Best Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is one of the few running conditions that can be readily treated while you continue to train. That being said, many people hesitate when they find out that they will need to change out their running shoes to help manage their discomfort. It can seem impossible to find the right shoe, but if you know what basic items that you need to look for when buying these replacement shoes, it can make it much more likely that you will get the right shoes for your needs.

Shoes that can help treat Morton’s Neuroma will need to offer you the following things: a stiffer shank, a wider toe box, zero drop, and correct arch support. This balance of features will work together to make sure that your feet get the protection they need from stress and strain while they are healing.

If you are ready to learn more about what you need to look for in a running shoe to help with Morton’s Neuroma, read on!

The Key Features You Need When Running With Morton’s Neuroma

If you are ready to learn about the features that your new shoes need to have to help manage your pain and discomfort, this list will help guide you. These are the factors that are needed to make sure that your feet will be able to heal without limiting your training. Without the proper adjustments to your shoes, you will find that it can be hard to improve your discomfort.

One of the things that you need to be aware of when you are thinking about how to manage your Morton’s Neuroma, is that the condition will likely need lifelong management and support. This means that the shoes that you pick for this need are going to need to be a long-term solution for your running needs. You should not view the shoes that you pick as a temporary solution for this need.

1.  A Stiffer Shank

The stiffness of the webbing and support in the sole of the shoe can make a big difference in your comfort when you have Morton’s Neuroma. Morton’s Neuroma is caused by excessive flexion in the forefoot which can be made worse by a traditional shoe with flexible soles. One of the biggest benefits of a stiffer shank in your running shoe is that it will prevent excess flexion of your foot.

There are not as many running shoes that meet this requirement as you might think, but they are out there. You will want a flat sole that does not bend and flex readily if you want to take care of your Morton’s Neuroma.

2.  A Wider Toe Box

When you run in shoes that are too narrow at the toes, your feet will be pressed into a smaller space. When your toes are not allowed to spread out correctly during each footfall, the pressure can lead to the bones rubbing against one another.

Shoes that are made with a toe box that is close to the same width as the heel portion of the shoe will be much more likely to care for the needs of your forefoot when you are running. You will want to make sure that you are looking at shoes that also do not have stiff plastic caps on the toes as well. This material can lead to a reduction of the space at the ends of your toes.

3.  Zero Drop

Zero drop shoes can be the perfect solution for your Morton’s Neuroma pain. These shoes are made to make sure that your foot stays perfectly flat when you are running. Zero drop shoes do not have the usual slight rise in the heel portion of the shoe. This means that your foot will stay perfectly flat as you run through each stride.

Zero Drop shoes are also usually much stiffer and have a wider toe box than traditional running shoes. You can usually get all of the right features that you need in one shoe from Zero Drop shoes. This can be a one-stop purchase for your Morton’s Neuroma management needs.

4.  Correct Arch Support

The arch support in your shoe needs to help make sure that your foot does not rotate or rock back and forth. You should feel like the shoes are slightly snug right at the midpoint but not so tight that your feet cannot move at all. You will want the bottom of the shoe to feel like it is in constant contact with your foot as you move.

Good arch support will make sure that your feet are not slipping around as you run. You will also get the benefit of a really flat and balanced foot as you run when there is proper arch support in your shoes.

5.  The Right Materials

Most of the shoes that you will want to look at for your Morton’s Neuroma management will have a quality rubber sole for your base. You will also want to look at mesh shoes that offer room for your toes and you should make sure that the back of the heel is not soft enough that your foot can roll side to side.

The insole inside the shoe will need to be made of a stiffer material and it cannot include a gel. Gel insoles will lead to foot flexion as well as foot shifting. You want a stripped-down shoe that is made for stability and not for cushion.

  • •   Insole Material: Orthotic insoles that are made to be semi-rigid are your best choice for this part of your shoe. You will want to avoid gel inserts as well as gel heel segments in your inserts. The insole should have subtle arch support as well, although if you have high arches you might need large arch supports to keep the insole in contact with the bottom of your foot.

  • •   Upper Material: Make sure that the uppers that wrap around your feet are mesh or another soft material. This will help keep your foot from being squeezed too tightly on the sides and can prevent impingement of the toes. Most running shoes are already made with mesh uppers these days but you should avoid the ultra-thin styles as they can lead to excessing bunching and tugging.

  • •   Toe Box Material: Make sure that the toe box area of the upper and the inside of the shoe are not made of different materials than the rest of the shoe. You should avoid shoes that have plastic or rubberized toe caps as this can press your toes into one another readily. The interior part of your toe box should not be made in a different way than the rest of the insole so that your foot will not flex too much as you run.

