Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shoes for hallux rigidus are, then I recommend the Dansko Shaina Clog for women and the Colorado 17 Walking Sneakers for men.

Foot getting an injection

Footwear is essential for daily life. But beyond practicality, shoes can either heighten or alleviate pain, such as hallux rigidus. If your big toe has limited movement, you’ll require footwear that offers excellent comfort and protection.

Here are the best shoes for hallux rigidus in 2020:

What is Hallux Rigidus?

This is the condition for when the joint at the base of the big toe causes extreme pain and stiffness. As you can normally bend your big toe, someone with hallux rigidus has restricted movement and experiences pain that’s similar to arthritis.

We use our big toe for walking, climbing, and even standing. Without its proper use, you’ll experience stiffness in the feet while also encountering limitations in walking and general movement.

Hallux rigidus sufferers won’t find relief unless they take action—one way for doing this is by wearing the correct footwear. It’s a condition that progresses, and the big toe’s movement decreases quickly over time. 

As time goes on, the toe’s range of movement decreases where it’ll then reach a point that it becomes too stiff to move.

Symptoms of Hallux Rigidus

If you’re skeptical you might have this condition, here are some common signs to bear in mind:

  • Pain in the big toe while moving—walking, bending or standing.
  • Increased pain when it’s cold or damp.
  • Visible swelling or inflammation around the big toe.
  • Pain—even when not moving.
  • Confusion for it being a bunion.
  • Full pain in your hip or lower bank as you walk.
  • Difficulty putting on and taking off shoes.

Factors to Consider When Buying Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

Convinced you have hallux rigidus or been diagnosed by a doctor? Here are some important factors to consider during your search.

Wide Toe Box

This is possibly the most essential factor for those with hallux rigidus. To relieve pain, a wider toe box is generally recommended than a narrow shoe that restricts movement. 

Plus, some people with hallux rigidus will have a bunion-like lump next to their toe, which requires additional space in shoes anyway.

Flexible Design

Any additional pressure on your big toe will contribute to pain and worsen the condition. I recommend choosing footwear with a flexible material on the upper—such as mesh—so you have the flexibility for comfort.

The soles should be rigid to provide excellent support. This allows your footwear to absorb impacts as you walk. Plus, rigid designs allow your feet to remain stable as you move, preventing any pronation and reducing any irritation on your toes, especially. 

Slight Platform

Avoid wearing flat shoes, as this limited heel doesn’t have any support and offers limited shock absorption, which can increase foot pain.

On the other hand, avoid wearing high heels. The elevation of your foot will put pressure on your arches and toe. Instead, opt for footwear with a slight platform with a cushioned shock absorption.

The Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus

Foot x-ray

1. Dansko Women’s Shaina Clog

These women’s shoes are one of my favorites on the list, based on style and design—they’re casual and ideal for working in.

Dansko’s easy slip-on design makes these clogs great for anyone who dislikes using laces or wishes to purchase convenient footwear. They’re available in half sizes, which is a perfect feature for finding the right fit.

Made from 100 percent leather, they’re durable and resistant to weather, making them a great option for those who work outside. The rubber sole also makes them long-lasting and provides excellent traction when walking on slippery surfaces.

These shoes are comfortable and come equipped with a cushioned footbed. This provides a soft feel, making them great to wear for long periods. Some customers reported that these shoes are ideal for plantar fasciitis as well as hallux rigidus.

With a 1.5-inch heel, these shoes are practical to wear around the office and provide some relief from pressure on the heel. 

The shoes are available in sizes 5.5 to 12.

Pros

  • Available in half sizes.
  • 1.5-inch heel to reduce pressure.
  • Cushioned footbed.
  • 100 percent leather.
  • Excellent arch support.

Cons

  • Little sponging around the platform.
  • Narrow fit for the main part of the shoe.

2. Men’s Colorado 17 Walking Sneakers

If you’re a guy looking for a trusted pair of walking sneakers suitable for hallux rigidus, then this could be them.

