A bunion can cause plenty of discomfort while walking if left untreated. Since high heels and normal shoes have a narrow front, you are likely to experience agony if you walk or stand for long periods. Thus, you need to get the best shoes for bunions for pain-free running and walking. A wide toe box, low heel, arch support, flexible uppers, cushioned inners and sturdy soles are key to treating bunions.
Admittedly, the condition is not solely caused by high heels or improper footwear. However, these choices can cause the situation to worsen if you have a preexisting bunion or are genetically predisposed to its formation. Before you start looking for the right footwear, you need to understand the issue.
What Are Bunions?
A bunion, painful swelling or bump, forms when pressure causes the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe to get misplaced. Consequently, the big toe turns towards the rest, creating a protrusion that is sore and stiff. Standing, walking or wearing shoes for long periods can become a nightmare if this condition goes untreated.
Typically, bunions may be due to wearing pointed-toe shoes, overpronation or wearing shoes that are too tight. Although this issue seems to warrant surgery, buying the best shoes for bunions can help relieve pain and pressure on your feet and keep you comfortable. Check out some of our best picks and learn more about what you should consider when buying.
5 Best Shoes for Bunions
1. Birkenstock Women's Arizona Soft Footbed Suede Sandal
- Original BIRKENSTOCK soft footbed; anatomically shaped
- Surface material: suede
- Lining: suede
- Soft Footbed - Contoured cork footbed conforms to the shape of your foot and features pronounced arch support with an extra layer of super soft foam cushioning; a deep heel cup and roomy toe box;...
- Details: strap with two individually adjustable metal pin buckles
The Birkenstock Women's Arizona Soft Footbed Suede Sandal has an anatomical shape to help people with bunions. The shoes are designed with a contoured cork setting for placing your feet. This feature allows each shoe to provide ample arch support for correcting issues with bunions.
Each shoe has a deep heel and a roomy toe box that adds comfort as it is also lined with suede. The extra soft memory foam provides sufficient cushioning to keep your feet comfortable. This material is terrific for bunions since it does not irritate the skin. Also, the soft leather upper makes the footwear durable.
Moreover, these Women's Arizona Sandals have an EVA outsole that is super lightweight and provides shock-absorbing qualities. Thus, you are guaranteed to get a supportive shoe that will not expose your feet to the stresses of uneven ground.
2. Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe
- Lace-up front
- Lightweight Flex Foil Perfomance
- Anatomical Precise-Return insole for extra arch and heel support
The Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoes offer one of the best options for bunions because they focus on being comfortable and flexible. The knit used in the upper can stretch to give you more room at the forefoot, for starters. This feature ensures that your bunions do not become irritated while walking or standing.
Next, the midsole is adequately cushioned, which improves the shock-absorbing qualities of the shoes. The footbed offers an anatomical precision return to keep your foot in a natural position when you take strides or stand.
Moreover, the EVA outsole has the RE-ZORB platform that runs along the length of the shoe. This feature is an external pod network that helps the midsole and outsole to be more supportive and flexible. Plus, the shoes are breathable and lightweight for more comfort.
3. ASICS Men's Gel-Contend 6 Running Shoes
- AmpliFoam Midsole: Engineered to maintain durability at softer densities, providing better flexibility, comfort, and platform adaptability ideal for natural running.
- Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- Ortholite Sockliner: Moisture management (Ortholite is a registered trademark of O2 Partners LLC).
- Extra wide fit:
If you want shoes that offer style and comfort while being excellent for bunions, look no further than the ASICS Men's Gel-Contend 6 Running Shoes. The internal heel counter of this footwear offers significant support as it ensures that your feet remain secured while you walk. Plus, the rearfoot uses the Gel feature to absorb shock as your foot impacts the floor and helps you achieve a smooth transition.
Moreover, the Ampli-foam midsole has the right mix of qualities to guarantee a soft, flexible and durable footbed. Also, the design helps to put your feet in their natural position when running. As a bonus, the Ortholite Sockliner excels at moisture management to help reduce sweating issues.
Finally, the breathable mesh upper can stretch to accommodate the bunions without adding pressure or rubbing them. Thus, these are some of the best running shoes for people with bunions since they are also quite affordable.
4. New Balance Women's 928 V3 Lace-Up Walking Shoe
- Leather upper
- Removable polyurethane footbeds
- Rubber outsole
The New Balance Women's 928 V3 Lace-up Walking Shoes are among the most durable options on our list, thanks to the 100% leather material used for the upper. You can get numerous options for wide widths to cater to your bunion. Plus, these shoes pack in extra features that any podiatrist would recommend.
The ROLLBAR system controls the movement of your feet to ensure your gait cycle remains natural. Users get enhanced support for guiding their foot when they walk so that it maintains a neutral position. This support system is excellent for relieving pressure from your forefoot and distributing it evenly throughout the foot.