  • •   Sole Material: The sole of your shoe should be made of durable and slightly rigid rubber. Look for shoes that offer full-width shank stability and avoid shoes that offer mid-foot flexion technology or materials. You will want to have a shoe that is made of the same stable base material from heel to toe to prevent your foot from flexing as you run.

 

PRODUCT REVIEWS

The Best Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma

If you have been worried about how to manage your pain and discomfort once you have been diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma, you need to consider switching out your shoes. Picking the right shoe with the correct design and materials will help you greatly in treating and managing your condition.

This is not a condition that will be likely to happen once and then go away for good. This is usually a running condition that is caused by the native function of your foot. This means that your feet will need long-term support from the correct kind of shoes to avoid further injury. Investing in quality shoes will make it much easier to support your comfort and heal your feet.

Morton’s Neuroma can be managed quite effectively with changes to your training routine and after care, and picking up the right running shoes for your needs can be a key part of your training adjustments.

MEN’s

Orthofeet Men’s Lava Running Shoe

This shoe was released on October 22, 2019, and is made by Orthofeet, Inc. It has an average rating of 4.3 on Amazon and is popular for its innovative pain relief technology that is perfect for many foot conditions. This is a quality men’s shoe that comes in black and grey. The orthotics portion of the shoe is standard for each color.

Orthofeet Lava Sneaker - Best running shoe for morton's neuroma

This shoe is perfect for your Morton’s Neuroma pain because of the anatomical arch support, the cushioning foam, and the stable footbed with lots of support from heel to toe. The design of this shoe is excellent for supporting your foot health and the balance of a flat sole with good balance and excellent arch support can help make your feet comfortable and pain-free. This is a well-balanced shoe with lots of room in the toe box as well, which is perfect for people who are suffering from pain due to their toes being pressed together.

This shoe is targeted a little more at heel pain than might be needed for some people and the shoe could have a more level footbed for those with flatter feet or Morton’s Neuroma that is mostly impacted by foot flexion. It can be hard to pair Morton’s Neuroma footwear up with the needs of high arches, however, and this shoe offers the right kind of support for those with higher arches in their feet. There might be better shoes for flatter feet but this is a great shoe for higher arches and Morton’s Neuroma pain.

Some people critique the appearance of this shoe as well as the price. There are no complaints about the performance of the shoe when it comes to managing pain, however. There might be more attractive shoes on this list, but this shoe offers you all of the right function and support for your pain management needs. At the end of the day, you need to worry more about treating your discomfort than how your shoe looks, but you might want to look at some of the more attractive shoes on this list.

PROS

  • ✅    Comfortable and solid footed
  • ✅    Great arch support
  • ✅    Durable and well-designed

 

CONS

  • X    Not the most attractive shoe
  • X    Price point slightly high
  • X    Few color options

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MEN’s

Xero Shoes Lightweight Barefoot Drop Shoe

This shoe is a really nice zero drop option that was first sold in February of 2018. The shoe is made by Xero brand and has an overall rating of 4.4 on Amazon. This is a great men’s shoe that was made primarily for trail running but it can be used for Morton’s Neuroma pain with ease as well. This shoe comes in many colors and a full range of sizes all the way up to size 15. This is an unusual feature for this kind of shoe as many of the brands that make this shoe do not make quite large sizes.

Zero drop shoes are made to treat Morton’s Neuroma and this shoe offers a stable and level footbed and sole. This is a durable shoe that offers a naturally balanced toe box to keep your toes separated and comfortable as you run.

Xero Shoes Lightweight Barefoot Drop Shoe - Best running shoes for morton's neuroma

Your toes will not be pinched by the uppers and you will enjoy the stable support and truly comfortable interior design of the shoe. There are few shoes that are so lightweight and yet so comfortable and stable. This can be a huge benefit for your foot flexion needs to help make sure that your foot is level all the way through each stride.

This shoe is a lot more like a natural foot shoe without the unique toe separation. This might not be the right fit of shoe for someone with high arches but it can be perfect for those with foot flexion pain and for people with narrow heels. You will get a secure and stable fit with this shoe and you will love how connected you feel with the road or the running trail. This shoe is tough enough for trail running as well as road running and you will like that the exterior is attractive at the same time. Super lightweight shoes are often the answer for this condition so long as the sole support is as it should be for the condition.

This is a really balanced shoe that offers all the right features and benefits for the care of your foot pain. You will be glad that you invested in this quality shoe when you see how well it can manage your condition.

