Best Running shoes for morton’s neuroma 2021

According to AthleticGens research, the best running shoes for morton neuroma is Altra Paradigm 4.5 Road Running Shoe

During my 18 years working in sports outlets, one of the questions I was frequently asked is, “What shoes should I get if I have Morton’s neuroma?”. It’s proven that choosing a right running shoe is the critical step in preventing/reducing this condition.

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Morton’s neuroma is the inflammation of tissue in your toe. The most common area is between your third and fourth toes. Nerve that located beside the tissue is pressurized by the thicken tissue, thus resulting in pain. This condition often affects women more than men, with a female-to-male ratio of 4:1.  

Generally, the chosen running shoes should have at least these 3 characteristics:

  1. Low heel-to-toe drop – preferably 0mm. If you want to know more about shoe anatomy and lingo, refer to how to choose a running shoe
  2. Wide toe box – Choosing a running shoe with a wide toe box is so important in preventing impact of pressure on your forefoot. A wide toe box shoe prevents your metatarsal bones from overriding each other. 
  3. Shoes with proper arch support – Correct arch support helps in offsetting the pressure and act as a shock/impact absorber. 

We have chosen the best shoes based on these characteristics and many buyer feedback.

The 10 best running shoes for morton’s neuroma

What are the signs of this condition ?

Unfortunately, morton’s toe has no visible sign. You have to go by what you feel during activities like walking/running. There are a few indications that are associated with this condition:

  1. Numbness or tingling on ball of foot 
  2. Feel like you’re walking with a rock in your sock
  3. Pain between third and fourth toe
  4. Discomfort felt if you’re wearing high heel shoes/narrow toe box shoes
  5. Pain tends to ease off at night
foot pain

You may experience it two times a week and ease off for a period of time. However, if you do not treat it with proper care, the frequency of symptoms might increase over time. 

What causes it?

Shoes that are too tight

Wearing running shoes with a narrow toe box or high heel shoes is well-known cause of this condition. These shoes can cause the nerve beside the inflamed tissue to be compressed and pressurized, thus resulting in the feeling of pain. 

Gait abnormality

Running with the wrong foot-striking pattern can also cause morton’s neuroma. This is surprisingly unknown to many beginners, and even experienced runners. For some runners, excessive forefoot strike, especially in the wrong pattern, can cause inflammation of tissue in the foot toe.

Other than that, deformities of foot, such as bunions, hammer toe or flat feet can cause the ligament to compress the nerve. In some of the situations, wearing a shoe with correct support can help correct the deformity. 

Repetitive sports

Avoid sports such as racquet sports, or basketball, which puts pressure on your forefoot repetitively. Such sports tend to worsen the existing condition. 

Sports that require you to wear tight shoes such as skiing or ballet are also known for causing this condition if proper care is not taken. 

What type of shoes are associated with high risk of morton’s neuroma?

High heel shoes

As mentioned above, high heel shoes put pressure in the ball of your feet, resulting in inflammation of tissue. The risk of this condition is even higher if you’re constantly wearing high heel shoes with pencil heels compared to block heels. Pencil heel shoes don’t provide a great enough surface for the stability you need, which increases the chance of gait abnormality.

high heel

Narrow toe-box

Narrow toe-box shoes promote the overriding effect of metatarsal bones on each other. It’s important to make sure that the shoes you choose have a large enough toe room, at least a half-inch space from side-to-side. When you are trying the shoes, do make sure to walk, jump and light jog to feel the shoe fitting.

Worn-out Midsole or shoes with incorrect arch support

Knowing when to change your shoes is crucial in preventing the exacerbation of this condition. Its advised to change your running shoes if 

  1. Midsole shape has deformed 
  2. Outsole loses its groove 

Improper fitting shoes 

Remember that shoes that are too narrow or too roomy are equally bad for you when it comes to stability and integrity. If it’s possible, try to choose a running shoe with a lacing system that is suitable to you. 

Though most running shoe’s lacing systems are good enough for most people. Try to choose a shoes with adjustable fitting(laces/straps).

What to look for in choosing running shoes for morton’s neuroma?

Cushioning

In the case of Morton’s neuroma, cushioning is preferred, but not necessary. Unlike having a calf pain, where a pair of properly fitted and cushioned running shoes is extremely crucial. 

However, It’s recommended that you choose a shoe that has enough cushion thickness on both the fore and rear side of the foot. This is to provide enough comfort in long distance running.  

Different manufacturers use different technology when it comes to cushioning systems. In AthleticGens, we test and pick the running shoes that have the best cushioning system for shock absorption. 

Low Drop(Offset between heel & forefoot)

Drop is the difference in height (usually in mm) between your heel and ball of your foot when you wear the shoes. Check our ultimate guide if you want to know more about running shoe anatomy and lingo.

heel to toe drop

As mentioned, if you are looking for running shoes for morton’s neuroma, try going for shoes that have a low drop, preferably 0mm. Most running shoes have a drop of 12mm. If you choose to run with a shoe with high drop, you are putting too much stress on your bones in the ball of your feet. The ball of your feet is where the inflammation is located.

