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Best Running Shoes for Mortons Neuroma in 2022

 

Finding the right running shoes can be a lot of work. When you’re suffering from Morton’s neuroma, it can be even more difficult. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot, and sufferers know that the right shoe can help to relieve the pain.

The best shoe options for Morton’s neuroma are running shoes with a wide toe box and a low heel-to-toe drop. These elements will provide the runner with the right amount of comfort and support.

Our top pick is the Altra Escalante 3. It’s lightweight, has a wide toe box, and a zero-drop that all work together to ease pressure off your neuroma.

In this article, we’ve gathered up the top ten best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma to help you find relief and keep you running…

 

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Altra Escalante 3

 

  • The shoe is ultra-soft
  • Highly Durable
  • Wide toe box ideal for MN
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Altra Torin 6

 

  • Tons of cushion for optimal comfort
  • Roomy toe box allows toes to relax
  • Keeps the foot in its natural position
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Saucony Echelon 8

 

  • Wide toe box
  • Large, Stable Base
  • Accommodates custom orthotics
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Best Overall

1. Altra Escalante 3

The Altra Escalante 3 is ideal for those suffering from Morton’s neuroma, thanks to its zero-drop platform, which takes pressure off the forefoot.

This, along with bouncy cushioning, goes a long way towards helping relieve the forefoot pain that comes with Morton’s neuroma.

What We Like

The Escalante 3 features an unusually soft, comfortable midsole made of Altra EGO foam. This is ideal for absorbing shock and reducing vibration in the forefoot, which goes a long way towards reducing pain associated with Morton’s neuroma.

At just over 8 ounces for an average-sized men’s shoe, this is also an extremely light shoe. Whether you’re going for a leisurely walk or taking a more intense run, your feet won’t become fatigued easily in these shoes.

The zero-drop platform is an Altra staple. They call it “balanced cushioning”, and it’s excellent for taking pressure off the painful area of the forefoot. If you aren’t used to it, though, you may find that you need to foam roll your calves for the first little while of wearing these shoes!

Other features that get a thumbs-up include a generously-sized toe box that won’t compress the forefoot, women-specific Fit4Her technology in the ladies’ version, and a soft, stretchy upper that adds to the comfort of the shoe.

Why We Like It

The shoe is spacious enough in the toe box to prevent cramped toes, which allows the metatarsal bones to splay naturally and comfortably.

Between the cushioning and the flat platform, it also takes a lot of pressure off of the forefoot.

What’s New

The newer version of the Escalante features a nicely stretchy upper, which is a change from the stiff 2.0 and the excessively stretchy 1.5.

Apart from that, the model remains mostly the same in looks and build.

PROS:

  • Breathable, stretchy elastic upper
  • Generously cushioned
  • Signature FootShape toe box
  • Flexible rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Less energy return than other running shoes
 

Top Wide Toe Box

2. Altra Torin 6

While the Torin 6 features Altra’s traditional wide toe box, it also comes in two widths: normal and wide. This is ideal for those who need more space in the forefoot.

Paired with the plush cushion and soft upper, this makes it soft and comfortable on painful metatarsals.

What We Like

Soft, cushy EGO MAX foam does wonders for absorbing shock that could cause pain. The shoe is a plush ride, with a touch of responsiveness. Don’t expect a high amount of energy return.

The platform is balanced, meaning it’s the same height in the forefoot and the heel. In other words, Altra’s standard zero-drop. This is great for reducing pressure on the ball of the foot.

Strong arch support and a molded heel counter also help to provide excellent support, keeping the foot positioned as it should be and well locked down.

Despite the amount of cushion (28mm) the shoe is unusually lightweight, weighing just over 7 ounces for an average-sized women’s shoe and 9.5 ounces for a men’s size 10.5. This means no extra strain on the feet.

Why We Like It

There’s more than enough room in the toe box for sufferers of Morton’s neuroma to stretch and flex their toes.

As well as space, there’s ample cushion underfoot to absorb shock that could hurt the painful metatarsals.

What’s New

The forefoot on the Torin 6 has widened by half an inch from the 5. There’s also a little more height in the toe box than the previous version had.

Another change is the midsole, which has been upgraded to Altra EGO MAX foam. And this is the first Altra shoe offered in wide, allowing runners with wide midfoot or heel to finally get a proper fit.

