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Hallux Rigidus is a degenerative condition that causes reduced range of motion and pain in the big toe joint. Alongside exercises and insoles, shoes play a vital role in pain management and reducing the speed of deterioration of Hallux Rigidus. Shoe type, fit and size can be a minefield, so we tried to categorise 3 different stages of the condition and the shoe we find most beneficial for our patients with Hallux Rigidus.
James McCormack is a Physical Therapist who specialises 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 to create free educational content.
For mild to moderate symptoms of Hallux Rigidus, shoes should have a wide toe box with a cushioned sole and a rocker plate. The wide toe prevents compression of the big toe that can lead to osteophytes rubbing in the joint, while the cushioned sole reduces impact and provides additional comfort. The rocker plate facilitates the push-off phase of the gait cycle with less force placed through the big toe joint.
For severe Hallux Rigidus, we recommend the above attributes in a shoe, but having a carbon plate can stiffen the toe box and prevent or restrict significant toe extension, providing considerable pain relief.
A vast amount of money is spent on running shoe technology. We have found that they work equally well for walking and provide effective pain relief from Hallux Rigidus.
We recommend the Hoka One Bondi for mild symptoms of Hallux valgus due to their cushioned soles, low heel height and wide fit.
The cushioned sole is responsive and reduces impact through the big toe joint, while the low heel height slows down the speed of weight transfer onto the forefoot.
The Hoka One has a wide-fitting version to prevent compression of the Hallux within the toe box, which can irritate the symptoms of Hallux Valgus.
We recommend the Asics Glideride for moderate symptoms of Hallux valgus due to its wide toe box, mesh cover and rocker sole.
The wide toebox prevents compression of the big toe joint alongside its structured midsole to control excess pronation moments that can irritate a hallux valgus.
Most importantly, the Asics Glideride has a rocker sole which significantly reduces the amount of ankle flexion and forefoot extension during the gait cycle when walking and running. The rocker sole can significantly reduce pain levels for those with Hallux Valgus.
We highly recommend the HOKA ONE ONE Carbon X 2 due to its comprehensive fitting option, rocker sole and carbon fibre plate.
Similarly to the Asics Glideride, the Hoka has a wide-fit toe box and rocker sole to alleviate pressure from the big toe.
However, in addition to this, the Hoka has a carbon fibre plate which severely reduces the extension possible at the big toe to offload and provides pain relief to Hallux Valgus.