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Footwear for Foot Pain

Best Running Shoes For Bunions

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Posted 2 years ago


Last updated: 18/11/2023


by James McCormack

James McCormack
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Can running shoes help Bunions?

A bunion is a painful condition affecting the big toe joint. There is a significant genetic link to developing a bunion with up to 90% risk factor if your mother had one. Some people are born with bunions, while others can slowly develop bunions over time from risk factors such as flat feet, fractures and impact activities such as running.

Bunions cause a deviation of the big toe away from the midline (hallux valgus), and in severe cases, they may move over or under the second toe, leading to secondary Hammertoes. In other cases, there may be a twist or rotation of the big toe rather than a noticeable deviation of the big toe. 

Most people with bunions have pain on the base of the big toe joint aggravated by walking and running, while others may not. Bunions can cause secondary injuries such as Morton’s Neuroma, Capsulitis, Stress Fractures, Mallet Toes and Metatarsalgia.

So, selecting the right running shoes is crucial for runners with bunions, as it can help alleviate pain and prevent secondary injuries that may result from wearing incorrect shoes. Throughout this article, we will explain the most important features to look for in running shoes for bunions and provide recommendations for the best running shoes. 

Best Running Shoes For Bunions

The best running shoes for Bunions should have a responsive cushion, a stable midsole and a wide toe box.

  • Responsive cushioning: this helps by providing additional support under the foot to reduce the impact on your bunion.
  • Stable midsole: helps to control the pronation moments (inward movement of your foot) that can cause a bunion.
  • Wide toe box: creates adequate space for your bunion, reducing compression. A narrow toe box can compress the toes and cause further deviation of the big toe away from the midline.

James McCormack is a Physical Therapist specialising in knee, foot & ankle injuries. www.james-mccormack.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The money earned from this helps us create free educational content without affecting the price of the shoes we recommend.

Top 9 Running Shoes for Bunions

New Balance X860 Wide Fit Running Shoes For Bunions

We recommend the New Balance X860 for bunions due to its wide-fitting toe box, which helps by allowing adequate space for a bunion without compressing the surrounding toes.

The X860 is a lightweight shoe with foam sole cushioning to protect the forefoot from the impact that irritates bunions while having a medial posting to reduce and control any excess pronation moments that can cause bunions.

We recommend the New Balance X860 for mild to moderate symptoms of Bunions.

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Brooks GTS 22 Extra Wide Running Shoes For Bunions

We recommend the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 as they are a cushioned shoe that protects the forefoot while allowing you to choose your width option depending on your foot size.

Their intelligent control in the heel cup helps to control the ankle joint, reducing pronation moments in the midfoot.

We recommend Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 to patients with moderate symptoms of bunion pain.

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Hoka Bondi Running Shoes For Bunions

The Hoka Bondi 8 are our favourite running shoes for bunions due to their ultra cushion sole that comes in varying widths to protect the forefoot from impact and allow sufficient toe box space.

The Hoka Bondi has a responsive cushion to help with propulsion and a 4mm heel drop which slows down the speed of weight transfer onto the forefoot from heel strike while also reducing forefoot pressure when standing compared to a high heel drop trainer.

We recommend the Hoka Bondi for all forms of bunions, especially for severe bunion pain.

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Best Running Shoes for Bunions by Brand

Best Asics for Severe Bunions

We recommend the Asics GEL-NIMBUS 25 as the best shoes for severe bunions.

The Asics GEL-NIMBUS 25 is an extra cushioned shoe for maximum comfort. It has a low 8mm drop from heel to toe to keep pressure off the forefoot.

The rocker-shaped sole keeps a smooth roll through each stride.

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Best Adidas Shoe for Bunions

We recommend the Adidas Adizero Boston 11 in a wide fit for bunions. 

The Adidas Adizero Boston 11 has a 9mm heel-to-toe drop and a plush, cushioned sole. With a wide fit size, there is space for a severe bunion, which avoids compression of the toes.

The carbon-infused rods that run through the shoe make the sole stiff and prevent excessive extension through the big toe, which can be painful with a severe bunion.

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Best New Balance Shoe for Bunions

We recommend the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 for bunions. 

The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a high-stacked, plush, cushioned shoe for a comfortable feel.

They are available in a range of width sizes, so you can get the right fit for your needs and avoid any compression of your toes and bunion.

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Best Nike Shoe for Bunions

We recommend the Nike React Infinity 3 as the best shoe for mild bunions. 

The Nike React Infinity 3 is a well-cushioned neutral shoe with an 8mm heel-to-toe drop. This keeps the pressure off the forefoot and absorbs the impact of each stride.

In the wide fit size, the shoe offers a spacious toe box to allow for the greater forefoot width of a bunion.

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Best Skechers for Bunions

We recommend the Skechers GO WALK Workout Walker for bunions. 

The Skechers GO WALK Workout Walker has the Skechers podiatrist-designed arch fit insole for support with thick but lightweight cushioning.

While the carbon fibre-infused plate keeps stiffness through the sole to prevent excessive pressure through the big toe joint.

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Best Saucony Running Shoe for Bunions

We recommend the Saucony Echelon 9 as the best shoe for moderate bunions.

Certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association, this low-drop shoe has thick cushioning for reducing impact through the foot and offloading the forefoot. It also has a curved forefoot with a toe spring to improve heel-to-toe transitions.

It is designed to have a roomy fit and is available in a wider fit so that you can find the right fit without any compression across the toes.

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Shoes Advice from James McCormack

This article is written by James McCormack, a Foot and Ankle Specialist who is an expert in prescribing the best running shoes for Bunions.

This is not medical advice. We recommend consulting with a medical professional such as James McCormack before purchasing any of the shoes recommended in this article. James offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments weekly and face-to-face appointments in his London clinic.


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