Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma Reviewed
Morton’s Neuroma is a condition affecting the foot, where pressure causes a thickening of the nerves which pass under the foot between the toes, causing a neuroma. The condition can be common in runners, or anyone who consistently places pressure on the ball or toes of the feet for extended periods of time think high heels, toe runners, and ballet dancers. Those who wear tight shoes (think rock climbers, narrow toe box or pointy shoes), which constrict movement in the toes can also be affected. Even individuals with flat feet or improper sole support have the potential to develop the condition. People affected by other foot conditions such as highly flexible feet and toes, bunions, or hammertoes, can be more at risk to develop a neuroma in the foot as well.
Affected individuals may feel as though there is a small rock or piece of glass they constantly walk on, but the condition may begin simply as sensations of burning in the toes or ball of the foot, and sometimes numbness. As the condition continues to develop, these symptoms become more painful, especially when walking or on your feet all day. If you suspect this may be a condition affecting you, it will need to be diagnosed with a physician, and usually involves an x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI.
- Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
- Padded footbed
- Orthofeet Asheville
- Orthotic support
- Sanuk Vagabond
- Premium EVA footbed
So what happens when you see a medical doctor and are diagnosed with this condition? Besides physical therapy, staying off of your feet, and taking anti-inflammatories can help. There are also certain shoes and insoles you can use to help alleviate pressure in the affected area. Many times this means finding a shoe with arch support or cushion, a wide or open toe box, and a ‘zero drop’ sole. This means there is no height difference between the toe and the heel relative to each other.
Not every shoe designed for Morton’s Neuroma will have the support, comfort, and open tox boxes to suit everyone’s foot. We all have very different bone structures and arch structures, which means what works for one may be exceptionally uncomfortable for another. So in addition to your doctor’s recommendation, you may need to try several brands or styles to find one that suits you best. Here you’ll find the top ten shoes best suited for those with Morton’s Neuroma, spanning over several styles and designs.
10 Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma
1. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
Sanuk is no stranger to comfortable shoes, gaining its popularity in a brand with outdoor enthusiasts throughout the years for the ‘no shoe’, ‘natural’ feel their shoes elicit. The Yoga Sling flip-flop builds on the comfort of traditional Sanuk shoes by using a cloth strap to keep the sole firmly attached to your foot. No more blisters!
Upcycled and Versatile Fit
The sole and material used in the Yoga Sling flip-flop have been generated from upcycling old yoga mats and indoor/outdoor carpet. So you can feel good about being Eco-friendly when you purchase a pair of Sanuks! In addition, the versatility of the yoga sling flip-flop allows you to wrap the cloth in a number of ways to the foot to prevent the shoe from slipping or coming off.
Cost and Value
While lacking the arch support many other shoes do, Sanuks Yoga Sling flip-flop provides needed toe box room and cushioning that helps alleviate Morton’s Neuroma. And coming in on the lower end of the cost is ideal for those who may just be starting to have symptoms, and are trying out different shoes to suit their foot needs.
- Open toe box
- Cloth straps
- Cushioned sole
- No arch support
- Summer shoe
2. Orthofeet Asheville
Orthofeet has been the number one recommended shoe by podiatrists for over 15 years and comes as no surprise. Orthofeet commits to its customers and philosophy of making comfortable, functional shoes in a variety of styles.This style of slipper is the ultimate in functionality and cushion and is sure to wrap your feet in comfort.Believe it or not, they developed a high heel that stops heel slippage and incorporates a supportive arch in the sole. For those affected with Morton’s Neuroma that love wearing heels, this brand is a must!
There’s no getting around that after a long day, putting on a pair of warm, cushioned slippers give a sense of relaxation and relief. Orthofeet’s Asheville Slippers have patented technology to facilitate and stabilize the foot when walking. The wide toe box is ideal for Morton’s Neuroma individuals, and the interior is lined with foam and seam-free stitching. Pressure points in the foot are relieved, so going about your daily activities is easier and more attainable.