This will likely to worsen the existing conditions. Especially if you are performing repetitive activity like running, that need you to use the ball of your foot in each stride. 

Arch support system

Arch support is especially important if you have an active lifestyle. Since you’re visiting this site, there’s a high chance that you are. You want shoes with maximum comfort and have good shock absorption features.

A good arch support system in running shoes helps in diverting the pressure from the affected area to other parts of your foot. It’s important to have a shoes insert if needed. A suitable support system is crucial to you if you have certain foot condition or abnormal gait.  

Asics 33 Fa Running Shoe

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 4mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 252g(Men) 230g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Features

Outsole: AHAR+ high-abrasion outsole, made up of blown rubber. This material is responsible for providing good traction against the surface. It’s known for its durability for long distance runners. Deep flex groove technology provides enough traction with flexibility.  Allowing your feet to flexe naturally as your foot moves.  

Midsole: AmpliFoam midsole. Brooks Technology for its midsole strikes the right balance between stability and long distance comfort. It makes use of full-length foam made up of recycled materials, with the purpose of providing a great cushioning system. 

Upper: Open mesh upper makes the shoe breathable. It’s recommended for runners who like more air ventilation around the foot during summer.  

Highlight(s): If you are looking for shoes that offer comfortable ride, that perform well on road and daily training, this neutral running shoe is for you. 

Pro(s):

  • Highly breathable 
  • High responsiveness (Amplifoam cushioning)
  • Durable Outsole
  • Affordable
  • Low Drop(4mm)

Cons(s): 

  • Some runners complain that outsole has no enough grip

Merrell Trail Glove 4 Runner

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Trail
  • Activities: Trail Running, Jungle Trekking
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 230g(Men) 170g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Features

Outsole: Vibram RC5 Outsole is made up of lightweight rubber material that is known to be abrasion-resistant. It provides a great amount of grip for traction without adding on too much weight. A Trail Protect Pad designed by Merrell is inserted between the outsole and midsole to protect runners from sharp and rough surfaces. It makes  the shoes ideal for running in uneven terrain.  

Midsole: Molded EVA foam was aimed to provide a light and durable cushioning. A non-removable microfiber footbed is designed to act as an antimicrobial agent to keep runners’ feet dry and odorless. 

Upper: Synthetic mesh upper is designed to give enough breathability and ventilation for runners feet. This shoe is also well-known for its wide toe room, which is perfect for runners who have Morton’s neuroma. 

Highlight(s): Most buyers Merrell Trail Glove 4 use this shoe for hiking/ trail running. They are happy with its lightweight and excellent tread features. However, some have complained that shoes are too stiff for them. It’s recommended to choose a larger size if you are getting the shoe, this is to give your toe enough room to stretch during expanded condition. 

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Durable Outsole
  • Affordable
  • Low Drop(0mm)
  • Good traction 

Cons(s): 

  • Some buyer think its too stiff
  • Mesh upper is too thin for some runner

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoe (Max Cushioning)

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road, Treadmill
  • Activities: Road Running, Treadmill Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 4mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 300g(Men) 250g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Features

Outsole: Redesigned outsole from its previous version(Bondi 5), Hi-Abrasion lightweight rubber is strategically placed on areas that are more easily affected by wear-and-tear. Compared to its previous version, Bondi 6’s outsole offers a shallower channel to allow more contact with the ground, thus resulting in smoother ride. 

Midsole: The highlight of this shoe is in its midsole. Thick(33mm heel, 29mm toe) and soft EVA midsole give runners one of the softest and balanced rides.

People called it “One of the Softest Running Shoes-Ever”.  Its shock-absorption ability is without a question one of the best in the world. Despite its thick cushioning, it doesn’t add much weight to the shoes as Hoka uses  a rubber material that is 30% softer than standard EVA rubber. 

Upper: Cloth-like material on upper has an open-weave design that promotes air circulation. It maintains a cool and dry in-shoe environment. This also means that the shoe is not water-proof, thus making it a terrible shoe for trail running. 

Highlight(s): Most people are happy with how this shoe performed, many of them like its soft-cushion and responsive underfoot platform. This is a great shoe for people who need a-lot of cushion, anyone who loves long distance running. Surprisingly, it’s also well received by people who need to stand up/ walk for a long hour. The complaint this shoe has is regarding its outsole’s durability, some people find that this shoe is not ideal for uneven terrain. 

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Max Cushion
  • Low Drop(4mm)

Cons(s): 

  • Bulky Shoe
  • Above Average Price

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 3 Road Running Shoe

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training
  • Heel offset drop: 3mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 300g(Men) 280g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Rearfoot strike

Features

Outsole: Nothing to complain here, traction nodes is presence at the bottom of the shoes to offer tractions and responsiveness. Rubber is covering the heel and fore section of the outsole, to give it enough durability.  

