The 7 Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus in 2020

If you suffer from hallux rigidus, you know how painful it can be and why optimal footwear is imperative. Sadly, finding shoes that are supportive of such an ailment can prove challenging, especially if you’re looking for something stylish.

For today’s agenda, we’ve found six of the best shoes for hallux rigidus that are also fashionable.

 

Recommended Hallux Rigidus Shoes

1. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2

The Skechers Performance Go Walk 2 was one of the best women’s shoes for hallux rigidus 2019. It includes 360-degree responsive flexibility, which allows the foot to move more naturally. Inside sits an integrated Ortholite antimicrobial sock liner, which prevents odor and slippage.

Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk 2 Slip-On Walking Shoe, White, 9.5 M US
  • V-Stride technology features unique angled outsole that complements a natural walking gait and promotes fluid stride transitions
  • Four way stretch mesh at front for greater flexibilty and comfort; Engineered Stability Mesh side panels provide lateral support
  • Go sockless - Integrated OrthoLite anti-microbial sockliner helps inhibit odor and prevent slippage
  • Resalyte Midsole - proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
  • Independent circular GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a more responsive walking experience

 

2. HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe

The men’s Bondi 6 running shoe from Hoka One One features the most cushioning seen from this brand. It’s a qualified road running shoe with a rubber sole, giving it some flexibility and balance. It also includes Meta-Rocker technology, delivering a consistent feel for all distances.

 

3. Dansko Women’s Season Sandal

The Dansko women’s Season Sandal is a fashionable, yet comfortable choice if you suffer from hallux rigidus. With leather uppers and lightweight construction, it won’t weigh down your feet. The midsole consists of shock-absorbing foam, offering comfort throughout your day.

Dansko Women's Season Black Sandal 9.5-10 M US
  • Leather uppers
  • Dri-Lex socklining for moisture management
  • Shock-absorbing foam midsole for all-day comfort
  • Lightweight construction for all-day wear
  • Forepart insert for additional cushioning

 

4. Birkenstock Essentials Unisex Arizona EVA Sandal

The EVA Sandal from Birkenstock is a unisex choice, suitable for running casual errands or for around the house. It’s lightweight and highly flexible, while the EVA foam construction provides ample shock absorption. At the front, it has a raised toe bar, encouraging the natural mechanics of your feet.

Birkenstock Men's Sandals, Mocca, 37
  • Birkenstock Milano
  • Birko-Flor Nubuck Straps
  • Cork/Latex Shock Abrsorbing EVA Outsole Unit
  • Hard Wearing Easy To Break In Materials
  • Single Adjustable Ankle Strap

 

5. New Balance Women’s FuelCore NERGIZE Shoe

The New Balance women’s FuelCore Nergize shoe is both stylish and supportive. It comes with an NB Comfort Insert, which is a memory sole. In addition to this, there’s the REVlite Midsole offering responsive cushioning.

New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker, Conch Shell/White/Heather, 5 M US
  • Midsole Cushioning: These New Balance sneakers feature a REVlite midsole that delivers incredibly lightweight cushioning and provides a responsive ride for comfortable all-day wear
  • Underfoot Comfort: With an NB Memory Sole Comfort Insert that offers a plush feel with every step, this everyday shoe for women was made for wearing anywhere and everywhere
  • Sleek Design and Supportive Fit: Stay comfortable and stylish as you go about your day with the contemporary bootie design. The bootie upper construction hugs your foot for a snug, supportive fit
  • Lightweight Feel: The modern, eye-catching upper on these cross-trainers uses mesh and synthetic materials for a super lightweight feel that helps keep you light on your feet
  • Find Your Ideal Style: The FuelCore Nergize sneaker is available in a range of colors to suit your personal taste and preferences for easy, no-fuss styling you can dress up or down with ease

 

6. Vionic Women’s, Midi Perf Slip-on Shoes

The Midi Perf slip-on shoe from Vionic consists of a leather or nubuck upper and a removable Twill wrapped EVA footbed. This footbed is podiatrist-designed, offering optimal stability from the feet up. It also features twin gore panels, making it easy to put on and off as well as providing stretch for all-day wearability.

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Vionic Midi Perf Light Blue 8
  • The cute and casual Midi Perf makes your casual looks memorable!
  • Premium perforated leather uppers throughout with a round toe.
  • Easy slip-on style with dual side goring.
  • Smooth and breathable leather linings.
  • A biomechanically designed footbed hugs your arches and provides added support. Features a firm yet flexible removable, textile-covered EVA footbed. Lightweight EVA midsole provides shock absorption. Durable rubber outsole. Imported. Measurements: Weight: 10 oz Product measurements were taken using size 7, width M. Please note that measurements may vary by size. Weight of footwear is based on a single item, not a pair.

