Best Running Shoes for Neuropathy in 2024

Updated:
 

Neuropathy often affects your feet and can cause pain, numbness, or strange, unpleasant sensations. So it’s key to wear the right footwear if you have neuropathy.

Whether you’re a runner or just want a comfortable pair of shoes, we’ve picked out the best running shoes for neuropathy to help you stay comfortable and protect your feet.

Our top pick is the popular Hoka Bondi 8. It’s got plenty of protective cushioning, has a great rocker that takes the strain off the feet, and it’s soft, plush, and comfortable inside.

Here’s the full list of running shoes we recommend for neuropathy. Find a shoe that you like and that works for your feet, and you should find that running becomes easier!

Top 4 Best and Favorites

 

Hoka One One Bondi 8

 

  • Phenomenal cushioning
  • Wide toe box
  • Highly-supportive
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Hoka Rincon 3

 

  • Versatile
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Extremely durable
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Hoka One One Gaviota 4

 

  • Lots of cushioning
  • Nice ventilation
  • Comfortable
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Altra Paradigm 7

 

  • Roomy toe box
  • Well-balanced
  • Comfortable and supportive
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Best Overall

1. Hoka Bondi 8

The Hoka Bondi is a much-loved shoe and the brand’s most popular choice. It’s a max-cushioned shoe with a comfortable yet responsive feeling.

What We Like

With 39 mm of cushioning in the heel and 35 mm in the forefoot, your feet will be well-protected. It’s a touch softer than it used to be, which adds to the plushness.

But the midsole isn’t not the only cushy thing about this shoe. It’s built for comfort, which is crucial for those with neuropathy.

Aside from the comfortable midsole, it has an extremely plush upper made of sustainable materials. It’s also quite breathable, especially in warmer weather. You’ll be comfortable from upper to the outsole with this shoe on your feet.

A spacious toe box and Hoka’s classic meta-rocker in the sole help reduce strain on your feet while still being able to run with a fluid, smooth motion.

The wide base and extended heel also provide a stable platform that adds some inherent stability. It’s not necessarily enough for overpronators, but it does help keep you stable despite the huge stack height.

The Bondi 8 also features more rubber on the outsole than most Hokas, significantly improving the shoe’s durability.

And the shoe is surprisingly light for all its cushioning. Wide-footed runners will also be pleased that it comes in wide sizes.

Why We Like It

You can’t beat this shoe for the combination of comfort and pain relief. It’s plush and comfortable everywhere, gives you ample room in the toe box, and the meta-rocker takes a lot of the strain out of the heel-to-toe transition.

What to Consider

Not everyone will like the bulkiness of this shoe. The stack height will take some getting used to if you haven’t run in such a max-cushioned shoe before, and it just looks chunky! It’s also still a little on the heavy side in comparison to others.

What’s New

The changes from the Bondi 7 to the Bondi 8 are not huge but significant. It gained 6 mm of foam in the stack height, now reaching 39 mm in the heel—just short of the new international standards for racing in.

Despite the added cushion, it’s lost about half an ounce of weight. This could be due to the new midsole foam, which has been reworked to be softer and bouncier.

There’s also more rubber on the outsole, and a slightly wider base, and the upper is made from more sustainable materials than the previous version.

PROS:

  • Max-cushioned shoe with a wide base that offers a stable ride and nice rebound
  • Well-balanced rocker provides easy and smooth transitions
  • Plush tongue with a half-sleeve stays puts throughout your run
  • Great option for long distance and recovery runs

CONS:

  • May be too bulky in design for some
  • Still slightly heavy, despite losing ½ ounce
 

Top Value

2. Hoka Rincon 3

The Rincon offers many of the best Hoka features without the high price tag. If you’re looking for a versatile shoe that’s great value for money and helps with neuropathy, we highly recommend it!

What We Like

The Rincon 3 is one of Hoka’s more affordable shoes, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less great than others. Their price is a huge selling point, but you’ll get an impressively versatile running shoe that can handle all types of training.

