If you suffer from hallux rigidus, you may avoid wearing open-toed shoes as many of them just don’t provide the necessary support and cushioning to protect your toe.
But the good news is that there are sandals out there that can accommodate your condition and support your feet.
We’ve found the best sandals for hallux rigidus, so you can hit the beach in the summer with confidence and style!
We chose the Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed sandal as our top choice. It has a roomy toe box, a raised toe bar, and a deep heel cup for stability.
Let’s have a look at the full list so you can find the right sandal for your feet.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed
Hoka One One ORA Recovery Slide
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Vionic Kiwi Slide Sandal
1. Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed
The Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed sandal features a wide footbed with raised edges, which help to keep the foot firmly in place when walking.
A spacious toe box allows your toes to splay comfortably and gives your toe plenty of room.
The upper is made of oiled leather and is strong and durable. They have two adjustable buckles, which are sturdy but are slightly less adjustable than other types of straps.
A cork footbed is not only sustainable, but it contours to your feet. It features a deep heel cup and moderate arch support to keep the foot properly aligned.
Between the cork and the suede cover is a layer of foam. This absorbs shock and provides a comfortable in-shoe feel. It also contains tiny air bubbles which increase the cushioning.
Another helpful feature is the raised toe bar. This keeps the metatarsal heads spread out and takes pressure off your toe.
The outsole is made of EVA foam, which also absorbs the shock of impact and offers good traction with a wavy tread underneath.
You should note that the cork footbed and the EVA midsole can become damaged in extreme heat, so be careful not to leave them in places where it becomes too hot.
- Roomy toe box
- Shock-absorbing sole
- Raised toe bar
- Deep heel cup
- The cork footbed can be damaged by heat
2. Hoka One One ORA Recovery Slide
Hoka One One shoes are famous for their chunky midsoles, and the recovery slide brings that comfort and cushioning to a sandal. If you enjoy a slide-style sandal, this is the one for you.
The top layer is made of soft EVA. This brings cushioning and water resistance to the sandal. Underneath it is a midsole/outsole layer which is also made from EVA, doubling the cushioning of this sandal.
There’s a substantially textured outsole, which helps to keep you safe on slippery surfaces.
There’s also an early-stage meta-rocker incorporated into the sole, which helps to make forward movement easier and smoother without placing extra pressure on the muscles of the feet and toes.
Although there is some arch support, it’s moderate and won’t be enough to support your feet adequately if you overpronate.
- Wide, stable platform
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Made from EVA foam
- Textured outsole
- This sandal is not suitable for people who overpronate
Best Lightweight Sandals
3. Vionic Kiwi Slide Sandal
These slide sandals are sleek and not bulky, so they’re ideal if you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go.
The upper is made from soft, padded nubuck with a Velcro hook-and-loop closure for full adjustability. This allows you to get a custom fit with as much space as you need in the toe box area.
The wide, contoured EVA footbed has been designed with orthotic arch support that’s semi-rigid and structurally supportive. They would also be helpful for mild overpronation, as the deep heel cup helps to keep the foot aligned so there are no pressure points that could aggravate the hallux rigidus.
A TPR outsole featuring a wave-shaped tread keeps you safe on multiple different surfaces and remains flexible.
If you have a small or narrow foot, you may find that the Velcro strap sticks out to the side once you’ve tightened the hook-and-loop strap across your foot.
- Padded nubuck upper
- Contoured EVA foam footbed
- Semi-rigid arch support
- Lightweight, TPR outsole
- The Velcro straps may stick out if you have narrow or small feet
Top Dual Strap
4. revere Durban (men’s)
5. revere Rio (women’s)
Revere’s dual-strap sandals are our top choice for those who prefer a more sturdy fit than a single strap can offer. For men, we recommend the Durban, and the Rio for women.
The uppers are made of premium quality leather. While the men’s color options are few, the ladies’ come in a few different styles, including animal print.
The toe box is spacious and square-shaped, allowing for plenty of room for your sore toe. A slightly raised lip offers some protection against the outside world.
Two thick, comfortable hook-and-loop straps are completely adjustable so you can get exactly the right fit on your feet. Both the men and the women’s shoes also come with strap extensions to accommodate swollen or larger feet.
Cushioned footbeds provide comfort and shock-absorption, keeping jarring vibrations to a minimum, which not only helps your toe but the joints as well. The footbeds are removable, so you can place a custom orthotic in the sandal if necessary.
To keep you safe on your feet on a number of surfaces, both sandals also feature slip-resistant polyurethane outsoles.
- Soft, leather upper
- Dual adjustable straps
- Cushioned footbed
- Slip-resistant polyurethane outsole
- May be damaged by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
Best Flip Flops
6. Dr. Comfort Collin (men’s)
7. Dr. Comfort Shannon (women’s)
The Dr. Comfort flip flops are orthopedic sandals that look like normal flip flops. You can wear the style you like, while still being supported and protected.
They come in medium and wide, and have strong arch support to keep your feet aligned and free from injury. A slight lift in the toe not only provides a rocker bottom feeling but also protects the toes, especially the hallux rigidus.
