In this 2023 update, we’re going to be reviewing 15 best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus, aka arthritis in the big toe.
When it comes to running shoes for Hallux Rigidus, what you’re going to be looking for is:
- Running shoes that are appropriately stiff
- A good forefoot rocker to help roll but not bend your toes
- Shoes that don’t flex too much in the forefoot
However, you have to be careful with toe spring. Toe spring refers to how much your toes are held in extension. So the upward curve that happens at the front of the shoe needs to happen below your toes and not up into them.
You want to make sure that your toes can rest in neutral in the shoe and then have a curve that meets the toes but doesn’t jam them upward.
The good news is the shoes in this list are a godsend for folks with Hallux Rigidus. They keep you moving forward properly with a nod to your tootsies, taking pressure off of that big toe joint.
Alright, enough chatter – let’s dive right into the good stuff!
Quick comparison of the 4 best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus
|4mm drop||4mm drop||4mm drop||5mm drop||6mm drop|
|Stiff rocker||Stiff rocker||Stiff rocker||Stiff rocker||Stiff rocker|
Best Saucony Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
1. Saucony Endorphin Shift 3
The Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is like a secret weapon for runners dealing with Hallux Rigidus.
The key element that makes the Endorphin Shift great for you is the efficient SpeedRoll technology.
This is basically a rocker sole design paired with an aggressive toe spring, which encourages a smooth and efficient transition from heel strike to toe-off.
Simply put, this design minimizes the need for excessive flexion of the big toe.
Think of it like a dream team working to give you that smooth roll and take the load off your big toe joint.
But wait, there’s more. That chunky stack of cushioning they’ve packed in? It provides a premium level of cushioning which creates a responsive faster feel.
Now, let’s talk tech – how does the Endorphin Shift 4 manage to be so stiff without a carbon plate?
It’s all about the PWRRUN foam. The Shift 4 piles it on thick and then Saucony reduced the number of flex grooves in the forefoot so you get that stiffness inherently through the foam and through the geometry.
And oh, that spacious toe box – it’s like a freedom zone for your toes, letting them do their thing without any constraints. Imagine the relief for that troublesome joint.
Bottom line, the Saucony Endorphin Shift is a no-brainer for Hallux Rigidus warriors.
Cushioning, rocker sole, and roomy toe box? It’s the perfect combo for a comfortable and supportive ride. Trust me, your toes will thank you.
Elle loves how the Shift rolls her toes instead of bending them. Read her review.
Who is the Endorphin Shift for?
The Endorphin Shift has those efficiency benefits we’ve come to love from its cousins, the Endorphin Speed and the Pro.
If the Endorphin Pro is all about race day and the Endorphin Speed is about your speed day, your workouts, and your tempo runs, the Endorphin Shift is really that shift and mindset of how they deliver speed and efficiency for everyday runs, easy runs, and recovery runs.
It’s still packing some serious cushioning, offering a little bit more versatile underfoot experience.
Overall, the Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is really building upon the last two versions and it’s going to continue to be an awesome shoe that offers that high level of cushioning that keeps your feet happy day in and day out.
Sure, it might not steal the spotlight like the Pro or the Speed, but its fantastic features make it a hidden gem for runners with Hallux Rigidus.
Saucony has always been a leader in the cushioned segment of everyday running shoes. The opportunity with the Endorphin collection was to engineer something for the athletes and then find a way to optimize it for the everyday consumer.
The Shift uses Saucony’s PWRRUN which is a material that is used in a lot of their franchise models like the Guide, the Ride, and the Kinvara.
However, PWRRUN has evolved and it’s quite a bit lighter than it’s been previously, offering some high energy return scores for an EVA material. With this new blend, the Shift has a nice bounce and a nice pop to it.
So, for anyone who’s looking for premium cushion but wants to feel a little bit fast, the Endorphin Shift is the answer.
One last thing about the midsole…
With its 4-millimeter offset, you sit lower in the heel, which creates a little bit more inherent stability.
If you’re a neutral runner, this shoe is going to work perfectly for you. But if you need a touch of stability and a little bit of guidance, the Shift also has got you covered on the medial side.
- Midsole offers tons of cushion & smooth transitions
- Super stable for the amount of cushioning
- Plush upper & roomy toebox are comfortable, breathable, and secure
- Aggressive SpeedRoll
- Offers great durability
- Outsole traction is not the greatest
- No widths
Best Hoka Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
2. Hoka Bondi 8
As one of the podiatrist-recommended shoes for Hallux Rigidus, the Bondi is one of the best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus and turf toe thanks to the unique features it packs.
The shoe’s generous cushioning is like a guardian angel for your feet, effectively absorbing impact and easing off the pressure on the forefoot, which is a blessing for managing pain associated with Hallux Rigidus.
Its supportive structure and rocker sole design further aid in promoting a smoother and more efficient gait, reducing the need for excessive toe extension during push-off.
Trying to flex the thick midsole of the Bondi 8, it is really stiff and even much stiffer than the Clifton, which, again, makes it one of the best stiff-soled running shoes for Hallux Rigidus.
So, if you’re all about that firm and stable ride that supports your feet like a champ, Bondi 8 is your hero. But if you’re craving a bit more softness, the Clifton 9 might be a better max cushion trainer. Either way, Hoka’s got your back – or should I say, your feet!
In terms of width, the upper fit has been an issue with Bondis in the past. The last couple of versions were just a little bit too narrow in the forefoot.
Now the Bondi 8 is a lot more roomy and really allows your toes to splay naturally. But the midfoot still continues to be a fairly snug fit.
The reason the Bondi 8 is a little bit more scalloped through the midfoot is to help the shoe feel less clunky and help it bend and roll a little bit more easily through the gait cycle, which makes it a more runnable shoe.
The Bondi 8 is a lot wider in the forefoot across the pads of the feet. This means you’re getting a little bit more stability in terms of the landing area and where you’re pushing off from. I think this might just be the most inherently stable Bondi to date.
