I have a bunion on my right foot. In the summer, I always become self-conscious about how my feet look in sandals and flip flops because of the protruding bump and the curved silhouette of my foot. But what bothers me most, which is a year-round problem, is how difficult it is to find closed shoes that fit and are comfortable to wear for hours on end.
Fortunately, with a little research and many purchases, I came across a world of “good” shoes for bunions that actually fit, plus they look super cute!
In this blog post, you can find:
- Best Sneakers for Bunions
- Top Walking Shoes for Bunions
- Best Boots for Bunions
- Best Slippers for Bunions
But before I introduce you to these shoes, lets talk about the key features the best shoes for bunions have.
Orthotic Insole: A bunion is a bone deformity and although true bunion correction or treatment cannot be achieved without surgically removing the bone, the condition can be controlled to minimize pain and discomfort and allow you to continue being active physically. This is where an orthotic insole is important. One major cause of bunions is excess motion or overpronation. Overpronation and the resulting excess motion it causes can be treated with orthotics in the shoes. Most shoe brands only construct their shoes with a thin and flat footbed that does nothing to support the arch and align the body. However, orthotic shoe brands such as Orthofeet, design their shoes with orthotic insoles that are the closest option to custom ones. The arch is positioned in the correct place, which is a little further back, supporting the feet and controlling them from rolling inwards.
Upper Material: Shoes are made from many different materials. However, there are specific ones that are much better for bunions because they stretch and flex around the disfigured bones and don’t put any extra pressure on them. Stretch knit fabric, mesh, and soft pliable leathers are the best options for feet with bunions.
Widths: The ‘one width fits all’ that most footwear brands adhere by can do more damage to your feet and sensitive bunions. Specialty footwear brands understand there are many people out there that have wide feet or feet with different conditions that require the extra space. Their selection includes wide, extra wide, and even extra extra wide choices that will fit almost any foot. Wide width shoes will provide your feet and bunion with a relaxed and comfortable fit without being squeezed.
Heel height: The lower the heel height, the better. Or if the shoe is designed in an ergonomic way, the heel will not place any pressure on the forefoot and toes. A higher heel will transfer weight from the rearfoot to the forefoot and place extra stress on the already damaged joints (the bunion), worsening the condition and leading to increased pain.
Toe-Box: If you can’t get shoes in wide width, at least try to find ones with a toe box that is wide, round in shape and has a nice height to it. Dress shoes, ballet flats and high heels/pumps usually have the opposite of this and are the worst shoes to wear if you have bunions. Their forefoot shape is narrow, pointed and has minimal space for the toes, squeezing them against each other. A good toe box will offer ample space for the bunion and promote biomechanical movement.
Interior: Since bunions may become inflamed and painful, it is important that any contact with it will be gentle and non-irritating. The best walking shoes for women with bunions should have a soft lining that is generously padded to offer maximum protection. If the lining is seam free that is even better since it will ensure no threads will cause any further irritation. This is especially important to those who have diabetes and neuropathy and have lost feeling in their feet and toes.
Extra depth: Sneakers or any other style that fit bunions should be designed with extra depth along the length of the shoe - from the heel to toe. Extra depth gives more room for the bunion and for the toes to move around freely. In addition, since feet with bunions usually require a custom or over-the-counter orthotic, the extra depth allows to insert one comfortably.
Here are our favorite picks for the best shoes for bunions, taking into consideration that every foot is different.
The Best Sneakers for Bunions in 2021
Theses styles are ideal tennis shoes for bunions since they are made with super stretch materials in the upper that accommodate the bunion by stretching over it to its exact shape. The bunion benefits from a pressure free environment which prevents it from further deformation. The stretch materials are highly breathable and will keep feet cool and dry, even when you are active, making them the best running shoes for bunions.
The unique last (shape of the mold of the shoe) upon which the shoe is built, is wide all around from the rearfoot all the way to the forefoot. The toe area is extraordinarily round, broad, and tall and gives the angulating bone on the big toe joint plenty of space to move around and not overlap adjacent toes.
Extra wide widths are available in these styles, and some colors are even offered in extra extra wide which is perfect for those with a combination of severe bunions, swollen and wide feet!
To help prevent further damage and relieve pain, the premium orthotic insole keeps the feet in check, making sure when they touch the ground, they do not overpronate and put pressure on the bunion. It also controls overpronation and aligns the feet and body from the ground up.
Coral is available in black, gray, and turquoise and look great with any whatever you wear.
Edgewater is available in black and the recently launched gray. The gray has an added bonus feature of being slip-resistant, meaning you can pretty much tackle any surface with confidence.
The Best Walking Shoes for Bunions in 2021
The best bunion shoes that will allow you to walk pain free no matter what you do, or how busy your day, is Palma. Cute and simple in style, it packs many features that will allow you to keep going, but leaving your feet refreshed even at the end of the day.