 

 

Reviews of the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

1. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 2

The women’s Go Walk 2 from Skechers is designed to keep you comfortable. The seamless, soft fabric upper gives a sense that you’re wearing socks, but with a protective sole. It hugs your feet without suffocating them.

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The Go Walk 2 features V-Stride technology, consisting of an angled outsole, complementing your natural walking gait. It promotes fluid stride and transition during your gait cycle.

For the midsole, you’ll have the Resalyte Midsole—a lightweight, injection-molded compound and memory retention that helps absorb impact. Additionally, Skechers includes its circular GOimpulse sensors, improving your walking experiences by offering flexibility and feedback.

You can wear these shoes without socks, thanks to the integrated Ortholite antimicrobial sock liner. This feature helps to prevent odors and slippage inside the shoe. The Go Walk 2 is lightweight—each weighing approximately 4 ounces (based on a women’s size 7). You also have a wide range of colors to choose from.

The Go Walk 2 is also available for men.

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If you want a reliable walking shoe, we recommend the Skechers Performance Go Walk 2. It’s lightweight yet offers multiple technologies to keep you and your feet comfy during your day.

 

Pros

  • Comfortable, sock-like fit.
  • Memory footbed.
  • Shock-absorbing sole.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Upper appears to sit too tight around the ankles.

 

 

2. HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe

As one of the best running shoes for hallux rigidus 2019, Hoka describes its Bondi 6 running shoe as a game-changing creation. It offers a generous level of cushioning to deliver a smoother ride.

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The shoe includes a comfortable EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology, providing consistency for all distances. The materials used are breathable, open-mesh, keeping you comfy, even on warmer days.

The shoe consists of a Lycra comfort frame, which, specifically, works to support the heel section of the shoe. It will lock in your heels, preventing rubbing and offering support.

To provide traction as you run, the Bondi 6 has a redesigned rubber outsole. It grips the ground with every step, and since it’s the updated version, it’s significantly lighter than previous ones.

One thing we appreciate is that all the materials used are 100 percent vegan. The option has also received the Seal of Approval from the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association).

The Bondi 6 is also available for women.

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If you’re searching for a supportive running shoe, the Bondi 6 is worth considering. Among its many benefits, it includes an EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology, offering shock absorption as well as smooth wear. The integrated Lycra comfort frame hugs your heel, preventing it from rubbing and allowing you to transition effortlessly.

 

Pros

  • Thick EVA midsole.
  • Lycra comfort frame.
  • Redesigned rubber outsole.
  • APMA approved.

Cons

  • Thick outsoles could feel cumbersome to some wearers.

Watch this video for more information on the Hoka One One Bondi 6 shoe.

 

 

3. Dansko Women’s Season Sandal

On the list of best women’s shoes for hallux rigidus 2019 was the Dansko Season Sandal, and it still deserves a mention. Not only is it a stylish choice, but comfortable, as well.

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It’s an open design, featuring leather straps and a short heel, measuring approximately 2.25 inches. You’ll be standing on a 1-inch platform, preserving an ideal balance between heel and toes, preventing pain and unnecessary stretching.

On the sole, Dansko includes a Dri-Lex sock lining, which works to reduce moisture and, in turn, slippage. Underneath this, you’ll have a shock-absorbing midsole, providing comfort as you walk.

Covering the sole, is a faux-wood finish, giving the shoe a brighter, more luxurious appearance—you can choose between three colors. They also include two Velcro closures—one around the ankles, and the other near the toes. The overall construction is considerably light, although not as light as previous Dansko Season Sandals.

 

For a stylish and comfortable heel, the Dansko Season Sandal is one worth mentioning. It features leather straps with Velcro closures that are easy to adjust. The heel isn’t too high and is perfectly complemented by the platform.

 

Pros

  • Easy Velcro closures.
  • Medium heel and complementary platform.
  • Faux wood finish.
  • Shock-absorbing midsole.

Cons

  • Heavier than previous models.
  • Sizes are wide.

 

4. Birkenstock Essentials Unisex Arizona EVA Sandal

If you’re searching for a Birkenstock hallux rigidus compatible shoe, we recommend the Arizona EVA Sandal. It’s a waterproof sandal, featuring a shock-absorbing EVA foam, offering support and lightweight durability.

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The Arizona EVA Sandal has the classic Birkenstock appearance with its fully adjustable dual straps. It’s a practical choice whether you’re running errands or heading for the pool.

Due to the high-quality EVA materials, the sandal will inhibit odors from settling. It’s also proven to be skin-friendly, passing tests for the presence of harmful substances.

Despite the upgraded anatomical design, the option includes Birkenstock’s original contoured footbed. Throughout the bottom, you’ll see a dented heel cup, hugging your heel bone.

To the front, there’s the raised toe bar, catering to the natural gripping motion of your toes as you walk. Featured are also four arches that allow for even weight distribution, encouraging a proper posture.