This lady says she has Hallux Rigidus and the Bondi is the only shoe she can run in. Read her review.
Who is the Hoka Bondi for?
The Bondi 8 has undergone a complete overhaul, but it’s still the go-to choice if you crave that classic Hoka comfort.
Trust me, once you’ve logged some miles in these bad boys, they’ll become a staple in your running shoe rotation – perfect for those marathon training sessions or when your legs are singing the tiredness blues.
- Your legs are fatigued and achy,
- You have zero motivation to run,
- You’re craving that ideal post-workout recovery,
- You need of maximum protection,
… that’s when the Bondi 8 steps up to the plate. It might not be a fast shoe, but the ride is definitely nice and smooth.
Last but not least, while the Bondi is great for those full days on your feet covering long distances, it’s one of the best shoes for people who stand on their feet all day long.
Overall, with a generous 40 millimeters of cushioning in the heel and a wider, inherently stable platform, the Bondi delivers a plush, protective sensation that’s tailor-made to go the miles.
Related:Do Hokas Run Big or Small?
With its oversized midsole and generous stack heights, the Bondi serves up a ride that only a select few brands can rival.
This baby right here is Hoka’s most cushioned road running shoe to date, and guess what? It’s sticking with that trusty old EVA.
But hold on, this EVA is different than the EVA that’s been in the Bondi in previous years. It’s lighter and softer, offering just the right amount of squishiness.
However, if you’re reminiscing about the ultra-soft cushioning from the early Bondi models, well, those days are gone. Now the Bondi is in that medium-firm density category, which makes it more versatile, transitioning into more of a daily trainer than a max cushion one.”
But let me tell you, runners are still head over heels for the Bondi. Why? Because it brings the goods with its responsive cushioning that soaks up the shock and leaves your feet feeling feel a lot better.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for that quintessential Hoka experience, a shoe that embodies everything this brand stands for, look no further than the Bondi 8. It’s the real deal!
- Next-level underfoot comfort
- Smooth gliding ride
- A ton of plush cushioning
- Rocker geometry makes for an efficient ride
- Great heel lockdown thanks to memory foam
- Stable ride
- Heel strikers appreciate the wide stable platform
- Outsole is grippy and durable
- Available widths
- Regular fit still snug narrow
3. Hoka Clifton 9
The Hoka Clifton series is favored by individuals with Hallux Rigidus for many reasons…
First off, that ample cushioning is a game-changer. The way it soaks up the impact and takes the pressure off your forefoot is pure bliss.
And that’s just the start – the rocker sole is where the magic really happens. It rolls you right through your stride smoothly, no need to force those toes to bend more than they want to. It’s a relief, especially when you’re trying to keep up the pace on those longer runs.
Plus, that rocker sole doesn’t just make your transition feel like a breeze, it actually saves you energy. You can trust that Clifton 9’s combo of cushy padding and smart rocker design team up to go easy on your troublesome joint.
The Clifton 9 is a little roomier and a little bit wider than the Clifton 8. It offers more room for toe splay in the toebox, and it’s a little more comfortable around the arch.
So, if you’re running through Hallux Rigidus, give the Hoka Clifton 9 a shot.
Overall, with its stiffness through the forefoot, this combination of ample cushioning and efficient rocker geometry helps reduce strain on the affected joint, making the Hoka Clifton 9, again, like a cozy, supportive hug for your feet on the road if you have Hallux Rigidus.
Nobyn from Amazon says Hokas are the solution for Hallux Rigidus. Read his review.
Who is the Hoka Clifton for?
The Clifton 9 is a trusty max cushion neutral trainer designed for everyday runs, easy runs, and recovery days, especially when your legs are feeling sore or tired. It’s still your tried-and-true daily trainer, and the new midsole foam only adds an extra kick to its arsenal.
So if you do want a shoe for your recovery runs and a couple of your workouts, I can confidently say that the Clifton has got your back.
And if you’re looking for a racer to pair it with, I think that the Hoka Carbon X3, which is a PEBA foam with a carbon fiber plate, is a fantastic choice for those speedier endeavors.
If you’re not familiar with Hoka, they’re the masters of maximum cushioned running shoes designed to wrap your feet in comfort, absorb shock like a champ, and shield you from the pounding impacts of your run.
So the big story is there’s a brand-new midsole foam…
The Clifton 9 uses a tweaked formula of their compression-molded EVA. The midsole now has a nice soft cushion to it, but it’s not too squishy where you just sink in and are fighting the shoe, especially on those long-distance runs.
It’s a little firmer and it’s got a little responsiveness to it.
Not only that, they’ve been able to keep the same drop but add an extra 3 millimeters of stack height to the shoe, and yet they’re still coming in about 0.2 ounces lighter than the Clifton 8.
What really surprised me is the Clifton 9 is really easy to pick up the pace and yet offers more long-distance comfort than the Clifton 8.
And that rocker geometry?
In terms of the shaping of that midsole, we still have that early-stage meta rocker which helps pick up the back of the heel and get your foot rolling into that next stride.
This rocker is going to ensure a seamless transition from heel to toe, reducing those impact forces, and encouraging a more efficient and cozy footstrike.
By the time you finish your run, your legs will feel fresh. The ample cushioning and the smoother heel-to-toe transition of the Clifton 9 leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for more.
Last but not least, this amount of cushion and support also makes the Clifton 9 one of the best running shoes for ball-of-foot pain.
Here’s a more detailed comparison of the Hoka Clifton 8 vs 7.
- Comfortable & secure lockdown through the upper
- More versatile
- Smooth rockered ride
- More cushioning
- Transitions are softer and snappier through the forefoot
- Nice & wide through the toebox
- Grippy outsole
- Regular width is still narrow
- Runs a bit warm
- Getting more expensive
4. Hoka Gaviota 5
The Hoka Gaviota brings in the big guns with its signature maximalist midsole that’s all about effectively soaking up impact and minimizing excessive bending in the forefoot.
