Best Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma – A Runner’s Choice
Morton’s Neuroma is a condition that causes symptoms such as inflammation of the foot and a burning pain in the sole. The state is caused by the development of a benign tumor in the nerve cells in areas between the toes. If you suffer from this condition, wearing footwear that does not compress the foot can help alleviate symptoms. (1)
I went on a quest to find the best running shoes for Morton’s neuroma, and these are my top five picks.
1. Altra Torin 3 Running-Shoes - Editor's Pick
I have always been a believer in the ability of Altra to deliver some of the best running shoe designs in the industry, and I wasn't disappointed. The Altra Torin 3 is a highly cushioned, lightweight running shoe that has high breathability and comfort. For Morton's Neuroma sufferers, wide toe box shoes allow your toes to spread out which may reduce the pain from compression.
For Morton's Neuroma sufferers, wide toe box shoes allow your toes to spread out which may reduce the pain from compression.
Compared to its predecessor, the Instinct 4.0, the Torin 3.0 is about 2 ounces lighter and has a higher cushioning level. The upper of the shoe really locks your foot down which ensures your foot is firmly fit yet not too constricted. I feel that this improvement makes it a better choice for combating the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma.
Pricewise, Torin 3 is very affordable and delivers quality, especially for someone who wants breathability and comfort. Another great thing about this shoe model is that it comes in different colors to fit both male and female runners.
2. Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 Running Shoe - Runner Up
The second on my list is the Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 Running shoe, mainly because the cost is quite similar to the Altra Torin 3. The Hurricane ISO 2 can be considered a stability shoe considering the high amount of support it provides. I also found the shoes very responsive while running.
Another feature that caught my attention is the zig-zag trail pattern on the sole which provided a very firm grip and prevented any sliding. If having a fancy looking yet durable upper is important for you, you will love the Hurricane ISO 2 upper. It has thick overlays that hold your feet well.
The RUNDRY collar lining of the shoe was of particular interest to me since I have sweaty feet. This lining offers moisture control and helps prevent odor. Another useful feature is the flexibility of the shoe – POWERGRID + technology of the midsole ensure this with great success.
If you don’t like the Altra Torin 3 for whatever reason, I recommend you opt for these as a second choice.
3. New Balance Men's M980 Boracay Running Shoe - Budget Pick
For a running shoe that below the $100 price tag, this model is definitely the option I would recommend. Despite the super affordable cost, the M980 Boracay Running Shoe has excellent technology behind it.
Categorized as a neutral trainer, the M960 is designed to help you push your pace. Although it doesn’t provide very much cushioning, I loved the high energy return it offers.
Another feature that impressed me was the grip on the outsole. The patterned rubber pieces improved the flexibility of the shoe significantly. The shoes performed well on different surfaces – from gravel to snow and ice. If versatility is something you value, these shoes are an excellent place to start.
For mid to forefoot strike runners like myself, the 4mm drop is a great help in propelling you towards your next step. The upper of the shoe is very breathable, and I was able to twist and move my foot around any way I wanted.
For those who don’t mind spending a little more as long as they are assured of a great buy, the Brooks Ghost 10 is the shoe to try. Although I am more of a budget-friendly buyer, these shoes are really worth this money and are one of the company's biggest sellers.
One of the first things that struck me was the very comfortable underfoot. The shoe uses the signature BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole which is designed to adapt to your landing and displace foot pressure. I also appreciated the flexibility of the shoe which was thanks to the fully segmented sole.
Compared to its predecessor Ghost 9, the Ghost 10 also features structured midsole support in the upper which allows more mid foot support while maintaining breathability.
When you suffer from Morton’s Neuroma, the number one thing you should be concerned about is finding a shoe that is neither too roomy nor too narrow. So when you are looking for the best running trail shoes, adjustable fitting shoes are the best option. I was impressed by the flat lace network that provided a glove-like fit.
Another great feature of the Merrell Glove 4 is the zero drop which is not typical for minimalistic shoes. Very low or zero drop shoes provide the sensation of running barefoot which is a feature Morton Neuroma sufferers need.
For those who want something that allows your foot to move around freely, the flexibility provided by the Merrel Glove 4 should impress you. The shoe is flexible while still allowing some resistance to flex with the hard rubber outsole.
One thing I found to be unique about this shoe is the tongue. Instead of the usual design of being separate, the tongue is a continuation of the upper on the inside of the shoe. There is a small elastic ribbon at the edge of the insole that holds it in place.
Also referred to as metatarsalgia or interdigital Neuroma, Morton’s Neuroma occurs when a nerve in the foot becomes irritated and thickens. This can cause severe pain that is usually felt in the area between the third and fourth toe.
Causes vary from wearing tight shoes, stepping on something hard, and even changing your running routine too drastically. Whatever the reasons, the pain is felt at the bottom ball of the foot and is getting worse when walking in narrow shoes. (3)
Although the condition is not fatal, it can cause a lot of discomforts and disrupt your running routine drastically. The key to early treatment is an early diagnosis. Unfortunately, the condition is often overlooked because of these three common mistakes:
1. Misdiagnosing It As A Stress Fracture
Stress fractures are also characterized by pain that intensifies during activities and diminishes during rest and swelling at the top of the foot which makes it easily confused with Morton's Neuroma. The weight bearing bones of the foot are injured due to overuse often caused by repetitive activities. (4)
Stress fractures occur between the second and third metatarsals in the foot which are thinner than the rest. This is also the location that experiences a lot of impacts when you run.
2. Opting For Cross Training
Runners often use low-impact activities such as cycling to give their muscles a rest while still working out. Cross training is also a recommended option when recovering from back or knee injury. For these reasons, runners may assume that the pain in the ball of their feet is a symptom of muscle fatigue and decide to cross train instead. (5)
3. Ignoring Early Warning Signs
The thing with a neuroma is that the initial symptoms can be very subtle. So here are some of the initial signs of a neuroma and what is happening behind the scenes: (6)
The bottom line is that if you experience any of the mentioned symptoms of pain especially in the ball of the foot or in the area between your toes, you need to consider that you have a neuroma.
Another thing to remember is that if your discomfort doesn’t get better quickly, you probably don’t have a stress fracture.
Clearly, early diagnosis is the first step to recovery from a neuroma. The next crucial decision to make is selecting the best running shoes for Morton’s Neuroma.
An ideal shoe for this condition should most importantly have a wide toe box, proper arch support, low drop and be easily adjusted.
For this reason, the Altra Torin 3 is my personal favorite. The lightweight design provides less stress to your foot while the high cushioning keeps your foot comfortable. Its upper gives you the perfect fit without constricting your foot. On top of all that, the price is just right.