PROS:

  • Anatomically-shaped last
  • Plush and lightly responsive EgoMax foam
  • Comes in standard and wide widths
  • Molded heel counter for good heel fit

CONS:

  • The forefoot may be too wide for those who liked the previous version
 

Best for Orthotics

3. Saucony Echelon 8

The Echelon 8 has a removable insole and is spacious enough inside for orthotics.

It comes in normal, wide, and extra-wide. It’s also one of the Saucony models with a wide toe box.

What We Like

The Echelon 8 has a nice stable base, keeping you secure on your feet. It’s wide enough for almost any foot to be able to spread out naturally for a pain-free experience.

Although there is a slight drop, it’s fairly low, at 8mm. This limits the amount of pressure on the forefoot, and whatever force does occur is well-absorbed by the PWRRUN cushioning.

As well as reducing shock in the forefoot, the cushion is fairly springy, which gives you a bit of bounce when running. A FORMFIT upper made of engineered mesh hugs the foot comfortably, with a 3D Support Frame providing a great lockdown in the heel.

The rubber outsole features TRI-FLEX technology, which allows for greater flexibility. This means the foot can move through its natural motion more easily when running, removing any stiffness or inhibition that could aggravate morton’s pain.

Why We Like It

Inside the Echelon 8 is spacious enough to fit just about any type of orthotic. We also like that the drop is lower than average (8mm), limiting pressure on the forefoot as you run.

What’s New

The addition of PWRRUN foam in the midsole is new to the 8, and the Tri-Flex sole allows for increased flexibility.

PROS:

  • Engineered mesh upper molds to your foot
  • Removable insole to accommodate orthotics
  • 3D heel counter to fit the back of your foot
  • Thick, durable rubber outsole

CONS:

  • May be a bit bulky for some
 

Top Zero-Drop Shoe

4. Altra Paradigm 6

The Paradigm 6 is a zero-drop stability shoe, which works equally well for neutral feet and overpronators alike.

It provides excellent arch support and a spacious fit in the toe box, as well as soft, shock-absorbing cushioning.

What We Like

The zero-drop platform greatly reduces force on the forefoot, which is a huge pain reliever for those suffering from morton’s neuroma. Along with featuring Altra’s trademark FootShape toe box, the forefoot is well-protected in all ways.

Although it’s technically a stability shoe, the Guide Rails only activate when they need to. This is a huge bonus and makes the shoe feel comfy on almost any foot.

Altra EGO MAX foam provides a lovely cushioned ride with just a bit of energy return. It’s definitely a nice soft platform for a recovery run or a long distance training session.

It’s a little denser under the arch, but not obtrusively so. The main stability feature is the Guide Rails system, which is extremely subtle but comes through when you need the support.

InnovArch support uses strips of fabric in the shoe to add more or less arch support depending on how much you cinch down.

Why We Like It

The Guide Rail System is unobtrusive and doesn’t hurt or hamper neutral runners.

But it works with the strong arch support to provide a greatly supportive shoe for overpronators. The best of both worlds!

What’s New

There have been some sizable updates since the Paradigm 5. Firstly, the midsole now uses Altra EGO MAX foam, which is a little springier than the last version. Secondly, InnovArch technology provides great arch support.

The Guide Rails System has been updated to only come into play when the foot moves, which is what accounts for the comfort felt by neutral-footed runners. Lastly, new colorways have been added!

PROS:

  • InnovArch technology for great support
  • Guide rail system adds extra medial support
  • Zero-drop, balanced cushioning
  • 5mm sculpted insoles

CONS:

  • Non-gusseted tongue may slide around
 

Most Cushioned

5. Hoka One One Bondi 7

Known for its serious EVA midsole, you can expect maximum shock-absorbing cushioning in the Bondi 7. It’s not only soft underfoot, but around the ankle collar too.

What We Like

The Bondi 7 features a lot of cushioning, including a good amount in the forefoot.

A men’s shoe has 29mm of soft foam, while the women’s features 27mm; excellent for those with pain in the ball of the foot.

Extra breathable engineered mesh uppers hug the foot, helped by thick, plush ankle collars which help to keep the foot locked down. Internal heel counters also assist with keeping the foot correctly positioned at all times.

Along with the 4mm drop, an early-stage meta-rocker helps to alleviate pressure on the forefoot by moving the foot effortlessly through the heel-to-toe transition. This is also assisted by a beveled heel.