Dual-density midsoles offer good shock absorption, reducing pain in the affected toe by limiting the amount of vibration that reaches the toe. The Comfort Cushion footbeds provide softness and an enjoyable feeling underfoot.
A built-in medial post and shank offer good support for those with flat feet as well as neutral arches.
- Leather uppers
- Dual-density midsole
- Built-in shank and post
- Cushioned footbed with arch support
- No way to adjust the tightness of the straps
Top Post-Workout Sandal
8. OOFOS OOahh
When your muscles are stiff from a workout, you’ll want a comfortable recovery sandal.
The OOFOS OOahh is an excellent choice, as it’s made from closed-cell polyurethane foam that absorbs shock and cushions the feet. It’s said to be 37 percent more shock-absorbent than other similar shoes.
This material also allows them to be waterproof, resistant to bacteria, and machine washable. The footbed is biomechanically-designed to support you in all the areas your foot needs, which takes pressure off the big toe and allows it to rest.
Impressive arch support has been added, keeping the foot properly aligned to prevent injury and misalignment. A deep heel cup helps to keep the foot in place.
You won’t find these sandals in half sizes. If you fall between sizes, you’ll need to order a larger size.
- Made from closed-cell foam
- Deep heel cup
- Cushy footbed
- The shoe doesn’t come in half sizes, so you will need to order a size larger if you’re a half-size
9. Propet Joseph (men’s)
10. Propet Jenna (women’s)
The Propet Joseph—men—and Jenna—women—are crafted leather sandals in a closed-toe fisherman style. This style helps to protect the hallux rigidus toe and supports the entire foot.
The rest of the upper features gaps in the leather, allowing for good ventilation to keep the feet cool in the heat of summer.
Both have a soft inner lining—the men’s featuring neoprene and the women’s has leather—and a wide, spacious toe box, which makes them comfortable to wear and safe for your sore toe.
The men’s shoe features two adjustable straps, one around the heel and one on the ankle. The women’s shoe has a closed heel and an adjustable strap on the top of the ankle.
Both shoes have footbeds that are padded with foam for cushioning and shock-absorption. These are removable to make space for custom orthotics.
Flexible polyurethane outsoles keep you safe from slipping, which can tweak your painful toe.
If you have a high instep, you may find that the straps don’t close all the way.
- Spacious toe box
- Adjustable hook-and-loop strap
- Foam-padded footbed
- Flexible PU outsole
- The straps are too short for those with a high instep
11. Teva Strata Universal (men’s)
12. Teva Tirra (women’s)
If you love to hike but you find that you can’t find comfortable sandals for your sore toe, then the Teva Strata Universal for men and the Teva Tirra for women could be the right shoe for you.
Both sandals feature an open upper, made of synthetic material. The men’s has a single strap across the forefoot, one at the ankle, and one around the heel. The women’s sandal has a fixed heel, an adjustable strap on the ankle, and a trio of adjustable straps on the forefoot.
On both shoes, the uppers are water-ready and quick-drying for adventurous use. A deep, cupped heel keeps the foot stable in one position even when on uneven ground.
Both sandals feature PU footbeds that are soft and comfortable, as well as shock-absorbing. Good arch support and a nylon shank in the midsole provide excellent support that prevents the foot from rolling over, keeping your toe safe.
The men’s and women’s shoes are slightly differently designed in their support features, meant to be gender-specific to better support the foot. They are both treated with Microban antimicrobial treatment.
Sticky Vibram rubber outsoles offer excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. There’s no need to grip hard with your toes and risk injuring your big toe further.
- Water-ready uppers
- Cushioned midsole with raised arch zone
- Antimicrobial treatment
- Sticky rubber outsole
- Some may find that the forefoot strap is too long and leaves a piece hanging off when tightened fully
How Do Good Sandals Help With Hallux Rigidus?
Choosing the right sandals for hallux rigidus can help to distribute the pressure of your body weight evenly across your foot, reducing pressure on the affected toe and easing pain.
There should be a spacious fit for the metatarsals to splay naturally and there should be no pressure on the toes from the front of the shoe. Your toes should be free and able to move independently.
It’s also important that the shoe offers the right support for your foot. This will help to keep your joints properly aligned, reducing hotspots and allowing for a full range of movement.
Best Sandal Features for Hallux Rigidus
When looking for the best sandals for hallux rigidus, you should consider the following features…
Width is one of the most important features, as your toes will need space to spread out and shouldn’t be touching the front of the toe box.
Apart from a wide toe box, the entire sandal should be a little wider as this allows for swelling and keeps the foot comfortable if they do swell.
The sandals should also be fully adjustable so you can get an exact fit to your foot. This allows for complete customization as you need, and allows you to accommodate swelling if you need to.
A rocker bottom can be a helpful feature. This helps to reduce strain on the toe as it requires less movement from the foot in order to walk.
Some good examples are orthopedic sandals—which are designed to offer plenty of room, strong support, and protective cushioning. Birkenstocks are an example of a brand that offers sandals with wide fits, adjustable uppers, and contoured cushioned footbeds.