Say goodbye to stress on the big toe joint because the Gaviota ensures a smooth toe-off.
Now, let’s talk upgrades…
The old Gaviota 4 had that J-Frame technology, giving you stability on the medial side ONLY. But check this – the Gaviota 5 throws in an all-new H-Frame stability setup, offering stability on both the lateral and medial sides.
That means even more runners can jump in on the Gaviota action – even those who’ve never dipped their toes into the Gaviota world before.
Hold up, they didn’t stop there…
The midsole geometry got a makeover too. The Gaviota 4 had this late-stage meta rocker, but the Gaviota 5 flips it to an early-stage meta rocker. Translation: that roll is getting real aggressive, letting you roll quicker and easier compared to the Gaviota 4.
And let’s be real, when you have a beefy shoe loaded with built-in stability mechanisms, you want something to roll you quicker, especially if you have toe issues like Hallux Rigidus.
Fit-wise, they’ve stepped up their game. The Gaviota 5 is like the cool accommodating cousin, more chill in the fit department compared to the Gaviota 4’s snug Hoka style, which gives your toes and forefoot a little bit more wiggle room.
Who is the Hoka Gaviota for?
More than any other Hoka, you just can’t land wrong in this shoe.
The Gaviota is Hoka’s max cushion, max stability daily trainer. Think of it as the stability sibling to the Hoka Bondi which is their max cushion, neutral daily trainer.
So, if you’re a Bondi fan but need a bit more guidance, that’s where the Gaviota steps up.
But here’s the scoop: the Gaviota 5 has gone through a complete makeover, emerging as a sleeker and more modern stability shoe.
Midsole & H-Frame
Hoka is making a game-changing move with the stability features in the Gaviota series.
Let’s break it down: J-Frame tech used to have your back if you were an overpronator, the type whose feet tend to roll inward. But it left out the supinators, those folks whose feet roll outward.
Now, with the H-Frame technology, you’re getting the best of both worlds. It now offers stability on both the medial and lateral sides of your foot, which means the Gaviota 5 is a comfy, well-controlled ride whether you overpronate or supinate.
All these changes make the Gaviota 5 a more versatile pick for a wider range of runners.
- Shed almost an ounce in weight
- Superior comfort
- Surprisingly accommodating toe box for a Hoka
- H-Frame serves supinators and overpronators
- Feels more dynamic and softer compared to Gaviota 4
- Has the Bondi 8’s level of comfort plus the stability
- Plenty of rubber underfoot
- Not a lot of energy return
Best New Balance Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
5. New Balance More v4
The New Balance More v4 is another great option that should be on your radar. The cushioning? It’s like running on clouds!
The shoe’s unparalleled plush cushioning plays a pivotal role in mitigating impact and reducing pressure on your forefoot, which makes it one of the best shoes for Hallux Rigidus.
The cushioning is going to be super helpful when you’re just pounding out the miles when you’re going long on the road
But here’s the kicker – it’s not just about the cushioning. The wider toe box is going to allow your toes to move freely without being constrained, thus providing relief to the affected joint. It’s like a breath of fresh air for your toes!
The shoe’s curved sole promotes a smooth and efficient rolling motion, facilitating a gentle and gradual transition from heel strike to toe-off. This reduces the strain on the big toe joint, allowing for greater comfort and mobility.
All in all, the New Balance More excels in offering the necessary cushioning, space, and support to help individuals with Hallux Rigidus continue their activities with greater ease and reduced discomfort.
Picture this: You’re pounding out the miles, going the distance on the road, and that cushioning plus the rockered forefoot are your best friend. And that toe box? It’s like freedom for your toes, no constraints, and a sigh of relief for that pesky joint.
Who is the the More for?
The More is all about that impressive stack height – a sure sign it’s not aiming to be a speed demon. For me, the More is an everyday running shoe, a shoe that screams max cushioning. And here’s the thing, the More v4 is a dream come true for heavy runners as well.
This is the shoe that shines when you’re out cruising at some of those slow-to-moderate efforts, not trying to break any records.
The bounce you get from it is what sets the More V4 apart from the other max-stack giants. You still get that kick of responsiveness, but let’s face it, the More is built to cradle your feet when they’re feeling tired and sore.
Now, if you’re eyeing the New Balance SC Trainer, and you’re torn between the two max stack contenders, here’s the deal:
If you want something that can handle the speed workouts and those lightning-fast paces, the SC Trainer is your go-to. With that carbon plate, it’s got the pep in its step.
But if you’re after a cruiser, the More V4 is your jam. It’s your trusted companion for easy steady runs, long runs, and those recovery efforts.
Whenever you crave that feeling of efficiency, smoothness, and the joy of pounding out the miles, the More is your ticket.
New Balance went all-in with their Fresh Foam X compound, stacking up a whopping 40 millimeters of it. Now, if you’re familiar with Fresh Foam, you know it comes in different flavors – some softer, some firmer, and some right in the middle.
Regardless, the Fresh Foam More has more of it and it’s smoother and softer than ever.
And here’s the cool part, that softness does not bother runners with Hallux Rigidus. Thanks to the brilliant rocker geometry up front, you’re going to be treated to a buttery-smooth roll with each step.
Picture this: you take that first step, and there’s a bit of gentle compression. But as you push off, oh boy, you feel that bounce – it’s like running on clouds.
Now, when you’re dealing with 40mm of cushion, especially in a daily trainer, you need a platform as wide as your dreams. So New Balance got the memo and widened the platform, giving you a sturdy base.
Despite all that cushioning, the More V4 is no wobbly tower – it’s as stable as they come. Even when you’re making sharp turns, you won’t feel like you’re on a rollercoaster.
Compared to the Bondi, the More brings a bit more smoothness and pep to the party. Don’t get me wrong, the Bondi is a trusty sidekick, but the More V4 injects that extra dose of energy and excitement into your run. That’s what sets it apart.