Midsole: Molded EVA foam with moderate stack height is present to cushion the foot. Similar to Hoka Bondi, an Ortholite Sockliner(microfiber) footbed is placed under the foot. It helps to maintain a healthy in-shoe condition with its antimicrobial and anti moisture capabilities.

Upper: Engineered-mesh upper unit has a stretchy nature, which conforms to your custom foot shape. This is important for your foot as it allows it to stretch naturally and spread across the wide toe room. 

Highlight(s): Most runners who purchase this shoe are happy with its flexible and responsive midsole, and its breathable upper unit. Traction nodes on the outsole have also drawn some positive feedback from buyers, saying that it is”traction-ready”. Most important feature in this shoe for runner who have morton’s neuroma is its roomy toe box, which allow runners foot to expand naturally.

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Lightweight
  • Low Drop(3mm)
  • Good traction 

Cons(s): 

  • Insufficient upper lockdown
  • Some complaint that certain side of insole have potential to rub against foot surface

Altra Instinct 4.5 Sneaker

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 278g(Men) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Features

Outsole: Entire bottom part of the shoe is covered with rubber to ensure traction and protection. The durable outsole is great for high mileage and allow the shoe to have a do-it-all quality. 

Midsole: As stated in shoe facts above, the midsole of this shoe features 0mm drop, allowing runners to get a better ground feel. Altra Innerflex(™) technology is used in this midsole. It cut a grid through the midsole, running vertically and horizontally. This technology reduces the entire weight of the shoe without compromising the cushioning system.

Upper: As usual, engineered-mesh upper unit that allows air circulation. The structure helps runners to reduce hotspot and moisture accumulation. Another thing worth mentioning is the absence of overlays or stiffeners in the toe box. This characteristic allows your toe to stretch freely, which is an important feature in the case of morton’s neuroma. 

Highlight(s): Altra Instinct 4.5 is suitable for people who have relatively large feet, its roomy toe box and spacious in-shoe is well received by its user. 

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Light outsole weight
  • Low Drop(0mm)

Cons(s): 

  • Some have complained that the heel section is too large
  • Overall Shoe is heavier than average running shoe

Altra Paradigm 4.5 Road Running Shoe (Our Choice)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Overpronation
  • Arch type: Medium Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 318g(Men) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Features

Outsole:Altra unique FootPod outsole technology places rubber in strategic locations to increase its flexibility. It is placed in the area of outsole where the foot is pressing the insole. This strategy increases the mileage of the outsole with compromising flexibility of the shoe. 

Midsole: Midsole for Altra Paradigm series shoe employs a system that enhances the natural mobility of your foot, through a shape similar to your metatarsal (a group of five long bones in the foot). It’s known as the Natural Ride System (NRS).

They also developed GuideRail and Stabilipod technology to support runner’s feet. GuideRail technology help overpronator by keeping their foot aligned in the shoe. Stabilipod uses firmer midsole material on forefoot and heel side to give runners more support. This feature is very crucial for overpronator who have Morton’s Neuroma. All these midsole technology helps runner to gain stability and correct their gait. 

Upper: Top cover of Altra Paradigm 4.5 made up of knit, which promotes breathability and seamless fit. 

Highlight(s): The Altra Paradigm 4.5 is especially good for runners who love road running. Midsole technologies designed by Altra stabilizes runners’ ride. Many overpronator are happy with the supportive structure this shoes provide, saying that they had a smooth long distance ride with this shoe. 

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Several runner says it helps to relieve foot pain 
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Low Drop(0mm)

Cons(s): 

  • Pricey 
  • Some user says that the midsole should have more cushioning.

4 Alternative running shoes

Altra One 2.5 Running Shoe

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 179g(Men) 147(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 286g(Men) 241g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Altra Men’s Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 241g(Men) 196g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Topo Athletic Magnifly 3 Running Shoe

For Men:

For Women

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 275g(Men) 230g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

My recommendation 

When it comes to choosing running shoes to deal with Morton’s Neuroma, there’s such a wide range of different brands from manufacturers. No matter which manufacturer you choose, remember these 3 important characteristic:

  1. Low heel-to-toe drop, preferably 0mm
  2. Wide-Toe box, large enough to allow your feet to stretch freely
  3. Good arch support

The use of correct running shoes is crucial in dealing with early or moderate conditions.

Out of all the ten running shoes we studied, the final choice I’ll recommend is Altra Paradigm 4.5 Road Running Shoe. Overall people are happy with midsole technologies designed by Altra, which allow them to have better motion control and flexibility. 

Aside from their slightly above average price, It’s well received by many runners who are into long distance running, commenting that its excellent quality justify the higher price point. 

Extra tips: Learn how to lace your running shoes if your shoes is too tight

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