First off, what is a Bunion? Well, in the simplest explanation, it is a painful swelling on the first joint (MTP) of the big toe. The most common reason a Bunion is formed is due to prolonged pressure against the inside portion of the 1st MTP big toe joint. What causes prolonged pressure on the 1st MTP? The answer is simple; it can be due to potentially three factors, result of wearing pointed-toe shoes, wearing shoes that are too tight, or over-pronation.
Bunions can be especially painful in ill-fitting shoes. So no matter the kind of footwear, be it flip-flop, sandal, boot, or sneaker, it's important for you to shop for a pair of shoes that will alleviate discomfort and prevent them from getting worse. You can always ask your podiatrist for recommendations on bunion-friendly shoes. And what better ones to get than specially made shoes for bunions specifically?
A comfortable running shoe can be difficult to find. Especially if you have a bunion and it's been causing significant pain. Well, below is a list of the Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Bunions in 2023:
Despite the fact that they can be painful and even debilitating if you don't have the right shoes, bunions are usually not dangerous and can be caused by a number of factors.
The likelihood of a person developing bunions will depend largely on their body's biomechanical makeup, which is why this problem can run in families, which is to say, it’s also about genetics, with foot shapes that you inherited. There are also inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and previous joint damage that put people at greater risk of developing bunions, as well as years of wearing poorly-fitted shoes or heels that increase the risk of bunions.
Other Risk Factors For Bunions
Although most people develop bunions as adults, it is possible for children to get them too. In short, bunions can generally arise in these conditions:
Having an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
Living from flat feet
Having Chitayat syndrome or any other disorder that alters bone development.
How We Chose These Running Shoes For Bunions
When it comes to running and bunions, finding the correct footwear is essential. Your run will be more painful if you wear the wrong shoes. Improperly fitted shoes might exacerbate existing foot issues or even cause you to stop jogging altogether.
After a few thousand miles of running workout on your feet, you'll need shoes with a roomy toe box or an upper that's spacious around the toes.
A big toe box is the most important attribute to look for in shoes with bunions. As an alternative to wide-toed shoes, you can look for comfortable shoes with a broader toe area made of a seamless, elastic mesh. In this way, the bunion will not be pushed or rubbed against the shoe's upper.
Support and durability were two other key considerations. Because bunions can be caused by other foot disorders, you'll require a supportive shoe. Plantar fasciitis, heel pain, under- or overpronation, narrow heel, sensitive feel, flat fleet, and other issues will be addressed.
Also, running shoes may be pricey, so we made sure to select sneakers that will last long enough to get you your money's worth!
Below you'll find our list of the most comfortable and supportive running shoes for Bunions.
A List of the Top 10 Best Running Shoes For Bunions in 2023
The Brooks Cascadia is your go-to running shoe if you have bunions, keep reading and I’ll explain why. First of all, the superior soft and responsive cushioning that is in the DNA midsole provides more adaptability and cushioning than Brooks’ standard DNA midsole. Lots of cushions are great because it gives the bunion a soft surface and it helps to absorb shock. In addition to cushion, the Cascadia also has The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) which helps to guide your body back to its natural motion. The Cascadia will help to keep your feet aligned and your bunion free of pressure. We can’t forget to mention the enhanced fit, with air mesh soft uppers that offer a spacious rounded toe box you’ll have the most comfortable fit while you run, especially your bunion.
The Cascadia by Brooks is the same lightweight ralking shoe as the Men’s Brooks Cascadia, but for Women! The features are the same for both men and women. The superior soft cushioning that is in the DNA midsole provides more adaptability and cushioning than Brooks’ standard DNA midsole. Lots of cushions are great because it gives the Bunion a soft surface and it helps to absorb shock. In addition to cushion, the beast also has The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) which helps to guide your body back to its natural motion. This is an especially great option if you over-pronate and the cause of your Bunion is due to over-pronation. The Cascadia will help to keep your feet aligned and your Bunion pressure-free. We can’t forget to mention the enhanced fit, with air mesh uppers that offer a spacious around toe box you’ll have the most comfortable fit while you run, especially your Bunion area.
