Running is another way to strengthen your muscles and joints and improve your fitness in general. But if you have bunions, it can take a toll in your performance, running efficiency, and even in your physical wellbeing. That’s why you need to be wary of the activities you engage in and even in the shoes you wear when you run.
Considering this, how can you choose the best running shoes for bunions?
I’ve sifted through a vast array or running shoes and considered the key features and found the most suitable structure and design for bunions. Besides the lineup, I have also included a comprehensive guide on how to choose your ideal shoes and tips for running even when you have bunions. Keep reading!
- 1 What Are Bunions?
- 2 6 Best Men’s Running Shoes for Bunions
- 2.1 1. The Well-Cushioned and Seamless Fit: ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 18 Running Shoe
- 2.2 2. The Wide and Comfortable: ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5
- 2.3 3. The Roomy and Therapeutic Fit: New Balance Men’s M1540V2
- 2.4 4. The Soft and Wide: Brooks Men’s Beast 14
- 2.5 5. The Well-Cushioned and Straightforward: Altra Men’s Torin 3 Athletic Shoe
- 2.6 6. The Lightweight and Responsive: Mizuno Wave Rider 21 Men’s
- 3 6 Best Women’s Running Shoes for Bunions
- 3.1 1. The Responsive and Comfy: Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 19
- 3.2 2. The Plush Fit and Cloud-like Feel: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
- 3.3 3. The Lightweight and Breathable: Salomon Women’s XR Mission
- 3.4 4. The Well-Ventilated and Sleek: Reebok Women’s CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer
- 3.5 5. The Ideal Pick for Flat Feet: New Balance Women’s W1540V2
- 3.6 6. The Seamless and Flexible Feet: Saucony Women’s Omni 16
- 4 How Can You Choose the Best Running Shoes for Bunions?
- 5 How You Should Run When You Have Bunions
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions: Running Shoes and Bunions
- 7 Wrapping It Up
What Are Bunions?
Also known as hallux valgus, a bunion is predominant on the big toe joint and looks more noticeable due to its bulbous lump. It develops right on the inside of the joint but can really be painful when closed shoes are worn, especially when they’re too tight.
Bunions have also been a concern for many runners as it can cause throbbing and even excruciating pain every time they run. The pain usually takes place when the big toe where the bunion is often present, experiences friction or irritation in the shoes.
But do know that bunions also have the tendency to reposition the bone of the big toe inward that can affect the rest of the foot.
There is a vast range of triggers that cause bunions. It could be a genetic case, flat feet for example. Improper footwear and wearing closed and pointed or high-heeled shoes are also significant factors.
And if you’ve been suffering from different types of inflammation such as rheumatoid, which is the most common, you’re likely to have a bunion.
6 Best Men’s Running Shoes for Bunions
1. The Well-Cushioned and Seamless Fit: ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 18 Running Shoe
Equipped with impressive features, Gel Nimbus 18 stands out the most with its improved guide line technology that embraces the runner’s gait cycle and natural motion. And because it is crafted with seamless materials, you won’t have to worry about skin irritations or foot discomfort even when the bunions rub against the shoe.
Take note also of the Heel Clutching System Technology that reinforces the heel and overall support for smooth landing and transition. The FluidRide midsole also provides reliable shock absorption and optimum cushioning to make sure your feet will feel minimal to no pain when you run.
- Made from seamless materials that prevent irritation and foot discomfort
- Has GEL cushioning systems and FluidRide midsole for added comfort
- Relieves bunion pain due to cushioning and great room in the toe box
- Reinforced heel and overall support for seamless landing and transition
- Doesn’t have enough support for low arches
2. The Wide and Comfortable: ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5
With a structure that has adequate room and ample rearfoot cushioning, these Gel Venture 5 running shoes provide pain relief for runners with bunions. The cushioning and insoles do not crowd the space. Plus, the toe box is wide enough to let your feet move freely.
Despite its wide design, these shoes keep it comfy and secure with the lacing system. They are also true to size and have decent arch support for low to high arches. And to make sure you get the support and shock absorption you need when you take the trails, these shoes are designed with trail-specific outsoles for responsive traction.
So, whether you’re running for long or short distances, these Gel Venture 5 might just be the one for you.
- Wide toe box for bunions and wide feet
- Rearfoot Gel cushioning for added comfort
- True to size
- Has removable insoles for a more custom comfort and fit
- Provides decent arch support for low to high arches
- Lacks ventilation
3. The Roomy and Therapeutic Fit: New Balance Men’s M1540V2
Those who have been struggling with bunions may find a comfortable fit with these New Balance M140V2 running shoes. Tailored with dual density collar foam and a roomy toe box, your feet can revel in exceptional comfort without crowding your toes, especially your bunions.