PROS

  • ✅  Huge size range offered
  • ✅  Quality toe box support
  • ✅  Stable footbed with zero drop design
 

CONS

  • X    Not as good as some shoes for high arches
  • X    Might run too narrow for some feet
  • X    Trail running design versus road running design

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MEN’s

Merrel Men’s Trail Glove 5

Merell has been making this shoe since January of 2019 and it comes in a full range of sizes as well as lots of great colors. It is well-rated at 4.4 of 5 on Amazon and it is popular for its durable, yet zero drop bottom sole. This shoe offers a great supportive upper as well as a balanced and sturdy sole for your Morton’s Neuroma needs. This is a really nice shoe that is made for all kinds of foot pain needs and you will be glad that you chose this shoe when you see how well it performs. 

Merrel Men’s Trail Glove 5 - Best running shoe for morton's neuroma

This shoe comes in many colors and sizes. You will get the right flexible upper to keep your foot from being pinched and you will love that the custom fit will keep your foot from sliding around as you run. This is a shoe with a nice blend of all of the features of a traditional sneaker and the comfortable design of a lightweight zero drop shoe.

This shoe is breathable and comfortable on your feet and it is made to take care of a balanced stride as well as being durable enough for your needs on the trails or flat roads. Being able to lace this shoe properly for the support on the top of your foot will allow you to keep a narrow foot even more stable as you run. These shoes will not pinch or stretch out as you use them and you will get the same great fit each time you put them on.

This is a great shoe choice for those who feel the concussion of the ground too intensely in traditional lightweight shoe styles. This can be a factor when you have very flat feet as well as Morton’s Neuroma and this shoe can handle both kinds of discomfort. While this is not as attractive of a shoe as some of the other shoes of this type, it will take care of all of your supportive running needs and you will get great support for your narrow heel or your narrow and flat feet.

PROS

  • ✅  Soft and cushioned feel provided by the quality footbed
  • ✅  Well designed upper
  • ✅  Great for trails or flat roads
 

CONS

  • X    Not as stylish as some shoes
  • X    Might be too soft in the sole for some uses
  • X    Does not provide support for high arches

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WOMEN’s

Joomra Women’s Barefoot Zero Drop Shoe

This zero-drop style shoe is made by Joomra and was first released in May of 2021. It is rated a 4.4 on Amazon and comes in many great colors and pattern options. This shoe offers a quality footbed that connects you with the trail and with a level and stable foot no matter what surface you are running over. This model of shoe has the added benefit of being really attractive and fun due to the many great colors and design options that are available.

Best Running Shoes for Morton's Neuroma - Joomra Women’s Barefoot Zero Drop Shoe

This shoe is a great choice to help you to treat and manage your foot pain related to your Morton’s Neuroma. You will get the right zero-drop foot support that helps prevent excessing flexion and the quality footbed support will keep your toes separated and in the right place for comfortable training. You will love that this shoe has a nice breathable upper as well as a supporting mid-sole support band that wraps over the top of the foot.

This is a great shoe to pick if you have a narrow heel or a narrow foot and struggle to achieve the right foot support that is needed for stable running. You will also get the benefits of a really lightweight shoe with this option without suffering from an accompanying lack of support or structure. This shoe holds up really well to use and you will find that the shoes feel broken in as soon as they come out of the box. There are not many running shoes that are sold at this price point that will take care of your needs for pain management and quality footbed support.

PROS

  • ✅   Really attractive shoe
  • ✅   Quality footbed
  • ✅   Lightweight feel
  • ✅  Great for narrow feet and heels

 

CONS

  • X    Some users do not like the model with the added Velcro strap
  • X    Can be too lightweight for some running uses
  • X    Not ideal for wide feet
  • X    Not as ideal for tough trail running as they are for flat surface running

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WOMEN’s

New Balance V1 Cross Trainer

This is a really nice shoe that is made by a well-recognized brand. It comes in numerous colors and is offered in a full range of sizes. The shoe was first released on January 15 or 2021 and has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon. New Balance makes many really nice quality shoes that are perfect for cross-training as well as running use.

 

Best Running Shoes for Morton's Neuroma - New Balance V1 Cross Trainer

The rubber sole and quality midsole are made for added stability and help control the rotation and flexion of your foot. This is a really great shoe to pick if you are struggling with flexible feet related to your pain and discomfort. You will get one of the most stable running experiences with this shoe on your side and you will not have to sacrifice comfort or the lightness of the shoe while you are gaining these benefits. It is not common to be able to get this level of support without having to compromise on the rest of the construction of the shoe, but you can count on this shoe to keep your foot in the proper position no matter what you are up to.

