Table of Contents
Bunion, also known as hallux valgus, is a common foot disorder that is caused when the big toe bends towards the smaller toes. This foot condition develops over time and is often accompanied by a bony lump on the side of the foot. Bunions are fairly common among women and elderly persons. Recent surveys have concluded that approximately 23% people aged 18-65 years and more than 35% people aged over 65 years suffer from this painful, bony foot deformity.
A bulging lump on the sides of your feet, big toe pointing towards the other toes, hard, red and swollen skin over the bony lump, restricted movement of your big toes, and pain in the big toe joint are common signs of bunions or hallux valgus. As the big toe starts bending inwards, it starts to interfere with the normal alignment and functioning of the foot, thereby causing further problems such as hammer toe, claw toe, corns, calluses, and much more. Bunions may also alter your gait, which in turn can affect your knees, ankle, and other joints. Further, they are painful and the pain is severe when wearing shoes and walking. If not treated, this foot condition can become severe and may require surgery. Unfortunately, there is no cure for bunion because it is not a disease but a condition. However, most of us can prevent them from occurring as well as avoid them from getting worse by treating them early.
Yes, they can.
The exact cause of bunions is not clear but recent studies have indicated that they could be caused due to genetic inheritance, flat-footedness, arthritis, foot injury, and wearing high heeled shoes or shoes that are too narrow. (3) This is probably the reason why women are more prone to bunions than men. Wearing tight shoes and high heels push the toes forward against each other and squeeze the toes together, causing bunions. Further, such shoes shift the weight of the body towards the toes and the toe bones instead of the arch and the heels, thereby affecting the natural shape of the foot. (4) If you are in a profession that requires you to be on your feet for long hours and if you don’t wear supportive footwear to bear the strain, you are more likely to get bunions.
Some experts believe that ill-fitted shoes cause bunions, whereas some others feel that shoes only aggravate the already existing condition. More research is required to confirm if ill-fitted shoes are responsible for this painful foot condition. Nevertheless, wearing well-fitted shoes for tailor’s bunion with wide toe box is strongly recommended for everyone, even if you are not suffering from this foot condition.
Please note: As mentioned above, if you are flatfooted, you are more prone to getting bunions. Wearing supportive footwear can, however, help you prevent this painful condition as long as possible. Here are some of the best shoes and insoles for flat feet that you may try. Also, make sure you do some flat feet exercises regularly to lift up your arch.
Not many of us actually bother too much while choosing our shoes until we end up with foot problems. Very often, we put fashion ahead of comfort and that’s where we go wrong. Our feet bear the burden of our weight and our daily activities. Therefore, they deserve more attention than what they are getting currently. If you are suffering from bunion pain or if you are more prone to getting them, follow these simple and yet helpful tips for buying the right pair of shoes for bunions.
Do not guess your size
The topmost secret of buying comfortable shoes for bunions is to get your feet measured every time you buy a new shoe. You can get it measured accurately by a podiatrist or ask the sales staff to help you. The shape and size of the bunions can change over time and that’s why it is important to get your feet measured so you don’t end up with a shoe that rubs on the bunion and causes further discomfort. Buying well-fitted, comfortable shoes for bunion sufferers is a crucial step to prevent the further aggravation of the bunion and the pain caused by it.
Buy shoes that have a roomy toe box
Narrow, pointed toe boxes are not recommended for people suffering from bunions. Such shoes do not let your feet stay in their natural position. The toes will remain crammed inside them, which will eventually cause bunions, blister, corns, calluses, shin splints, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and many other foot problems. The best shoes for bunions are the ones that let your feet stay in their natural position. Their toe areas are shaped like our foot and they allow free movement of the toes without any rubbing or cramming. If the sides of your toes rub against the sides of the shoes, you may get blisters. So, always buy wide toe box running shoes that let your toes wiggle freely. You may have to buy a ½ size larger shoe to accommodate your toes comfortably.
Ditch the heels
Shoes for people with bunions must not have heels higher than 2 inches and they must not have pointed toe box. In fact, you should prefer low-heeled shoes with wide toe box. High heels will force the toes forward, thereby adding the pressure on the bunion. Opt for shoes that have laces or buckles so that you can adjust them as per your need.
Buy mesh or canvas shoes
Shoes for bunions that are made of fabric such as mesh or canvas will offer more stretch than the other types. The fabric will stretch in the toe box and throughout the surface of the shoes to accommodate your feet comfortably, thereby preventing any rubbing and discomfort.
Some more helpful tips:
Other than buying the best shoes for bunions, you can also invest in some accessories that help alleviate the pain and provide comfort and stability to your foot. Some such accessories are as below:
Bunion splints are devices that you can wear at night while sleeping. All they do is they push or pull your big toe back to its normal alignment. They are available in many varieties and designs. Some pull the big toe away from the other toes, whereas some push it. The splint is tied to your foot with the help of a band. All the available varieties are equally effective. You just need to choose a design that you find comfortable. Since you will be wearing it the whole night, you must buy something that doesn’t disturb your sleep. Further, splints do not work overnight. You need to wear them for months. So, choose a design wisely.