You’ll be surprised to learn that the Rincon weighs just over 6 ounces for a women’s size 8 and just over 7 ounces for a men’s size 9. It doesn’t skimp on the cushion, though, with 28 mm of foam in the forefoot and 33 mm in the rearfoot.

Like other Hokas, it has a spacious toe box and a handy meta-rocker that helps take pressure off the muscle, ligaments, and foot tendons as you run. Both of these features are great for neuropathy.

The shoe feels great right out of the box. Despite being a budget model, the upper is fairly soft and comfortably padded, plus it’s 100% vegan which is a nice touch. A super-thin tongue is designed to increase speed.

Why We Like It

The Rincon 3 is a very versatile neutral shoe that can see you through whatever type of run you want to do at the time. It’s also very durable for its price range, making it excellent value for money.

What to Consider

The tongue of this shoe is thinner than the previous version, and it’s not gusseted. There’s a chance that you may have some tongue slippage as you run, which can be an annoyance and may also lead to chafing or lace bite.

And while the Rincon is soft, it doesn’t have the same level of cushioning as the Bondi.

What’s New

The midsole and the outsole have received a durability overhaul since the previous version. There’s an extra millimeter of foam in the midsole, although surprisingly, the shoe weighs slightly less than the previous version.

Extra rubber has been added to the outsole, which significantly improves durability. Also, the thick heel tab of the 2 has been changed to a string-thin one, which still does the job, but it’s lighter and, unfortunately, more prone to breaking.

PROS:

  • Versatile enough for easy runs, long runs, and light speedwork
  • Surprisingly lightweight for the amount of cushioning
  • Extremely durable with extra coverage on the outsole
  • One of the most affordable Hoka shoes

CONS:

  • There may be some tongue slippage
 

Best for Support

3. Hoka Gaviota 4

Overpronators with neuropathy will appreciate the cushion, comfort, and stability of the Hoka Gaviota 4.

What We Like

The Gaviota 4 is Hoka’s max-tier stability trainer. It’s geared more toward easy runs, long runs, and recovery runs, so if you’re looking for speed, this is probably not the shoe for you.

With 40 mm of cushioning under the heel and 35 mm in the forefoot, the comfort is high when this shoe is on your feet. The ride is balanced, with just enough energy return for a comfortable, smooth feeling, helped by the meta-rocker. Best for easy, long runs, though!

It features great arch support for lower arches, plus the addition of a J-Frame in the midsole helps overpronators to stop their feet from falling over. It’s just a thicker, denser piece of foam, but it does the job well and without being intrusive.

The upper is flexible and breathable, perfect for wearing in warm weather. It has a unique H-Frame built-in, a midfoot cage designed to help you get a better lockdown with the flat laces.

There’s also a good layer of Durabrasion rubber underneath the shoe, making it much more durable than you may expect based on previous versions.

Why We Like It

The Gaviota 4 is an excellent stability shoe for those who want max cushion but still need support for overpronation. It has unobtrusive stability features but is still comfortable, which is the ideal combination for overpronators with neuropathy.

What to Consider

The Gaviota is a stability shoe, which means it’s going to be a little on the heavy side. Weighing in at over 11 ounces, some runners may find it a little clunky and not as speedy as they’d like. However, this is common with stability shoes.

You’ll need to take a few runs before the shoe feels properly broken in, but it’s likely just your feet getting used to the stability features. It’s also a bit pricey, so it might not be a viable option for some runners.

What’s New

The overall stiffness of the Gaviota has improved from the 3. It’s a little more flexible than before, which adds to the comfort.

The majority of the changes have been aesthetic updates to the upper, featuring a reinforced heel collar and a more cushioned tongue than before. The gusset stitching has also been changed to reduce chafing.

PROS:

  • Features excellent arch support and a strong J-Frame to provide anti-overpronation support
  • Great cushioning that’s built for comfort on mid- to long-distance runs
  • Good coverage of Durabrasion Rubber over the outsole, increasing durability
  • Late-Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry smooths the heel-to-toe transition and takes strain off the feet

CONS:

  • Requires a couple of runs to break-in properly
  • May feel heavy for some runners
 

Top Wide Toe Box

4. Altra Paradigm 7

Altra’s unique toe box makes them the natural choice for runners who need space in the forefoot but like a snug midfoot and heel.