2. HOKA Men’s and Women’s Clifton 8
The Clifton 8 by HOKA is the perfect shoe for a runner looking for a stable shoe, and also suffers from Bunions. The Clifton 8 has a nice rounded and roomy toe box to offer your Bunion plenty of toe room, so you can run in comfort and not have to worry about pesky bunion pain. Also, the Clifton 8 has a late-stage Meta-Rocker design for added stability and a smooth toe-off for even weight distribution. The Meta-rocker additionally offers your bunion pressure relief if you plan to stand or walk for long periods of time. Also, the Clifton 8 features arch-lock wings that offer midfoot stability and support, so you can still have that roomy toe box but snug and secure fit you crave when you run. In all, if you are looking for maximum cushion, and a running shoe that provides your Bunion with plenty of space then this is your shoe.
3. New Balance Men’s and Women’s 860v11
The New Balance 860v11 is a class of its own when it comes to supporting and comfortability! The 860v11 offers a core of soft cushioning EVA in the midsole with a tough polyurethane rim for more support and durability which is known as ENCAP. Also, the blown rubber outsole helps to provide maximum shock absorption for your bunion. Also, the toe box of the New Balance 860v11 is extremely roomy in both width and depth; this provides a proper fit for your bunions. With a legacy that spans over three decades, this timeless go-to sets the industry standard! You’ll be treated to the perfect combination of cushion and stability. Grab a pair of the 860v11s and go for a run, you’ll have plenty of support and room for your bunion.
4. New Balance Men’s and Women’s Fresh Foam 1080
The Fresh Foam 1080 by New Balance has many features that are beneficial to someone who has a bunion. First, they are designed with a double jacquard mesh upper and a bootie construction to provide ultimate comfort and support but do not compromise the toe room in the forefoot. The mesh upper allows for a seamless fit, so there are no rough seams to bother you while you run. Also, the laser-engraved midsole features cushioning that’s more substantial than its predecessors, which makes this shoe a front runner for shock absorption. The maximum cushion is beneficial to a bunion because it decreases shock and therefore decreases aches and pains in your feet at the end of a run. Also, the forefoot area has a slight forefoot flair that helps the decreased pressure off of the Bunion area of your foot. And also helps with follow-through while on your run. Lastly, the ultra-cushioned design is made for mid to long runs. So if you have a bunion and love to run, then this is one of the best running shoes for bunions.
5. New Balance Men’s and Women’s 1540
The New Balance 1540 is made with technology that helps deliver support and stability to your run. The 1540 features ENCAP technology, what ENCAP offers your foot is a core of soft cushioning in the midsole and a tough polyurethane rim for added support and durability. Also, the 1540 has a Rollbar that helps to reduce rear-foot movement. The 1540 has a wide forefoot and has a mesh pocket where a bunion would sit. This allows for added comfort and breathability. Also, the forefoot has a slight flare to help reduce forefoot pressure while you run. All of the durable and shock absorbing materials that come inside the 1540 make it an outstanding option for someone who has a bunion and is looking for a running shoe with optimal support and durability. In all, the 1540 offers you everything you need to run comfortably!
6. HOKA Clifton 7 Men’s and Women’s
Soft. Smooth. Surprisingly light. Your new go-to daily shoe is here. Building on the Clifton’s best-loved qualities, the “7” continues to deliver the perfect combination of soft and light. Crafted with the same midsole and ride characteristics, the Clifton 7 features a streamlined silhouette and updated upper made from engineered mesh. Outfitted with a plush collar that eases Achilles pressure, this daily runner is equipped with an intuitive pull tab at the heel for easy on-and-off. Find your sweet spot in the Clifton 7.
7. Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s and Women’s
The Brooks Adrenaline Ghost 14 offers a responsive foam midsole that provides long-lasting cushioning. That responsive foam now extends throughout the entire midsole, adding shock absorption, comfort, and a smoother transition from heel to toe – fantastic for those who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Delivering on-demand support are the GuideRails® allows your hips, knees, and joints to move within their unique motion path while you walk. Enjoy a soft, secure fit with the 3D Fit Print Engineer Air Mesh upper that applies strategic stretch great for those with bunions These stylish athletic shoes will keep you feeling great all day long.
8. HOKA Bondi 7 Men’s and Women’s
The Bondi 7 by HOKA is also part of the Glide collection. This collection offers optimal support and cushioning without adding weight to the shoe. The Bondi 7 is the most cushioned shoe in HOKA’s road-shoe lineup. An opened engineered mesh construction optimizes breathability and comfort especially extra space around your forefoot. The Bondi 7 also has a redefined early-stage meta-rocker for a smooth ride and decreased forefoot pressure. The internal heel counter provides a locked-in fit and support while you run. In all, the meta-rocker and ultra-plush cushion make this a great shoe for bunion pain.
