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These Are The Best Running Shoes For Bunions, According To An Expert

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If you’re a runner trying to manage bunions (or avoid getting them in the first place) you need the best running shoes for bunions. Bustle reached out to Dr. Alice Holland, DPT at Stride Strong Physical Therapy in Portland, Oregon. Her expert advice informed this curated list of shoes for the bunion-prone, but it's always a good idea to consult your doctor as well.

Dr. Holland says the specific feature you want to look out for in a running shoe for bunions is a wider toe box. “If your big toe is being scrunched into a narrow toe box in the shoe, this shoe is too narrow for you,” she says. Dr. Holland says she’s a big fan of Altras as they have wider toe boxes. “Some Asics and New Balances can accommodate wider feet and bunions as well but you would have to inspect how your foot fits in those specifically,” Dr. Holland says.

According to Dr. Holland, the best way to avoid developing bunions in the first place is to be “cognizant of your shoe wear choice” and make sure you are choosing footwear that “allows for toe freedom of movement — be it athletic, dress, or casual shoes.” It’s also important to note that, while wearing narrow shoes can certainly trigger a bunion, bunions also tend to run in families, according to Harvard Health.

With all of that in mind, check out the best running shoes for bunions. They all have wide toe boxes and they’re highly rated.

1
The Best Road Running Shoe For Bunions

This is Dr. Holland’s preferred shoe brand for people with bunions, and it's a brand that also tops the list of Ray McClanahan, D.P.M., a podiatrist interviewed by Runner's World on the topic of running shoes for bunions.

This pick has a wide toe box, and it was created with the anatomy of women’s feet in mind. It also has grid-like grooves in the midsole which offer flexibility while also making the shoe itself lighter — both great features for a road running shoe.

Impressively, these shoes are even designed to move with the natural bone and tendon structure of your feet. The outsole features an Altra-specific design that discerns your foot's build for a natural (and flexible) running experience; and the midsole has a responsive, soft feel which helps you get maximum energy return as you run. These shoes also have balanced cushioning, meaning the heel and toes are the same distance from the ground.

What fans love: “I've been wearing Altra running shoes for about 10 years. I love that the toe box [is] roomy but the heal is a regular (medium) width. The fabric of the upper is flexible so the shoes fit both of my feet very comfortably even though one of my feet is 4 wide and the other is 4 1/2 wide.”

  • Available sizes: 6 - 12
2
The Best Trail Running Shoe For Bunions

I went with another Altra pick here, primarily for the shoe's ability to offer roomy space in the toe box while still being specifically designed for trail running. This pick is equipped with technology that prevents debris from building up beneath the shoe, and it has a durable rubber outsole made to endure and grip rugged terrain. Additionally, these shoes feature amazing traction thanks to their canted lugs — the cleat-like feature on the shoes' outsole. It was also created to fit the anatomy of women’s feet specifically, and because the entire shoe — from toe to heel — is equal distance from the ground, these shoes make for a super low-impact run.

What fans love: “This is my first pair of Timp's and second pair of Altra's and these are by far my most favorite trail shoe ever! [...] My longest run in them has been 16 miles — over rocks, roots, in wet sand, mud, dry sand, grass, you name it and they were perfect in all conditions!”

  • Available sizes: 5.5 - 12
3
The Best On A Budget

For reliable shoes under $60, you can't go wrong with ASICS Gel-Excite 4. While some of the Amazon reviews are mixed on the wideness of this running shoe’s toe box, many reviewers found it plenty roomy and recommended it based on that feature. Additionally, this pick comes in wide sizes if you’re worried about having enough room for your toes. This shoe also has a durable rubber outsole and a mesh top-sole for breathability, plus Rearfoot GEL Cushioning technology, which reduces shock during runs. It also has a removable sock-liner if you need to use orthotics.

What fans love: “Terrific shoe for my feet. If you need a generous toe box this will probably fill the bill for you. Good price point too!”

  • Available sizes: 6 - 11 with wide sizes available
4
The Best Running Shoes For Bunions And High Arches

If you're dealing with both bunions and high arches, you need a running shoe that's going to work hard for you, and the Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 19 is it. Per the brand's specs, this shoe is ideal for medium to high arches, and, according to Garage Gym Power, its 12-millimeter drop means it's designed for overpronators and comes with a good amount of arch support.

The toe box is fairly wide, plus the shoe itself comes in wide sizes as well. It also has responsive cushioning, and it's designed with Brooks-specific technology that works to alleviate and prevent knee injuries. All of these features, plus its durable, semi-smooth outsole, make this shoe ideal for long distance, treadmill, and road running.

What fans love: “This is my second pair of Brooks Adrenaline 19. My Podiatrist recommended them after bunion surgery and I am so thankful he did. Great stability for arch support.”

  • Available sizes: 5.5 - 13 with wide sizes available

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Experts:

Dr. Alice Holland, DPT at Stride Strong Physical Therapy. https://stridestrong.com/alice-holland/