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Shoes for Hallux Limitus without the “Orthopedic” Look
Hi, I am a 48-year-old woman with Hallux Limitus, and I am looking for some decent looking shoes and boots that I can wear to my job. I am a secretary and we dress casual at the office. I am having a very difficult time finding anything that doesn’t look like something a 90-year-old would wear. Do you have any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Dear reader, I feel your pain. With all the thousands of shoe styles in the “comfort” section at Zappos, so few have the combination of features to help alleviate that big toe pain and stiffness. I scoured the search results looking for shoes with a semi-rigid or thick outsole (so foot won’t over-flex at big toe joint), a wide toe box and a rocker sole (to propel foot through stride while off-loading pressure/flex on forefoot). I found these pictured above, plus a few more mentioned at the end.
- The Naot Surge is from the Shell collection of shoes and boots with a 1.5″ polyurethane outsole, cork and latex footbed that molds to the foot while providing good arch support and is removable to accommodate an orthotic. The Shell collection best fits a medium to wide foot. $200 at Zappos, $160-200 at Amazon, $199.95 at OnlineShoes.com.
- Dansko’s new ankle-strap style is a huge hit this fall. The Lois features a thick but lightweight rubber outsole with a low 1 1/2″ wedge heel, roomy toe box, double ankle buckle with a back zipper for easy on and off. The contoured and cushioned insole is removable. Best fits a medium to wide foot. $149.95 at Zappos, $149.95 at Amazon, $149.95 at The Walking Company.
- Spring Step Funtastic: A durable and thick rubber outsole features a 1″ platform and 2 1/2″ wedge heel. The comfort padded insole is removable and a side zipper allows for easy on and off. $119.99 at Zappos.
- Fly London Blis ankle boot: Japanese-inspired with a leather-wrapped rubber flatform sole, the Blis has a rocker feel to it as it propels your step forward. This is a slip-on style with thick elastic goring around the ankles for a secure fit. I don’t recommend for those with high insteps as it may be hard to get on and off. $224.95 at Nordstrom, free shipping and returns. If you like this look, but prefer a shoe version, see the Fly London Bobi wedge.
Honorable Mention: Cordani Mara, Dansko Maria, Vionic Adrie and of course, you can always try Alegria footwear (wide toe box, excellent arch support and rocker soles. I’m just not crazy about most of the styles as they’re too clunky (except the cold-weather Nanook boot which I think is adorable).
If you find a shoe you like with a removable insole, you might want to try a pair of Hallux Rigidus full length inserts to further reduce the movement of the big toe joint.