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.

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Best Running Shoes for Morton’s Neuroma

Product Name

Ranking

Weight

Terrain

Brand

Image

Editor’s Pick

8.4 oz

Road

Altra

Altra Torin 3 Running-Shoes

Runner Up

10.5 oz

Road

Saucony

Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 Running Shoe

Budget Pick

9.2 oz

Road

New Balance

New Balance Men's M980 Boracay Running Shoe

Upgrade Pick

10.4 oz

Road

Brooks

Brooks Ghost 10

Trail Runner

8.11 oz

Trail

Merrell

Merrell Glove 4 Trail Runner

1. Altra Torin 3 Running-Shoes - Editor's Pick

Altra Torin 3 Running-Shoes

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.

Pros

  • Prevents Wobbling With A Firm Grip
  • Provides Sufficient Amount Of Cushioning
  • Has A Wide Toe Box
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Suitable For Both Males And Females
  • Has Zero Drop
  • Helps Maintain Natural Running Form
  • Durable

Cons

  • The sole was more rigid that I desire
  • I found the upper lacking in breathability

2. Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 Running Shoe - Runner Up

Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 Running Shoe

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.

Pros

  • Responsive And Flexible
  • Has Moisture Absorption Technology
  • Great Outsole Traction
  • Good Arch Support
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonable Price

Cons

  • The Design Of The Shoe Was Not To My Liking
  • The Cushioning Was Not As Bouncy As I Expected
New Balance Men's M980 Boracay Running Shoe

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.

Pros

  • Open mesh upper for excellent breathability
  • No-sew construction for a better fit
  • Natural underfoot feel
  • Blown rubber for extra traction
  • All surface shoes

Cons

  • The rocker on the toe gave me some discomfort during runs
  • The toe box was too narrow for my wide feet

4. Brooks Ghost 10 - Upgrade pick

Brooks Ghost 10

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.

Pros

  • Great shock absorbing midsole
  • Has a shoelace holder at the top of the tongue
  • Seamless engineered mesh upper
  • Outsole with a full-length crash pad
  • High energy return after each stride

Cons

  • I found it a little too pricey if you are on a budget
  • If you want shoes with proper arch support, I wouldn’t suggest these

5. Merrell Glove 4 Trail Runner - Best Running Trail Shoes For Morton’s Neuroma

Merrell Glove 4 Trail Runner

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. 

Pros

  • Wide toe box
  • Zero drop shoe
  • Comes in vibrant designs
  • Mesh breathable upper
  • Vibram outsole suitable for different trail surfaces
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • I found the cushioning on the shoe lacking for my comfort
  • I didn’t like the fact that it provided no arch support which I need for my flat feet

3 Most Common Mistakes Runners Make With Morton’s Neuroma

Common Mistakes Runners Make With Morton’s Neuroma

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.

  • As long as the stress applied to the bone is decreased, the fracture will heal in no time.
  • A neuroma, on the other hand, is a more permanent condition. Since the nerve is compressed every time you put weight on it, it swells and may never heal.
  • The best way to prevent this is to always consult a professional when you feel pain in your foot. Making sure you diagnose a Neuroma as fast as possible is the key to early treatment.

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)

  • Using an elliptical trainer may be the first option. This is where the problem arises. Using an elliptical trainer means that the ball of your foot pushes on the pedal constantly which can aggravate the neuroma.
  • Another activity runners may choose is cycling. Cycling shoes, however, are designed to be stiff and narrow. When you have a neuroma, wearing such shoes only compresses the nerve further. In addition, the faster you paddle, the more stress you put on your foot, pinching the nerves.
  • To prevent this, have yourself diagnosed first before deciding to self-medicate with cross training.

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 sensation of having something stuck in your foot when running. At this stage, the nerve is mildly irritated and not damaged yet. Fluid is collecting around the nerve and causing this sensation.
  • Numbness in the middle of the toes or ball of the foot. This happens because of the accumulation of fluid around the nerve.
  • Burning, tingling pain. This is when the nerve has been compressed for an extended period of time.

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.

  • You need to make sure that you are diagnosed as soon as possible or else you will experience chronic pain which might take a significantly longer time to heal, and even involve surgery.

Conclusion

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.

Amber Irwin
 

Hi everyone. I'm Amber a running and sports writer. I love to share my passion with fellow outdoor lovers and hope to establish a community here. I believe running is an amazing sport for everyone and hope to inspire others with my words. Welcome to my fantastic blog!

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