Hallux Rigidus Shoes

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6 Sensational Shoes for Hallux Rigidus [Plus 6 Bonus Picks]

Rigid big toe. That’s what hallux rigidus means. My sincerest condolences if you’ve been diagnosed with this arthritic condition–I know too well the pain and discomfort it can cause. Take a minute to read through our comprehensive article on both hallux limitus and rigidus to understand the condition better. Chances are your doctor prescribed a thick, rigid-sole shoe for good reason–it will help protect the big toe joint from over-flexing during the stride causing further erosion and pain. While this type of shoe can bring relief, the news can be discouraging when you have a closet full of dainty flats and elegant heels. But do not despair, the Barking Dog dug up six finds for your perusal (plus a few bonus picks at the end).

Dansko Maci

With spring around the corner, I wanted to include this pop-of-sunshine slide by Dansko. Maci’s leather-wrapped 2.5″ block heel with 1″ platform is as on-trend as it is foot-friendly. A contoured footbed provides good arch support while a memory-foam footbed cushions from heel to toe. I like the thick wood-grain outsole with a slight rocker effect to protect the painful big toe. Find the Dansko Maci from the Madeira collection in euro sizes 36-42 for $139.95 at, Zappos, Nordstrom, and The Walking Company.

Dromedaris Selma

Dromedaris Hornbill

Just what the foot doctor ordered, the Dromedaris Selma features a roomy toe box–and that’s just the beginning of comfort features that will ease hallux limitus discomfort. A thick, shock-absorbing polyurethane rocker outsole takes the pressure off the forefoot through the stride (protecting the big toe from bending), while a multiple-density footbed offers firm support at the arch, softer cushioning at the heel and ball-of-foot. Do you require custom orthotics? Good news, the footbed is removable and should accommodate an orthotic. If a mary jane isn’t your style, Dromedaris makes an oxford, slip-on and sandal–all with the same outsole! Find the Dromedaris Selma in euro sizes 36-42 for $170 at, and $160 at

FitFlop D’Orsay Loafer

If you read through any online discussion about favorite footwear for hallux rigidus, Fitflop sandals come up almost every time. The reason? Fitflop’s thick sole that doesn’t bend much at the forefoot combined with superb cushioning and a wide fit at the toe. The D’Orsay loafer is a work-appropriate style with Fitflop’s trademarked Supercomff footbed with two levels of targeted cushioning (softer at forefoot, firmer at heel) and a anatomical arch for all-day support. Find the Fitflop D’orsay loafer in sizes 5-11 for $129.95 from Zappos, Amazon, and

Taos Luckie

How lucky can your feet get? If you live in Birkenstocks, but would like a change, consider the Taos Luckie. The contoured cork footbed plus thick rubber outsole make them a good choice for hallux limitus or rigidus. Plus, you get the added benefit of two adjustable straps for a customized fit, deep heel cup and metatarsal support. Find the Taos Luckie in euro sizes 36-42 for $145 from, The Walking Company, Amazon and Nordstrom.

Earth Hibiscus

Just because you have hallux limitus doesn’t mean you’re restricted to ugly shoes. Look at the new sporty-chic Earth Hibiscus criss-cross sandal! Earth footbeds provide heavenly cushion with moderate arch support. The Earth Hibiscus is available in sizes 5-12 for $110 from, Zappos, and Nordstrom.

Nike Zoom Fly

I learned of the Nike Zoom Fly from the Hallux Rigidus Support Group Facebook page. This shoe generated a lot of buzz for its full-length carbon-infused nylon plate in the midsole. As the Nike site states, this plate “feels like it propels you forward with every step.” If you want to get back to running or need a fitness shoe with less bend at the forefoot, check out the Nike Zoom Fly. Available in whole and half sizes 5-12 for $150 from and

Honorable mention: Dansko Winona (available in sizes up to euro 43), Clarks Arla Primrose sandal (wide widths up to size 12), Dansko Pro XP 2.0 (a cushioned, lightweight version of the Dansko Professional), Hoka Bondi 5 running shoe (super-thick cushioned sole), Ugg Angie platform sandal (size 12 available) and L’Amour Des Pieds footwear (many have platform soles, all have wonderfully supportive and cushioned insoles).

Do you have hallux rigidus? Which shoes have helped you get through your day pain free? Leave a comment and let us know. Also, take a look at our “shoes for hallux rigidus” category for more comfortable options.

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12 Responses to 6 Sensational Shoes for Hallux Rigidus [Plus 6 Bonus Picks]

  1. Beatrice says:

    I suspect I have hallux rigidus but I have not been diagnosed by a podiatrist. I do know that if my shoes are bendy my feet are going to be achey breaky.