What We Like

Runners who need a wide toe box will appreciate the Paradigm’s FootShape toe box, designed specifically to mimic the shape of a human foot. There’s plenty of room for your toes to splay, but it doesn’t feel sloppy.

The Paradigm is technically a stability shoe, but its features are unobtrusive and more than suitable for both mild overpronators and neutral runners. A wide platform combined with GuideRail technology makes the shoe very stable on the ground, and the zero heel-to-toe drop adds to the stable structure of the shoe.

InnovArch technology is a unique form of arch support, providing more support depending on how you lace your shoe. This is ideal for overpronators as you can tweak it to provide the right support.

There’s 34 mm of EGO Max foam underfoot, which protects the feet and absorbs shock on each step. It’s a good mix of softness and bounce underfoot, making it a versatile running shoe.

Flex grooves under the sole add flexibility and extra stability, so your foot can move through its natural range of motion even though there’s a thick chunk of cushion underneath.

Why We Like It

No other shoe brand has a toe box quite as foot-shaped as Altra. This shoe is an excellent choice for those who prefer space around their toes. The 34 mm stack height also adds substantial cushion underfoot.

What to Consider

It’s important to note that this is a zero-drop shoe. Not everyone will be happy with a zero drop, and if you haven’t run in a zero-drop shoe before, you can expect your calves to take a bit of a beating in the beginning.

What’s New

The midsole has been updated and now features softer foam with a bit more bounce. InnovArch technology has been updated for a better fit and performance. The only other changes have been a mildly updated upper with new colorways.

PROS:

  • Zero heel-to-toe drop and Guide Rails promote a natural posture and gait
  • A spacious foot-shaped toe box lets you spread your toes naturally and isn’t sloppy
  • Generous amount of firm EGO Max foam absorbs shock and provides a soft and bouncy ride
  • Soft, thin layer of InnovArch material helps you dial in the lacing for a secure locked-down feel

CONS:

  • Zero-drop platform may take time to adjust to
 

Best for Wide Feet

5. New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

Runners who need more width throughout the shoe, not just in the forefoot, will find the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 suitable. It offers a high level of comfort that most people will find refreshing.

What We Like

The Fresh Foam More is true-to-size in length and a little wider than average, making it a good option for those with wide feet. Like many New Balance shoes, it also comes in widths.

A flexible heel counter helps to keep your feet in place, and the high sidewalls in the rearfoot add inherent stability.

With 34 mm of Fresh Foam in the heel and 30 mm in the forefoot, you’ll be well-cushioned on every step. It’s soft and yet manages to have some spring at the same time, a comfortable and smooth ride.

Interestingly, there’s a mild rocker in the base of the shoe, which takes some stress off the muscles and tissues of the foot as you run.

You may also be pleased to know that a minimum of 50 percent of the materials in the upper and 5 percent of the outsole are recycled. This meets New Balance’s Green Leaf Standard.

Why We Like It

The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is a plush, comfortable, and well-cushioned shoe slightly wider than average. Runners with wide feet will appreciate the added space, and runners with neuropathy will love its comfort.

What to Consider

The height of the toe box is a little on the low side, which may take a bit of time to break in. It may be uncomfortable for some or chafe a little in the beginning, but reports suggest that it eases up quickly.

What’s New

The Fresh Foam More v4 has a softer yet bouncier midsole, a revamped upper, and a slightly wider base for increased stability. The N on the upper is larger and the upper bolder than before.

PROS:

  • Soft, breathable, and roomy upper accommodates wide feet and are available upto 4E Extra Wide
  • Maximum cushioned daily trainer is lightweight and provides a fun, responsive and lively ride
  • Pronounced rocker geometry provides smooth transitions from heel to toe
  • Durable shoe that’s a great option for longer, easier miles

CONS:

  • The toe box is a little low
 

Top for Using with Orthotics

6. Saucony Echelon 9

If you use orthotics, the Saucony Echelon 9 is an excellent choice of shoe. It’s comfortable enough on its own, but it’s also very orthotic-friendly.