Cost and Value
For an orthotic shoe, this falls at the lower end of cost for similar items, and can’t be beaten in terms of value, durability, functionality, and comfort. Those with Morton’s Neuroma will love the supportive insole, and adjustable strap on top that allows for a snug fit to prevent the slipper from ‘falling off’.
- Trusted Brand
- Podiatrist Recommended
- Great for winter
- Not for summer wear
3. Sanuk Vagabond
Having close to a zero drop, the shoe eliminates any shifting of body weight onto the toes, allowing the full foot to distribute your weight. With it’s lightweight durability, The Vagabond can be worn just about anywhere for lightweight activity, walking, or to work, as well as year-round as the seasons change.
The Vagabond comes in different textured materials, with the same comfortable sole Sanuk has become famous for. You can walk around on a cloud in these shoe with the majority of wardrobe styles...whether it’s dressed up in slacks for work, shorts for the beach, or running errands around town before meeting your friends at happy hour.
Cost and Value
The Vagabond comes in at the lower end of the price range for those testing out footwear for a comfortable, versatile shoe with Morton’s Neuroma. With Sanuks well known Eco-friendly recyclable material, you can feel good putting your money toward this shoe!
- Low Heel Drop
- No arch support
4. Brooks Glycerin 14
The Glycerin 14’s wide toe box is surrounded by flexible, yet durable mesh, allowing your feet to breath and flatten when walking without constricting them. The mesh construction of the shoe also allows for a lighter weight sneaker, and the sleek design comes in a variety of color combinations.
Brooks Glycerin 14 is specific to runners, but those with Morton’s Neuroma may find them to be a great everyday shoe for walking, running errands, and just being active in general. The shoe has tried and true arch support and is cushioned in the heel and footbed. Your feet will feel like they can go that extra mile or walk!
Cost and Value
In terms of running sneakers and quality shoes, Brooks has an average price listed for the Glycerin 14 compared to other brands of similar style. In terms of a full shoe (as opposed to sandal or slipper) suitable for Morton’s Neuroma, it may come in a little higher cost wise, but is worth the pay off in durability, functionality, and suited to those looking for an active shoe that has the condition.
- Arch support
- Trusted Brand
- Wide Toe
5. Skechers Sport Equalizer
Skechers uses a soft and flexible mesh that covers the toe box, and rest of the show, with reinforced support around the toe box for durability. This will allow the foot to swell or flatten with activity without restriction that could compromise those affected with Morton’s Neuroma. They’ve added a gel insole to give extra support and comfort, great for light physical activity or running errands.
Many times when purchasing shoes, we aren’t sure how the fit actually is on OUR feet. With this slip-on shoe, you can rest assured it’s true to fit, especially for those with wide feet. No sizing up because the toe box is too narrow, or the material restricts how your foot shapes the shoe when wearing it. For those with Morton’s Neuroma, having a wide shoe is key to alleviating some restrictive pressure on the affected area.
Cost and Value
Quite reasonably priced compared to other similar brands and styles, Skechers delivers a solid comfort shoe, that maintains some stylish trendy attributes. So if a concern having Morton’s Neuroma for you is one where you’ll need to wear less than trendy footwear, fear no more--this shoe is for you.
- Gel Insole
- Slip on
- Mesh Toe
- Wide width
- True to fit
- Not for athletics
6. Birkenstock Arizona
Birkenstocks have long been held as a popular, durable, trendy sandal, and their design has become a classic staple in footwear. With a unique footbed design shown to help support the foot and heel, you can trust that the Birkenstock Arizona Sandal is no different. If you thought this name was just in the shoe business, think again-they are even developing sleep systems! With a company that focuses so much on designing a comfortable product to relax and enjoy, you can trust your feet with them!
