Some female runners are afflicted with bunions, a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight, high-heeled or pointy-toed dress shoes; inherited bodily defects; and arthritis or prior injury. When it comes to fitting the proper running shoe to accommodate this foot malady, you need a roomy toe box.
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Wide Neutral Shoes
It's not enough just to go into a store and ask for a running shoe with a wide toe box. Because each female runner has specific biomechanics in her feet, knees and legs, each runner needs the proper type of running shoe designed specifically for her. For runners with nicely arched, neutral feet -- meaning no tendency to over-pronate or roll inward, or to supinate or roll outward--a neutral shoe is required. For a neutral foot with bunions, the New Balance 883 is a good choice. Not only is this shoe cut with a rounded roomy toe box, but it also comes in a cut with a New Balance-designated code of SL-2. This code is New Balance's notation that the 883 is actually designed wider than most other women's running shoes on the market. The retail price is about $120.
Wide Stability Shoes
Female runners with bunions who have lower-arched feet that tend to roll inward need a stability shoe with a wide toe box. The Saucony ProGrid Omni 9 provides a denser, more structured arch for stability control, but with its roomy toe box, is also well-suited for a bunion-afflicted foot. The Omni is also available in a D width for women, to accommodate the need for taking pressure and friction off the bunion. The Saucony ProGrid Omni 9 sells for about $70.
Wide Motion-Control Shoes
Female runners with flat feet generally need a running shoe with maximum arch support, classified as a motion-control shoe. Due to the fallen arches, the foot tends to be wider; many motion-control shoes are now available in wide widths because of this fact. Add the bunion to the mix, and a wide width really is a requirement. The Brooks Ariel is stable and cushioned. This running shoe comes in widths of B or medium, D or wide, and even 2E or extra wide, and is priced at about $130.