What We Like

This daily trainer has 35 mm of padding in the heel and 27 mm in the forefoot, more than enough to protect the feet and absorb shock. The PWRRUN foam cushioning offers some nice bounce, too, putting a spring in your step.

A cushioned sockliner gives the shoe a plush step-in feel, but can also be removed to make way for your own custom orthotics. This handy feature allows you to make the most of the features the Echelon 9 offers but still get custom support.

One of the best things for neuropathy is that the Echelon features Saucony’s typical wide toe box. No need to worry about chafing or discomfort, because your toes will have plenty of room.

A slight rocker also helps move you forward with less input from your muscles and tissues, which takes strain off the feet and may improve pain and discomfort. This works with the heel bevel, making it a superb choice for heel strikers.

There’s plenty of sticky rubber across the bottom of the shoe. Between that and the wide base, it has solid stability.

Why We Like It

The Saucony Echelon 9 is a great choice for runners with neuropathy who are looking for a combination of a high level of comfort and an orthotic-friendly shoe. It ticks all the boxes!

What to Consider

The shoe is quite heavy, at over 10 ounces for a men’s size 9. Some might not notice this much, but others will find that it drags their feet down. Another potential issue is that the outsole isn’t super grippy compared to many others. Be careful what surfaces you run on!

Another thing to consider is the orthotic you put into the shoe. If it’s thicker than the original one you removed from the shoe, you may find that the upper seems to fit a bit tight. If it’s thinner, you might feel like you have too much space in the shoe.

What’s New

The cushioning of the Echelon 9 is thicker than before by 6 mm. Another noticeable change is that the heel bevel has increased in size.

PROS:

  • Thick, cushioned sock liner is removable to comfortably accommodate orthotics
  • Airy mélange mesh upper has a higher volume and provides a roomy fit throughout
  • Thick layer of energetic PWRRUN foam cushioning puts the spring in each step
  • Extended heel bevel provides softer landings that heel strikers will love

CONS:

  • Slightly heavy
  • The outsole isn’t extremely grippy
 

Best Lightweight Shoe with Wide Toe Box

7. Topo Ultrafly 4

The Topo Ultrafly 4 isn’t the most well-known of shoes, but it’s surprisingly great for people with neuropathy. It has a lovely wide-toe box and remains lightweight.

What We Like

The Ultrafly 4 is a stability shoe with plenty of room in the forefoot and remains lightweight. The trade-off is that it has quite a low drop, which some people may find uncomfortable.

Topo’s unique anatomical toe box provides plenty of room for the toes to splay, so there shouldn’t be any worry about chafing. The rest of the shoe has quite a normal fit, so the rest of your foot should have a great fit.

It also features a mild rocker in the forefoot, facilitating an easier heel-to-toe transition and less fatiguing your feet.

The Ultrafly 4 has less cushioning than most of the shoes on this list, with 28 mm in the heel and 23 mm in the forefoot. It’s still enough for shock absorption, making it a good option for those who don’t want a max-cushioned shoe.

It has a medial post in the midsole offers extra support for overpronators, but it’s light enough that neutral feet may be able to wear this shoe without discomfort.

Ample rubber coverage underfoot provides a safe, secure footing on almost all surfaces.

Why We Like It

The Topo Ultrafly 4 is spacious in the toe box, snug through the rest of the foot, and with added stability features. It’s not a max-cushioned shoe, which is appreciated by those who don’t necessarily want or need maximum cushion for their neuropathy.

What to Consider

This shoe features a 5 mm heel-to-toe drop, lower than most other shoes. Running in a lower drop for the first time may take some breaking in and can be hard on the calves and Achilles.

What’s New

The tongue is slightly thicker and longer than it was on the 3. The upper has received some updates, but nothing ground-breaking.

