17 Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus/ Limitus 2017 – Stylish & Comfortable

Finding the best shoes for hallux rigidus & hallux limitus that don’t compromise style is, without a doubt, challenging and frustrating. There are so many thoughts and research that is required first before making the right decision. You must make these choices wisely to ensure your feet are comfortable, and that the shoes are suited to the types of activities you perform on daily basis.

To help ease the stress in making these challenging decisions, we have created this complete buyer’s guide to improve your financial burdens in this process of choosing the best shoes for your stiff big toes.

In this guide, we are introducing the top 17 comfortable & stylish shoe recommendations for all hallux rigidus and hallux limitus patients. We have organized all the different shoe styles into five categories: running shoes, walking shoes, dress/casual shoes, sandals and winter boots. These categories will guide you in choosing the right ones for your needs.


Top 3 Running Shoes

Hoka One One Bondi 5

Our rating

Altra Olympus

Our rating

Brooks Adrenaline GTS16

Our rating


Top 3 Walking & Hiking Shoes

New Balance 928

Our rating

Skechers Shape Ups

Our rating

Hoka Tor Summit Mid WP

Our rating


Top 3 Dress & Casual Shoes

Dansko Professional

Our rating

Alegria Paloma

Our rating

Dansko Lois

Our rating


Top 3 Sandals

Alegria Colette

Our rating

Dansko Marta

Our rating

Wolky Jewel

Our rating


Top 3 Winter Boots

El Naturalista

Our rating

Alegria Caiti

Our rating

Sanita Norma

Our rating



Guide to Choosing the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus and Limitus

Before you head on to our ‘review section’, keep in mind there are some factors to know before buying or selecting the best shoes for hallux limitus or rigidus. Your best options are rocker-soled shoes. This type of shoe is completely stiff in the front, which means they cannot be bent that easily.

Since these shoes have a “rocker”, your joints will never be in pain, and you will remain comfortable throughout the walk/run. These rocker-soled shoes are perfect for individuals having hallux rigidus and/or hallux limitus, as they prevent ground forces from pushing up against your toes. You may also use hallux rigidus insoles and orthotics for better support. The ease of using orthotics and insoles remove the need to take care of your arch size.

  • The right shoe depends on your condition. Choose the one that appeals most to you, and try to bend the toe a little. Some shoes have very high resistance, and some have very low resistance. However, you can buy the ones based on your condition, for your convenience. For example: if your toe does not bend at all, buy a shoe with a lot of resistance, or perhaps ones that do not bend at all.
  • Also, see how much space you have when going in to put your insoles. If you have overlapping toes, you will need more depth.
  • Consider trying lace-less shoes, as your physical condition may prevent you from properly lacing your shoes. A lot of shoes out there come with different options, so you will have a lot of choices. You may even be able to buy regular shoes with laces, and replace the lace with elastic lace, depending on whichever is easier to use.
  • Other than these, you need to keep a few more factors in mind. The heel, is a perfect example. Wearing shoes with heels may put more pressure on your joints. Additionally, your shoes should be breathable, so you can avoid moisture buildup.

With that said, let’s review each of these rocker bottom shoes for hallux rigidus.

Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus - Limitus Reviews

Let’s start with the one that’s been known for its name:

1. Hoka One One Clifton 3 Running Shoes

The Hoka One One Clifton 3 are the most popular type of running shoes for people having hallux limitus or hallux rigidus. They are comprised of high abrasion rubber outsole along with full-EVA midsole and early stage Meta-Rocker geometry. Its toe box is slightly wider than the predecessor Clifton 2, which is perfect for individuals who have toe issues & forefoot pain such as metatarsalgia, hallux limitus, hallux rigidus and bunions.

Hoka One One Clifton 3-hallux limitus running shoes

PROS

  • Best cushioning and stability on the market
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Very lightweight
  • Good traction on the surfaces

CONS

  • The toe box is still narrow.
  • The outsole isn't very durable

2. Hoka One One Bondi 5 Running Shoes

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is one of the best running shoes for hallux rigidus you’ll find on the market. It has wonderful comfort and provides tremendous support to the big toe joint. They are lightweight and very cushioned to give comfortability, and they also offer great stability and support for most important parts of the feet even if you have to walk for hours.