Besides the therapeutic relief for bunion pain, those that have been suffering from heel pain, pain from surgery, and ankle rolls can also take advantage of its remarkable features. The M1540V2 is a motion control running shoe that features a Roll Bar support system. And because they are true to size, it provides secure and comfortable fit.
- Roomy toe box
- Has dual density collar foam for superior comfort
- Motion control running shoe with Roll Bar support system
- Provides relief for bunion pain, heel pain, ankle rolls
- True to size
- A bit expensive
4. The Soft and Wide: Brooks Men’s Beast 14
With the combination of reinforced stability and cushioning, runners with moderate to severe overpronation can move in their respective motion or gait cycle. Made from lightweight synthetic materials, breathable mesh and padded tongue and collar ensure comfort and custom fit.
With the soft fabric lining and the DNA midsole, it gets to adapt to your movement and every stride for custom cushioning and stability. And because it is available in wide sizes and also designed with wide toe box, you get to feel a more natural movement.
- Lightweight and soft
- Adapts to the natural movement for smooth landing and stride
- Wide and has a roomy toe box
- Padded tongue and collar for added comfort
- Has a mesh upper and sockliner for a fresh and cool feeling
5. The Well-Cushioned and Straightforward: Altra Men’s Torin 3 Athletic Shoe
It showcases a simple yet sophisticated design. But looking beyond the exterior, the Altra Torin 3 features remarkable aspects that ensures comfort, support, and relief for your bunions. It is fully cushioned but the does not crowd the toe box, allowing you to move freely and comfortably.
Besides the cushioning, it also features rigid midsoles and outsoles that ensure durability and cozy feel as well. What I also like about it is the quick-dry mesh on the upper which helps keep the feet cool and well-ventilated at all times. And because it is designed with a wide but contoured shape, it provides adequate and comfortable room for your feet and thus, minimizes bunion pain.
- Fully cushioned
- Ideal for wide feet; roomy toe box
- Has quick-dry mesh upper for maximum breathability
- Rigid outsoles and midsoles for comfort and durability
- Flexible and responsive
- It has a squeaky sound which can be annoying for some users
6. The Lightweight and Responsive: Mizuno Wave Rider 21 Men’s
Probably the highlight of these running shoes is its lightness; it makes you feel like walking on clouds yet it doesn’t compromise the support and durability. The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is incredibly soft and lightweight but has sturdy midsoles that provide response and durability.
Another thing I love about it is the Cloud Wave technology that promotes softer cushioning and reinforced response. I think this is also an advantage for people with bunions, as it reduces the weight and pressure on every stride. Hence, less to no pain when running. It’s also wide and has ample space around the toe box which is a great comfort for bunions.
- Has Cloud Wave technology for superb cushioning and efficient shock absorption
- Rigid midsoles for enhanced response and durability
- Soft and lightweight
- Has triple zone engineered mesh for maximum ventilation
- Wide and ample toe box room
- Lacks arch support
6 Best Women’s Running Shoes for Bunions
1. The Responsive and Comfy: Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 19
Apart from the sporty and preppy design, another thing that’s cool about the Wave Rider 19 is the upgraded premium sockliner that keeps the feet comfy at all times, but also provides enhanced rebound and resiliency at every foot strike.
Such feature is beneficial for feet with bunions; you need to reduce the pressure and impact on every stride to help relieve the pain and this shoe design offers that advantage. It is also commendable with its consistent and true-to-size feet, particularly for wide sizes. Even those who have narrow feet might also find this an ideal fit!
- Has upgraded premium sockliner for superb rebound and resiliency
- True to size
- Reduces the pressure and impact on every strike
- Has refined toe spring for a smooth and effortless, toe-off
- Great for narrow and wide feet
- Provides great arch support
- Wide toe area
- Feels a bit heavy for longer sessions
2. The Plush Fit and Cloud-like Feel: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15
Lightweight running shoes are also an ideal option for runners with bunions, and with the Glycerin 15, you’d get that airy feel without straining the durability and flexibility. It still has superb cushioning and support that lends a softer feel, particularly due to its midsole design. The wide size is also a major advantage against tight-fitting shoes that typically cause pain.
For the smoother transition and stride, the revamped plush transition zone does the trick. With a seamless landing, pressure and weight are reduced which result in airy feel and better comfort for your feet with bunions. It also provides decent arch support for normal and high arches and therefore, corresponds with the runner’s motion and gait cycle.