Birkenstocks call to fame is the innovative footbed within the sandals. The more you walk around, the more the footbed will mold to shape your unique foot attributes. Whether you pronate, have a neutral arch or flat foot, this shoe will work to suit your individual anatomy. For those with Morton’s Neuroma, it allows the feet freedom without constrictive toe boxes, arch support, and cushion!
Cost and Value
These can tend to be on the pricier side for a pair of sandals, but you are absolutely getting your money’s worth. They come in a variety of colors, perfect for anyone, but offer the support and freedom those with sensitive feet require. Still fashionable, and functional, Birkenstocks will most likely be around as a classic staple for years to come.
- Trusted Brand
- Patented Footbed
- Great for summer
- Seasonal Shoe
7. Sanuk Fraid Not
Having a sensitive foot condition doesn’t mean skipping stylish, functional and supportive footwear. The Fraid Not Flip Flop has a canvas thong strap, suede lined food bed, and a super cushioned EVA footbed that springs back with each step. Open toe design of the shoe means no more tightness or restriction putting pressure on your toes!
Along with the EVA footbed, the Fraid Not Flip Flop has a special grippy outsole that keeps you on track. For those who may first suspect Morton’s Neuroma, these are a great option to try out and see if symptoms improve with foot sensitivity. Compared to other flip flops, it has a supportive arch, and the soft cloth stretches easily for larger feet without losing grip on the foot.
Cost and Value
Average price for a shoe, but exceeding comfort, the Fraid Not Flip Flop is a smart buy. With it’s stylish surfer look, supportive functionality, and brand name, these are perfect to step out on the town, or lounge in around the house. If you purchase, be sure to size up as they run on the small side.
- EVA footbed
- Terry Cloth strap
- Summer shoe
- Runs small
8. ECCO Fusion
ECCO boasts of unique shoe design that will fit any width of foot. Accomplished by having a generally wide toe box, complimented by a narrower heel to insole fit, it will leave toes space without slipping out of the heel when walking. The rugged leather and sole have been assessed and redesigned to withstand time, weather, and rough use, so you’ll have these shoes for quite some time!
The insole of the ECCO Fusion Casual Oxford is designed with a special foam. It controls odor and bacteria from forming with a moisture-absorbent design, and tiny holes to help air circulation and cushion. To top it off, they are removable in case you have special custom made insole you’d rather use.
Cost and Value
Pricer than most shoes on our top ten list, the ECCO Oxford is a more durable shoe, made for a business casual look. With it’s impeccable leather, it can be considered a bang for your buck when considering other leather shoes with the same noted durability, comfort, and support.
- Removable Insole
- Wide Toe
9. Vionic Agile Kea
The Vionic Agile Kea Slip-on has a breathable flexible fabric making up the shoe, with AMS technology designed by podiatrists. The shoe is lightweight, durable, with a heel tab to help slip the shoe onto your foot, and sturdy instep.
The Agile Kea comes is available in vibrant textured patterns or simple solids. They have a round toe box, so if your feet are usually a wide width, size up for Morton’s Neuroma to give your foot ample room. Arch support and heel fit are spot on, and each step feels more and more like you’re walking in bare feet. No blisters here!
Cost and Value
Comparable to other slip-on sneakers, the Vionic Agile Kea sits comfortably among other brands and styles, but you’ll have the added bonus of a podiatrist’s design when it comes to footbed, and creative colors to choose from. For those looking for an all-around shoe with Morton’s Neuroma, this one passes the test with flying colors.
- Great Value
- Podiatrist Design
- Arch Support
- Size up for fit
10. Propet Cliff Walker
Constructed with weather resistant leather and Sealtex technology to waterproof the boot, you’ll be able to wear these anywhere and everywhere. A hook and speed lace format allow easy on and off of the shoe, and the structure of the boot is made for athletic activity such as hiking. Top it off with a breathable nylon mesh fabric lining the boot, and your feet will stay dry and toasty in any rainstorm, stream crossing or waterfall walk.
