Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus/Limitus in 2021

Hallux Limitus refers to limited flexibility in your big toe. Your big toe helps you push off when you are walking or running. With Hallux Limitus, you will have the tendency to change your gait to avoid putting weight on the big toe joint. Then, other parts of your body have to compensate for the injury. This can cause strain, pain, and fatigue elsewhere in your lower extremities such as your knees, hips or lower back. To avoid this complication and to be able to keep running, your shoes should compensate for the stiffness in your toe.

5 Best Running Shoes for Hallux Rigidus/Limitus




My Rating


ALTRA Men's Torin 4.0 Running Shoes


Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoes


Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoes


Hoka One One Clifton 6 Running Shoes


Altra Olympus 3.5 Running Shoes

5 Best Running Shoes for Hallux Limitus

ALTRA Torin 4.0 Running Shoes

Are you looking for a shoe that fits like a glove and yet comfortable? Look no more. The featherweight shoe provides cushioning for short or long run and feels like running on a plush carpet. It designs for ample room in the toe box for maximum comfort. The footpad outsole has a better fit for the bones and tendons of your feet.

ALTRA Men's ALM1937K Torin 4 Plush Road Running Shoe
1,128 Reviews
ALTRA Men's ALM1937K Torin 4 Plush Road Running Shoe
  • Weight: 10.1 oz / 286 g
  • Insole: 5 mm Sculpted Footbed
  • Midsole: Quantic
  • Outsole: FootPod Technology

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19  Running Shoes

The Brooks® Adrenaline GTS 19 offers a Flextra rubber, rocker outsole and a wide toe box for those with Hallux Limitus. It also provides overpronation, stability support, and smoother gait cycle transitions with a Progressive Diagonal Rollbar®; full-length, segmented Crash Pad; and a tri-density midsole. The deeper V-groove improves transitions and creates a better release. The GTS 19 has high energizing cushioning and a 12 millimeter differential. The asymmetrical mid-foot saddle is adjustable creating a securer, customizable fit. It has a flexible and structurally supportive mesh and synthetic top that is breathable. The lace closure and the plush tongue and collar hold the foot in place. The molded foam insole with light underfoot cushioning is removable. The Adrenaline GTS 19 has a fabric lining. It is created gender-friendly with a BioMoGo DNA cushioning design, and the outsole is designed to provide support that corresponds with your gender and weight. The HPR Plus outsole provides durability in high-wear areas. Both the men's and the women's GTS 19 running shoes are available in 12 colors.

Brooks Mens Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe
6,270 Reviews
Brooks Mens Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width,...
  • FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with all arches...
  • CUSHIONED FEEL: Soft and protective, these shoes...

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoes

The Hoka Bondi 6 running shoes have a wide, deep toe box providing plenty of space for those with Hallux Limitus, even if you are using orthotics. They offer a rocker bottom to help you avoid pushing off the big toe joint. They have a thick stiff sole to prevent painful flexing of the metatarsal joint. They also offer breathable mesh top, a molded ortholite footbed, and good arch support. They have a lace closure with heel pull loop. 

HOKA ONE ONE Mens Bondi 6 Running Shoe
1,177 Reviews
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Bondi 6 Running Shoe
  • Brand New
  • 100% Authentic
  • Original Packaging

 Hoka One One Men's Clifton 6 Running Shoes

The Clifton 6 has a much lighter construction than its predecessor therefore allows maximum comfort for those with Hallux Limitus. The rubber sole designs for a smoother ride. It is also made with a breathable mesh over the toe box for comfort.

HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe
646 Reviews
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe
  • Brand New
  • 100% Authentic
  • Original Packaging

Altra Olympus 3.5 Running Shoes

The Olympus has great cushioning for a comfortable ride even on uneven surface. It has a 'FOOT SHAPE' which gives a wide toe box for those with Hallux Limitus. It features a quick-dry mesh top. The men's Olympus comes in three colors. The Vibram MegaGrip technology provides grip traction on both wet and dry surfaces. 