Thanks to the stretch knit uppers, Palma will fit your feet like a glove and the bunion will not be squeezed. Palma will move with you and its fabric will stretch over any bumps to provide an unconstricted environment. To us, this is an ideal feature in women's walking shoes for bunions.
The wider than average shape, extra depth design that runs from the rearfoot to the front, as well as the round and high toe box, will reduce bunion aches and protect it from further injury.
Additional pressure will not be exerted on the bunion since the built in anatomical orthotic insole will help realign the foot and position the big toe so that it functions correctly when you move.
Thick foam padding built in the insole, special sole design and interior of the shoes will further protect the sensitive bone from external shock forces.
Versatility is Palma’s uniqueness, allowing you to pair it with virtually any outfit and wear it year-round. Palma is available in staple black and light gray.
For those days when your feet and bunion just don’t get a break, Avery Island will be your new best friend.
Avery Island is a sport casual style designed for the man on the go who wants superior cushioning and comfort. It has a full grain leather upper that is especially soft and pliable to fit a bunioned foot. It can accommodate a broad range of feet thanks to the 5 widths it is available in – from narrow all the way up to extra extra wide (6E)!
What makes it stand out from most casual shoes, making it a fantastic choice for men's walking shoes for bunions is its expanded forefoot shape that will provide the best relaxed fit for bunions or other misshapen bones. It also offers more room vertically, meaning the toe box is high which enhances comfort even more.
The decorative stitching on the outside is exactly as implied, only for style, and cannot be felt on the inside thereby eliminating pressure points on the bunion. The interior is lined with a smooth and seam free fabric to provide the gentlest touch with the skin as even the smallest thread can be a source of irritation.
And to complete the package, the orthotic insole that has helped millions of customers find relief from pain, is included inside the shoes. The winning combination of anatomical arch support and shock absorbing cushioning will soothe your inflamed bunion and help correct the improper gait it has caused.
Avery Island is a great style for every day and can be easily worn with a variety of outfits to work or going out. Available in black and brown.
The Best Boots for Bunions in 2021
Ranger is a one-of-a-kind boot that will keep your bunion pain at bay, plus it has other great features that will make your life better.
The designers of this boot looked at how to improve functionality and came up with an innovative solution. The height of any boot makes it difficult to insert the foot inside and having to constantly tie laces is tedious. So, they designed a boot with two zippers at the heel that allow for quick and easy on/off wear. This is a game-changer and putting on and taking off these boots can be done in a snap!
In addition, the sole is constructed from special rubber and has a unique tread design that channels liquids away from the shoe making it slip resistant, making them perfect for rain, snow or any workplace setting with a slippery surface.
A wide and tall toe box is ideal for feet with forefoot issues such as bunions, hammertoes, and swollen feet. This ensures the toes have full freedom to move around and remain straight without gravitating towards others, which is essential for making sure the existing bunion doesn’t deteriorate.
The premium orthotic insole makes them super comfortable and supportive for even the most challenging activities and they will keep your bunion in check. What’s more, the materials used in these boots make them light, you won’t even realize they are on your feet.
With winter upon us, its only fitting to keep our feet cozy, warm and supported all day. However, boots sometimes pose a challenge as they can be difficult to get on or are uncomfortable and tight for bunions. Fortunately, Florence is nothing like that and you will find yourself recommending them to others.
A customer favorite, Florence will feel so good on your feet you won’t want to take them off! Available in the most popular colors, black and camel, they will work with any outfit from leggings to jeans. They are designed with two hook and loop straps across the instep allowing the boot to completely open up and the tongue to fall forward so that you can pretty much “step” into them easily. This also allows you to achieve a secure and customized fit according to your foot shape.
Made with a suede upper, they are super soft and pliable and will not put any further pressure on the bone. The inside is lined from top to bottom, including the insole, with thick synthetic fur to help keep your feet warm. And unlike most shearling boots, they are actually healthy for your feet since they include full orthotic support and cushioning to help support your feet and relieve bunion pain.
The Best Slippers for Bunions in 2021
Slip into unrivaled comfort and support (yes, they are 100% supportive!) with the Louise and Hudson house shoes. One thing is for sure, your bunion will love the 4-way stretch materials that will conform to your exact foot shape and offer a relaxed fit. The upper material includes an airy design to promote airflow, making them prefect for warm weather or for feet that are prone to sweat.
What’s different about these slippers from most conventional ones is that they are designed with the same pain relief technology as regular orthotic shoes so that you experience comfort, support, and protection while you are at home.
They include the Ortho-Cushion System™ which is comprised of an orthotic insole and ergonomic sole to minimize overpronation, reduce heel pain, provide heel to toe cushioning and facilitate foot motion.
And of course, the generous forefoot design is perfect for any bunion. They even have a ‘real’ outsole just in case you forget to take them off when you leave the house!