The midsole inside the New Balance Women's Walking Shoes is cushioned with ABZORB technology that increases your comfort. Plus, the cushioning also resists compression, while the PU foam footbed ensures the underfoot remains comfortable. Finally, the rubber outsole is slip-resistant and does not wear out easily.
5. Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe
- Lightweight and flexible
- Responsive 5Gen cushioning
- Skechers Goga Max high rebound insole
- Breathable mesh upper. Heel panel overlay with top loop
- Soft fabric lining and padded collar
If you want a pain-free experience despite being terrorized by a bunion, the Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy Walking Shoes are among the most affordable options to buy. The features of this footwear are geared towards providing reliable comfort. The Goga Max insole works with the 5GEN midsole to provide extra cushioning for your feet.
Additionally, the knit fabric of the sock-like upper has a breathable quality for added comfort. The flexible mesh-like material does not add any pressure on the bunion, and it will stretch to accommodate it. With options for wide widths and numerous colors, you can choose the style that best fits your needs.
What to Consider When Buying Shoes for Bunions
When it comes to having a bunion and normal shoes, it can be difficult to find ones that fit comfortably, especially around the affected area. Wearing running shoes that work with your gait cycle (Neutral, Over-Pronation, and Supination) and can offer you the proper support will lessen common bunion pain. You'll also want to wear arch support that pushes right under the ball of your foot and decreases forefoot pressure.
In all, wearing a combination of good-fitting shoes and arch support, either over the counter or custom orthotics, will give you the best possible outcome. Let us delve into more details on what else you should consider.
a). Arch Support and Stability
The arch, the curved part at the bottom of the foot, determines whether you require plenty of support or more comfort. A higher foot arch corresponds to under-or-neutral-pronation, and these people need a lot of cushioning in their shoes. On the other hand, people with flat feet and overpronation should find supportive and flexible shoes.
Bunion pains often arise from overpronation since you put too much pressure on your forefoot. Consequently, the bone at the side of your big toe may deform and become sensitive to stress. The best shoes for bunions must help to correct the situation by adjusting your foot to its neutral position when walking or standing.
You need to buy shoes that can help to correct improper foot movement through features like a guiding mechanism or a rail. These characteristics will keep your arches from excessively rolling inward while stabilizing your strides and stance. After all, people with bunions should avoid placing too much stress on their big toes.
Easing the force exerted on your forefoot is critical towards dealing with bunions. Hence, look for generous cushioning or memory foam with shock absorption qualities in shoes.
b). Wide Toe Box
Shoes with wide widths provide ample room to accommodate your bunions and avoid irritating them. Narrow footwear or ones with a low clearance above the toes will cause discomfort if you have the issue. Ideally, it is advisable to find shoes with a wide toe box that matches or is more than your foot's width.
Custom orthotics for people with bunions can be thicker and wider than many types of shoes. Wide widths can accommodate the specialized cushioning without making it a tight fit.
Luckily, shoes that deal with bunions have different sizes to ensure that they can fit virtually any foot. You may need to test out the various widths to find those that will not squeeze your feet.
c). Heel Height and Shoe Depth
High heels put more pressure on your forefoot by directing most of your body weight there. Thus, people with bunions should avoid such shoes since they will cause more pain and worsen the condition. Ergonomically designed footwear or ones with a low heel height help to distribute your weight evenly on your feet.
If you have bunions, you should focus on finding shoes that offer more height along their length from the toes to the heels. More depth ensures your feet are free to move without causing you pain. Plus, thick orthotics have a much better chance of comfortably fitting inside the shoes if they are deeper.
d). Materials and Comfort
The materials used to make the shoes' upper are critical to ensuring you do not irritate the bunion. Stretching and flexing are some of the core qualities you should look out for. After all, it would be best if you kept your big toe and front foot free of any pressure to ensure the joint is not irritated. Soft leather, mesh and stretchy knit fabric are ideal options.
Soft lining on the inside of the shoes will help to prevent inflaming or irritating the bunion. Linings without seems remove the worry of threads interfering with the bunion and causing pain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Shoes for Bunions
1. Can you correct a bunion without surgery?
Treatments for bunions that do not include surgery exist. Once a podiatrist examines your condition, they can recommend various conservative remedies that include buying custom orthotics, extra padding in the shoes for your feet, getting specialized footwear, physical therapy and pain medications.
Living with the issue can be quite stressful, especially when your work involves standing or walking for long hours. Still, you have plenty of options when t comes to correcting bunions. If your bunion pain persists, surgery may be a viable option.
2. Are wide shoes better for bunions?
A wide toe box is essential to ensure you do not push on, rub or irritate your bunions. The inner part of the shoe must be softly padded for a comfortable fit that also cushions the area around your big toe. Finally, buy a shoe that is as wide, if not wider, as the widest part of your foot.