Propet was designed with hard to fit feet in mind. They offer 3 different widths for their shoes, so you’ll most likely find a width suitable for your foot. Removable footbed allows for custom orthotics to be inserted, so you’ll have maximum comfort tailored to fit your feet.
Cost and Value
For a boot, with a weatherproof shell, breathable fabric, durability, and function, Propet falls in the more affordable range of options in general. Those with Morton’s Neuroma who enjoy hiking or trekking will be relieved with the exceptional value these boot list, knowing that the function of the boot is designed for comfort and support.
- Wide Width
- Removable Footbed
- Great Value
- Sole wears out quickly
Even though Morton’s Neuroma can be a painful condition, there are ways to alleviate that pain so you can function in daily life, and do the things you enjoy physically. Keeping in mind what causes the condition, tight restrictive footwear and elevated heels, there are steps you can take in order to take control of it. With the help of your doctor, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicine, and the right shoes, affected individuals can still live life to the fullest.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma
Whenever we deal with an ailment, or condition that affects us physically, there are a couple big factors that go into choosing the right products that will benefit us most effectively. One of these is the specificity of the product design, to support facilitation of normal body movement, comfort, and function. Knowing what causes Morton’s Neuroma, but more specifically, how it affects one individual versus another, are key considerations when selecting products best suited for an individual.
Key External Causes of Morton’s Neuroma
- Restrictive toe box
- Tight shoes
- Elevated Heel to Toe Height
Many fashionable shoes such as high heels, pointed toe shoes, even steel-toed boots that are too narrow, can contribute to the development of the condition. Add in sport-specific shoe types for activities such as dancing, or rock climbing which require tight fitting shoes with a narrow toe box, and the potential to develop the condition amplifies.
The other part of what could potentially cause Morton’s Neuroma is much more individual. And just as each of us is unique in our genetic makeup and our personalities, there is no exception when comes to the uniqueness of our feet. You may wear all the right shoes and still end up having a problem with this condition.
Key Individual Causes of Morton’s Neuroma
- Flat feet
- Additional foot conditions
- Foot skeletal structure
Everyone has a unique structure to their feet. Some have high, neutral, or flat arches, requiring different ranges of support. We also have very different lifestyle and fitness routines, obesity or specific physical activities play a role in the potential to develop Morton’s Neuroma.
Those who work on their feet all day, depending on what they do, could find they develop the condition. In addition, each of us has a unique skeletal makeup of our feet. Some individuals may be more prone to the condition simply because the bones of the foot lie closer to each other, causing a much narrower space for the nerves that reside there. Other foot conditions such as bunions and hammertoes also contribute and increase the potential to develop Morton’s Neuroma.
With this condition, many of the recommended characteristics of a shoe to alleviate the symptoms may sound as if you’ll need to wear slippers or sneakers all day long. And although these are great options, our lives don’t always allow for that level of comfort, especially if we attend a fancy gala, have work dress codes, or go on the occasional date night. We always want to look our best on certain occasions, and sneakers or slippers just may not cut it style wise.
Many of the brands listed above actually have a variety of styles in their shoes and are trusted brand names when it comes to fashion and trends in footwear. For our top ten, we wanted to give a variety of styles which had the right shoe attributes for those with Morton’s Neuroma. From slippers, sandals, sneakers, work shoes and boots, there are styles out there for everyone, even with sensitive feet that may need a little extra support and care. It all depends on your needs and style preferences.
Now, does this mean you can’t wear that fun strappy pair of red kitten heel sandals you just bought, or the classy leather oxfords with the sharp block toe? Not necessarily, but you should pay attention to how your feet feel when wearing them. What it does mean, is that you need to choose your shoe selection, style, size, and support more carefully, and decide which are best for your condition. As an example, many individuals may require safety shoes for work, such as in construction, and will need reinforced shoe structure that may cause restriction or tightness. Using this example, a work boot with a steel or reinforced toe is needed, but we look for brands with wide toe boxes, a minimal heel, and ample arch support. If no wide width is available, see if sizing up helps open up room in the toe box to alleviate the pressure from a reinforced or steel toe box.