PROS:

  • Breathable engineered mesh has a mild stretch in the forefoot and is nicely contoured through the midfoot
  • Anatomical toe box and moderate forefoot rocker offer seamless toe-offs
  • Firm medial EVA post provides light support for mild overpronation
  • Excellent choice for easy, moderate-length, and mild uptempo runs

CONS:

  • Low drop may not be for everyone
 

Top Classic Stability Shoe

8. Brooks Glycerin 21 GTS

If you’re looking for a classic stability shoe that’s great for protecting neuropathic feet, try the Brooks Glycerin 21 GTS.

What We Like

It may be a classic, but the Brooks Glycerin uses GuideRail technology to keep the feet in a neutral position, preventing overpronation. This makes it excellent for neutral feet too, as the GuideRails only come into play when needed.

There’s plenty of padding between your foot and the ground—38mm under your heel and 28 mm under your forefoot. The nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 foam is responsive and provides a springy ride thanks to its unique construction.

This unique midsole foam also keeps the weight down, although the shoe is far from being light. It may also extend the shoe’s lifespan, as it doesn’t compress as easily as others.

Brooks shoes have a slightly wider fit, and this version’s base has been widened even more to add stability. If you need space in the toe box, you’ll appreciate the fit of this shoe.

Why We Like It

The Brooks Glycerin GTS 21 does a good job of stabilizing the feet without being intrusive. It’s suitable for overpronators and neutral runners and has ample padding underneath to mitigate the force of impact.

What to Consider

Some users have reported that this shoe requires more of a break-in period than other shoes. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that you may have some discomfort upfront before it settles in.

What’s New

The Glycerin GTS 21 got a significant overhaul. The midsole has been updated to a new, softer, more responsive foam. A slightly wider platform was created for extra stability. The upper also got a revamp, being lighter and more breathable and receiving an updated fit.

PROS:

  • GuideRail technology gently guides the foot through its natural motion path
  • Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 foam is responsive and provides a springy ride without the bulk
  • Wide platform ramps up stability while offering smooth and easy transitions
  • Full coverage rubber outsole adds to the durability of this shoe on all surfaces

CONS:

  • Requires a bit more of a break-in period than other shoes
 

Best Lightweight Cushioned Shoe

9. Hoka Clifton 9

If you want great cushion without the added weight, the Hoka Clifton 9 ticks both those boxes. It’s a surprisingly comfortable shoe with great padding but doesn’t feel like it’s dragging you down.

What We Like

The Clifton 9 still features Hoka’s classic cushioning but happens to be lighter for those who want a more streamlined shoe.

It has just 24 mm of foam in the front of the shoe, and 29 mm in the rear. This is a less than Hokas usually pack, so it’s a significant difference. But it’s an amazing choice for those who like what Hoka offers but want something less max.

The new midsole foam is 15 percent lighter than before, helping you to move freely and easily and take advantage of the softness and slight bounce the shoe offers.

You’ll find the usual rocker design plus an extended crash pad that helps to reduce the force on your joints when you land. We also love that the toe box is fairly roomy, keeping you comfortable from heel to toe as you run.

Why We Like It

The Clifton is a lightweight shoe that feels comfortable on the feet and offers ample cushioning without excess weight. Its thinner stack height makes it more comfortable for those who like Hoka but don’t want maximum padding.

What to Consider

The Clifton 9 runs a little warm, thanks to the durable upper. You may notice this more if you run in hot weather, but if you run in the cold, it’s likely to be a welcome warmth.

Many runners have also expressed frustration with the extra-long laces, which are hard to tuck away without becoming a chafing hazard!

What’s New

The Clifton 9 has retained all the great parts of the 8 and only made some minor tweaks to improve the new version. The stack height is a touch higher and it weighs slightly less.