This is a shoe that was made specifically to allow for ventilation through the stable and secure upper and you will find that the lack of constriction is really effective at keeping the top of your foot comfortable even on long or hot runs. The stable and durable base of this shoe makes it a great choice for almost any kind of running that you want to engage in. As an added benefit, the cupping and supportive ankle enclosure will keep your ankle stable when working out in various ways.

The unique TPU-infused design of this shoe allows you to get the right flex and support during each moment of each step. You will not find a shoe with a better midsole and arch support than this one without causing the kind of heel-to-toe balance that makes the pressure on the toes worse. Very few mesh shoes have the ability to support your feet the right way when you are struggling with Morton’s Neuroma, but this shoe will take care of all of your needs and more.

PROS

  • ✅    Lightweight shoe
  • ✅    Great midsole support
  • ✅    Stable on all kinds of terrain
  • ✅    Quality mesh upper

 

CONS

  • X    Can fit a bit snugly for some people’s comfort at the midsole
  • X    Not made for high arches
  • X    Runs too narrow for some wide feet
  • X    Some people prefer a more open ankle area of the shoe

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WOMEN’s

Merrell Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

This shoe was released in February of 2019 and comes in a few colors and a full range of sizes. This is a shoe that has a 4.4 on Amazon and you can enjoy a quality sole as well as a fun design with this shoe. This shoe has a comfortable sole in the interior as well and is made with specifically crafted materials that help fight odors.

 

Best Running Shoes for Morton's Neuroma - Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

This shoe is a great choice for wider feet that need support for Morton’s Neuroma. The mesh upper offers quality support as well as a good balance for the sturdy and elastic sole support. The shank of the shoe is a nylon arch shank and you will get a more open ankle support with this shoe to help you if you prefer this for your heel support. The mesh lining and the mesh upper do not make you sacrifice support for stability and you will love that you can get the benefit of the quality Vibram sole with this shoe.

The lace design of this shoe helps to keep the shoe from slipping around on your foot and you will love that you can count on the right blend of support and comfort from this shoe. This is a quality shoe with a quality footbed that will hold up to your needs in all kinds of terrain. You can even run on a treadmill in superior comfort when you are wearing this shoe, which is not always the case with shoes that are made for Morton’s Neuroma or to offer a glove-like feel and fit.

There are things to critique about this shoe, and the lack of color choices can be one of those things. They are also not a perfect fit for narrow feet as the heel offers some more room and the toe box might be a bit wide for some runners. The molded fit offers superior foot support and construction when compared to other designs but you will find that you might still prefer a narrow upper and heel if you have very narrow feet. This is a shoe that offers a set of design features that are multi-functional and that will keep you in superior comfort every time that you take them out to train.

PROS

  • ✅     Supportive nylon shank
  • ✅     Nice mesh upper
  • ✅     Made with TPU upper and traditional lace closure
  • ✅     Good for wide feet

 

CONS

  • X    Might not fit narrow feet as well as other shoes on this list
  • X    Barefoot construction inside the shoe might offer too much arch support for flat feet
  • X    Would be nice if it came in more colors
  • X    Could have more cushion for some terrain challenges
 

Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 4 Sneaker

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Frequently Asked Questions

As I was looking through and testing the best running shoes for Morton’s Neuroma, I stumbled across a handful of questions other interested buyers seemed to be asking. So, just in case you have the same questions I have listed them out here and provided my answers for you.

Behind each question is a more in depth account if you’d like extra context. I hope you find these useful. 

1. Can I Run With Morton’s Neuroma?

Many people are confused as to whether they can run with Morton’s Neuroma, and the good news is that if you do then it is not likely to cause permanent damage to your feet. However, you should avoid ignoring this condition and still take it easy to prevent long-term discomfort.

Physical therapy and other treatment modalities can help to provide lasting relief when this condition has begun to cause you severe pain. Working with a doctor can help diagnose this condition correctly and increase the likelihood that you will get the proper supportive care you need to treat Morton’s Neuroma effectively.

Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that occurs when the nerve between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal bones becomes inflamed. This condition can be caused by shoes that are too narrow for your feet or do not offer enough longitudinal support. It can also be caused by a very flexible foot that needs some extra support.

Treating Morton’s Neuroma often involves changing out your shoes for more supportive ones, adding a met pad to your shoes, or changing your training plan to help your feet heal.