- Ton of bouncy cushioning
- Insanely soft yet stable midsole
- Premium upper material
- Rockered forefoot allows you to push the pace
- Padded tongue
- Wide toe box offers a lot of wiggle room
- Wide-feet friendly
- A bit heavy
- A bit warm
Best Asics Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
6. Asics GlideRide 3
If you’re not familiar with this series, let me clue you in – the GlideRide is one of the best running shoes with stiff soles and a curved forefoot design.
While this might seem like an unlikely combination to have in a running shoe and while the Glideride isn’t going to be every runner’s jam, here’s the kicker, for folks with Hallux Rigidus, the GlideRide is a godsend.
That energy-efficient design they’ve got going on, with the curved sole and that cool rocker geometry called Guide Sole is going to create a smoother and more fluid stride.
Then the stiffened forefoot reduces the amount of movement that occurs at your metatarsal phalangeal joint, reducing the demand for excessive toe extension during push-off, making it all so much easier on your toes.
Also, this radical curvature reduces ankle flexion and reduces the work your calf has to do to get you running faster or longer.
And let’s talk cushioning. The Glideride’s cushioning, although not overly plush, effectively absorbs impact and takes the pressure off your forefoot, which, trust me, is a lifesaver for Hallux Rigidus warriors.
So, if you’re after a shoe that’s a bit different, but in a good way, and you’re nodding your head at the mention of Hallux Rigidus, GlideRide might be your new running buddy.
TJ says the Glideride is the perfect shoe for Hallux Rigidus. Read his review.
Who is the Asics GlideRide for?
For runners with Hallux Rigidus, the GlideRide 3 is a great shoe if you’re looking to run longer, have ultimate protection, and have a propelling rolling ride through the forefoot. Couple that with that FlyteFoam Blast+ foam and you’ve got yourself an incredible underfoot experience.
The best things to use the GlideRide 3 for are those easy runs, long runs, and recovery runs. It’s a nice squishy shoe that rolls really well so you’re going to move through those miles without feeling like you got a big chunky shoe on your foot.
It’s best for getting in some decent high mileage in your marathon training block. However, it’s not designed for that short and snappy stride that you associate with faster running.
In terms of versatility, the GlideRide is pretty focused in what it can do. If you have more than one pair of shoes, you could rotate the GlideRide with another speed-orientated shoe like the Saucony Endorphin Speed to cover your training.
But where does it stand in the Asics lineup?
The GlideRide sits right in between the Nimbus 25 on one end and then the Novavablast 3 which is an even squishier even speedier shoe.
If you’re looking to pair the GlideRide with another shoe from Asics that has a lot of nice rolling motion in their racing shoes, consider the Meta Speed Edge+.
The Meta Speed Edge+ is another shoe that relies heavily on geometry and shaping to roll your foot through that foot strike.
- Rocker makes for smooth & quality transitions
- Supportive for long distances
- Deep stable cushioning
- Softer than GlideRide 2
- Roomy and secure upper
- Excellent lockdown, glove-like fit, & step-in comfort
- Fun running experience
- Very durable
- Substantial weight reduction
- Warm upper
7. Asics Gel Kayano 30
Built to deliver that ultimate smooth and cushioned ride, the Asics Gel Kayano is practically the holy grail for die-hard runners who demand stability and top-notch comfort.
With its great cushioning and Gel technology, not only does the Kayano soak up the shocks and improve comfort like a pro, but it’s got your big toe joint’s back too. And those long miles? Your forefoot will thank you for the reduced pressure.
But that’s not all – the Kayano is all about keeping you steady on your feet. Its stability-enhancing elements offer essential support to the foot’s structure, promoting a more controlled and balanced gait.
The shoe’s structured design and supportive features contribute to minimizing strain on the affected joint, allowing for a more comfortable and accommodating fit, which makes it a strong contender for individuals seeking relief from Hallux Rigidus symptoms.
In terms of stability, neutral runners used to eye the Kayano from afar, thinking it’s not their cup of tea. That’s because it used to have the same ol’ medial posting technique found in countless stability shoes in the past.
But thanks to the 4D Guidance System, the Kayano 30 has toned down the abrasiveness and it just gives you that extra support using a different approach.
Who is the Asics Kayano for?
The Kayano has always been that reliable, old friend in the world of max stability shoes. Now, with the 30th edition, it’s embracing a fresh look, a new image, and a revamped feel.
But don’t expect the Kayano 30 to suddenly become a speedster – it’s still your classic cushioned, stable companion, perfect for those easy-paced runs, marathon sessions, recovery days, and everything in between.
So how’s the Kayano going to offer stability?
Asics went all out, focusing on a protective adaptive stability system from top to bottom. Every piece of this shoe is designed to provide that extra layer of protection for those who crave it.
First, you’ve got that wider platform, delivering inherent stability as you glide through your stride.
And then there’s this little buddy on the medial side, not your typical medial post, but more like a responsive foam that propels you forward with each step.
But compared to some of the other stability shoes, I will say the Kayano 30 is on the softer side.
We all need a bit of extra support in our lives and trust me, the Kayano 30 won’t let your feet down. It’s like a reliable friend that always has your back, or should I say, underfoot.
When you mention the Kayano, the first word that comes to mind is “stability.” But there’s more to this shoe, especially with its spanking new midsole cushioning.
The Kayano has always been known for its ample cushioning, but it wasn’t quite keeping up with the high-stack trends in the running world.
Well, now the Kayano 30 has jumped on the bandwagon, boasting almost 40 millimeters of FF Blast+ cushioning, ready to tackle any distance.
It’s got a nice softer-ish feel, but if we compare the Kayano to the Nimbus, it’s not quite as soft and maybe not quite as plushy.
