as comfortably as possible.

Unlike the original Crocs, these shoes fully cover the front part of your foot, making them ideal for anyone working in a hot kitchen who needs to be comfy and safe!

The outer sole is very grippy, so it can be worn indoors and outdoors with confidence. This classic is also Unisex so there is no excuse for you and your partner not to wear them!

Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

78%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • The material is lightweight and breathable, so they can be worn for long periods of time
  • They’re comfy enough to wear all day
  • The material is quite spongy and has a lot of ‘give’ to it, meaning your feet are always cushioned
  • These hole-free versions of the original Crocs can be worn in a variety of environments

Cons

  • Style-wise, these obviously won’t suit everyone’s tastes
  • They aren’t suited to every workplace or lifestyle
  • They don’t offer arch-specific support, if this is something you need to bear in mind

Women’s Top Five

Propét Women's TravelActiv Fashion Sneaker

Our Rating

1. Propét Women's TravelActiv Fashion Sneaker

These are really lovely shoes for general wearing - they can be worn in some workplaces, thanks to their neutrality, or just out and about. They’re super lightweight and feature a flexible sole that helps you foot stay supported in any position.

The shoes also feature a mesh designed to let your feet breathe, making them a good choice for outdoor walking and gentle running.

If you’re after a pair of everyday shoes that will boost your foot-health, these are the best shoes for Hallux Rigidus you’ll find that don’t look like stereotypical orthopedic shoes!

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

82%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • These shoes are made from a lightweight synthetic material which allows your feet to breathe
  • They’re neutral and inoffensive
  • The spongy, supportive sole will help to evenly distribute your weight while you move
  • The inner sole can be removed and replaced with a medical or orthopedic insole if needed
  • Propet create shoes that are good for your feet without necessarily looking like shoes that are good for your feet! No more huge, clunky monstrosities...

Cons

  • They’re a little on the flimsy side in terms of running or heavy-duty exercising

2. Propet Stability Walker

Another pair from Propet, these trainers are some of the best out there for Hallux Rigidus and Limitus sufferers. They come in a variety of colors, so you can choose something neutral for work or go for something bright and fun if you fancy embracing the fashion-trainer trend.

These are supportive and bulky, but in the best way possible. Style is very personal, but these are pretty nice looking in comparison to orthopedic-trainers of the past.

They come in lots of different widths, meaning your toes aren’t crammed in if you have naturally-wide feet. They offer great traction and arch support, meaning you can exercise in them, too.

Propet Stability Walker (Brown)

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

71%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • The outer soles of these shoes are very sturdy and offer amazing traction, making them ideal for outdoor use
  • They offer great sole support, as well as looking after your toes, so can be worn by those who spend long periods of time standing
  • These offer a stable, constant level of motion, whatever surface you’re walking on - this prevents excess pressure or force hitting your toes when you move

Cons

  • They take some time to wear in due to the strong materials used
  • They don’t go very far up the ankle, which could be a problem for those who need extra ankle support
Vionic With Orthaheel Amber Woman's Sandal

Our Rating

3. Vionic with Orthaheel Amber Women's Sandal

If you’re after something slightly more ‘dressy’, these sandals are a great option. They came in a range of colors, so there should be something there that you like the look of.

While they might not be your initial choice in terms of style, they’re a lot better looking than most orthopedic sandals. The curve of the sole keeps your toes elevated and the open-toe lets them settle in a comfy position.

There’s a whole load of support going on under your feet, with cushioning and arch support. There’s also a really handy midsole with shock-absorbing technology, so you can walk on most terrains without jolting your feet and causing added toe pain.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Stylish, as far as ‘sensible shoes’ go!
  • Shock-absorbing, so can be worn outside and for long period of time
  • Open-toed to allow you to find a comfy position for your feet
  • Rocker-soles keep your toes from being rammed forwards
  • Great arch support

Cons

  • These sandals aren’t as breathable as some people may like, especially during hot summer weather
  • The material used for the straps can be stiff at first, so give yourself some time to wear them in

4. Vionic Adrie Womens Casual Ankle Boot

Finally, some decent boots that won’t kill your feet! These little ankle boots are a great choice for the style-conscious among you, and will look after your feet too.

These are much-loved for the fact that they look like ‘normal’ boots but actually have lots of hidden tech to look after your toes. The boots are made from leather, so have plenty of ‘give’ and are very comfy to wear for long periods of time.

There’s a special footbed feature, which cushions your feet and evenly distributes your weight while you walk - great for those with painful toes. The insole helps keep your feet in the right place, so that you don’t put unnecessary pressure on your heels or toes.