2. How To Run With Morton’s Neuroma.

Knowing how to run with Morton’s Neuroma requires a balance of after-run care, new shoes, and a change to your running plan. Many people can manage the pain of this condition by purchasing shoes with a stiffer shank and the insertion of a met pad in their shoes.

You might also have good luck simply by icing your feet after each run and reducing your mileage each week. Some runners can better manage the condition by replacing their cardio work with other activities that do not stress their feet.

Running with Morton’s Neuroma is often possible so long as you are willing to take management of the condition seriously. Many people struggle with this condition until they make the proper adjustments. Committing to the management of this condition can make all the difference in your long-term running health. This condition can be curable for many people, but it will likely continue to be an issue without proper management.

3. How Do You Treat Morton’s Neuroma in Runners?

Treating Morton’s Neuroma in runners can be as easy as making sure that the right shoes are being worn for each run and that the right after run protocols are followed.

Stiffer shanks in the running shoe and the addition of met pads can help many runners get back to training without discomfort. Physical therapy, stretching, and icing can also significantly improve the comfort of runners diagnosed with this condition. Management is just as important as therapy with this condition.

With the right blend of management and training alterations on board, many runners can learn how to treat Morton’s Neuroma while they continue to train and run regularly. Some adjustments to mileage and the terrain that is being traversed can help the healing process. Still, success rates are very high with the addition of correct shoes, after-run management, and overall awareness of footfall patterns and gait training.

4. Will Running Make Morton’s Neuroma Worse?

Morton’s Neuroma can only worsen by running if you are unwilling to invest in the right shoes and provide proper post-run care to your feet.

Advanced cases might require that you rest your feet a few more days a week. A doctor can help you assess the severity of the condition. Many runners report that they experience significant improvement in this condition through improved stretching routines and adding other forms of cardio to their workout routine.

Adding correct stretching to your running plan before and after your workout and icing your feet post-run can also make a big difference in your Morton’s Neuroma discomfort. Neglecting to care for your Morton’s Neuroma can lead to long-term discomfort. So, if you’re asking yourself will running makes Morton’s Neuroma worse, then just remember that you should not have to stop training so long as you make vital adjustments to your training protocol.

5. What Exercises Can I Do With Morton’s Neuroma?

There are still many exercises you can do with Morton’s Neuroma, more than you might think. There are many ways to maintain your fitness with ease after you have been diagnosed with this condition. From swimming to yoga to rowing and Pilates, there are many ways to keep your body fit and strong without taxing your feet.

When planning to work out and train properly with Morton’s Neuroma, you need to avoid unnecessarily straining your feet. If you can do an activity without straining the front of the foot, it is safe to do while you have Morton’s Neuroma. Between managing pain and inflammation and changing your shoes and training plan, you can get your foot health back on track quickly.

It can be easy to heal this condition, and you will be glad that you took the time to cross-train effectively while your feet healed.

6. Do Arch Supports Help Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a nerve condition that can be caused by poorly-supported high arches. For those who have feet with high arches or those who struggle with arch support in most running shoes, then yes a quality arch support can help Morton’s Neuroma.

Morton’s Neuroma can be managed with ease in most cases and arch supports can be a key part of helping to heal and prevent the inflammation that leads to Morton’s Neuroma in many runners.

Taking the time to get diagnosed and to look at improvements to your shoes can make all the difference in treating your Morton’s Neuroma. Arch supports from running companies and running shoe makers can be added to almost any running shoe and they can make your running pain-free again.

While Morton’s Neuroma might not cause long-term injury to your feet, you should always consider using an arch support to help treat and improve your discomfort.

7. Do Zero Drop Shoes Help With Morton’s Neuroma?

The pain of Morton’s Neuroma, for some, can be managed readily when you change your existing running shoes for zero drop shoes. Many runners with this condition may find that switching to zero drop shoes can help with Morton’s Neuroma, which are made to keep the foot on a very flat plane all the way through each footfall.

Zero drop shoes offer the stability and flexion reduction that you need to protect your feet when you are running with Morton’s Neuroma.While this is not the perfect solution for every runner, many people who are suffering with Morton’s Neuroma have better luck at managing their pain when they switch to Zero drop shoes.

There are many runners who experience better pain management with this kind of shoe than they do by adding a Met Pad to the shoes that they already own. When you balance a shoe change with proper stretching and icing to reduce inflammation, it can be easy to keep your Morton’s Neuroma pain at bay.

Written by Susan

I'm very enthusiastic around sports, fitness and general wellbeing. I write for a range of sites around these topics, and I hope you find my articles and information insightful to help you on your way.

November 27, 2021

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