9. New Balance Fresh Foam More Men’s and Women’s
The Fresh Foam by New Balance offers a minimal drop and offers plush cushioning. With these two combined it results in a natural fit with next-level comfort. Also, the no-sew overlays give your bunion a comfortable fit so you don’t have to worry about any flexible material rubbing on the bunion. With a nice wide toe box and lots of plush cushioning for shock absorption, the Fresh Foam is great for a runner who suffers to find shoes that fit a bunion comfortably.
10. Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s and Women’s
The Brooks Ghost 14 is the latest in athletic comfort from Brooks. The seam-free printed mesh upper easily accommodates bunions while giving you a breathable, moldable, and secure fit. Offered in wide options, this too will allow for better accommodation for any type of bunion. Your bunion pain will be alleviated thanks to the flexible rocker toe and supportive midsole. It also has a thick, removable insole. The built-in arch support allows for pronation correction and the reduction of torque on your toe, one of the main causes of bunion pain. Need added support? No problem! The Ghost 14 offers a removable footbed to accommodate customer orthotics. The Ghost 14 by Brooks is perfect for anyone with bunions looking for comfortable athletic shoes. It keeps your feet cool and dry.
Traits of a Good Running Shoe For Bunions
When it comes to bunion and fitness footwear such as running shoes, it can be fairly difficult to find the best shoes that fit comfortably especially around the bunion. If you want to know the best traits you’ll find in a good running shoe then keep reading! First, you’ll want to make sure the toe box (forefoot) area of the running shoe is wide, and provides your foot with lots of depth and cushioning. Next, you’ll need a shoe that will work with your gait cycle (Neutral, Over-Pronation, and Supination) finding a shoe that can offer you the proper support will lessen common bunion pain and help the bunion from growing tremendously. Lastly, you will most definitely want to wear arch support. People with bunions often also have flat feet and therefore an unstable arch. Wearing arch support helps to keep your foot aligned and in the most neutral position possible. Doing so will help keep excess pressure off of your bunion. For added support, we also recommend wearing arch support that has a metatarsal pad installed; this pushes right under the ball of your foot and decreases forefoot pressure. You can also use shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly. Either over-the-counter arch supports or custom orthotic insoles works. Lastly, you’ll want to find a running shoe that is offered in multiple widths. Doing so will give you the best chance at finding the most comfortable running shoe. In all, wearing a combination of good fitting shoes and arch support either over the counter or custom will give you the best possible outcome when it comes to supporting and finding a good running shoe for a bunion.
Even the most expensive pair of running shoes will be of no help to you if they don't fit properly and bring you further discomfort due to your bunions, so we place a high value on fit during our selection process.
If you're wearing improper shoes, even the shortest distance might result in chafing, which makes running considerably more challenging.
For athletes with bunions, we offer a wide selection of custom-made and personalized shoes that are both stylish and functional. If you have bunions, you should only buy shoes that can help alleviate and correct the issue.
Wet, clammy, stinking feet are the bane of our existence, so we made a point of checking the shoes on our list to see how well they breathe.
Breathability is a critical component of every shoe. Shoes that allow for expansion and proper airflow are essential for runners, especially those with bunions, who must have this feature in order to run at their best.
As a runner, your shoes are susceptible to a great deal of wear and tear right out of the box.
As any athlete with bunions is well aware, finding shoes that have the necessary qualities and are affordable can be a challenge. Running shoes with bunion characteristics are harder to come by because many retailers don't carry them.
To avoid unnecessary weight, you should not carry more than you need to. Another consideration is the shoe's weight; if you still have a bunion, you'll want a shoe that isn't too heavy. Running shoes with good arch support are essential whether you're a woman or a man.
How to Relieve Bunion Pain
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, especially after a run, your bunion is probably pretty achy and maybe in pain. Here are a few tips to help relieve bunion pain. Arch Support – wearing arch support in all of your shoes will help to decrease pain around your bunion dramatically. It helps to evenly distribute pressure throughout your foot and keeps your body aligned from the feet up! Also, arch support helps to keep your feet from rolling inward which causes excess pressure on your Bunion. So, with a combination of shoes and arch support, you’ll be in good shape! Nighttime Bunion Regulator – this device helps to put your toe into the proper position, this then decreases pain and pressure while you sleep. The bunion regulator should not be worn with shoes, only at bedtime. Wide Shoes – wearing a wide-width shoe will help decrease the friction an ill-fitting shoe would cause and also, decrease the chances of your Bunion getting larger. If you start with a wide shoe from the beginning, chances are you’ll feel less pain at the end of the day or a run. Also, when trying on shoes, you should be able to play the piano with your toes. What this means is you should have plenty of room to wiggle your toes up and down in the shoe. If you are not sure what width you should get we recommend being fitted by one of our Lucky Feet Pedorthist so they can find you the proper fit!