I bet the die-hard stability fans will find their way back to this trusty shoe, but I’ve got a hunch that some runners who haven’t laced up a Kayano in a while will be pleasantly surprised by what the Kayano 30 has to offer. It’s like a reunion you won’t want to miss.
But with its unique approach to stability, the Kayano 30 is like an open invitation, calling out to anyone curious enough to give it a try.
Last but not least, the Gel Kayano 30 is one of the best running shoes for high arches and Achilles tendonitis thanks to its wide toe box and Achilles support. It’s also going to be a great shoe for health professionals on their feet for extended periods of time working 10 to 12-hour shifts.
- Rebuilt from top to bottom
- Enhanced 4D Guidance stability system
- Stable but non-intrusive ride (compared to predecessors)
- More forefoot cushioning
- Lock-in feel is incredible
- Luxurious in-shoe experience
- Amazing outsole grip
- Made to last
- Not for speed runs
- Still heavy
8. Asics Gel Noosa & Asics Evoride
When it comes to Hallux Rigidus, the Asics Gel-Noosa and the Asics Evoride are like secret weapons for ultimate forefoot comfort. These two shoes might look worlds apart, but deep down, they do have a very similar core philosophy.
They both feature this Guide Sole technology that’s all about making your toes happy. This is basically an aggressive rocker curvature to the forefoot that takes you from heel to toe super smoothly and gives that extra kick during toe-off, which, trust me, is a big win for the big toe joint.
You know that feeling when your toes just want to spread out and do their thing? The upper lets your tootsies splay out naturally, alleviating pressure on the affected area and facilitating a more enjoyable and pain-free running experience.
So, whether you’re hitting the pavement or trails, the Gel-Noosa and Evoride aren’t just shoes – they’re the key to pain-free, enjoyable runs despite.
9. Asics GT 2000 11
The GT 2000 11 is like a perfect blend of all the good stuff – cushioning, stability, and a structured midsole that’s got its act together.
This combo is going to aid in reducing the brunt impact on the toe joint during movement, giving you steps that are smoother than a hot knife through butter.
And guess what? The party doesn’t stop there. The shoe’s stiff ride and roomy toe box are like your personal bodyguards against irritation and discomfort, making the Asics GT 2000 a suitable option for those seeking relief and support for Hallux Rigidus.
Stability? Oh boy, the GT 2000’s got it in spades. If you need stability, the GT 2000 is going to hold your feet in place securely.
Kristie says the GT 2000 is one of the best running shoes for arthritis in the big toe. Read her review.
Who is the Asics GT 2000 for?
The GT 2000, your trusty go-to for moderate stability, has been a staple in the lineup for years. But let me tell you, this year’s version has some pretty sweet upgrades.
You’ve got comfort, you’ve got a touch of luxury, but here’s the kicker – when you want to kick it up a notch, you can step on that gas pedal and still feel like you’re firmly planted, stable, and protected on your ride.
The GT 2000 11 is the kind of shoe that plays nice with all sorts of runners. It’s versatile, whether you’re in the mood to pick up the pace or you’re looking for your everyday workhorse.
And let’s not forget about that stability – it’s your trusty sidekick for those long runs, keeping you locked in and helping you power through your stride like a well-oiled machine.
Asics took the GT 2000 11 to the next level. They’ve completely embraced FF Blast foam, and they’ve also borrowed some stability insights from the Kayano and Kayano Lite.
Just like the Kayano 30, the GT 2000 series has reimagined stability in a fresh way…
First off, they widened the base net, creating a broader and inherently stable platform. Then, they introduced the Lite Truss technology, a fancy name for an outsole wrap that adds structure without being as rigid as those old-school medial postings. This Lite Truss is a lot softer and more forgiving.
Not only that, but they brought in gender-specific tech called 3D Space Construction. This nifty technology adapts to each runner’s unique stride, providing stability where it matters without interfering where it doesn’t.
I believe the GT 2000 11 packs just the right touch of springiness to give you that little boost while still serving up the dependable cushioning you need to tackle those miles. It’s like a trusty friend that’s been given a fresh makeover.
One quick note! If you’re eyeing the Asics GT 1000 too, here’s the scoop: the GT 2000’s your go-to for stability. The 1000’s cool if you’re on a budget, but let’s be real, the 2000’s where the magic happens. Trust me, your Hallux Rigidus will thank you.
Here’s our complete comparison of the Aiscs GT 2000 vs 1000.
- Do-it-all shoe
- Midsole offers a responsive yet stable ride
- New redesigned upper offers a comfortable fit & a secure foot wrap
- Offers lots of durability & reliable grip
- Recycled materials
- Moderate energy return
- Getting more expensive
Best Altra Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
10. Altra Torin 7
The Altra Torin? Oh, man! The Torins are remarkable Hallux Rigidus running shoes for runners who want a zero-drop experience without sacrificing the impact protection of a more conventional everyday running shoe.
The shoe’s hallmark wide non-tapered foot-shaped toe box allows the toes to spread naturally…
- Giving your toes some much-needed breathing room to move around freely
- Providing essential relief to the affected joint
- Minimizing constriction.
So, if you have a square foot or even a wider foot, this Torin is going to feel very comfortable for you. It’s not going to have some of that slushiness that runners with narrower feet may have experienced in the past with Altra thanks to some overlays through the midfoot.
But here’s where the magic really happens. The shoe’s firm support through the forefoot and its balanced cushioning is like a safety net for your feet. It’s going to effectively absorb the hits and take the strain off your toe joint as you power through those miles, which is exactly what you need to conquer the Hallux Rigidus blues.
Bottom line, the Altra Torin 7 has got it all figured out. From the generous forefoot space to the support to the balanced cushioning to that zero-drop comfort, the shoe facilitates a more comfortable and pain-free running experience for those dealing with Hallux Rigidus.
Bluestar says the Torin is one of the best running shoes for turf toe and Hallux Rigidus. Read her review.
Who is the Altra Torin for?