- Very lightweight but flexible and durable
- Has a plush transition zone for smooth transition and stride
- Reduces pressure and weight that minimizes pain
- Provides arch support for high and normal arches
- Superb cushioning and support for a more cozy feel
- May not provide enough support for a tough workout
3. The Lightweight and Breathable: Salomon Women’s XR Mission
Besides its bright and vivid streaks of colors, the Salomon XR Mission stands out with its lightness and maximum breathability. Molded with EVA cushioning and breathable mesh upper, your feet can revel in superior comfort while keeping them clean, fresh, and cool at all times due to the ventilation.
What’s probably the most impressive about the XR Mission is Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies that reinforce the shoe’s capability to work on short to long distances and from the road to trail running. And with the foam footbed, it can also deter friction and irritation which keeps your feet pain-free from bunions.
- Made with upper mesh for maximum breathability; cool and clean feet
- Has Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies that adapt to different types of terrain and distances
- Has foam footbed that prevents friction and irritation
- Lightweight but durable
- Lacks arch support for flat feet
4. The Well-Ventilated and Sleek: Reebok Women’s CROSSFIT Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer
Reebok is one of the most reputable brands for running shoes and their Crossfit Nano 8 Flexwave is definitely a stunner. It features a sleek, modern, and sophisticated design streamlined with minimal drop outsole for a secure fit. And because it has a wide toe box, every movement won’t feel restricted but rather comfortable, especially when you have bunions.
Developed with forefoot cushioning for the midsoles, your feet can indulge in maximum comfort and flexibility. With the revamped flex weave upper, it also ensures optimum ventilation that keeps your feet healthy, happy, and odor-free all the time.
- Has minimal drop outsole for a secure and comfortable fit
- Wide toe box
- Forefoot cushioning for maximum flexibility and comfort
- Has flex weave upper for breathability
- Sleek and modern design
- May not provide enough support for flat feet
5. The Ideal Pick for Flat Feet: New Balance Women’s W1540V2
Everyone’s raving about its roomy toe box that gives your toes a nice wiggle! Besides the ample room, I also found these motion control shoes a great support for people with flat feet. Therefore, the structural support and roomy toe area are advantages for runners who have flat feet with bunions.
Besides the width and toe box, the W1540V2 also boasts its rollbar feature that provides excellent support, especially for those who have severe overpronation. Designed with breathable mesh panels and dual density foam collar, these shoes can lend the utmost comfort while allowing the feet to breathe.
- Provides excellent support for severe overpronation
- Motion control shoes; ideal for flat feet
- Wide toe box
- Comfortable due to the dual density collar and cushioning
- A bit heavy compared to other running shoes
- May not be ideal for people with high arches
6. The Seamless and Flexible Feet: Saucony Women’s Omni 16
With a design that exhibits a lightweight and strong material, the FlexFilm ensures a flexible and seamless fit. Reinforced with Tri-Flex material, it intensifies its capability to deliver optimal flexibility and traction and thus, lends excellent support and smooth landing.
Another impressive feature is the cushioning on the forefoot and rearfoot. This is also an advantage for runners with bunions as it spruces up the comfort while keeping the balance right up to par. It also has a very roomy toe box that accommodates feet with bunions and those that have wide feet.
- Roomy toe box and wide size
- Promotes a seamless and flexible fit due to the FlexFilm feature
- Rearfoot and forefoot cushioning for maximum comfort
- Tri-flex material for excellent support
- Has plush cushioning for reliable impact protection
- Doesn’t have extra wide sizes available
How Can You Choose the Best Running Shoes for Bunions?
Roomy Toe Box
Tight-fitting shoes and narrow toe boxes exacerbate the pain from bunions and can definitely cause discomfort and other foot-related problems. In this case, you should select running shoes with a roomy toe box to alleviate the pain and pressure from those bony bumps.
A spacious toe box also promotes better ventilation. Allowing your feet to breathe can deter any moisture buildup that can lead to bacterial growth and smelly feet.
Size and Comfort
You’ll have better options with running shoes that have a vast range of sizes available. Before you refer to the sizing chart, make sure you know what your measurements are – the length and width.
But if you have bunions, you might want to consider a wider shoe size to give your bunion more room. Otherwise, it’ll rub against the shoe which can cause discomfort and irritation. It can also aggravate the pain and make running and walking uncomfortable.
Whether it is slip-on or lace-up shoes, they should render superior comfort. Lace-up running shoes are also an ideal option if you want a more custom and secure fit. You can make a few tweaks with the adjustments and lacing techniques to make sure the fit would be neither too tight nor too loose.