What to look for in a shoe if you suspect Morton’s Neuroma
- Zero drop:
This means that between the elevation of the heel to toe there is minimal or zero elevation.
- Arch support:
All styles of shoe depending on the brand will come with some sort of arch support. Look for shoes with a sturdy, cushioned arch for support, or shoes that have removable insoles so you can easily replace them with custom orthotics.
- Wide or open toe box:
If you measure the width of the foot on top, starting from the edge of the big toe joint to the side of the small toe joint, this is your foot width. Try to find a shoe that is a bit wider than this measurement. When we walk, the feet flatten and expand, and wider toe boxes help alleviate any undue restriction when on our feet.
- Toe Separation:
Sometimes having a shoe that separates the toes, like Wellrox or Vibram five fingers, is enough to reduce pressure on the nerve between the toes that causes Morton’s Neuroma.
What to Avoid in a shoe if you suspect Morton’s Neuroma
- Elevated heels:
High or Elevated heels place pressure onto the forefront of the foot and toes. This can cause further irritation of the affected area.
- Minimal Arch support:
Again, shoes with minimal or no arch support require your foot to work harder to support your weight, causing more pressure placed on the ball and heel of the foot.
- Tight, pointed, or restrictive toe box:
Many fashionable styles of shoes come with pointed toes, oval or rounded toe boxes. Other shoes, such as safety footwear, may not allow for the flattening of the pad of the foot, usually from steel-toed, or shoes with constrictive side materials. If you must wear safety footwear, size up or find a shoe with a wider toe box.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does Morton’s Neuroma develop?
A: Morton’s Neuroma develops when the nerve between two toe bones is inflamed and irritated due to constriction or pressure, which restricts the nerve. This causes the nerve to thicken, causing injury and swelling. Nerve damage can occur if left untreated, or with continued irritation. In general, Morton’s Neuroma is also referred to as “Morton’s Metatarsalgia”, to avoid any confusion between the condition as nerve injury and swelling vs. development of a tumor.
Q: Will Morton’s Neuroma go away on its own?
A: Most likely if developed, this condition is one where symptoms will not go away if left untreated. The best course of action, if you suspect you have symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma, is to see your podiatrist for an evaluation. Wearing less constrictive footwear without heels, and with proper arch support and open toe boxes can alleviate the pain, but symptoms may tend to come and go, even with these adjustments.
Q: What do I do to treat a neuroma if I suspect I have one?
A: A few things you can check yourself to see if you could potentially have Morton’s Neuroma are:
- Check your footwear–try to avoid wearing pointy, tight or shoes with an elevated heel.
- Ice the area for 10-15 minutes to try and help reduce inflammation and swelling of the nerve.
- If possible, take an anti-inflammatory to alleviate inflammation.
- If possible, try to rest your feet as much as possible.
- Relax the nerves of the foot with a gentle massage or stretching.
Q: I’ve tried treating the symptoms myself, but haven’t noticed much difference. What do I do now?
A: If your symptoms persist, or you don’t notice any reasonable difference in pain, it’s best to seek advice and help from a podiatrist. Check your local listings, set an appointment, and keep doing what you can to reduce inflammation of the nerve that could cause Morton’s Neuroma. Stronger medical treatments are available but require a physician’s diagnosis and advice.
Q: What other treatments are there for Morton’s Neuroma I can ask my podiatrist about?
A: Thanks to advancement in medical practice, there are other treatments available with the help of your doctor’s guidance. These may include:
- Corticosteroid Injection
- Radiofrequency Ablation
- Neurolytic Ablation
- Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
- Prescription Medications