We are frequently asked, what shoes should I get for my Morton’s neuroma? Shoes are critical in the prevention and treatment of Morton’s neuroma.
Poorly fitted or inappropriate shoes can make forefoot overloading mechanism worse (especially in women) resulting in Morton’s neuroma. The overloading mechanism refers to over-riding of metatarsal bones on each other due to forceful impact or other dynamic factors especially when walking in high-heeled shoes with narrow toe boxes. If this overlapping is not addressed, it may affect the integrity of intermetatarsal nerves, which can result in an entrapment syndrome and a neuroma formation.
Some anatomical characteristics that are strongly associated with Morton’s neuroma are:
Congenital or acquired musculoskeletal defects and certain habits/ lifestyle choices can further worsen the stability of the foot.
A recent study reported in Foot & Ankle International(1) suggested that certain risky styles in the footwear can make you more prone to develop Morton’s neuroma and other foot conditions. These include:
Based on current recommendations and guidelines, correct shoes for Morton’s neuroma can help in managing the pain and discomfort (especially in early or moderate cases of Morton’s neuroma). Furthermore, removal of the inflammatory or entrapment source (such as narrow toebox shoes) can help in the restoration of natural foot anatomy. Shoes are important and helpful in dealing with morton’s neuroma pain, but they are not a cure and should be combined with the appropriate conservative treatment or procedure as needed.
Here is what we advise our Morton’s neuroma patients:
According to the results of a clinical study conducted in Morton’s neuroma patients(2), the use of correct Morton’s neuroma shoes is helpful in treating early or moderate Morton’s neuroma pain, especially when combined with other conservative measures. Correct shoes and foot support can also help preventing/ managing other foot conditions such as callouses, hammer toes, neuromas, heel spurs, bunions, metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis and pronation.
Morton’s neuroma is a progressively debilitating condition of the foot that typically involves the third intermetatarsal space. Fortunately, with correct shoes, conservative care and, if needed, the appropriate procedure for resistant Morton’s neuroma, you can alleviate your symptoms.
(1) Makki, D., Haddad, B. Z., Mahmood, Z., Shahid, M. S., Pathak, S., & Garnham, I. (2012). Efficacy of corticosteroid injection versus size of plantar interdigital neuroma. Foot & ankle international, 33(9), 722-726.
(2) Saygi, B., Yildirim, Y., Saygi, E. K., Kara, H., & Esemenli, T. (2005). Morton neuroma: comparative results of two conservative methods. Foot & ankle international, 26(7), 556-559.