Hoka One One Bondi 5 Running Shoes-stiff soled shoe with rocker bottom

Here is what we liked and disliked about them:

PROS

  • They have the lightweight and breathable upper.
  • They're very comfortable and stable
  • They provide incredible cushion and support
  • The toe box is wider than Bondi 4 or Clifton 3, keeping the pressure off from the big toe.

CONS

  • These shoes run narrow for some users despite the added space in this Bondi 5 version
  • The tongue is too long that may rub the front of the ankle
  • Quite expensive

3. Altra Olympus Trail Running Shoe

The Altra Olympus Trail Running Shoes are known to be one of the best athletic shoes for hallux rigidus for several reasons. These shoes rock a rubber sole platform that’s about an inch thick, feature a rubber sole, plush collar, breathable mesh upper, gaiter traps, max cushioning, and a sticky rubber outsole which is ideal for trail terrains.

These shoes are one of the best hallux rigidus running shoes because they are very comfortable, and offer a lot more support than regular running shoes. In simple words, these Altra running shoes for hallux rigidus are worth every penny.

Altra Olympus Trail Running Shoes-best stiff soled shoes

PROS

  • The Foot Shape Toe Box is very efficient in keeping the pressure off from the big toe, while ensuring that the other toes spread out naturally, and are relaxed evenly. This allows the individual to have more stability and better running performance.
  • The lower-impact technique is also quite handy when it comes to walking for longer miles, and with Foot Pod, you get an easy and natural flex to your foot.

CONS

  • These shoes can be a little heavy
  • They wouldn’t last longer than the Hoka ones, as we mentioned above.

4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16

For those who have been searching for shoes that give great support for low arches, the Brooks Adrenaline is a must have. These shoes give wonderful support and the over-pronation control is great for those have flat feet and overpronation.

These shoes are one of the best running shoes for hallux limitus because they provide a good amount of room in the toe box that allows your toes to spread out, and you can feel comfortable enough for everyday wear.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16-shoes for arthritic big toe

PROS

  • Great arch support & stability for flat feet and overpronation
  • Very comfortable
  • No need for a breaking-in period
  • The price is very generous.

CONS

  • Not as durable as other running shoes in this guide
  • These shoes can be slightly heavy
  • The toe box is narrow for the few users with wide feet

Best Walking & Hiking Shoes for Hallux Limitus or Rigidus Reviews

5. New Balance 928 Walking Shoe

How can we not mention the New Balance 928 walking shoes, when these shoes have some great features?

These shoes are comprised of imported rubber soles, with leather uppers, thick cushioned collars, lace-up vamps, mid-foot cushioning, odor-resistant liners, and walking outsole. Their firm soles and slight rockers also make them the best walking shoes for hallux rigidus.

These shoes are made for walking purposes only, so if you’re going to run wearing them, these wouldn’t suit you. But if you want to rock decent looking shoes that can be worn almost anywhere, these walking shoes are the ones for you.

New Balance 928 Walking Shoe-stiff soled walking shoes

Here is what we liked and disliked about them:

PROS

  • By wearing these shoes, you’ll immediately feel a perfect fit and a lush quality material. Since the toe box is wide, your toes will get plenty of space and remain relaxed.
  • On the other hand, they are very stylish and versatile, which means you can rock them anywhere you want to.
  • Of course, the New Balance 928 also is very comfortable and will provide you with a pleasing experience during the walk.

CONS

  • Many users complained about the quality.

6. Skechers Shape Ups Walking Sneaker

If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that are not only the best shoes for arthritis in big toe, but are also made to be used in strength/fitness trainings, these stiff soled sneakers would be the ideal choice for you. These shoes are made of two-tone breathable leather, mesh upper, rubber sole, padded tongue and padded collar.

If you’re looking for the best sneakers for hallux rigidus/limitus patients, these shoes are meant for you. Although, we do recommend for you to use hallux rigidus inserts with these sneakers, if you find them a bit uncomfortable.

Here is what we have to say about it:

Skechers Shape Ups Walking Sneaker-rocker sole shoes for hallux rigidus

PROS

  • These shoes are by far the best hallux rigidus shoes for both men and women. Why? You won’t find more comfortable sneakers like the Skechers Shape Ups. Even if you wear them for work, and need to wear them for hours and hours, you won’t feel even a tiny bit of pain in your foot, especially your big toe joint area.
  • Its toe box is wide enough for people who have wide feet.