Why We Like It

The chunky EVA slab in the midsole does a great job of absorbing shock when running, reducing the amount of pain in the forefoot when you land or push off.

It’s not the only comfortable thing about the shoe, though – it seems the Hoka Bondi 7 is made mainly for comfort and it’s definitely one of the most cushioned shoes on the market.

What’s New

The Bondi 7 has lost 3mm in stack height from the 6, but it’s not noticeable in the feel of the cushioning. It also boasts an improved heel lock and a more breathable upper.

And great news for those with Morton’s neuroma, the 7th version of this well-loved shoe now includes an extra-wide option.

PROS:

  • Thick layer of soft, comfortable EVA foam
  • Memory foam ankle collar
  • Early-stage meta-rocker makes for a smooth gait
  • Internal heel counters provide locked-in fit

CONS:

  • Lacks responsiveness on the road
  • Exposed EVA foam on the outsole may compromise durability
 

Best Lightweight Shoe

6. Topo Magnifly 3

Weighing just 9.7 ounces for a men’s size 10 shoe, the Topo Magnifly 3 is one of the lightest-feeling shoes you’ll find. It’s especially noticeable considering the decently-sized 25mm EVA midsole.

What We Like

Light and easy to wear, the Topo Magnifly is surprisingly lighter than it looks. Along with the nice low weight, a zero-drop platform helps to alleviate forefoot pressure.

The dual-density midsole is not only a heart mix of comfortable and bouncy, but it also features a rocker design, to help speed up the heel-to-toe transition and get a good push-off.

A snug but soft upper offers a good fit in the midfoot but enough space in the toe box to keep the toes comfy.

Lastly, to add to the comfort of the shoe, there are Ortholite foam footbeds and molded ankle collars to keep your foot locked down but still feeling good.

Why We Like It

The lightweight nature of these shoes make them a joy to wear, without feeling like your already achy feet are being weighed down.

A spacious toe box and zero-drop platform add to the comfort for feet with Morton’s neuroma.

What’s New

The upper has been revamped from the 2nd version to be more comfortable and breathable. A molded foam ankle collar has been added, and so has an Ortholite footbed.

PROS:

  • Lightweight, zero-drop shoe
  • Firm, responsive dual-density EVA midsole
  • Snug fit with spacious toe box
  • Durable, full-length rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Narrow midfoot may not suit wide-footed runners
 

Top New Balance

7. New Balance 1080v12

New Balance’s most cushioned shoe, the 1080v12 offers all you may need for a comfortable and safe running experience when you have Morton’s neuroma.

What We Like

The 1080v12 is suitable for almost any runner, offering a range of sizes, a really nicely cushioned midsole, and a stretchy, comfortable Hypoknit upper.

There’s plenty of space in the forefoot. The UltraHeel is comfortable and cups the back of the foot, although some wearers might find that they struggle to get a good heel lockdown due to the thinner collar.

Fresh Foam X in the midsole delivers a comfortably cushioned and nicely springy ride. Blown rubber in a unique honeycomb pattern on the outsole provides excellent grip, keeping you safe as well as cushioned on multiple surfaces.

Why We Like It

It’s plush and super comfortable, offers ample space inside the foot chamber, and comes in a variety of widths to suit every foot.

What’s New

Not much has changed since version 10. The only significant change to the shoe is an upper redesign to help it fit a bit more snugly.

PROS:

  • Knit upper is stretchy
  • Soft, bouncy, full-length Fresh Foam X cushioning
  • Plush Ortholite sockliner
  • Blown rubber outsole has excellent grip

CONS:

  • May be some heel slippage
  • Outsole stiffens in the cold
 

Best Light Stability

8. Topo Ultrafly 4

The Topo Ultrafly 4 weighs just 9.5 ounces for a standard-sized men’s shoe. This is very lightweight for a stability shoe but doesn’t compromise the support features.

What We Like

The engineered mesh upper wraps around the foot and provides a secure fit while allowing for space in the forefoot. An external heel counter keeps the foot stable and helps with a good lockdown.

Topo’s Zipfoam in the midsole gives you a decent level of comfort without losing responsiveness. An EVA post in the medial side of the shoe offers the support overpronators need to prevent their feet from rolling in.

Strong rubber covers the high-wear areas of the outsole, but some of the EVA midsole is exposed. This helps to limit the weight of the shoe.

Why We Like It

The Ultrafly 4 is a stability shoe, but it weighs next to nothing. Ideal for those who need support features but don’t want to feel weighed down.

