Best Running Shoes For Morton’s Neuroma: Run Away From Pain – In Style

When a sharp pain starts cutting your runs short – or prevents you from running altogether, as Morton’s neuroma often does – you know it’s time to do something about it.

And while treatment is your best bet, it takes time.

In the meantime, though, you should focus your attention on finding the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma!

Let’s check out what the market has to offer together! 

More...

Morton’s Neuroma: What Could Be Causing This Painful Condition?

mortons neuroma cross section used gradient

Faced with a sudden pain in the ball of the foot – the most common symptom of Morton’s neuroma – people always ask the same question:

Why me?

Well, I feel like it's important to know that certain factors put you at risk for developing this painful condition:

  • Being overweight;
  • Having flat feet ;
  • Constantly wearing high-heeled or very narrow, tight shoes;
  • Previous injuries or traumas to the foot;
  • Pre-existing abnormalities in the foot anatomy;
  • Overstraining the ball of the foot by specific types of exercise, such as running.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they all seem to have one thing in common:

The constant, often extreme pressure exerted on foot, and particularly the nerve.

Now, here’s the thing:

The continued compression and irritation will force the nerve between your third and fourth toe to develop extra fibrous tissue, and become enlarged and inflamed – and that, my friends, is how you end up with this condition, also known as an intermetatarsal neuroma.

A Quick Symptom Checklist: Is It Morton’s Neuroma? 

The tricky thing about Morton’s neuroma is that it often has no outward, visible symptoms.

There won’t be any apparent bruises, lumps, or swelling, so you’re going to have to listen to what your body’s telling you.

There’s a chance that your condition is entirely asymptomatic, too, and, as such, went unnoticed up until now.

What are you supposed to do?

Well, paying attention to the ongoing sensations and going by what you feel could be your best bet:

  • Intermittent pain is the most apparent symptom of Morton’s neuroma;
  • A tingling sensation between your toes is the first symptom you’re likely to experience first;
  • Feeling like there’s something inside the ball of your foot;
  • A sharp, "burning" sensation in the forefoot that radiates towards your toes
  • Feeling like there’s a pebble in your shoe and you’re standing on it or that your sock is bunched-up;
  • Numbness – or "pins and needles" – in the affected toes 
  • Difficulty walking – and running – due to the pain
Disclaimer

While I’m confident in the validity of the facts provided in this article, I’m not a medical professional – if you’re experiencing any unusual (or painful) sensations in your foot, the best course of action would be talking to your health provider and get it checked out as soon as possible.

How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For The Job: A Detailed Buying Guide

various pairs colorful sneakers laid on wooden table

How do you go about finding the perfect pair, though?

Keep on reading and find out!

Choose The Right Size 

Okay, I know this falls into the "common knowledge" category, but I think you’d be surprised at how often people end up buying wrong size shoes.

Chances are you’ve done it at least once in your life, too.

And while it’s a bad idea in general – ill-fitting shoes always bring on more harm than good – when you’re suffering from Morton’s neuroma, buying the right size should be your top priority.

That said, don’t make the mistake of focusing solely on getting the length right – shoe width matters, as well!

EXTRA TIP

If you're having any doubts about the exact shoe size you should be wearing, get your feet measured by a professional, and buy shoes according to that evaluation.

Oh, and don’t freak out if your feet turn out to be two entirely different sizes.

It’s shocking discovery, I’d give you that, but it’s quite common – most people have feet that differ in size!

Give Your Toes Enough Space 

The next thing you should consider – and it’s closely related to the shoe’s overall fit – is the size (and the shape) of the toe box.

A good rule of thumb for choosing the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma is to go with a roomy toe box.

Not only does that give your toes some much-needed space to spread out and lay comfortably flat but reduces the pressure on your forefoot, as well.

If the toe box is pointy, triangle-shaped or narrow, stay away from them – these shoes will bring you nothing but pain and suffering.

Cushioning Absorbs The Shock 

Okay, let’s get one thing straight:

As someone with a rather painful foot condition, you can’t afford to skip out on cushioning.

