Finding the best running shoes for bunions can be a challenge at the best of times.
There are number of issues to consider including the additional width of the foot because of the bunion.
But the good news is the best running shoes for bunions do exist and you can find them.
Otherwise read on for information about how to select the perfect shoe for you.
Any time you change your shoes, keep a close eye out for the warning signs of overload which might indicate you’ve chosen the wrong shoe for you.
Without the additional width, there is pressure on the sides of the toes.
The second, less obvious feature required is stability in the shoe.
The reason bunions tend to accelerate their progress over time is that, as the toe angles, it becomes less effective at stabilizing the foot and creates even more uncontrolled pronation.
After those two features have been considered, you can then select your personal preference for heel-toe offset and stack height (aka. the amount of cushioning).
Finding the right width
When you’re looking for the best running shoes for bunions, so much of that decision comes down to finding a width of shoe that can accommodate your foot.
Male running shoes come in a standard “D” width while female shoes come in a standard “B” width.
It’s worth noting that’s the actual width of a B or D fitting is not consistent across brands, so the “standard” isn’t actually standardised.
The next width up in running shoes is referred to as a wide fitting. This is “D” for women’s shoes and “2E” for men’s shoes.
The only width above that is referred to as an extra wide. It’s a “2E” width in female shoes and a “4E” width in male shoes.
Not many brands offer an extra width, and those that do only offer one or two models in that width.
For women’s shoes, the best option for extra wide is to look across to the men’s range. Aside from small differences, a men’s wide 2E fit will provide the same width as a women’s extra wide 2E fit.
Standardized shoe shapes and widths
Due to the lack of standardization of dimensions between brands, don’t automatically assume that you’re a D or 2E width across the board.
You might find that you require a 2E in a narrower make, like a Nike shoe. But when you switch brands to a more generous fit, like Brooks, you can actually get away with a standard D fitting.
It’s also worth noting different brands and different models have different shapes to them.
Some shoes are built on a straight last (“last” refers to the shape of shoe/foot) while others are built on a curved last.
This will mean that while some shoes have adequate width, they feel like they push too much on one side of the toes.
This is due to a mismatch in the shape of the shoe and your foot.
Finding the right stability
As bunions are an indication of long-term stability issues, it’s a fair assumption that the best running shoes for bunions should offer more support.
Support levels are usually rated as minimal, moderate and maximal.
(Beyond that there are also “motion control” shoes, however these are best only used on the recommendation of a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist.)
When you’re looking for the best running shoes for bunions, the consideration of which support level is best for you comes down to two things.
The second consideration is pace. The faster you run, the less support you will need.
So you may end up with two different pairs of shoes – one for your 5k parkrun or tempo run and one for your 20k long runs.
Here’s a list of the best running shoes for bunions that we’ve tried, been recommended or received great feedback.
They are all wide fit (women’s B or men’s 2E) or extra wide fit (women’s 2E or men’s 4E) and offer different levels of support.
Start by trying out shoes from the brands you’ve used before and have found comfortable.
Best running shoes for bunions in a wide fit
Minimal support level, women’s D or men’s 2E width (wide)
New Balance 990 – solid shoe with great reviews for bunions and wide feet. It’s pricey but durable.
Brooks Ravenna – firm shoe underfoot but with enough cushioning for comfort. Better priced than the NB 990 above.
Buying in Australia? We find Sportitude tends to have better stocks of the wide fit.
Moderate support level, women’s D or men’s 2E width (wide)
Asics Gel GT-2000 – the most popular shoe on the market for good reason. It’s been around for 25+ years and just keeps getting better.
Buying online in Australia? TAF has the biggest range of colours and the most consistent stocks of wide fitting (2E) Asics 2000s.
Mizuno Wave Inspire – another star performer on the list of best running shoes for bunions. Firmer than the Asics 2000s but just as supportive.
If you’re buying in Australia, these guys tend to have them on special for the current year’s models and even bigger discounts off last year’s models.
Hoka One One Arahi – one of Hoka’s first models with support, this one rapidly gained a loyal following. Supportive but generously cushioned and with a rounded outsole. Probably the most comfortable shoe on this list.
You won’t find Hoka on special but if you’re in Australia, TAF has a great range of colours and a good member rewards program.
Saucony Guide – a popular shoe for anyone who likes the shape of Saucony, Adidas or Nike (straighter last).
New Balance Fresh Foam 860 – a light shoe for effortless comfort. If you prefer the shape of Brooks or New Balance, this will fit nicely.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS – these shoes have undergone a big design change recently with less support but lighter than previous editions.
Maximal support level, women’s D or men’s 2E width (wide)
Hoka One One Gaviota – a big plush outsole with solid support, what more could you ask for?!? Great reviews, particularly from walkers.
You’ll find them online in Australia here with a choice of two colours.
Asics Gel Kayano – another of Asics classics! It’s been around forever and is the go-to shoe for many people with bunions. If you need lots of support, this is probably the one of the best running shoes for bunions.
Best running shoes for bunions in an extra wide fit
Moderate support level, women’s 2E or men’s 4E width (extra wide)
Asics Gel GT-2000 – one of the best running shoes for bunions that you’ll find for extra wide feet!
Buying online in Australia? TAF has the biggest range of colours and the most consistent stocks of extra wide (4E) fitting 2000s.
New Balance Fresh Foam 860
Brooks Adrenaline GTS – the latest model is lighter but with a little less support than previous iterations.
Maximal support level, women’s 2E or men’s 4E width (extra wide)
Asics Gel Kayano
Disclaimer for Best Running Shoes for Bunions
**Special note: this article has product recommendations with affiliate links to trusted vendors, selected for their reliable service and great prices. The article was written prior to sourcing the affiliate links and the links in no way influence our recommendations.