Review: The Omni 16 is a stability road shoe ideal for those with bunions due to its ample cushioning and support.
The 8mm toe drop, lower than most stability shoes, results in evenly distributed cushioning and consequently a balanced and comfortable foot strike.
Lightweight and well cushioned with arch support, it is also well suited to pronators. The Omni 16 uses Everun, Saucony’s cushioning technology which is light, comfortable and responsive, making for a fast feel.
Drawbacks present in its predecessors have been more than accounted for in the 16 making it a great choice.
Flex film seamless mesh upper.
Heel locking design.
Excellent shock absorption.
On the expensive side.
Worth the money if you love the fit, the Omni 16 provides everything it claims to, from support to comfort.
FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a flat to medium arch looking for support.
MAXIMUM CUSHION AND SUPPORT: Super soft and protective, these shoes provide the maximum stability with a soft, cushioned feel.
PLUSH CUSHIONING AND FULL-BODY ALIGNMENT: The Super DNA midsole provides 25% more adaptable cushioning than our standard DNA midsole while the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollerbar guides your body back into its natural motion path with added support.
ENHANCED FIT: The improved fit of the soft, engineered air mesh upper offers a spacious toe box, structured saddle, and an external heel counter for reinforced stability.
GUARANTEE: With Brooks’ True Blue Guarantee, take your gear for a trial run and if you’re not 100% satisfied within 90 days, return it for free.
Review: The Asics Gel Kayano is a top of the line option for pronators with bunions due to its wide toe box, arch support and cushioning.
Very similar to the GT 2000 (both have the same gel technology), the Kayano uses Flytfoam over EVA foam, slightly higher quality materials on the interior and includes additional external heel support.
Review: The Mizuno Wave Inspire is a stability road shoe with a 12mm drop. An extremely comfortable shoe that will go the distance on long runs, the Wave Inspire 13 ticks all the boxes for runners with bunions.
It includes a wide, mesh toe box, supportive midsole and plenty of cushioning, while the patented Wave technology controls pronation.
U4ic midsole realigns gait.
Mesh toe box.
Considered lightweight for a stability shoe.
Could be on the narrow side depending on your feet.
Review: Hoka’s Clifton line gained a strong following after its release in 2014 for being a highly cushioned but really lightweight shoe. There aren’t many shoes that manage to be so well cushioned but lightweight at the same time.
The rockered design helps you to maintain a forward momentum making this a comfortable shoe for longer runs. It also has a really high quality engineered mesh upper which is soft and comfortable and won’t wear out any time soon.
Seamless mesh upper.
Very well-cushioned but lightweight.
High abrasion rubber outsole.
Slightly rockered profile for easy transitions.
Wider toe box than previous versions.
The toe box is wide but not really wide, so if you already have a wide foot, it might not be enough.
If you want formidable cushioning in a lightweight and comfortable package that can handle long miles, this is your shoe.
Review: The Altra Torin is a neutral shoe with a unique foot-shaped toe box allowing for significant toe splay and relief from pressure on bunions.
Designed to maintain a natural running style, the zero drop keeps the stride even and balances muscle use through the foot strike.
The midsole design also provides the right kind of support for people with high arches. Despite its zero drop, the Torin has a 28mm stack height making it highly cushioned.
Large toe box.
Not the best grip.
The best running shoes for bunions and high arches, the Torins provide a zero drop, neutral option compared to the other more supportive shoes on the list.
It is one of the best running shoes for bunions and hammertoes due to its space and cushioning providing you are used to zero drop shoes.
What to Look for in Running Shoes if You Have Bunions
The best running shoes for bunions are going to be those that provide the kind of support you need (ie. a shoe designed for overpronators, underpronators, or neutral) in combination with a wide toe box and adequate cushioning under the forefoot.
Some shoes come with the option of purchasing a wide fit which can be advantageous for bunions provided the shoe doesn’t end up being too loose on the rest of your foot.
If you have flat feet and bunions, the combination of width and support will be especially important. Check out the article on the best running shoes for flat feet for more ideas.
The amount and position of mesh in the upper design over the toe box is also a factor.
Mesh over the big toe joint area (also known as a bunion window) is going reduce the chances of the shoe putting pressure on the bunion.
However, usually more mesh equals more flexibility, which can equal less support.
So, if you are an over-pronator, make sure the shoes you choose are designed to manage excess pronation so that the mesh doesn’t trigger a different problem.
Many running shoes are also being equipped with gender-specific designs.
Interestingly enough, it’s the width where the most noticeable difference lies, women’s shoes being wider in the forefoot and narrower in the heel. Women’s shoes are also lighter and more flexible, usually with a little more arch support and sometimes a higher drop than the men’s equivalent.
These differences are particularly relevant when it comes to choosing shoes for women with bunions.
Good women’s running shoes for bunions will be wider in the forefoot, flexible enough to allow for a relaxed push off, and with enough arch support to avoid excess pronation putting stress on the big toe joint.
Another factor to consider includes how to lace your shoe to provide maximum support through the midfoot and minimum pressure on the bunion.
Videos such as this (below): can help you find new ways to lace or modify your shoe to provide extra relief.
Your Specific Needs
You’ll also want to take into account what kind of running you’re doing.
Will you be mostly on the road or trail? Are you jogging for fitness or training for a marathon?
Long-distance running shoes are designed slightly differently, with longer-lasting cushioning. If you’re a long-distance runner with bunions, you’ll want to make sure your shoe caters for both your bunions and your distance running.
In summary, the best running shoes for bunions 2023 will include:
A roomy toe box.
A mesh upper.
If possible, a bunion window, or mesh panel over the bunion area.
Adequate cushioning under the forefoot.
A well-fitting heel.
Arch support to suit your feet.
Shoes that will allow you to alter the lacing.
What Running Shoes are Good for Bunions?
Running shoes that fit you well and are comfortable together with a nice, wide toe box and plenty of forefoot cushioning are the best choice for runners with bunions. Arch support is usually pretty important too.
Is it OK to Run with Bunions?
Yes, provided they’re not causing you excessive pain and you’re wearing the right shoes!
Can Running Make Bunions Worse?
If you’re not wearing the right shoes, then yes, bad shoes combined with bunions and running will make them worse.
How do Runners Deal with Bunions?
In the short term, ice and pain killers are usually the way to go. In the long term, the right shoes combined with foot and arch strengthening exercises will help too.
Can Bunions be Reversed?
Unfortunately, no. Bunions consist of bone and cartilage so they can’t be reversed without surgery. And, obviously, surgery should be avoided unless the problem is so bad you can’t walk. But you can stop them from getting worse…
How Can I Prevent My Bunions from Getting Worse?
Wearing the right shoes, with plenty of arch support, cushioning and space for your bunion will help to manage them. But it’s also important to keep your weight healthy and look and at any alignment issues that could be resolved through muscle strengthening and stretching.
Is Walking Barefoot Good for Bunions?
Yes and no. If you allow your arch to collapse while you walk barefoot, you’ll make your bunions worse. But if you’re consciously working on strengthening your arch while you walk barefoot, then eventually this could help prevent your bunions from getting worse.
That’s a wrap, folks.
I hope you enjoyed reading through these recommendations.
Remember that at the end of the day, the best shoe for you and your bunions is going to be the shoe that gives you the best combination of fit and support for your arch type.
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