Vionic Adrie Women's Casula Ankle Boot

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

64%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Smart enough to be worn in most workplaces
  • Smart enough to be worn in most workplaces
  • The soles of these boots are very durable and can be worn outdoors as well as indoors
  • The cushioned heel offers support without looking bulky and ugly

Cons

  • These boots aren’t waterproof, but can easily be sprayed with a waterproof coating if needed
  • The leather is lightweight but not super-breathable, so not suited to long walks or hot climates
Dansko Women's Professional Leather

Our Rating

5. Dansko Women's Professional Leather

Women on the hunt for work shoes that won’t crush your feet, look no further! These leather clogs from Dansko will do just the job. Yep, they’re a little bit clunky-looking at first, but these feel so comfy that you’ll quickly let go of any style-related reservations.

Every part of this shoe seems to be padded with a lovely, cushiony fabric so your whole foot will be comfy, not just your toes. The toe-box is very roomy, which makes a change from narrow work-shoes.

There’s a lot of reinforcements in the way of shock-absorption, so these are perfect for anyone whose job takes them from the office to concrete warehouses to outdoor terrains.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

63%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • The best pick for anyone who spends a lot of their day on their feet
  • Lots of shock-absorbing technology means that your toes won’t suffer while you move around
  • The toe-box allows room for your toes to be as comfortable as possible
  • The strap keeps you feeling secure despite the roominess

Cons

  • They’ll need some wearing in due to the sturdy support they offer
  • They may seem very pricey, but they’re long-term investments that will genuinely improve your foot-health and, therefore, your general wellbeing

Other Treatments & Exercises for Pain Relief


Alongside wearing suitable shoes, there are a number of other steps (sorry!) that you can towards relieving foot pain. While some may seem a little drastic, there are other, easy ways to improve your daily life and wellbeing.

Insoles

Special insoles can be bought and inserted into regular shoes. These will normally offer extra cushioning to the arches of the feet. Many people compensate for their toe-pain by walking on the outer edges of their feet - this can be a short-term relief, but often results in hip pain and joint issues.

Insoles are designed to balance body weight and protect the toes from jarring. They will often feature raised or thicker areas, which are designed to keep your feet in a certain position, thus preventing excess pressure on your toes.

Orthotics

Shoes can be adapted to better fit the feet if there are limited options available. These adaptations normally feature the rocker-soles mentioned earlier, and will help elevate your toes and prevent them from shock or trauma.

This is particularly useful for those who spend a lot of time walking on uneven or very solid terrain, such as outdoor work or concrete floors, those who squat for long periods of time or those who walk a lot.

It’s worth considering adapting your current shoes if you have other foot-related issues to take into account. Running, hiking and walking shoes are some of the shoes that are most often adapted.

Surgery

Of course, surgery is an option. This is generally seen as a last resort, or as a much-needed step if there is a lot of traumatic side effects resulting from the condition.

Toe surgery of this sort will involve changing the shape, and amount, of cartilage around the joint of the big toe. Old, loose cartilage is removed.

This then allows room for new and spongy, supportive cartilage to grow, which in turn allows for more movement. Some surgical options also include the removal of some bone in the big toe, which can lead the toe very loose and floppy, but much more comfortable.

Stretches

best boots for hallux rigidus

Possibly the easiest option, and often very successful, stretching can be done at home. Flexing the big toe can make a big difference if done regularly.

Using your hands to help you, move your big toe slowly so that it bends forwards and backwards.

This can improve the muscle around the toe and can really help improve mobility in the earlier stages of Hallux Limitus.

You can also try spreading your toes, as if trying to get the largest toe-span possible. Hold for a few seconds before pressing them closely together.

Again, you can use your hands to help your toes move.  The key is to go slowly, not force it and to stick at it - you won’t get results overnight, but long-term benefits will arise.

Taping

Kinesiology tape can be used to hold the foot, and toes, in a position that either reduces pain or enables more movement. Depending on the underlying issues, tape can be applied either by a medical professional, or by yourself at home if you have been taught how.

Taping around the toe can reduce pain and keep it in a stable position. Taping around the foot can help balance out issues caused by high arches, thus keeping the toes on more of a level wit the rest of the foot.

This can enable more movement, as the toes are no longer fighting to be elevated to a similar height as the foot already is.


Conclusion


Hallux Rigidus and Hallux Limitus are two stages of a painful and distressing disorder, but need not ruin your life. Luckily, there are certain types of shoe available for every imaginable activity, all of which offer the right kind of support.

Whether you’re after the best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus or want a work shoe to ease the pain of Hallux Limitus, we’ve got you covered. These shoes are all designed to improve foot health, and we’ve listed a few other handy ways to reduce the pain caused by these conditions.

Hopefully you’ve found something that works for you, and are well on the way to healthier, and happier, feet!

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