CONS

  • These shoes can be too heavy for some people.
  • They are a bit unstable in the heel, and are not recommended for people who have knee, ankle, and hip problems.

7. MBT Walking Shoe

The MBT Shoes are known to be one of the best rocker sole shoes for hallux rigidus/limitus. They have a midfoot rocker and work well for these issues by limiting motion in the big toe joints.

These shoes have been found to be very good for the hallux limitus treatment, especially in the case of post-operative treatments for surgical fusion of the first MPJ. They are also good for people have plantar fasciitis.

Due to their inherent instability, they’re not recommended for those who have Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains, knee and back problems.

MBT Walking Shoe-shoes after toe fusion

PROS

  • These shoes are recommended for patients with forefoot pain, heel pain or plantar fasciitis.
  • Your toes will get plenty of space and remain relaxed, because they have so much room in the toe box.

CONS

  • They’re not appropriate for people who have Achilles tendinitis, poor balance and nerve damage.
  • They’re heavy
  • Expensive

8. Hoka One One Tor Summit Mid WP Hiking Shoe

If you are suffering from hallux limitus/rigidus, but you still want to go hiking, you will need a good pair of hiking boots that will allow you to walk comfortably.

The Tor Summit Mid WP is one of the best hiking shoes for hallux limitus/rigidus on the market. It comes with trademark Hoka One One features, like Meta-Rocker geometry and Hoka One One running shoe cushioning. These features are ideal for those with arthritic/stiff big toes. Its Multi-directional Vibram lugs provide good traction while the waterproof upper keeps your feet dry.

According to users, these boots perform above-average among others, especially for lightweight hikers in traction on wet and dry rocks, stability, and water resistance.

Hoka One One Tor Summit Mid WP Hiking Shoe-shoes with stiff soles

PROS

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Very lightweight
  • Incredible cushion
  • No break-in required
  • Very well made

CONS

  • Poor traction in mud.
  • Run a little narrow

Best Dress & Casual Shoes for Hallux Rigidus/Limitus Reviews

9. Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs

If your profession calls for a formal dress code, then Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs would be the dress shoes for hallux rigidus for you to buy. These shoes have an imported leather upper, polyurethane outsole, rocker bottom synthetic sole, padded instep collar, a roomy reinforced toe box, and a wide heel strike.

Apart from the sizing issue, these shoes are exceptionally well made, and offer a very comfortable experience even for all-day usage. That is what makes them the best dress shoes for hallux rigidus and/or limitus.

Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs-bbest womens shoes for hallux rigidus

Here is what we liked and disliked about this pair of shoes:

PROS

  • These professional clogs do exactly as they claim. You’ll have that exceptional arch support that provides all-day long comfort - leaving your big toe joint stress-free. When you wear them, you’ll pamper your feet like they have never been pampered before.
  • These clogs are very comfortable, and are very breathable; thanks to the PU foam foot bed.

CONS

  • They’re handmade. Although, that’s considered a plus point for a shoe since they are sturdier and more reliable than machine-made ones. When it comes to buying online, you need to be perfectly sure that the size you’re buying will fit you, or be ready to ship the clogs back for exchange.

10. Alegria Women's Paloma Flat

If you are looking for rocker bottom dress shoes that are stylish and super comfortable to wear while standing for many hours, Alegria Women's Paloma Flats just might be the pair for you. These shoes come with a wide toe box and rocker soles that are perfect for hallux limitus or hallux rigidus patients. The Alegria Paloma features a naturally breathable leather insole that prevents your feet from getting sweaty. Its foot-bed is removable to accommodate your own custom orthotic insoles to provide the solution for your condition.

These shoes are very stylish and sturdy, and come in a ton of cute colors and patterns.

Alegria Women's Paloma Flat-best shoes for arthritic big toe

PROS

  • Wide toe box
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Very comfortable & removable foot-bed
  • Breathable leather insole
  • Comfy and lightweight

CONS

  • A little squeaky
  • Some people complain about the shoe strap being uncomfortable

11. Dansko Women's Lois Flat

Stylish and extremely comfortable, Dansko Lois shoes has caught our eyes. These shoes were awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association, guaranteeing they are incredibly comfortable.

Its thick soles provide more cushion and a rocker effect that helps reduce motion in the toe joints. These shoes also come with a roomy toe box, quick back zipper closure, removeable foot-bed and ankle-strap style, making them great hallux rigidus shoes for women to wear to work.