Lastly, you’ll have several colors to choose from, ranging from black to lavender.

 

Birkenstock seldom disappoints and the Arizona EVA Sandal is no different. It includes the classic dual-strap design, which is fully adjustable, allowing you to customize your fit. The contoured footbed provides support throughout your foot, encouraging natural motion as you walk.

 

Pros

  • Several colors to choose from.
  • Supportive, contoured footbed.
  • Dual-straps.
  • Waterproof and odor-resistant.

Cons

  • When wet, the shoes make a noise.
  • Upper strap may rub against the skin.

 

 

5. New Balance Women’s FuelCore NERGIZE Shoe

The women’s FuelCore Nergize shoe from New Balance is a supportive cross-trainer suitable for gym days and casual wear.

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It’s a lace-up design with a bootie construction, enabling you to slip it on quickly when going out. It’s a modern style, featuring a blend of textiles, giving it a stylish yet subtle appearance.

Inside is a REVlite foam-cushioned midsole, which is light yet supportive. Also included are New Balance memory sole comfort insoles that provide a customized footbed for optimal support.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these have a performance fit, which means that the size is more snug than usual. The manufacturer recommends that you order half a size bigger than your regular New Balance size. If you want to know more about sizing, read our New Balance shoes fit guide.

 

Stylish and comfortable are the perfect words for describing the New Balance FuelCore Nergize shoe. The cross-trainer is suitable for gym days as well as running errands. The memory sole insoles mold according to your feet, ensuring optimal comfort.

 

Pros

  • Stylish appearance.
  • Easy slip-on design.
  • Memory sole comfort insoles included.
  • Broad range of color options available.

Cons

  • Lacking arch support.
  • Ankle support is disappointing.

 

 

6. Vionic Women’s, Midi Perf Slip-on Shoes

The Vionic women’s Midi Perf Slip-on shoe is a fashionable and comfortable option if you’re looking for everyday footwear.

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It consists of a leather or nubuck upper, featuring perforated holes, allowing your feet to breathe while wearing it.

The construction includes twin gore panels, allowing the material to stretch, making it easier to wear throughout your day. It’s flexible on the feet, allowing them to move freely without feeling confined.

The slip-on design is easy to put on and they sit well on the feet. You have five colors to choose from, all soft and pastel, which is perfect for summer. Lastly, the Midi Perf earned the APMA Seal of Approval.

 

If you want a stylish, easy to wear shoe, the Vionic Midi Perf is worth considering. The slip-on design is quick and easy, yet the leather/nubuck exterior gives them a luxurious feel. With dual-gore panels, the shoe offers stretch and all-day wearability. 

 

Pros

  • Attractive and fashionable.
  • Nubuck/leather exterior.
  • APMA approved.

Cons

  • Materials stretch with wear.
  • Only medium arch support.

 

 

What Is Hallux Rigidus?

What is the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

No, it’s not a Harry Potter spell—hallux rigidus is a condition affecting the joint sitting at the base of the big toe. “Hallux” refers to the big toe, while “rigidus” indicates stiffness or that the toe is rigid and can’t move. This condition is a type of degenerative arthritis.

The disorder is quite uncomfortable, as it contributes to significant stiffness and pain in the joint. Over time, it makes it increasingly harder for the affected person to bend the toe.

It can be a disabling condition as we use the big toe a lot when we walk, stand, climb and stoop down. The disorder has two stages. In its early progression, it’s known as hallux limitus, meaning that the range of motion of the toe is limited. As it advances and becomes stiffer, it’s diagnosed as hallux rigidus.

At its worst, the big toe cannot bend, which is also called a frozen joint. Hallux rigidus is often confused with bunions, as they affect the same spots. However, this complaint is where a bony bump develops right at the joint connected to the big toe. It’s also painful but requires different treatment.

 

Causes of Hallux Rigidus

The most common causes of hallux rigidus are impaired functions and structural abnormalities in the foot, which leads to osteoarthritis. This is a specific type of arthritis, caused by wear and tear in the big toe joint.

It’s commonly seen in people who have defects, impairing the way their big toe and foot functions. Two examples of people at risk of developing hallux rigidus are those with excessive pronation or fallen arches. Others may inherit the condition or a defect that often leads to it.

In some cases, hallux rigidus is a result of overuse. This is commonly seen among those who engage in activities that put excessive stress on the big toe, like stooping or squatting. Injuries or inflammatory diseases, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis, can also be a cause.

 

How to Tell If You Have Hallux Rigidus

If you’re unsure whether or not you have hallux rigidus, look out for some of the following symptoms:

Early signs include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the big toe area during bending, standing and walking.
  • Aggravated pain and stiffness during cold, damp weather.
  • Difficulty during certain activities such as squatting and running.
  • Swelling and inflammation in the joint area.