The Torin 7 is Altra’s go-to high-cushion neutral shoe. It’s a gem for daily training, and what’s even better, it won’t weigh you down because it’s pretty darn lightweight for its category.
For a lot of runners, Altra Torin is the perfect companion for those grueling training sessions and those never-ending long runs, especially when you’re pounding the pavement or tackling unforgiving surfaces. Trust me, if you’re eyeing a marathon or half marathon, this shoe’s got your back.
Plus, if you’ve already got your speedy shoes lined up and just need something comfy for those long runs, the Torin 7 is the ace up your sleeve. It’s like the best friend that’s always up for an easy jog.
Here’s our comparison of Altra and Topo. These are very similar brands that have a lot of similarities. Make sure you check that out as well.
In the past, Altra gave us two flavors of the Torin series. There was the regular Torin, lower to the ground, and the Torin Plush, offering extra cushioning and a plush feel underfoot.
But guess what? Altra decided to bid farewell to the Plush version and stick with the classic Torin.
The midsole is beefed up with a few more millimeters of cushioning compared to its predecessor, the Torin 6. We’re talking a stack height boost from 28mm to a solid 30mm.
But that’s not all – they’ve also given the EGO Max cushioning a makeover, making it lighter than its previous iteration. EGO Max is one of those next-gen foams that marries the best of cushioning with a little extra bounce.
This revamped midsole maintains that snappy, responsive design but trims down on weight and adds a touch of softness to your stride.
Overall, the new EGO Max material holds up better than the older Quantic material.
So, the Torin, our trusty neutral daily trainer, has been in the game for a while. It’s got that extra pep in its step while still serving up the reliable cushioning we crave for our daily training grind.
- Good versatile daily trainer
- Ample dialed-in EGO MAX cushioning
- Cushioned yet energetic ride
- Strong weight-to-cushion ratio
- Lightweight & superbly comfortable
- Mesh upper is breathable & stretchy
- Wide widths available
- Tongue is not gusseted
- Zero drop requires getting used to
11. Altra Paradigm 7
The Paradigm is designed with a unique zero-drop platform and a spacious toe box that’s all about letting your toes do their natural toe splay – trust me, that big toe joint is gonna thank you for the break from the pressure.
But here’s the real deal – The midsole plays it balanced, giving you that stable, comfy cushioning. And check this out – the FootShape toe box means your piggies get their space to move without restriction.
By allowing for a more neutral foot position and reducing strain on the big toe, the Paradigm turns your run into a smooth pain-free party.
Flexion at the toe joints? Consider it dialed down, thanks to the Paradigm’s stiff platform underfoot.
So, if you’re in the Hallux Rigidus squad, this shoe is your ticket to a seriously comfy and supported run.
Who is the Altra Paradigm for?
The Altra Paradigm is a heavyweight champ in the max cushion and max stability category of Altra’s lineup. With its generous cushioning, it’s perfectly in the acceptable realms for an everyday training shoe.
But here’s the kicker – it’s not just for your regular runs. The Paradigm is your golden ticket for those recovery days when your body needs a little extra TLC.
It’s got the perfect amount of cushioning to give your lower legs, calves, Achilles tendons, and soleus muscles the love they deserve.
The ride? It’s luxurious thanks to the Altra EGO Max foam. And when it comes to stability and support, the GuideRail technology has got your back.
Again, Out of all the road shoes they offer, this one takes the crown for the most stability. It’s like your trusty sidekick, always there to keep you on the right path.
The Paradigm 7 features a full-length midsole of the Altra EGO Max foam. This is their go-to most luxurious and plush midsole material that they use.
Think of it as the bumpers on a bowling alley – it’s there to keep your foot from going too far off track during your gait cycle.
So, if your foot tries to roll to the outside or inside too much, those GuideRails step in and gently nudge it back into a more natural position. It’s like having your own personal lane assistant.
- Revamped design
- Anatomically shaped toebox
- Offers ample room for toe splay
- Solid lockdown even for narrow heels
- Smoother transitions
- GuideRails offers unobtrusive stability
- Great step-in comfort
- Plush upper (tongue, collar)
- Premium materials
- Not the most breathable
Best Brooks Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
12. Brooks Glycerin 20
Ready to hit the roads, the Glycerin 20 is one of the smoothest riding max cushion trainers for Hallux Rigidus.
With its great support, single-density midsole, outsole configuration, and spacious toebox, the Glycerin 20 is going to make those miles feel smoother than ever.
When the rubber meets the road, that ample cushioning soaks up the shockwaves, giving your big toe joint a break from the pounding. And let’s not forget that roomy toe box, letting your toes splay out comfortably and taking the pressure off those joints.
When it comes to finding relief and comfort during those runs, the Glycerin 20 is a beautiful option to add to your running shoe arsenal.
Who is the Brooks Glycerin for?
The Glycerin 20 sticks to its tried-and-true principles, but there’s a game-changing twist – that nitrogen-infused midsole.
Unlike its predecessors that tended to lose a bit of bounceback towards the end of long runs, the 20 keeps that spring in your step throughout your entire run. It’s got this delightful responsiveness that keeps you feeling cushioned and protected from the ground.
It has a very enjoyable responsive feel to it where you’re feeling protected from the ground.
Now, where does the Glycerin 20 truly shine?
The Glycerin 20 really excels at easy runs. When you’re cruising at those slower paces or doing recovery runs, the Glycerin just becomes one with your foot, giving you a nice protective feel. It does feel a bit softer, a bit more lightweight, and less clunky.
But if you’re aiming for a speedy 10k or some fast reps, the Glycerin can feel a bit bulky and cumbersome. It’s not your go-to for picking up the pace because it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of turnover in it if you’re trying to maintain a consistent pace.
Now, don’t get me wrong – that’s not a knock against it. The Glycerin series has always been about comfort, cushioning, and support.
Again, the Glycerin 20 isn’t your ticket to efficiency or speedy runs. It’s a solid, dependable workhorse that’ll keep you comfy and minimize impact during those easy miles.