Please note that bunion splints cannot reverse the bunion. It can, however, stop this condition from becoming severe.
Toe spacers are pads made of silicon or gel. As their name suggests, they help space out the big toe from the other toes, thereby reducing the pain and preventing bunions from aggravating. You need to wear them during the day. Most toe separators do not take up too much space in the shoes and therefore, you can easily wear them with any shoes for bunions. Just like bunion splints, they are available in many varieties and you need to buy something that feels comfortable to you.
Bunion pads are small inserts designed to protect the big toe joint from pain and pressure. These pads are usually made of gel, felt, or mole and you need to wear them with your shoes for bunions. They act as a protective barrier between the bunions and the shoes, thereby preventing rubbing, blisters, calluses, pain, and discomfort. Since you need to wear them with your shoes, buy some best shoes for bunions that are wide enough to accommodate the bunions pads. Do not buy the shoes that feel tight when wearing bunions or else it will further aggravate the pain. Like splints and spacers, bunion pads are also meant to prevent the bunion from becoming severe.
Now let us look at some of the top selling shoes and sandals that cover bunions.
As stated above, women are more prone to suffering from bunions, especially those who prefer wearing narrow, high heeled footwear. The painful bony lump, however, can make running a painful activity for you. Fortunately, bunion sufferers no more have to give up their favorite sport. By wearing wide toe box running shoes, you will be able to continue running, jogging, or walking comfortably without aggravating your foot condition.
Only buying extra wide womens shoes for bunions is not enough. You need to buy shoes that are specific to your feet, knees, and legs. If you are not suffering from overpronation, you need to buy neutral shoes with a wide toe box, whereas if you have a tendency to roll your feet inward or outward as you walk or run, you need to buy stability control running shoes for bunions. Female runners with flat feet/fallen arches should buy motion control shoes. No matter what type of shoe you choose, wide width should be your basic requirement.
Let’s look at some of the best selling shoes for bunions womens available on Amazon:
Any athlete with bunion knows how hard it is to continue your passion while still dealing with pain. Many popular running shoes do not include the features that you require for your comfort and pain relief. Athletes often find it difficult to buy best running shoes for bunions that can help them deal with the pain. Running creates repetitive pressure on the joint of the big toe, thereby causing swelling, stiffness, and a host of other problems. You, therefore, need to buy shoes that are able to help you keep pressure off the toe joint. Here are some of the top selling running shoes and best sneakers for bunions:
Flip flops and sandals are great for people suffering from bunions. Shoes and high-heeled pointed footwear constrict your toes, thereby causing bunions. On the other hand, sandals for bunions provide the much-needed breathing space to your toes and decrease the pressure under the big toe joint. While choosing the sandals that hide bunions make sure you buy the ones that provide appropriate arch support and have a wide toe box. Sandals with inappropriate arch support will ultimately transfer pressure on the big toe joint and on the heels. Therefore, you must always buy sandals that cover bunions as well as provide exceptional arch support and stability. Here are some of the best sandals for bunions that you may consider:
Bunions and open-toed sandals don’t go well together. The unsightly bony outgrowth can get your feet some unwanted attention. This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot wear flip flops and sandals and let your feet sweat in shoes throughout summer. The best sandals for bunions can provide you much relief from pain as well as help you hide the outgrowth so that it doesn’t make your feet look odd. Look for sandals for bunions that have well-cushioned straps that do not rub or cause any kind of discomfort. The straps should be well-placed, supportive, well-fitted, and should be able to camouflage the bunion (if you want to hide it). Further, the straps should be adjustable so that you can adjust their width as per your feet’s requirement. Here are some best-selling sandals that you may consider:
Most dress shoes are available with high heels, which is what we all love! Wearing them occasionally for a few hours is fine but if you wear them every day for hours, you will soon end up with bunions, metatarsal pain, knee pain, and much more. Further, if you are already suffering from bunion pain, you must not wear high heels at all. The safest option is to buy womens dress shoes for bunions that have heels no more than 1 inch. You obviously can go for stylish shoes for bunions but make sure they don’t have pointed toes. When you have bunions, always choose comfort over style. Here are some of our top picks for womens dress shoes for bunions:
Having a few great pairs of dress shoes is not luxury but a basic necessity. From handcrafted footwear to wear with your tuxedo to casual sneakers for a summer party, dress shoes for bunions can help you suit-up in a trendy way and yet, stay comfortable when you are on your feet. Like all other shoes for bunions, buy dress shoes that have moderately shaped toe area. Usually, most dress shoes have either pointed toe area or squared toe area. Both of these options are not recommended for people who are suffering from bunion pain. You need to look for shoes that have foot-shaped toe area i.e. they are in-between the pointed toe and square toe shape. Here are a few best-selling dress shoes for bunions:
We hope this blog helps you choose the right shoe for your foot problem. In most cases, icing the spot, wearing comfortable footwear, and taking medicines can help you deal with bunion pain. However, if the pain is unbearable and the condition has become severe, you may have to opt for a surgery.
References and Citations:
Last updated on September 30th, 2020