Best Shoes for a Broken Toe

Best Shoes for a Broken Toe

by Purposeful Footwear - Last Updated: April 25, 2017

A broken toe can take as long as six weeks to heal. So most people will have to do at least some walking during the process. If you are not wearing the best shoes for a broken toe, healing could take significantly longer.

Sifting through the available options to find the best shoe to suit your needs could be an exhaustive process. Fortunately, we’ve done all of the research so that you don’t have to.

We believe the Birkenstock Unisex Milano Sandal are the best shoes for a broken toe, for reasons we’ll explain below. However, we also suggest alternatives, in case budget, dress codes or other circumstances indicate different options might be more appropriate for your individual situation.

First, let’s look at what factors you need to consider when choosing the best shoes for a broken toe.

  • Keep toes straight – Your first instinct may be to wear soft shoes, in order to make your toe more comfortable, but what you really need is the exact opposite: extremely stiff shoes with a curved sole. A stiff shoe will stabilize the fracture, while the curved sole will cause your foot to roll when you walk, instead of bending your toes. A shoe which keeps pressure off your toes and the ball of your foot will allow the fracture to heal.
  • Swelling – An open-toed sandal will also allow a little of extra room in case the broken toe is swollen.
  • Protection – If your toe isn’t too swollen to wear a closed toe shoe, you should make sure that the upper front is also very stiff and solid, to protect the toe while it is healing.
  • Function – Will you need to wear shoes that are appropriate for the workplace, or is protecting the broken toe your only consideration?

Sandals

Broken toes are often swollen, at least at first. And the last thing you want to do is try to stuff it into a closed toe shoe that will squeeze it painfully. If you are not restricted by any consideration other than being allowed to walk while your toe is healing, then there is no reason why you should wear anything other than open-toed sandals until the swelling goes down.

In that case, Birkenstock Unisex Milano Sandals are the best possible choice. They offer all of the features necessary to aid healing, and more, as well as providing a little extra room for your toes to remain comfortable until the swelling goes down.

Unlike most styles of Birkenstock sandals, the Milano has a strap in the back of the heel. This is of the utmost importance, because styles without that back strap require you to scrunch your toes down when you walk in order to keep the shoe on your foot, and the one thing you absolutely must do when one of your toes is broken is bend them as little as possible.

The rigid, curved soles of these Birkenstocks facilitate the rolling gait that requires significantly less motion of fractured toes, which will help the break to heal. What makes this shoe truly outstanding, however, is the addition of a deep heel cup that offers greater stability and a raised toe bar which provides extra support for your toes.

As though all of that were not enough, this style offers even more helpful features. Not only will the open toes provide comfortable extra room for your toes until the swelling goes down, all three of the straps are adjustable for a more perfect fit all around your foot. There is a softly molded insole, as well, which adjusts to your foot and acts as a shock absorber – which goes a long way to preventing foot fatigue.

All of these features combined make Birkenstock Unisex Milano Sandal the best shoes for a broken toe, particularly if there is swelling. This style is available for both men and women, in black and brown Amalfi leather.

The Milano sandals are superbly well-made and very attractive. However, some people may find them a bit on the pricey side. If so, there are less expensive alternatives which offer the most necessary features in models for both men and women, without all of the extras in the Birkenstock.

Fila Men’s Transition Athletic Sandal

The raised toe, adjustable back strap and stiff sole will all help to keep your toes from bending. These are the features most necessary for allowing a broken toe to heal while you are still walking around. Additionally, the midsole has cushioning that will provide at least some measure of shock absorption.

Fila is a well-respected quality brand, so the quality level of these sandals is still more than satisfactory at significantly lower price than the Birkenstocks. They are available in black or espresso.

Clarks Women’s Arla Jacory Wedge Sandal

An attractive sandal with a rigid sole and raised toe, the Clark’s Arla Jacory Wedge Sandal will do a good job of keeping your toes from bending too much. While only the back strap is adjustable, the two top straps are made from a fabric that is stretchy enough to comfortably adjust to your foot size.

These sandals are available in several different colors, in a smart style that is versatile enough to wear on a variety of occasions. Clarks, of course, is well-known for quality shoes. Yet many size/color combinations of this style are far below the cost of the Birkenstock Milano, while providing the features most necessary to allow your broken toe to heal.

Closed-Toe Shoes

The weather, work dress codes or any number of other factors might make it impossible for you to wear sandals while trying to recover from a broken toe. And if the toe isn’t swollen, then there is less necessity for an open-toed shoe. In fact, you might prefer the protection that a closed-toe shoe will offer. For the most versatile use, we believe many people will find that Dansko’s Pro XP styles for men and women will be the best shoes for a broken toe that isn’t swollen.

Dansko Men’s Pro Xp

The raised toe and thick, solid sole will keep your toes from moving too much. In fact, this model is supported by a metal shank. Plus, the stiff upper will not only provide protection to the broken toe, but also a spacious amount of room above. That means you won’t have any pressure at all on your toes from the shoe’s upper.

This style offers additional comfort features, as well. There is a cushioned insole and padding around the collar of the shoe. The simple, sleek style should be perfectly acceptable in the workplace or even dressier occasions, if necessary.

Dansko Women’s Pro XP

There are a whopping 28 colors and patterns available to choose from in Dansko Women’s Pro XP. So you should have no problem whatsoever finding something to suit your tastes that will work in a variety of environments.

Like the men’s version, there is not only a rigid sole and raised toe, but a very spacious toe box. The result is that there should be minimal toe movement and no pressure on them from above, both of which will facilitate the healing process.

While we believe that the Dansko Pro XP models for men and women are the best shoes for a broken toe that isn’t swollen, or for anyone who needs a closed-toe shoe for whatever reason, there are other Dansko styles which will provide close to the same advantages at a more affordable cost.

Dansko Men’s Professional Box Leather Clog

The only real difference between this model from Dansko and the Men’s Pro XP is that the toe box is slightly shorter. You will not have quite as much room to maneuver, but you should still not have any pressure from the shoe’s upper on your toes.

There is still the absolutely necessary rocker bottom with upward curving toe and stiffly rigid sole. Additional comfort features are also included, such as arch support, shock absorption and a padded collar around the shoe.

With a dozen styles to choose from in the leather upper, it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that meets your requirements. There is no question that this Dansko style has a lot to offer, without springing for the ultimate Pro XP version.

Work Wonders by Dansko Women’s Camellia Clog

Almost 20 colors and patterns are available in this Dansko style for women, and some size/style combinations are significantly lower than the women’s Pro XP version, without sacrificing a whole lot on features. Both the upper and the sole are very stiff, which means your toes will be protected while also not moving too very much. There is also a little bit of shock absorption provided by the midsole

The biggest difference between this style and the Women’s Pro XP is that the toe box is not quite as high. You should still not have any pressure on your toes from the shoe’s upper, there just won’t be a lot of extra space around them. All in all, the Camellia could be a satisfactory budget option for a closed-toe shoe while waiting for a broken toe to heal.

Conclusion

The two most important features you should look for in shoes to wear while a broken toe is healing are a rigid sole and a toe box that curves upward, for a rolling gait. Both of these will significantly decrease the movement of your toes, which will help to heal the fracture. Even the budget alternatives listed here provide those features.

However, the models we’ve chosen as the absolute best shoes for a broken toe offer additional features which result in a very noticeable increase in both comfort and effectiveness. We highly recommend them for your consideration.

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