The Glycerin 20 has stepped up its game with a brand-new nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 midsole. This addition of nitrogen brings a delightful blend of softness, lightness, and durability into the mix.
Now, this DNA Loft v3 midsole is like a cousin to the DNA Flash midsole, but it’s tailored more for those daily training sessions. It’s got this extra liveliness in its step that adds a whole lot of fun to the Glycerin, unlike anything we’ve seen in the previous versions.
And let’s not forget the revamped wider midsole and outsole. They team up to deliver seamless heel-to-toe transitions with every stride.
Glycerin vs GTS
Now, you might have come across the Glycerin 20 GTS. This version is tailor-made for runners who need a little assistance in keeping their knees and ankles in check during their runs.
All in all, the Brooks Glycerin 20 has received some pretty significant upgrades that I believe are going to propel it into a league of its own.
But how do you know if you need that support from your shoes?
Well, if you notice extra wear on the inside edge of your shoes due to lateral movement in your stride, or if your feet and knees don’t follow a perfectly straight path while running, that’s a sign that some extra support might be just what you need.
In addition to its reputation as one of the best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus, the Glycerin 20 also shines as a bunion-friendly shoe.
- Smooth and softer transitions and ride than before
- Plenty of cushion for any distance
- Offers a stable ride
- Luxurious plushy & supportive upper
- Roomy toebox is great for wide-footed runners
- Great midfoot lock
- No tongue slide
- Breathable upper
- Grips even on dirt and wet conditions
- Stability option is available (Glycerin GTS 20)
- Additional widths
- Heavy especially when wet
13. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Runners with Hallux Rigidus love the Adrenaline GTS thanks to the unbeatable support and comfort it offers.
They’ve really dialed in stability and support in this shoe, crafting a midsole that not only soaks up the shock but also gives the right amount of firmness to keep your toes in line.
And here’s the kicker: that roomy toe box. It’s like a breath of fresh air for our feet. The toe box accommodates toe splay and minimizes pressure on the big toe joint, making those runs comfy and pain-free for individuals with Hallux Rigidus.
Amy says the Adrenaline is supportive yet cushioned for her Hallux Rigidus. Read her review.
Who is the Brooks Adrenaline for?
The Adrenaline, well, it’s not just any shoe – it’s Brooks’ flagship when it comes to stability. In fact, it’s been a star player in the world of stability running shoes for quite a while.
To put it in perspective within the Brooks lineup, think of it as the stability sibling of the neutral Brooks Ghost. It’s like they share the same genes but have their own unique strengths.
For more details, check out this comparison of the Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost.
Back to it…
Now, if you’re training for a half marathon or marathon and you need a trusty, reliable workhorse to log those daily miles, this is your shoe. It brings you that unbeatable combo of comfort, responsiveness, and rock-solid stability.
Speaking of stability, the Adrenaline comes equipped with GuideRails – one on the outside and one on the inside – to keep you on the right path. The medial GuideRail packs a bit more punch compared to its lateral counterpart.
These GuideRails are a much less intrusive stability mechanism compared to those bulky, old-school medial posts you might be familiar with. They’re subtle and unobtrusive, quietly doing their job in the background.
So, if you’re a neutral runner who occasionally needs a stability boost for those longer runs when your form starts to break down, the GuideRail system has your back.
In a nutshell, the Adrenaline GTS 23 is your jack-of-all-trades. It might not be the absolute best at any one thing, but if you’re looking for that one shoe to tackle it all and offer a bit of guidance along the way, the Adrenaline GTS is where it’s at.
The midsole got a fresh upgrade this year. Now, it’s packing DNA Loft V2 under the hood. This DNA Loft V2 is a blend of rubber, air, and EVA foam, and let me tell you, this version is softer than what we had on the Adrenaline 22. It’s like they dialed up the comfort level a notch or two.
- Amazing DNA Loft V2 midsole
- Offers great stability medially and laterally
- Cushioned yet supportive ride for easy miles
- Transitions are nicely comfortable & smooth
- Accommodates most foot types thanks to the wide plush upper
- Available in multiple widths
- High drop (not an issue if you’re used to that)
- A bit heavy
- Upper durability
Best Topo Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
14. Topo Specter
The Topo Specter earns its stripes as an excellent choice for individuals dealing with Hallux Rigidus due to its unique design features.
Now, brace yourself for a ride that might flip your Topo expectations on their head. The Specter brings a whole new vibe to the game – it’s livelier, snappier, and gives you more of that nice efficient roll thanks to that rockered geometry as you’re cruising through your gait, especially at some of those faster speeds, which is gold for Hallux Rigidus.
The midsole is like a secret weapon – it’s firm in all the right spots, minimizing excessive bending in the forefoot, but still allowing for a smooth toe-off.
Crafted with a focus on natural movement and forefoot freedom, this shoe boasts a roomy toe box that lets your toes spread out naturally, reducing pressure on the big toe joint.
Who is the Topo Specter for?
The Specter is hands down the most exciting shoe in the Topo lineup for 2023.
It’s not your one-trick pony; this shoe’s got versatility written all over it. Featuring a fresh, highly responsive compound, it’s your go-to for those exhilarating workout days and tempo runs that get your heart pumping.
But with a generous 38mm stack height, it’s got your back for the daily grind and even those longer distance runs where comfort is key.
Now, when you want to pick up the pace, the Specter doesn’t disappoint. The forefoot is a burst of energy, and that 14 millimeters of PEBAX foam brings the bounce. It’s like a trampoline for your feet.
In a nutshell, the Topo Specter is your wide, stable buddy, no plate required. It’s all about that softer, lively ride, and it’s perfect if you’ve got wide feet or you’re a fan of roomy toe boxes.
Topo has traditionally leaned toward firmer foams, but with the Specter, they’re dipping their toes into the world of newer softer foams.
