Finding the right shoe for your daily run can be daunting. There are so many brands, and every runner has their favorites. However, most runners agree that a shoe with a wide toe box is important for improving and enhancing their runs.
A shoe with a wider toe box carries many benefits. These shoes offer more stability and a more comfortable fit. They may also reduce the occurrence of blisters and bunions, and improve pain associated with plantar fasciitis. A wider toe box also accommodates swelling toes, a common issue on longer runs. With these benefits in mind, we have assembled a list of the best wide toe box running shoes.
If you love the mechanics of a minimalist shoe, but desire more cushion, the Altra Torin 4 Plush is a perfect choice. With Altra’s signature zero drop technology, this shoe is designed to simulate a barefoot positioning of your feet. This more natural placement can improve your posture and foot flexibility, as well as alleviate pain.
Altra is very well known for having an extra wide toe box. Combined with the zero heel to toe drop, this shoe is truly designed to accommodate your foot. It is important to note that although the toe box for the Altra is quite wide, the shoe narrows towards the heel. This shoe does not offer wide sizes, so if you have an all around wider foot, this shoe is not for you.
The Torin 4 offers an excellent cushioned midsole. With Altra’s Quantic Foam, this shoe is ultra soft without losing flexibility. The knit upper has great breathability and fit. Altogether, this shoe will leave your feet feeling light, free, and protected
The Brooks Ghost 12 is an excellent neutral running shoe, offering the foot more freedom to move compared to a stability style of shoe. Coupled with the Ghost’s wide toe box, your feet will be able to provide their own stability with natural support. This will help you improve your stride and ease pain, allowing you to better enjoy your longer runs.
The Ghost has excellent cushioning without losing its responsiveness to the road. With the Brooks shock absorbing Segmented Crash Pad, heel to toe transitions are smooth and comfortable, no matter how your foot lands.
The Brooks Ghost 12 has a 12mm heel to toe drop, making it a great choice for someone with a medium to higher arch. It can also be particularly helpful for someone prone to supination due to higher arches.
Cushiony soft, durable, and with just the right amount of support, this shoe is an excellent choice for your daily run.
New Balance is one of the most well recognized names in the shoe business, and they are known for comfort. The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9 is a great neutral running shoe for the recreational jogger, or for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.
The 1080v9 has New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole, giving this shoe an extra plush feel. However, you do lose a bit of road responsiveness with all of the extra cushion. Many runners find this to be a fair trade-off, though, and they love that they can now run with less pain in their knees and back.
New Balance has long been a favorite for people with wider feet, and the Fresh Foam 1080v9 is no exception. Where other shoes with wide toe boxes may narrow towards the heel, New Balance offers wide and extra wide sizing to ensure a good fit, no matter your foot’s size.
Some runners found this shoe not able to hold up to longer, more strenuous runs. However, for the average jogger or walker, this is an extremely comfortable and supportive shoe.
Hoka One One is an excellent, newer brand creating shoes for all kinds of activities and fitness levels. The Clifton 6 is designed to be a great road running shoe, and comes with all of the technology expected with the Hoka name.
The Clifton 6 is a neutral shoe with a wide toe box, providing a natural feel for your feet. With Hoka’s Meta-Rocker technology, the Clifton 6’s design complements a runner’s natural gait and helps propel the runner forward.
Hoka has an excellent cushion, which the company describes as “marshmallow soft”. Even with this extra plush midsole, these shoes are incredibly lightweight, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice speed for comfort. Many runners reported less back and knee pain in these shoes, and this cushion also holds up great for the big and tall user.
With innovative technology and excellent comfort, the Clifton 6 is a great all-around running shoe. Even though this brand is relatively new, the Hoka One One Clifton 6 should not be overlooked.
Inov-8 is a relatively new shoe brand specializing in trail running. They have brought their world class shoe grip technology to the Roadclaw, creating a road running shoe that will support you through your run, no matter the weather or road conditions.
The Roadclaw 275 V2 is a neutral running shoe also offering extra heel support. Combined with a wide toe box and excellent road responsiveness, you will feel strong and stable during your run.
The Roadclaw also has a stripped back mesh upper, giving this shoe excellent breathability. With this extra ventilation, your feet will stay dry, even in the hot and humid summer months. This could mean less blisters, pain, and a more comfortable run.
Offering Inov-8’s Power flow+ midsole technology, the Roadclaw 275 provides 10% better shock absorption and a better energy return than your standard shoe. Combined with the 3.5mm deep lugs, these shoes will help you complete your run comfortably, no matter how rugged the road.
The Superior is another great, wide toe box shoe by Altra. The Superior is designed specifically for trail running. With a variety of trail specific features, Altra’s Superior 3.5 is a great shoe for your next off-road run.
The Superior features Altra’s zero drop design. Together with the Inner Flex midsole, this shoe is flexible and lightweight. Stability is especially important while running on an uneven trail. With a zero heel to toe drop, a wide toe box, and the flexible midsole, your feet will be able to tackle any terrain.