    I love the Jambu Sugar and Brookline. Recently also picked up the Jambu Bombay Encore. The Encore does not have the space in the toe box I was hoping for and the cut of the vamp runs right across my bunion. the 2018 Jambu lineup has zero new shoes to tempt me.

    I laid down full retail for a pair of Hoke One One Bondi. The guy at the shop said that they were for “serious marathoners” and asked me how many miles a week I run. My squat middle aged self apparently does not appear to be a marathoner, but my $160 turned out to be the right color, so he let me buy them.
    They are very stiff and heavily cushioned but I still get some foot pain.

    Alegria is pretty good for me except for the Mary Jane styles – again the cut of the vamp runs right over my bunion, and that is some stiff, hard leather.

    • Kirsten Borrink says:


      You are SPOT ON with some of those sales people at the running stores. Well said. I agree with your comment about the Alegria MJs–they do run squeeze the bunions-I wish the leather they used was softer. Thanks for your feedback and recommendations.

      • Lorange says:

        I bought some Hoka One One’s at REI. The sales guy there was surprisingly well versed in foot issues and totally non judgmental about my activity levels. It was really refreshing.

    • Joan says:

      I too have Bondi 5,after hip replacement I started wearing,hoping my new hip would take pressure off dorsal bunion but even with carbon graphite plate which is flat under Aetrex innersole(took out Hoka) I still have pressure on bunion.
      If only Alegria could make a athletic type walking shoe with new neoprene uppers! The essence is touted as flexible,a no no for hr sufferers.
      Or Hoka had firmer support under toe area!

      • Skip says:

        Alegria will have a shoe with neoprene at the side of both the great toe and fifth toe, in their fall products. There is also an Austrian brand, Fidelio, that has this feature in all of their shoes

  2. cedar says:

    When I saw the title of this post, I immediately thought of Dromedaris. They are a beautifully crafted shoe.
    Haflinger could be helpful, too.

    Those Dansko sandals are cute!

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      I agree. I wish Zappos would carry Dromedaris.I love that they’re made in Portugal–Portuguese know what they’re doing with shoes.

  3. Mary Dean says:

    I love Hotter shoes from England! Barking Shoes mentioned this brand a couple of years ago for Hallux Rigidus and love them. I love their Mary Janes and their boot styles. They offer fabulous discounts and shipping at times is free. They can be slow on shipping but is worth the wait! Thank you Kirsten!

  4. Christie says:

    I first found this blog maybe two years ago after getting diagnosed with hallux limitus and you and your readers helped introduce me to many brands I would not otherwise have know about, so THANK YOU! My podiatrist not so helpfully recommended I wear hiking shoes all the time – not so realistic in my work setting and even when not working, I want more style options!

    Thankfully business casual is pretty acceptable as I find dressier/formal looks the hardest to pull off shoe-wise. In those cases, the best option I’ve found are some of the Vionic flats (Minna and Caballo), they they aren’t stiff enough that I could wear them everyday.

    From a pure comfort standpoint, Dansko seem to work best for me, though their style is more casual, and they can be a little more challenging for me to pair with clothes in a style appropriate for work. I just got the Dansko Loralie Mary Jane wedge in a cognac color and they look pretty nice with dress slacks. I also have the Dansko Tenley in black which also goes well with wider leg black dress slacks. My all time favorite bootie is the Dansko Shirley wedge in taupe suede. So comfy and I get complimented on these too – best with casual pants/jeans though.

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      Hi Christie,

      Thanks for the kind words. Those are sound choices for professional shoes. I have hallux limitus that seems to come and go based on shoe choice. I’ve been wearing the Dansko Luann boot when I sub at a local high school (it’s from the same collection the Loralie is from) and the combo of lower 2″ heel and slight platform seem to keep my big toe pretty happy. You’re right–the Shirley is a great boot.

  5. Laurel says:

    I got a pair of the Earth sandals above. They were too narrow in the forefoot for my wider, hobbity feet, but I can see how they would be super comfortable. And they’re stylish too! I wish I could wear them, but I’ll be shipping them back to Zappos.

  6. Sandi Vasey says:

    I love Fitflops . I must have 12 pairs and wear them year around . I have had bunion surgery on one foot and have a small one on the other foot . Hallux ridigus in one foot and ledderhaus disease in both soles of my feet . That causes me to have tumors in the soles of my feet . Fit flops saved the day after my surgery when my foot was so swollen . That is when I discovered them and have never turned back . I love your web site . Thank you

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