This time around, the midsole boasts the fancy PEBAX Core foam – a super foam that you’ll find in some of those top-tier super shoes. This midsole is all about dialing up the energy, making the Specter more responsive, and transforming it into a modern-day performance workhorse.
To ensure that PEBAX midsole stays stable, they’ve encapsulated it in an EVA frame. It’s like the dynamic duo of support and responsiveness, keeping that PEBAX Core stabilized inside the shoe.
The Topo Specter offers a very heavily rockered ride, propelling you forward and making the shoe super energetic off the forefoot when you pick up the pace. There’s no flex, but there’s just a lot of rebound from that 14 millimeters of PEBAX.
The Specter might not bend, which is key for you, but boy, does it bounce.
- Fun, energetic yet stable ride
- Smooth flowing rocker geometry
- Tons of room for toe splay
- Comfortable upper with great lockdown
- Durable outsole
- Super lightweight & breathable
- Traction might not be the best on wet slippery surfaces
Best ON Shoes for Hallux Rigidus
15. ON Cloudmonster
ON has always been a bit of a renegade in the world of running shoes, and the Cloudmonster is no exception – it’s so different that even ON call it “playfully weird.”
Now, when you have a shoe with such a unique design, it often gets a bit squishy, requiring more effort from your toes during push-offs
But what’s the deal with the Cloudmonster and how can it help out runners with Hallux Rigidus?
Let’s talk about the Cloutec and Speedboard…
First off, the Cloutec, those bubble-like structures in the midsole, work wonders. When your foot lands on these bubbles, they compress, absorbing shock and reducing the strain on that stiff big toe joint – a game-changer for Hallux Rigidus warriors.
And when it’s time to push off, the Cloudtec’s decompression kicks in, giving you an extra burst of propulsion and a delightful springy sensation as you roll forward.
Now, about that Speedboard which functions a lot like a carbon fiber plate. it’s like a secret weapon. It provides the much-needed stiffness and stability to prevent things from getting too squishy and unstable when your foot hits the ground.
Not only that, it decompresses too, adding even more springiness to the mix, complementing the Clouds or honeycombs in the Helion midsole.
Overall, with its built-in features, the Cloudmonster promotes a smoother rolling motion, reducing excessive flexion of the big toe during your gait cycle, which is a real win for runners dealing with Hallux Rigidus.
Who is the ON Cloudmonster for?
The Cloudmonster is your go-to for those everyday runs, perfect for those usual easy-paced workouts you tackle regularly.
Now, despite its appearance as a cozy max cushion shoe, it’s not your ideal pick for recovery days. When I’m looking for a shoe to take it easy, go slow, and give my legs some extra TLC, the Cloudmonster isn’t the one I reach for.
But on those days when I just need a comfortable, straightforward shoe for an easy run, the ON Cloudmonster steps up nicely.
One thing I noticed, though, is that I can really feel the “cloudiness” of this shoe more than any other ON running shoe I’ve ever tested. It’s got a unique cushioning vibe.
The foam is called Helion foam and they arrange it in the ON shoes into these nifty honeycomb formations they call their Cloudtec.
Now, if you’re digging the Cloudmonster and looking to mix and match,
If you’re planning to use the ON Cloudmonster as your daily trainer, I’d say the Adios Pro 3 might just be your marathon racer companion. I feel like you’ve got a lot of that European styling going on in both of these shoes.
The Adios, well, it’s in a league of its own – lightning-fast and all about that aggressive speed. It’s not your everyday shoe, but it’s your go-to for races and your toughest of workouts.
- Really comfortable upper out of the box
- Lots of room in the forefoot
- Highly cushioned
- Smooth transitions
- Stable ride
- Might not be ideal for high arches
- Limited style options
Where to buy the best running shoes for Hallux Rigidus
|Shift 3||Bondi 8||More v4||Specter||Gaviota 5|
Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus (Arthritis in the big toe)
Hallux Rigidus – FAQ
What is Hallux Rigidus (Arthritis of the big toe)?
Hallux Rigidus is when you can’t move the big toe joint properly and there’s pain potentially on the top of the joint. Oftentimes, that may make you walk off the side of your foot, which can, in turn, lead to knee pain, hip pain, or even back pain.
How do you know you have Hallux Rigidus?
Symptoms may include:
- Pain on the top of the big toe.
- Stiffness in the big toe.
- Loss of mobility in the toe.
Over time, without proper treatment, Hallux Rigidus can change your gait. To correct or alleviate this condition, it’s necessary to restore the foot’s optimal arch effectively unlocking the big toe and allowing it to function normally.
Can you run with Hallux Rigidus?
Running with Hallux Rigidus is possible if you’re a runner and you want to keep running. You don’t have to stop running. You have to figure out what is causing the pain and irritation in the big toe joint. Most of the time, you need better-fitting Hallux Rigidus shoes that provide your toes with plenty of room and support.
Are zero-drop shoes good for Hallux Rigidus?
Yes. Zero-drop shoes are good for Hallux Rigidus.
With zero-drop running shoes, your toes and heel are level. If your heel is sitting higher, then that position can force your toes to bend and that can cause some issues for stiff big toe joints.
Best inserts for Hallux Rigidus
Do inserts help with Hallux Rigidus? Yes. Inserts do help Hallux Rigidus because they can either offload or reduce the movement on the big toe joint. There’s a number of different options. You can use a carbon fiber insole which is this super stiff plate that doesn’t bend very much.
You just insert it into your shoes so that the shoe itself doesn’t flex through the front area. Therefore, there’s less bending action on your toe, which reduces the pain down the road.
Keep in mind that if you insert a carbon fiber plate into your shoe, you will have to have quite a bit of additional room inside your shoe to accommodate it.
You can also use orthotics that have a Morton’s carbon fiber insole. As you’re walking, this orthotic prevents the big toe joint from flexing too much. That helps really reduce pain on the big toe joint itself.