The Best Shoes for Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus

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Our comparison table only shows our top 5 picks. You can find the other recommendations within this article.

Hallux Limitus and Hallux Limitus are medical terms used to describe a dysfunctional big toe.

If you have experienced this painful condition, or even had a big toe injury, you know how important footwear is when managing pain.

We are going to recommend a few shoes in each of the following categories: running shoes, walking and hiking shoes, dress and casual shoes, boots, and sandals.

Best Running Shoes - Hoka One One Clifton 4 Running Shoes

The Hoka One One Clifton 4 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 3, which is perfect for individuals who have toe issues & forefoot pain such as metatarsalgia, hallux limitus, hallux rigidus and bunions.

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Runner-Up – 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.

They also offer great stability and support for most important parts of the feet even if you have to walk for hours.

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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, plush collar, breathable mesh upper, 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.

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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18

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.

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Best Walking & Hiking Shoes - New Balance Men's MW928 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

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Runner-Up – 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.

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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.

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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.

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Best Dress And Casual Shoes - Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs​

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.

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.

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Runner-Up – 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.

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Dansko Women’s Flat

Stylish and extremely comfortable, Dansko 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.

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Best Sandals - 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 comfort and versatility, We’d recommend women to try these sandals once.

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Runner-Up - 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.

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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.

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Best Boots - 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.

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Runner-Up - 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.

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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.

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What Is Hallux Rigidus And Limitus?

The Best Shoes for Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus

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”.

Symptoms Of Hallux Limitus

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

Symptoms Of Hallux Rigidus

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

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:

Treatments And Benefits Of Good Shoes

Mild Cases

If you are experiencing a mild case of pain from HR or HS, many medical professionals would advise to attempt to “retrain” your big toe.

It is thought that this condition usually stems from wearing shoes that constrict your toes. 

Therefore, to improve the situation, it is advised to use toe separators to help realign your toes.

In addition, you can try wearing shoes with a wide toes box to allow your toes to spread out.

Wide shoes with adequate daily toe stretching is a lot of the time enough to kick this condition. 

Severe Cases

There are two main ways you can alleviate severe pain from this 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.

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.

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.

Choosing The Best Shoes For Hallux Rigidus And Limitus


The right shoe depends on your condition.

Choose the one that appeals most to you, and try to bend front of the shoe to see the flexion near the big toe.

Some shoes have very high movement, and some have very low movement. 

It is based to get a shoe based on the level your condition.

The worst pain you have, it is probably better to get a stiffer show. The less your shoe bends the less pressure will be put on your toes.


Another big factor is how wide the toe box (front end) of the shoe is.

As stated before, it is a common believe that Hallux Rigidus and Limitus develop from wearing shoes that are too tight on your feet.

When trying to relieve pain a wider toe box is usually better.

Heel Height

It’s simple, higher heels put more pressure on the front of your foot and your toes. If your are dealing with HR or HL it is most likely a good idea not to wear heels at all.


Dealing with pain in your feet and toes can be extremely frustrating. It is very clear that proper footwear will play a huge role in recovering and healing from HR and HS.

We hope we provided you with good guidance in regards to buying the right type of shoe for your needs.


Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. Many times the content is not written by a single author, instead it is usually a team effort.

Last update on 2023-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API