Its role goes beyond pure comfort, too.

A well-cushioned shoe will also absorb the landing surface's impact, and, as you know, shock absorption is critical for protecting your feet.

That said, you have to make sure that the padding is adequately distributed - cushioning around the heel is always welcome, but the focus should be on the forefoot area. 

Having a layer of padding underneath the ball of your foot is essential to prevent further nerve irritation.

EXTRA TIP

Overdoing it is a bad idea, though – this is one of those "too much of the good thing" situations. 

So, aim to find that "middle ground" – no cushioning is just as bad as  too much of it. 

There’s research to support the claim that high levels of cushioning could lead to an increased risk of injury in runners.

Heel Drop: Low To None 

Okay, pay close attention, because this is one of those critical factors you have to consider when picking the best running shoes for Morton's neuroma.

Everything else can be perfect, but if the heel-to-toe differential is too high, it won’t matter – the shoes will end up being uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing:

The higher the heel, the more pressure you'll put on your forefoot – and that's something you should avoid at all costs when you're suffering from Morton's neuroma. 

A good rule of thumb is to go with a heel drop of four millimeters or less. No differential would be ideal, though, but you’ll probably have to work your way up to zero-drop running shoes.

Best Running Shoes For Morton’s Neuroma: Top 5 Models & In-Depth Reviews 

Running with Morton’s neuroma doesn’t have to end up being "mission impossible" – as long as you have the right shoes for the job, you’re pretty much good to go. 

On that note, here are my in-depth reviews of the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma currently available on the market!

1. Altra Men's Torin 3 Athletic Shoe

Zero Drop And Cushioning, The Perfect Combo
Altra Men's Torin 3 Athletic Shoe

Source: Amazon.com

What better way to show you what the market has to offer when it comes to the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma than with one of my personal favorites, right?


Anyway, if you owned a pair of Altra athletic shoes in the past, you already know what to expect regarding their overall feel and comfort.


The zero-drop platform, the responsive, lightweight cushioning, and the roomy FootShape toe box are all there to keep you comfortable, and to encourage natural foot positioning and proper running form.


There’s one thing that’s new and improved, though – the FootPod outsoles allow for natural flexibility, rather than a constricted feel.


However, they are known for causing an occasional blister or two.


It’s not that the shoes are uncomfortable – because they most certainly are – but I think it’s all that extra room in the toe box that’s causing all the commotion. 


If you want to play it safe, stick to short-distance runs with these. Marathons are out of the question – unless you want to end up with blisters, that is.


The sizes run small, though, so be sure to take that into account.

Pros

  • An ample amount of cushioning;
  • They feature a fully cushioned zero-drop platform;
  • The FootShape toe box is quite roomy;
  • They have a responsive, lightweight feel;
  • They help maintain natural foot positioning;
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • It may cause blisters during longer runs;
  • The sizes run small.

2. Brooks Ghost 9 Women's Running Shoes

The Perfect Choice For The Neutral Runner
Brooks Ghost 9 Women's Running Shoes

Source: Amazon.com

Okay, here’s one for my female readers – and fellow runners – out there:


The Brooks Ghost 9, one of the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma – as far as women’s athletic shoes go, that is.


Now, I couldn’t try these on myself for obvious reasons, but I had a friend of mine put them to the test, and here’s what she told me:


The toe box is quite broad, which came as a surprise given the fact that women’s shoes are known for their narrowness.


Plus, the entire forefoot area is lightly cushioned – perfect for a cozy in-shoe feel.


And let’s not forget the full-length Crash Pad that accommodates to your foot landing.


I hear it’s going to make your transitions a whole lot smoother, too.


All in all, my friend’s overall impression was that these shoes were made with the runner’s comfort in mind.


There’s one thing I noticed right off the bat, though – the 12 mm heel-to-toe differential seems to be slightly too high for someone coping with Morton’s neuroma.


You could find it beneficial if you’re a heel striker, though, so keep that in mind when you make the final decision.