Altra has engineered many unique technologies specific to trail running, and they are all found in the Superior 3.5. This model features a StoneGuard rock insert, adding an extra layer of protection for your feet. The Superior 3.5 also features the Trail Claw outsole, using a small lateral flare for extra stability. This outsole will help you maintain your footing on uneven terrain.
The Superior’s upper has been redesigned to be more durable. Made with Quick-dry air mesh, the upper is lightweight and strong, with excellent breathability. These shoes will perform great on your local trails, whether rain or shine, letting you enjoy the beauty of nature with zero discomfort.
Altra is back once again with the Escalante 2, another great choice in their zero drop shoe line. Altra’s shoes are incredibly well known for their toe box design, so it certainly makes sense for them to appear on our list again and again.
The Escalante 2 uses Altra’s EGO midsole for a responsive, yet soft feel. For the Escalante 2, Altra updated the midsole to make it less susceptible to compression. The updated midsole makes this an excellent shoe for runners pursuing more intense training, or for runners who are heavier set. It is more durable than your average midsole, maintaining its comfort no matter how extreme your training.
The Escalante’s outsole uses Altra’s Footpod technology to map your foot’s bones and tendons, allowing it to bend and move more naturally. A heel liner also provides a more comfortable on-foot feel. By decoupling the outsole from the midsole, this shoe offers maximum flexibility.
Though some runners have found this version of the Escalante to be stiff, many users love this shoe. With its extra durable, yet well cushioned, midsole, this is the perfect shoe if you are training for a marathon. If you are tired of quickly running through your shoes, the Altra Escalante 2 could be your perfect fit.
One of the most popular brands in the business, ASICS is known for delivering a great running shoe. For runners with a moderate over-pronation (where the foot rolls inward when striking the ground), the ASICS GT-2000 7 is a great choice.
The GT-2000 features ASICS’ GEL cushioning system at both the rear and forefoot. This extra cushion combines shock absorption with flexibility, allowing your foot ample movement through your gait cycle. Combined with ASICS’ new FLYTEFOAM LYTE technology, this shoe has great bounce back, while staying incredibly lightweight.
The ASICS GT-2000 7 also utilizes ASICS’ I.G.S. technology. This Impact Guidance System is the essence of ASICS’ design philosophy, linking the shoe’s components to enhance your foot’s natural movement. The entire shoe works together with your foot, keeping your stride comfortable. The Guidance Trusstic System provides additional midfoot structure, enhancing your gait’s efficiency while maintaining durability.
The GT-2000 7 was designed to improve upon the 6 model in fit, breathability, and durability. A great shoe for runners experiencing issues with over-pronation, the GT-2000 7 will have you enjoying your run again without all of the aches and pains.
All of the shoes above are excellent choices if you are looking for a great running shoe with a wide toe box. If you are reading this article, you are already familiar with the benefits of a wide toe box, but what else should you be looking for in your next pair? Below is a short guide of additional considerations to keep in mind when buying your next perfect shoe.
Even though all of the above shoes have a wide toe box, not all of these shoes are great for wider feet. A wide toe box is designed to let your toes splay naturally, a great way to gain more stability and comfort. However, many of the above shoes narrow at the midsole and towards the heel. If you have all together wider feet, then you need a wide sized shoe in addition to the wide toe box. Be sure to check out the sizes offered by your favorite brand and read reviews to get an idea of how your choice of shoe will fit.
Road or Trail
Where do you do most of your running? There are distinct differences between trail running shoes and road running shoes. With deeper lugs and extra protections, it is important to buy a trail shoe if that is your choice of terrain. Also, some of the shoes on our list are great for rougher roads or wet conditions. Think about where and when you will be running and buy accordingly.
Your Foot’s Mechanics
How does your foot strike the ground? If you overpronate then it is best to find a shoe that offers extra stability to help improve your stride. For someone with a neutral pronation, buying a neutral shoe is a great choice. If you have previously enjoyed minimalist shoes, but would like more cushion and protection for your feet, then the zero drop styles are your perfect match. Your arch height also plays an important role here. Match your shoe to your foot to help ease your aches and improve your run.
Every shoe strives to be durable, but based on reviews, some clearly hold up better than others. A lot of this will depend on your foot’s mechanics and the intensity of your training. If you take a daily, short jog, most quality shoes will last you a while. However, if you run longer distances, are training for a marathon, run primarily on trails, or if you overpronate, then you are going to be harder on your shoes than the average recreational runner. Finding a shoe that has been reinforced in problem areas is the key to getting a longer wear out of your next pair.
A wide toe box is a great place to start when looking for your next running shoe, but there are many other things to consider to narrow down your choices. Your best shoe depends on where you run, how you run, and why you run. Though there are many different shoes on the market, our list of the best running shoes with a wide toe box covers all of the bases. Our recommended shoes will be sure to power you through your next run in comfort and style.