The mesh panel on both sides makes the shoes breathable, enabling you to walk in high heat without your feet becoming too warm. This material also isn’t irritating against your skin, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Another highlight of these sneakers is the padding on the heel and across the toe box. As a result, the shoes will absorb impact from walking on the ground. If you have hallux rigidus, it’s important that your toes remain stable as you walk, which the padding allows for.

Designed with a rubber sole, these walking shoes are durable. The footwear also has a cushioned platform that’s ideal for athletes and enhances support and comfort.

The shoes are available in sizes 7 to 14. 

Pros

  • Padded throughout.
  • Cushioned platform.
  • Durable rubber sole.

Cons

  • Takes a while for the shoes to break in.

3. New Balance Men’s Suede Shoes

This footwear will provide long-lasting relief while enabling you to express your fashion tastes.

They’re a casual pair that are ideal for walks in the park or running errands. My favorite feature about this footwear is the high upper that offers support on the front of your foot. They’re also durably designed to protect your ankles, helping to prevent pronation.

With a waterproof finish, you can wear these shoes when it’s raining without worrying that they’ll become worn or that water will impact their condition. They also have a rubber sole, which makes them suitable for long walks.

With a low platform, they help to absorb impact from walking and provide further support for your heels. The compression-molded EVA footbed contributes to additional comfort and support—particularly around the toe area.

The shoes are available in sizes 7 to 9.5.

Pros

  • EVA footbed.
  • Sturdy quality. 
  • Available in narrow, wide, and an extra-wide fit.
  • Breathable mesh material.

Cons

  • Not as soft inside as other shoes.

4. Women’s Amara GTX Walking Sneakers

If you like to remain active but suffer from hallux rigidus, these women’s walking sneakers are an excellent contender.

For me, the large platform stands out—it makes these sneakers suitable for people with an array of foot conditions. This extra height helps to cushion your feet from the impact of hitting the floor.

The soles are made from Vibram, which is a sturdy heavy-duty rubber. As a result, you can walk on all types of terrain without feeling the impact on your feet. This material also makes the shoes long-lasting.

Thanks to the textile interior, the shoes are non-irritating and remain soft against your skin, allowing you to wear them with or without socks. 

Designed with a rocker shape, these shoes help to enhance a healthy walking position. As a result, the footwear allows some relief on your feet and also improves your heel to toe action. 

The shoes are available in sizes 5 to 7. 

Pros

  • Rocker design improves foot action. 
  • Heavy-duty rubber sole.
  • Textile interior.  

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Platform might be too high for some.

5. Bobs from Skechers Women’s Wedge

These wedge shoes are available in various styles, making them the most versatile of the bunch on this list. As a result, you’re likely to find a design that’s appropriate for work, at home and for leisurely strolls.

The thick synthetic sole makes them durable and weather-resistant. This is ideal if you spend a lot of time outdoors. They also have exceptional tread, helping to improve traction and avoid any slippages. 

My favorite feature is the memory foam footbed, which feels comfortable against socks and bare skin. This combines well with the 1-inch platform, which helps to absorb shock while also protecting your heels as you take each stride. Also, these are the only shoes on the list to feature memory foam insoles. 

I’m a huge fan of the elasticated back that allows you to adjust the shoes to fit your feet. This is an ideal feature if your feet tend to swell when it’s hot.

The shoes are available in sizes 5 to 11.

Pros

  • Durable synthetic sole.
  • Excellent tread.
  • Memory foam footbed.
  • Elasticated back.

Cons

  • Can rub against your heel.
  • Shoes have minimal stretch. 

The Winning Shoes

Can’t decide on which shoes to choose? The Dansko Women’s Shaina Clog is my number one choice for the ladies. Their convenient slip-on design makes them suitable for easy access, and they’re also available in half sizes.

My favorite feature, though, is the cushioned footbed, which protects your feet as you wear them for prolonged periods. The extra cushioning around the toe box also makes them ideal for those with hallux rigidus. 

For a male option, opt for the Men’s Colorado 17 Walking Sneakers. They’re stylish and also feature mesh panels across the sides to make them breathable and excellent for walking in. 

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