Later, and more serious, signs include:

  • Almost constant pain, even while resting.
  • Dull pain in the knee, hip and lower back due to changes in your walk.
  • Difficulty wearing footwear due to the development of bone spurs (overgrowths).
  • Limping while walking (severe cases).

If you think you have hallux rigidus, it’s best to seek medical attention, since it can quickly worsen. Fortunately, surgery isn’t the only treatment—shoe modifications, as well as physical therapy, can improve symptoms.

Watch this video for more information on hallux limitus and rigidus.

 

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

1. Wide Toe Box

When you suffer from hallux rigidus or limitus, it’s best to look for footwear offering a wide toe box. This ensures that there’s room in case of a bone spur development and it won’t put pressure on the already inflamed area.

Some, although it isn’t proven, believe that wearing tight shoes, particularly in the toe area, can lead to hallux limitus.

 

2. Stiff Sole

Normally, we need to look for shoes with a flexible sole, especially when using it for exercise and other activities. However, if you’re suffering from painful symptoms, stiffness is best, notably in the toe area.

During your search, try to bend the soles. If they bend easily, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. With that said, it does depend on the severity of your symptoms. For example, if you’re still able to run comfortably, some flexibility is beneficial.

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

 

3. Low Heel

Wearing high heels puts a lot of pressure on your toes, hamstrings and hips, which can be damaging if you have hallux rigidus. If you do want to wear heels, then choose an option with a low heel and high platform to balance it out. An example of such is the Dansko Season Sandal.

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4. Weight

Wearing heavy shoes has shown to aggravate certain conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. It might be beneficial looking for options that are lighter to relieve the stress on your feet.

 

5. Size

Before settling on a shoe, ensure that the size is right. Besides a wide toe box, make sure that it hugs your heel without feeling too tight on the sides. Wearing a shoe that sits snugly on your feet minimizes stress on your toes—they don’t have to compensate for the ill-fitting footwear.

Measure your feet in the afternoon to get an accurate reading and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’re using special insoles or thick socks, remember to include those in the equation.

 

6. Material

Although you want a stiffer sole, the material used for the upper is best when it’s stretchy and flexible. This not only makes it comfortable to wear, but it’s also easier to put on. You don’t have to stretch or bend your feet to place them inside.

Another material that’s practical to look for is breathable mesh. Such fabric allows your feet to breathe underneath it, improving your overall comfort, particularly in the summer.

 

7. Arch Support

Whether you have low, high or normal arches, arch support can benefit you. It makes the shoe a lot more comfortable to wear for longer periods, such as work or walks.

However, don’t fret if the shoe you like doesn’t have much arch support. You can easily buy separate insoles with the support needed—just ensure they’re compatible with the shoe.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Asked Questions about Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

Are Fitflops Good for Hallux Rigidus?

Fitflops is a brand known for producing work-appropriate sandals featuring thick outsoles. It offers a broad range of footwear ranging from flip flop heels to stylish options suitable for a night out.

Most of its selections are suitable and supportive enough to wear with a condition like hallux rigidus but watch the heel. Ensure that it isn’t too tall, forcing pressure onto your toes.

 

Are Birkenstocks Good for Hallux Rigidus?

It depends on which Birkenstock shoe you wear, there are many different options. But, Birkenstocks are typically quite solid in the sole, which is an attractive feature to look for. The adjustable straps most models include are also helpful to customize the fit for your feet.

 

How Do I Fix My Hallux Rigidus?

How you should go about treating your hallux rigidus depends on the severity. We highly recommend that you consult your doctor who can best assess what changes and treatment you need.

Still, during the early stages, there are some things you can do to minimize your chances of aggravating further symptoms. This includes:

  • Wear appropriate shoes that have a wide toe box, stiff outsole and small to no heel. Wearing the wrong footwear can escalate the condition significantly.
  • You can place pads at the front of your shoes to minimize the movement of your big toe. You can use cut up insoles or even an old sock to stuff the toe box with.
  • Avoid high-impact activities such as running. When you run or jog, your toes bend during the fast gait cycle, putting stress on the joint. Instead, stick to low-impact exercises like cycling, weightlifting, or swimming.
  • Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain and reduce swelling in the area.

 

Final Thought

Finding the best shoes for hallux rigidus is imperative for reducing painful symptoms and allowing you to get back on your feet. Ensure that your choice has a wide toe box, stiff sole, is lightweight and offers arch support. Try to avoid wearing high heels, and instead, invest in small heels with stable platforms.

Hallux rigidus can be a disabling condition, sending shooting pain through your feet and into your body. It’s essential to seek medical advice to ensure you’re doing everything to recover properly.

We’re hoping you found your answer and enjoyed our top six. If so, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below and share it with friends and family.

 

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