Alegria Women's Paloma Flat-best shoes for arthritic big toe

PROS

  • Stylish
  • Well made
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Wide toe box
  • Wonderful removable foot-bed

CONS

  • Few users complain that the buckle rubs the ankle.

Best sandals for Hallux Rigidus/Limitus Reviews

12. Alegria Colette Sandal

Of course, why not buy stylish sandals for hallux rigidus and limitus patients? Sandals are one of the most common types of shoes that women wear.

The Alegria Colette Sandal features hand-sewn leather upper, synthetic sole, polyurethane rocker outsole, and polyurethane insole, cork, and memory foam that are removable.

Apart from the inserts, we can’t deny that these sandals are worth buying. Due to their comfortability and versatility, We’d recommend women to try these sandals once.

Alegria Colette Sandal-hallux rigidus sandals

Here is what we like and dislike about this pair of shoes:

PROS

  • They are super comfortable, easy to wear, can be rocked anywhere and provide perfect support for hallux rigidus.
  • If you have bought the Alegria shoes, then you know that its shoes are also quite pricey but this sandal is on the lower side, and worth the money.

CONS

  • There is only one thing that we don’t like about these sandals, which are the inserts. You’ll want to replace them with orthotics for hallux rigidus to enhance their life and make them light.

13. Dansko Women's Marta Heeled Sandal

The Dansko Marta is a closed-toe sandal with eye-catching design, cushioned leather-wrapped foot-bed, and rocker soles that provide more arch support and comfortability to the feet.

This sandal delivers a trendy look thanks to its Mary Jane-inspired strap and thick heel, while the toe box has plenty of room, you don’t have to worry about exerting pressure on your toes.

These sandals are also available in different colors, allowing you to blend them with multiple outfits for a truly stunning look.

Dansko Women's Marta Heeled Sandal-stiff soled sandals

PROS

  • Very stylish
  • Super comfortable to wear all day long
  • Wide toe box
  • Also good for wide feet & bunions

CONS

  • Run large
  • Expensive

14. Wolky Women's Jewel Sandal

These incredibly comfortable dress sandals are known to be one of the best sandals for hallux limitus and rigidus for most foot types you’ll find on the market.

They have everything that hallux limitus shoes should have. Its thick, but lightweight, rigid rocker-bottom sole helps put less motion through your foot joints.

The anatomical cork and latex foot-bed provides excellent arch support, it’s also removable and replaceable so that it can accommodate your own custom orthotic insoles. These sandals also can accommodate all foot types due to its all adjustable straps.

Dansko Women's Marta Heeled Sandal-stiff soled sandals

PROS

  • Excellent support
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Removable foot-bed
  • Adjustable straps
  • Many color choices

CONS

  • A little pricey

Best Winter Boots for Hallux Rigidus/Limitus Reviews

15. El Naturalista Boot

This is another shoe that’s best for winter, and can be worn with jeans, preferably with any kind of casual apparel. The El Naturalista Ankle Boots feature pure leather upper, rubber sole and outsole, Mid-Calf shaft, and removable insole.

If you can manage to afford these ankle boots, and are looking for stylish looking boots that provide real comfort to your feet, these boots are the way to go.

Here is what we liked and disliked about these boots:

El Naturalista Boot-best rocker sole shoes

PROS

  • Ankle Boots can’t get any more comfortable than these ones.
  • By testing them out, we found that they can be worn all day long, without any kind of discomfort or pain in the joints.
  • We also realized that these shoes are durable, and you look sexy wearing them.

CONS

  • The truth is, these boots run a bit small. Other than that, there are no drawbacks we have found in them.

16. Alegria Women's Caiti Boot

The Alegria Caiti is a gorgeous boot, it has everything you need to ensure your comfort and ease of movement. This women's ankle boot features a rocker outsole to limit motion in the big toe joints and reduce metatarsal pressure, while a roomy toe box provides plenty of room for your toes to stay relaxed. It also has excellent arch support provided by the removable memory foam, latex and cork foot-bed, making it one of the best winter boots for hallux rigidus.