Lacing Techniques That Help Ease Bunion Pain
Below are two lacing techniques you can try, that give your foot and bunion more room in a shoe! Wide Forefoot – Targets the Bunion area.
From the bottom of the eye row, lace vertically up the side of the shoe.
Continue with normal crisscrossing.
More Room – Gives room throughout the entire shoe.
Start on the side, lace vertically through the bottom 2 eyelets.
Go across to the other side.
Start a pattern of across and up (skipping an eyelet).
Continue the pattern of across and up all the way (skipping an eyelet).
Put laces into the top of an eyelet (during the repeat of the pattern).
Finish by threading through the underside of the last eyelet.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bunions
I wear proper fitting running shoes, so why does my bunion still hurt?
The reason your bunion may still be hurting, even in a properly fitted shoe is more than likely because you need more than just a good shoe. You need to add an orthotic to your shoes. The shoe helps to keep your foot structurally sound and secure but arch support will keep your arches aligned and the pressure evenly distributed. When you wear arch support with your running shoes it offers your foot and body double the support and better alignment. In addition to arch support, you would also benefit from having a metatarsal pad on the footbed of the arch support. What a metatarsal pad does is, decrease pressure off of the forefoot and your Bunion.
Can I continue to wear high heels if I have a bunion?
If you have a Bunion you will want to stay away from high-heeled shoes since high heels cause excess pressure on your forefoot aka bunion. If you consistently put more pressure on your bunion it will continue to grow larger over time and create excess pain to the bunion area. In all, if you do not want to cause more pain to your Bunion we would advise you do not to wear any type of high heels.
BONUS: That’s not to say that totally footwear is the answer. Wearing any footwear that has no support will make it harder for your feet to distribute weight effectively every time they hit the ground. Thus altering the biomechanics of your lower leg and leading to your feet feeling fatigued as well as drastically increasing chances of developing pain in the heels, knee, hip, and even lower back.
Do bunions get worse over time?
Yes, if you do not properly care for a bunion it could potentially get worse over time. If you continue to wear shoes that are too tight, pointed toe, flat or heeled you risk having the bunion grow larger which all-cause excess trauma and pain to the bunion.
The forefoot can be alleviated by lacing your shoes in a variety of ways. Simply unlace your shoe, then replace it, but instead of starting with the bottom eyelets, start with those on the second row.
If the eyelet closest to the bunion is removed, the outer eyelet on the non-bunion side can be used instead. The bunion will be relieved of pressure as a result of this procedure.
Are running shoes bad for bunions?
The right running shoes aren't harmful to bunions when used properly. Your bunions may suffer if you simply wear the shoes you already own. However, getting a pair of running shoes designed explicitly for bunions will be best.
When you have a bunion, running shoes with a limited toe box or an upper that cannot be stretched will be more problematic.
How should I cover my bunions when running?
Bunion taping can be especially beneficial in the early stages of the condition. Stretching and straightening your big toe is a must. Keep your big toe straight by linking it to the rest of your toes in the opposite way with KT tape. Running may be more comfortable, but the bunion will not be corrected.
How does bunion surgery affect my running?
Ninety percent of patients who had bunion surgery saw a considerable reduction in pain and improved physical activity, according to a survey carried out by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
After having surgery on your bunion, there is a significant probability that you will be able to increase the amount that you run. The more manageable your bunion is before surgery, the sooner you'll be able to get back to your normal routine after the procedure.
Wearing Properly Fitted Running Shoes
Overall, wearing properly fitted running shoes and arch support will keep your feet happy and healthy. Also, remember not to wear shoes that are more than likely going to cause more pain and trauma to your bunion. Talk to a medical professional about your bunions for more details. In all, we hope that this list of the top 10 running shoes for bunions has helped you to better understand the importance of a supportive running shoe, especially when it comes to having a bunion!