What’s New

There’s been a fair bit of tweaking to the 4. Firstly, the outsole has been revamped to reduce the weight without damaging the excellent grip.

To add structure and support, there’s now an external TPU heel counter, with an EVA medial post.

In the midsole, the shoe is now using dual-density Zipfoam to increase durability and responsiveness. Lastly, they’ve added an Ortholite footbed for comfort.

PROS:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Supportive, dual-density ZipFoam
  • Non-intrusive firmer-density medial post
  • External TPU heel counter for a locked-in fit

CONS:

  • Not as responsive as some other shoes
 

Most Supportive

9. Altra Provision 6

The Altra Provision 6 is a motion control shoe that helps to prevent lateral movement of the foot.

This, along with the generous toe box and cushion, makes it a great choice for sufferers of Morton’s neuroma.

What We Like

The Altra Paradigm 6 features GuideRails on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, preventing side-to-side movement and overpronation. They’re subtle, offering good support when you need it and not intruding on your ride when you don’t need them.

EGO foam has been added to the midsole, which not only reduces the shoe’s weight but also provides a soft cushion underfoot, easing the pain of Morton’s neuroma. The typical Altra zero-drop platform also takes strain off the forefoot.

You should find great arch support, with the InnovArch technology in the shoe. It will help overpronators and those with high or low arches to keep their feet stable and safe in the right position.

Altra’s FootShape toe box allows for plenty of forefoot space. Underneath, InnerFlex grooves allow for excellent flexibility of the foot while wearing this shoe, so your foot isn’t restricted in its motion.

Why We Like It

The GuideRails provide light motion control without being intrusive. From the size and shape to the cushioning, the shoe ticks all the boxes for a supportive choice for those with Morton’s neuroma.

What’s New

EGO midsole foam has been added to increase the cushion and the bounce. The InnovArch has been updated to provide better support. Also, the InnerFlex grooves have been redesigned to provide better flexibility.

The Provision 6 also features more depth in the foot chamber and a higher instep than the previous version of the shoe.

PROS:

  • GuideRails provide more medial support
  • InnovArch technology provides extra arch support
  • Lightweight, springy EGO foam cushioning
  • Flexible, rubber outsole that’s durable

CONS:

  • It’s a little less soft and more bouncy, and may be too firm for some
 

Best for Trails and Offroad

10. Altra Lone Peak 5

The Lone Peak 5 offers everything you need to run the trails safely and comfortably without pain from your Morton’s neuroma.

What We Like

Altra’s generous FootShape toe box means that your toes will be free from the moment you put these shoes on. There’s 24mm of foam underfoot, which is enough to cushion the metatarsals from most hazards, helped by a rock plate in the forefoot.

There’s no extra pressure on the painful metatarsals thanks to the zero-drop, balanced EGO cushioning. They’re a good mix of cushioned and responsive, with moderate arch support.

The traction is one of the best features of the Altra Lone Peak 5. You can run confidently on rocks, snow, ice, and other surfaces, thanks to the dense, grippy rubber lugs, arrow-shaped and multi-directional for better coverage.

Why We Like It

We love that the Altra Lone Peak 5 offers lots of toe space without a sloppy fit. They have plenty of features that make them ideal for runners with Morton’s neuroma.

What’s New

The previous dual-density midsole has been replaced with EGO foam, making it a little softer and bouncier. Perforations have been added in the upper for better breathability.

PROS:

  • Wide-fitting and stable platform
  • Rock plate in the forefoot
  • Responsive EGO foam cushioning
  • Dense, grippy rubber underfoot

CONS:

  • Lower stack height than others on this list, so they may feel less cushioned
  • They seem to run half a size too big
 

Buyers Guide – Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma

Wide Toe Box

Because the neuroma is in the forefoot, the last thing you want is for your toes to be cramped.

A generous toe box allows the toes to spread out in a natural way, reducing pressure on the metatarsals (and the neuroma) and easing pain.

Zero Drop

Although 8 to 10mm doesn’t seem very high, even just that slight heel raise can place unnecessary and painful pressure on the ball of the foot.

A zero-drop shoe, on the other hand, places the heel and the toe at exactly the same height from the ground. This means no pressure on the forefoot, however slight it may be, which can significantly ease pain.

Cushioning

The more forefoot cushion, the better! As you walk or run, the cushioning in your shoe absorbs shock which would otherwise cause painful vibrations to hit the ball of the foot.