If you want to walk or run with your natural rolling motion, your running shoes should be flexible enough. Besides the durability and comfort, flexible running shoes allow you to adapt to different types of terrain without restricting your movements.
Although rigid, running shoes shouldn’t feel too heavy. If you’re aiming for longer distances or running for long periods of time, your shoes should be able to twist a little. The flexibility relieves the pressure and pain, particularly on your bunion area, and thus makes running enjoyable and more comfortable.
Support and Cushioning
Optimum support and cushioning lend smooth stride and transitioning. They also help minimize the pressure or impact to prevent your feet from overstraining. The soft insoles and the footbed can ramp up the comfort and provide a cozy feel, especially when you have bunions.
You can also pick those that have removable insoles, so you can customize the cushioning and support according to your comfort demands.
How You Should Run When You Have Bunions
Bunions shouldn’t keep you from running. Pain might occur at times, but there are many ways to prevent it and get your feet right back at its pace. Here are some tips to take note of:
Try Using Medical Orthotics
These are specialized insoles that you can insert inside your shoes to alleviate the pain and pressure and help your feet run at its natural motion.
Wear The Right Running Shoes
Because you have bunions, you must consider the features of the shoes such as support and cushioning. As tight spaces can aggravate the pain, opt for shoes that have a roomy toe box or that are available in wider sizes.
You can also wear socks to relieve any discomfort or pressure on your feet. Since you have bunions, avoid wearing thick socks as they might crowd the space in your shoes.
Use Bunion Tapes
Bunion tapes are also available to help relieve bunion pain. It isn’t designed to heal bunions but when it seems that your bunion begins to develop, you can hamper further pain and development with bunion taping.
Surgery to Get Rid Of Bunions
If the pain seems to be unmanageable, you can consider surgery to get rid of your bunions. In this case, you should consult your doctor or podiatrist for the procedure and further details.
Exercise Your Feet
Exercise your feet to relieve pain and treat bunions. However, do not push your feet to get into strenuous exercises. You should let it relax and be comfortable at all times. And to know what exercises you can do, check the video below:
Frequently Asked Questions: Running Shoes and Bunions
Does running cause bunions?
No, it doesn’t. Bunions don’t develop right when you start a running routine. Bunions are caused by several factors including a genetic case, inflammation, certain health issues, and incorrect footwear.
However, you might feel that running aggravates the pain if you’re straining your feet to run on rough terrain or to engage in strenuous activities and sports.
Is it okay to run even with bunions?
Yes, but make sure to heed all the precautionary measures before you do so. You should also take note of the tips mentioned above to relieve or prevent bunion pain.
If you have just undergone surgery or you foot-related issues along with your bunions, it is a must to consult your doctor or podiatrist first before you engage in running routine or any active sports.
What kind of running shoes should I wear to if I have bunions?
Running shoes with spacious toe box and wider sizes accommodate bunions quite well. As the pain from bunions typically occur when the foot rubs against the shoe, a roomy space does otherwise. It also brings about a comfortable fit and essential support that can help keep your feet pain-free when running.
You can also look for shoes that are made of seamless or softer materials to keep your feet comfortable at all times. And even when your bunions rub against the shoe, it still feels comfortable and won’t cause any pain.
How can I prevent pain from bunions?
Give your feet a break every now and then. If you have bunions, don’t force your feet to run or even at a standstill for long periods of time. Avoid wearing closed shoes, high-heeled or pointed shoes, and tight-fitting shoes.
If you’re suffering from some health issues like rheumatoid or you’re genetically predisposed to a specific arch type or foot type, consult your podiatrist for the ideal shoe options for your bunions.
Wrapping It Up
With all the overwhelming options for running shoes, picking out the ultimate stunner is a tough call. Therefore, with great consideration of which can offer the utmost comfort and relief for bunion pain, I’ve come down to two best contenders: the ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 18 for men and the Mizuno Wave Rider 19 for women.
Both excel in their respective properties in terms of comfort, durability, secure fit, and most importantly, pain relief for bunions. I like how the Gel Nimbus 18 is engineered with seamless materials which ensures great comfort and also prevents any skin irritations or friction when the foot rubs against the shoe. This is an advantage especially if bunions are present.
I think you don’t only need a wide size or a roomy toe box, but also a comfortable structure inside for the ultimate comfort and seamless fit. Not to mention its affordable price. On the other hand, Mizuno Wave Ride 19 adapts to different shoe sizes and arch type, which is a major plus if you’re concern about the fit and comfort that does not strain your feet with bunions, whatever the arch type you have. I like how it has great rebound and resiliency, responsive, and incredibly comfortable.