PROS:

  • Versatile daily trainer that can be used for uptempo workouts, long or recovery runs and a marathons
  • Lightweight, maximum cushioned shoe is bouncy and offers a smooth ride from heel-to-toe
  • Extended heel crash pad reduces the impact on the joint and offers softer landings
  • Early-stage meta-rocker helps make the transition easy and smooth

CONS:

  • The shoe runs a little warm
  • Extra-long laces can be a hazard
 

Top for Trail Running

10. Altra Olympus 5

If you’re looking for a trail running shoe that works best for runners with neuropathy, the Altra Olympus 5 is a super choice.

What We Like

For runners with neuropathy, you can’t beat Altra’s toe boxes. Their traditional FootShape toe box provides enough room for your toes to splay without looking clunky or sloppy.

This is a dedicated trail shoe, so of course, it has chunky lugs on the outsole for grip. The Vibram material is grippy and should keep you safe on any surface, plus the wide platform adds stability on rough ground.

There’s 33 mm of padding in the midsole, more than enough to feel plush and to absorb vibrations from every step on hard ground. Keep in mind that this is a zero-drop shoe, although it still provides great arch support.

Why We Like It

There’s ample cushioning underneath the feet, helped by the chunky lugs on the outsole. It’s comfortable and protective, plus it has a wonderful toe box.

What to Consider

At close to 200 bucks, the durability on the shoe is questionable for this price. While you’ll get a good many miles out of it, it’s a little on the lower side in comparison to others.

It also weighs around 11 ounces, which is on the heavy side, especially for a shoe that’s not a stability shoe.

What’s New

The Olympus 4 was a much-loved shoe, so they’ve kept many features. What they have changed is the upper, which is now softer and a touch more flexible, the heel fit has been improved, and the heel tab comes up a little higher on the Achilles.

PROS:

  • Altra’s classic FootShape toe box reduces chafing and keeps you comfortable throughout your run
  • Excellent fit thanks to an effective heel counter and a gusseted tongue
  • Vibram outsole is sticky and keeps you safe on a number of different surfaces
  • Zero-drop platform with 33 mm of foam underfoot provides great stability and shock absorption

CONS:

  • Not very durable for its price
  • It’s a heavy shoe
 

Buyer’s Guide for Neuropathy Shoes

Toe Box

One of the best things you can do for your feet is to invest in a pair of shoes that have a wide toe box. You want your toes to have plenty of room for movement. This will make running far less taxing on the body.

Cushioning

The second-best factor of running shoes is to get a pair with lots of cushioning. You likely noticed from the reviews that most of the entries excelled at this. It’s important for those with neuropathy to have ample support around your feet.

This goes a long way in ensuring that your feet don’t take the full brunt of your movement. Invest in a pair of shoes that are designed to do that for you.

Buy the Correct Size

If you find a pair of shoes you like that don’t have enough room in the toe box, try moving up half a size. This will often provide the space your toes require to move freely inside the shoe.

If you have wide feet anyway, it may benefit you to increase by a full size. Many runners find that this makes a big difference in improving their overall comfort.

FAQs

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that can be quite debilitating. It’s caused by damage to your peripheral nerves that results in numbness and weakness in your body. It seems to affect the extremities most often, making it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks.

What Triggers Neuropathy?

Those with diabetes are known to develop neuropathy more so than most others. But it can also be brought on by traumatic injury.

There are many factors that can enhance the symptoms of neuropathy. The most common include excessive drinking of alcohol, vitamin deficiencies, and liver disease. But there are certain cancers or poisons that can cause neuropathy, as well.

How Should Runners Treat Neuropathy?

It’s important to keep yourself well-conditioned. Running without properly preparing the body can result in neuropathy flare-ups. Don’t overdo it. Begin with a slow, low-impact workout routine. Pace yourself while keeping your regimen light and easy.

Can You Run With Neuropathy in Feet?

You definitely can run if you have neuropathy in your feet. You may need to plan a little more carefully, and the shoes you wear will be extra important. But it’s definitely possible—it may be healthy!

Is Running Good for Neuropathy?

Physical activity—such as running—can help to increase blood flow in the extremities, which can be good for neuropathy. The constant flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood can help to nourish and strengthen the nerve tissues.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.