Make sure that the shoe you choose has ample cushion in the forefoot as well as the heel, regardless of the heel-to-toe drop.

Support

Make sure the shoe you’re wearing has enough arch support for your foot.

Being properly supported ensures that your weight is evenly distributed, so there’s less chance of excess strain being placed on the neuroma and causing aches.

Customized Fit

A lace-up shoe is better than a Velcro shoe, as it allows you to get a proper fit and tighten or loosen the shoe as needed.

Also, you can make use of the classic Morton’s neuroma lacing technique to reduce pressure, which we’ll describe below!

FAQs

Got burning questions about the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma? Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive.

How Should I Lace Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma?

Here’s a quick, simple trick for lacing your shoes when you have Morton’s neuroma.

Instead of lacing from the eyelets closest to the toes, just start from the second ones. This allows you a bit less pressure on the forefoot, reducing pain in that area.

Are Toe Socks Good for Morton’s Neuroma?

Toe socks can be helpful to reduce the pain of Morton’s neuroma. They allow the toes to splay in a natural way, spreading the metatarsal bones and reducing pressure.

You may not be able to wear toe socks in your shoes, though, if the shoes you wear have a fairly snug toe box!

Is Walking Barefoot Good for Morton’s Neuroma?

Not really. In fact, walking barefoot can cause more pain, because there’s no support under the painful area. The natural fatty pads underneath your foot often aren’t quite enough to absorb shock when walking barefoot.

If you walk barefoot often, it could actually end up making your neuroma worse. Your best bet is to wear a shoe with appropriate support!

How long does Morton’s neuroma last for runners?

Unfortunately, there is no expected timeframe for Morton’s neuroma. To compound this, it can often come and go.

So what should a runner do?

The key is to wear comfortable shoes and rest your feet. Morton’s neuroma often comes from poorly fitting shoes. We recommend wearing your running shoes all the time. If you’re wearing one from our list, this will ensure your heel stays low to the ground and you have plenty of room for your toes.

How can runners treat Morton’s neuroma?

Changing your running shoes can go a long way towards treating this condition. As we’ve mentioned, shoes with a low heel and a wide toe box should help. You can also take painkillers to help with discomfort.

For extreme cases of Morton’s neuroma, steroid injections are an option. Surgery is the last and final resort.

Can I run with Morton’s neuroma?

If it’s a minor pain, you should be ok to continue running. Just keep in mind that excessive time on our feet (like running!) can aggravate the symptoms.

If the pain is more severe, take a break until it gets better. You’ll know this is the case if it’s too painful to run (which will limit how much you want to run anyway).

Do those pads under the toes help relieve Morton’s pain?

They can. The goal of treating Morton’s pain is to relieve the pressure on the ball of your foot. This is way a low heel and room for your toes to spread out helps. The pads will slightly raise your feet, allowing your toes to sit higher and relieve the pressure underneath your feet.

Will Morton’s neuroma go away on its own?

No, unfortunately, it will not. However, there are ways to alleviate the pain and improve the condition of your foot, and sometimes the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma will completely go away.

Besides changing my running shoes, is there anything else I can do to relieve the pain?

While proper footwear and running shoes are one of the most important measures, there are a variety of other treatment measures you can do to relieve the pain. You can maintain an appropriate body weight to your height, massage your foot and affected toes, rest your foot, and use an icepack on the affected area.

In addition, you can also perform stretching exercises that strengthen the foot muscles, including rolling your foot over a bottle on the floor and placing your foot in your two hands and slowly and gently pulling the front of the foot toward your shin.

Finally, as last resorts, over-the-counter medications and injections are treatment options for Morton’s neuroma as is surgery. However, many doctors prefer not to perform surgery unless no other option has worked, as surgery can permanently numb the affected toes.

Does running make Morton’s neuroma worse?

Yes, running can make Morton’s neuroma worse. However, you can still run without “damage” to your foot unless your pain is so severe that you begin to compensate by altering your gait.

If you can still run in proper form with your Morton’s neuroma, you are just fine to keep running. Just be sure to come home and use some of the treatment options listed above to alleviate the pain that you experience from Morton’s neuroma.

Shanna Powell

Shanna Powell

Shanna is a writer who runs... And cycles, jumps rope, and lifts weights. She lives in beautiful South Africa and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with other avid athletes.

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