What are Bunions?
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 joint. What causes prolonged pressure on the 1st MTP? The answer is simple; it can be due to potentially three factors, a result of wearing pointed-toe shoes, wearing shoes that are too tight, or over-pronation. Below you’ll find our list of the most comfortable and supportive running shoes for Bunions.
A comfortable running shoe can be difficult to find. Especially if you have a bunion and it’s been causing a significant amount of pain. Well below is a list of the Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Bunions in 2021:
1. Brooks Men’s Beast & Brooks Women’s Ariel
The Brooks Beast is your go-to running shoe if you have bunions, keep reading and I’ll explain why. First of all, 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. The Beast 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 uppers that offer a spacious toe box you’ll have the most comfortable fit while you run, especially your bunion.
The Ariel by Brooks is the same shoe as the Men’s Brooks Beast, 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 Ariel 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 toe box you’ll have the most comfortable fit while you run, especially your Bunion area.
2. HOKA Men’s and Women’s Gaviota 3
The Gaviota 3 by HOKA is the perfect shoe for a runner looking for a stable shoe, and also suffers from Bunions. The Gaviota 3 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 Gaviota 3 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 Gaviota 3 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 990
The New Balance 990 is a class of its own when it comes to supporting and comfortability! The 990 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 990 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 990s 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 Adrenaline GTS 21 Men’s and Women’s
The women’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 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 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 13 Men’s and Women’s
The Brooks Ghost 13 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. 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 13 offers a removable footbed to accommodate customer orthotics. The Ghost 13 by Brooks is perfect for anyone with bunions looking for comfortable athletic shoes.
Traits of a Good Running Shoe For Bunions
When it comes to bunion and running shoes, it can be fairly difficult to find one that fits 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 defiantly want to wear arch support. 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. 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.
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 the 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.
- 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.
Wearing Properly Fitted Running Shoes
Bunions 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. 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!