ALTRA Men's Olympus 3.5 Trail Running Shoe
214 Reviews
ALTRA Men's Olympus 3.5 Trail Running Shoe
  • Provides surprising stability on uneven surfaces
  • Vibram MegaGrip rubber
  • Stack Height: 33mm
  • 10.7 oz. / 303 g

What Are the Features to Consider When Choosing Running Shoes for Hallux Limitus?

Look for a Thick and Stiff Sole

If you suffer from Hallux Limitus, your shoes should have a thicker, stiffer sole that limits the bending at the big toe joint. This eliminates the pain in that joint so that you do not change your gait causing strain to other parts of your body. The soles should also be thick enough that they protect the joint from stones or other objects on the ground that might press into it through the sole of your shoe. The degree of the thickness and stiffness of the sole that you need depends on the degree of flexibility in your big toe. If you have some flexibility, then you can choose shoes that allow your toe to bend a little because retaining and regaining flexibility is the goal. However, if you have no flexibility, then you want thicker soles that do not allow your toe to bend at all.

Choose a Rocker Sole

Rocker sole shoes are also recommended. The sole of these shoes are actually shaped like the runner of a rocker, so that as you step down on your heel and move forward, your foot rolls on the rocker sole. Then, you can push off from the front of your foot without bending your big toe.

Add Orthotics to Your Shoes

Orthotic devices can be used to help with Hallux Limitus. Correct Toes is a toe-spacing device that you slip your toes into and wear. It realigns your big toe with the first metatarsal joint alleviating at least some of the issue.

A polypropylene or graphite orthosis can be made that fits inside your shoe from the heel to the first metatarsal joint to brace and help align your foot. Using polypropylene is recommended because it is less likely to break at stress points. A Morton's extension that goes from the first metatarsal joint to the tip of the toe can be added to the orthosis. This rigid extension can further limit the bending of the joint and relieve pain and additional irritation of the injury. However, the extension of the orthosis can limit the shoes that can be worn with the orthosis.

Another option is to use a full-length graphite or steel turf toe plate in the shoe and put the orthosis on top of the plate. This is a less expensive alternative, and it prevents the orthosis from eventually breaking where the Morton's extension is added to the orthosis.

A metatarsal bar is one more option. It is a piece of stiffer material that is attached to the sole of the shoe to relieve pressure on the metarsal joint and assist in a quick transfer of weight from the metatarsal joint to the tip of the toes limiting the extension of the toes. However, metatarsal bars can create a tripping hazard.

Buy Shoes That Allow Extra Space for Your Toe

The best shoes for Hallux Limitus and shoes in general are shoes that allow your toes to spread as you step down on them. So, a wider boxier toe on the shoe is better than a pointed toe. In addition, if you are using orthotics, you need a shoe that has more depth from the top of the shoe to the sole.

Laces or No Laces

In general, if you suffer from Hallux Limitus, you might want to get shoes that do not lace because laced shoes need to be pulled up snugly to fit properly. This puts pressure on the toe joint. Unfortunately, running shoes should be laced. However, you can replace the laces with elastic laces. This will provide a little more give around the joint when you are putting weight on the toe area.


To recap, the features you want in running shoes if you have Hallux Limitus are a stiff thick sole with a rocker bottom. The shoes should also have enough width and depth in the toe area so your toe is not crowded and you can add orthotics.

After reviewing the five running shoes above, it is apparent that you should pay attention to the version number of the shoe because as improvements are made from one version to another version, the changes can negatively impact other features. However, these three companies are responsive to customer feedback, so you can expect that problems will be corrected and improvements will continue to be made. Of the five running shoes we reviewed, we recommend the Altra Torin 3.0 Running Shoes. They have the thick, stiff, rocker sole needed by those with Hallux Limitus. However, they also have many more features that provide security and support without sacrificing cushioning. The Altra Torin 3.0 Running Shoes running shoes should allow you to keep on running even with Hallux Limitus.

Patricia Nolan

Patricia is an athletic trainer specializing in foot and sports injuries. She is an avid runner and an expert in choosing the proper footwear and shoes in the field of running and other sports.

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