Alegria Women's Caiti Boot-stiff bottom shoes

PROS

  • Extremely comfortable to wear all day long
  • Nice arch support
  • Removable foot-bed
  • Very stylish

CONS

  • Runs a bit large
  • Not slip resistant

17. Sanita Women's Norma Boot

The Sanita Norma Boots are a nice combination of style and comfort. This boot has a lightweight PU rocker sole to keep your toes from bending, a soft and wide toebox to provide ample room for your toes, and a cushioned removable foot-bed - which can accommodate your custom orthotics. Overall, an excellent boot for hallux limitus/rigidus.

Sanita Women's Norma Boot-shoe inserts for hallux rigidus

PROS

  • Very comfortable and stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Great price

CONS

  • Runs a bit large

What are Hallux Rigidus and Limitus?

Hallux rigidus and limitus, both are the stages of a particular arthritis; we call “big toe arthritis”. Both of these disorders are technically not disorders, but are stages of the so-called big toe arthritis.

Hallux limitus is the first stage of this joint disorder where you cannot bend your toe, or the range of motion in your big toe is limited.

If this disorder is left untreated and you continue to bear the pain, it advances to a stage, which we call hallux rigidus. In this stage, the joint becomes incapable to move, and eventually freezes.

Both of these conditions result in a really painful situation that disables you from moving comfortably. These joint disorders are considerably caused by the wear out of the tissue at the joint surface, we call “cartilage”.

To simplify it even further, here are the symptoms of hallux rigidus and hallux limitus, respectively:

Symptoms of Hallux Limitus

If you’re suffering with hallux limitus, then here is what you’ll feel:

  • When you bend your big toe, you’ll feel pain and stiffness.
  • You’ll have swelling and inflammation on top of the joint.
  • The condition can be discomforting during damp and cold environments, even if you’re not moving at all.
  • You’ll have a “tight” feel in and around the big toe joint.

Symptoms of Hallux Rigidus

When your condition reaches to a critical stage, known as hallux rigidus, here is what you are likely to experience:

  • You’ll constantly have pain on your big toe joint, even if it's in rest (not moving).
  • You’ll feel a bump or a hardened joint, which becomes more pronounced, if it is left untreated.
  • It’s almost impossible to wear regular shoes, especially high heel ones.
  • Taking a walk, or putting pressure on the big toe joint becomes very painful, even some other parts of the body, knee and hips are susceptible to pain and discomfort.

Now you know the symptoms that occur in both hallux rigidus and limitus. Let’s see the causes of these problems:

Causes of Hallux Rigidus and Limitus

There are several causes that lead to this painful joint disorder, both behaviorally and non-behaviorally. Here are the most common causes:

  • Your joint cartilage can deteriorate if you wear high-heel shoes regularly, or if the shoes don’t fit you as they optimally should.
  • Excessive exercise, such as squatting, can also cause this joint disorder.
  • In some cases, stubbing the toe, or somehow injuring your toe, can also cause you to have hallux rigidus and limitus (depending on the severity of the injury).
  • If you are fond of running but haven’t figured out the right way of running, then this can also cause you to have this big toe arthritis.

Benefits of Wearing the Best Shoes for Hallux Rigidus and Limitus

You should know that there are only two ways you can diagnose this painful disorder, through surgery or by wearing rocker shoes, so-called “rocker-bottom shoes”.

These shoes have rocker-bottom soles, which means they won’t bend like the normal ones do – giving your big toe joint, the support it needs.

How do they do that?

Well, because the soles of these shoes are stiff, this puts a heavy pressure on other parts of your foot rather than your big toe joint.

This relaxes your big toe joint, which leaves you more comfortable, and allows your joint tissue (cartilage) to heal.

You should know that a lack of cartilage is what renders the joint unable to move, causing unrelenting pain and discomfort.

By wearing the best shoes for hallux rigidus and limitus, you can walk/run without having discomfort or pain, which can help you recover from this joint disorder.

But in some cases, hallux rigidus and limitus can only be eliminated through surgery. You have to consult with a podiatrist to know if surgery is the way to go or not.

Conclusion

Choosing one of the best shoes for hallux rigidus & hallux limitus we have reviewed might seem a little bit confusing but once you know the purpose of buying these shoes i.e. for running, walking, or wearing them at work, rocking them casually etc. you would know which shoes would suits you best.

Nonetheless, every one of the shoes we reviewed are highly comfortable and best treatment for hallux rigidus and hallux limitus, so choose whichever suits you best.

Don’t forget to like and share this article. Let us know what you think about this guide in the comment section below, and with that said – happy shopping!

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