Pros

  • Light cushioning and grip in the forefoot area;
  • The Omega Flex Grooves enhance natural forefoot movement;
  • The toe box is wide;
  • The Crash Pad allows for a smoother landing;
  • The tongue and collar have a plush feel.

Cons

  • The heel drop could be lower.

3. Altra Men's One 2.5 Running Shoe

The Best Budget-Friendly Running Shoes
Altra Men's One 2.5 Running Shoe

Source: Amazon.com

By now, you probably think there’s no way you’ll find an affordable pair of shoes that will give your aching feet the relief they deserve – but Altra’s here to prove you wrong!


And I know you’re probably thinking:


What can I expect from running shoes that are this affordable?


Well, first off all, they’re surprisingly comfortable.


The responsive cushioning protects your feet, while the InnerFlex midsole adapts to them.


Pair that with a ZeroDrop platform – that’s right, there’s no heel-to-toe differential – and you get a pair of perfectly balanced shoes that will help you maintain low-impact form.


Most importantly, though, the toe box is foot-shaped, which should give your toes plenty of room to wiggle around and relax.


Now, I won't sugarcoat it for you – there are some issues you should consider.


The toe overlay isn’t their most comfortable feature. It tends to press on your big toe, which could cause some fit issues, even if you pick the right size.


I feel like durability might be a problem, too. The soles wear out pretty quickly, which could be a problem, especially for long-distance runners.

Pros

  • They feature a ZeroDrop platform;
  • They help maintain low-impact form;
  • The Foot-Shaped toe box is quite spacious;
  • Responsive cushioning protects your feet;
  • The midsole adapts to your foot thanks to InnerFlex technology;
  • Very affordable.

Cons

  • The soles wear out quickly;
  • The toe overlay might cause fit issues.

4. New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v6 Running Shoe

In It For The Long Run
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v6 Running Shoe

Source: Amazon.com

Who said athletic shoes have to be unattractive?


With the ombré fade, the mash overlay, and the attractive pattern on the sides, the New Balance Fresh Foam shoes are every female runner’s dream!


They’re not all looks, though:


First and foremost, the roomy toe box will give your toes plenty of space to spread out, instead of cramping them up – and you know how important that is when you’re suffering from Morton’s neuroma.


Moreover, the Fresh Foam midsoles not only provide stability but ensure that all the impact gets absorbed – even on rough terrain.


If you’re a fan of long-distance running, these shoes might be your new best friend!


And while the mesh overlay is one of the things that make these shoes look and feel so cool, sadly, it’s their biggest downfall, as well:


All the extra breathability is more than welcome during the summer, but I can’t imagine these being your go-to running shoes for cold, winter months.


They’re too "airy" to keep your feet warm.


Also, keep in mind that the sizes do run a bit small before you place your order!

Pros

  • The toe box is quite roomy;
  • They have a reasonably low heel drop;
  • The Fresh Foam midsole helps absorb the impact;
  • The mesh upper keeps your feet cool;
  • They’re surprisingly lightweight.

Cons

  • Not suitable for cold weather;
  • The sizes run a bit small.

5. Hoka One One Mens Bondi 5 Running Shoe

For A Smooth And Cushioned Stride
Hoka One One Mens Bondi 5 Running Shoe

Source: Amazon.com

Right off the bat, I could tell that these were going to be comfortable – and there are a couple of reasons why:


First off, the Meta-Rocker midsoles lend them their curved profile.


Pair that with a low heel drop, and you get a pair of running shoes that pretty much feel like a rocking chair – but for your feet.


It may sound weird, but it guides your feet through the natural gait cycle!


Secondly, they feature an ample amount of cushioning.


The tongue is padded, and the Ortholite insoles ensure that your forefoot area feels comfortably plush, which, as you know, plays an essential role in pain relief.


On top of that, the strategically placed Zonal rubber lends the outsoles some much-needed durability.


Don't worry about the shoes giving up before you do!


Now, as you can probably imagine, all these fantastic, comfort-oriented features come at a certain price – and it’s not an affordable one, either.


