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.
Review: This is an all-terrain running shoe so ideal for those women with bunions who want to hit the trails but want be comfortable and well supported at the same time.
Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies promote a secure fit and support throughout the foot strike. Ample space and breathability cater for bunions while stability and cushioning provide great conditions for high arches.
The roomy toe box also means this shoe is a great option for those with hammertoes, or anyone just wanting to encourage more natural toe splay.
This shoe also has a gender-specific design, which for women is going to make it even more bunion friendly!
EVA midsole cushioning.
Best running shoes for bunions and high arches and for the same reasons some of the best running shoes for bunions and hammertoes.
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: Asics’ Gel Foundation is a motion control road running shoe with plenty of cushioning, meaning it’s an excellent option for runners with bunions caused by overpronation.
The EVA midsole in combination with the Gel cushioning in the forefoot and heel make for a responsive and well-cushioned ride, while the Guidance Trusstic System provides reliable and long-lasting arch support.
But unfortunately, as with most Asics shoes, it’s going to be better suited to runners with narrower feet, at least as far as the toe box goes.
Excellent pronation support.
Well-cushioned and responsive.
Toe box may be too narrow for people with normal width feet.
Not lightweight – but it is really durable.
These are well-cushioned and very supportive stability shoes that are really comfortable and the best running shoes for bunions and flat feet.
Review: With its ideal balance of cushion and stability, this top-rated motion control road running shoe has a 12mm drop and is designed for overpronators so comes with a good amount of arch support.
It is literally a “Go To Shoe”, considerably lighter than other shoes of comparable stability and, as an added bonus, uses BioMoGo which is a biodegradable alternative to EVA foam so you can feel good about the environment while you run!
Review: This is a fantastic option for narrower feet with bunions. It’s a neutral shoe with a 10mm drop so it’s well suited to people who don’t overpronate, but it still provides a pretty stable ride considering it’s not a stability shoe.
The upper is made of Brooks Air Mesh fabric which is soft, flexible and very lightweight with no cumbersome overlays putting pressure on your joints.
It has a slightly smaller toe box compared to the ghost (hence the recommendation for narrow feet) but it has softer cushioning which will be heaven for your bunions.
BioMoGo DNA Midsole.
Segmented crash pad.
Sizing runs small so size up half a size.
Toe box may be too narrow for people with wide feet.
This is a highly-rated entry-mid level running shoe that’s a good option for neutral, narrow feet, with less severe bunions.
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 2021 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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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!