Do I think they’re overpriced, though?


Well, not really. You do get what you paid for – one of the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma currently available on the market!

Pros

  • The Ortholite insoles provide extra cushioning;
  • The sole profile is comfortably curved;
  • The Meta-Rocker midsole offers a low heel-to-toe profile;
  • The 3D Print structure ensures a precise fit;
  • They’re lightweight, yet cushioned;
  • The Zonal Rubber Outsole seems very durable.

Cons

  • They’re quite expensive.

6. ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 6 Running Shoes

Bona Fide Quality Running Shoes
ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 6 Running Shoes

Source: Amazon.com

Another pick for all the ladies out there comes from Asics, a famous brand when it comes to footwear for running.

This pair is one of those models that show you don’t have to compromise to have everything - comfort, performance, and a tempting price tag.

The features that make them the bona fide running shoes are the rubber sole enhanced with the AmpliFoam Midsole that adds to the overall density and comfort. It is this part of the shoe that accounts for the perfect adjustment to your feet.

Another factor utilized to protect you from conditions such as Morton’s Neuroma is the Rearfoot Gel Technology.

What precisely does this technology deliver?

Well, while you’re running and your weight is shifting from the lower part of your foot to the upper, this gel enables a smooth transitioning.


Basically, it reduces the pressure on your toes and creates a stable support for your feet.

Inside these running shoes, the Ortholite insoles ensure breathable and soft experience due to the Ortholite foam.

You’ve probably seen a lot of running shoes by Asics. Visually, these are no different - they are as fancy as models from some other brands, but they are pleasant on the eye.

It is the inside that counts and makes them one of the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma!

Pros

  • The Ortholite cushioning;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Smooth transition of your stance;
  • Effective moisture management.

Cons

  • Not as durable as some other picks.

7. ASICS Men's Gel-Excite 6 Twist Running Shoes

Best Budget-friendly Athlete’s Friend
ASICS Men's Gel-Excite 6 Twist Running Shoes

Source: Amazon.com

Another ode to Asics goes for their Men’s 6 Twist running shoe model.

The signature of this model is pretty similar to the previous model for ladies.

What protects you and prevents any further injuries is the Rearfoot GEL Technology incorporated into the cushioning.


You can thank this technology for a smooth transition when you’re running, and no pressure on your toes.

The breathable mesh overlays provide a moisture-free experience, and the Ampli Foam midsole incorporated into the structure of these shoes allows your foot to hit the ground without any pronation.

I already went over the Ortholite technology, and by now, you are undoubtedly familiar with it.


But what is essential is not only that it is implemented, but also how it is used. 


Namely, Asics uses Ortholite sock liners with foam padded mesh to create the most beneficial shoe for athletes and physically active people.

One thing I want to mention with these is that you should probably size up because the fit is a bit tight.

I’m always honest to you - while these shoes are really functional and comfortable, they lack a bit in the durability department.


The material won’t sustain harsh weather conditions (rain, slush, snow), but that’s something that shouldn’t be a problem for such a bargain.

Pros

  • Sweatproof technology;
  • Removes the pressure from your toes;
  • Supportive & flexible sole;
  • Low price;
  • Easy to wash.

Cons

  • Not suitable for rain.

Final Thoughts

athlete running sport feet on trail healthy lifestyle fitness

Okay, you made it to the end, which means it’s time for me to announce the winners. That’s right, plural – one for the ladies, and one for the gents!

I would recommend the New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v6 Running Shoe to any female runner out there dealing with this painful foot condition. 

The guys, on the other hand, would probably find the Altra Men's Torin 3 Athletic Shoe to be the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma

I’m interested in hearing what you have to say about it, though, so feel free to drop a comment below!

Matt C.
 

Hi, I’m Matt, the man behind Empower Your Run. There's nothing quite like crossing your first finish line, and I hope one day you'll get the chance to experience that for yourself. Remember – “if you can walk, you can run” – and I'll be here guiding you every step of the way!