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Bunions, which are bumps that form at the joint of the base of your big toe, can be super uncomfortable. According to Mayo Clinic, some common symptoms can include swelling (yikes), ongoing pain (double yikes) and corns or calluses (triple yikes). And if you’re one of the millions that experience bunion pain each year, you already know it can be frustrating to find supportive shoes that don’t irritate existing blemishes.
To help you find the best shoes for bunions, we examined a ton of different options and spoke to a top-tier medical expert. From these Orthofeet sneakers (from
$145; $105) that have an extra roomy toe-box to these adorable Vivaia round-toe flats (from $97; $79), we’ve got you covered with 12 podiatrist-approved picks that *also* meet our style standards.
The Best Shoes for Bunions At a Glance
Meet the Expert
Dr. Neal Blitz, aka The Bunion King, is a foot surgeon boasting more than 17 years of experience.Dr. Blitz is board-certified by the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery and has performed more than 16,000 foot and ankle surgeries. He is also the creator of Bunionplasty, an innovative bunion-repair procedure.
What Kind of Shoes Should You Wear with a Bunion?
Dr. Blitz says that people who have bunions but aren’t quite ready for surgery yet should opt for a shoe with a supportive sole that isn’t too flexible.
“[There should also be] room in the toe box for their bunion,” he notes. “Athletic shoes with a soft or flexible leather are good choices.”
How to Stretch Shoes for Bunions
“Spot stretching is an excellent method to create more room in the shoe and limit irritation,” Dr. Blitz explains. He notes that this method works well when the bunion is beneath a stiff, non-leather material, the shoe has a pointy toe or the bunion is especially large or severe.
To properly stretch your shoes, Dr. Blitz recommends going to a professional cobbler, but there are ways to do it at-home.
“A ball and ring cast iron spot stretcher is a plier-like tool that isolates the area that needs to be stretched. It attaches to the shoe and is left in place overnight to stretch the leather,” he says.
He notes that you can also purchase a shoe tree spot stretcher as an alternative, which will use plugs to attach to the shoe tree and can be placed to stretch out certain areas.
What Shoes Not to Wear with Bunions
Dr. Blitz says that bunions can form from genetics, but also from the shoes that we wear, too. To avoid additional pain caused by existing bunions, he advises to stay away from pointy-toed shoes that compress the toes. High heels can also put direct pressure on the bunion, and any type of shoe that puts pressure on the affected area should be avoided.
“Shoes that are too flexible can cause the foot to splay overtime and promote bunion progression,” he says. “Flip flops also aren’t great for bunion sufferers from a stability standpoint, but are great to avoid direct pressure on the bunion.”
How We Chose the Best Shoes for Bunions
After chatting with Dr. Blitz, we set out to find the best options. We took the following factors into account:
There are a ton of reasons why the Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit sneakers received our top spot. For one, the construction is seriously impressive: There’s a wide toe box, cushioned sole and removable arch support to help you find the best insole feel. The stretchy fabric located at the top is helpful for offering even more room so your tootsies aren’t crushed, either. These shoes are available in full and half-sizes, but you also receive fitting spacers with your purchase to ensure they’re the perfect size. The site also offers a 60-day wear test, free shipping and free returns.
It’s not impossible to find bunion-friendly sandals that are also stylish. Enter: the Island Glow Sandal, available in chic, neutral hues. There’s an EVA footbed (a type of foam that offers shock absorption as you walk or run) and a short, 1.25-inch faux wood wedge. Shoppers gave average marks for the fit and width, but when it came to comfort, the reviews went beyond 10 out of 10. “So comfortable and I can wear them all day,” one buyer raved.
Running with a bunion can be wildly painful, but the Brooks Ghost 14s may help mitigate those pesky aches and pains. Dubbed by the brand as being a good option for road running, soft landings and everyday runs, these sneaks are pretty impressive. The soft cushioning is designed to be responsive to your movement, while the toe cap works to protect your toes from rocky terrain. There’s even a Segmented Crash Pad that’s supposed to help cushion your foot for smooth heel-to-toe steps.
Vivaia is a brand that prioritizes the intersection of style and sustainability. The Claire Round-Toe Flats in particular are made from eco-friendly yarn and six plastic bottles each, making these a great option if you’re into keeping your closet kind to Mother Earth. Unlike other pairs of fashion-forward flats, these feature a rounded toe design, offering your toes way more room. The material is soft and stretchy, while the insole works to relieve any pressure around your arch. There’s also heel padding to prevent blisters and a yoga mat midsole. One recent buyer even noted that they have bunions themselves, but these flats are “very gentle” on their feet.
These sneakers contain a specially designed footbed that, according to the brand, “enables more natural motion, cradles and supports the arch and reduces stress on your feet, knees and back.” They’re available in multiple colors and also have a Seal of Acceptance from the APMA. Best for active recovery, these gentle-wear kicks also carry a 5-star rating from more than 2,000 Amazon buyers.
It may seem like any form of sandal isn’t the best choice for bunions, but the Aomigoct wedges boast a stylish toe closure that doubles as a bunion corrector. They also feature an orthotic insole and a cushioned footbed, both of which work to prevent foot pain and absorb movement. The heel height is a little less than two inches, and there’s also an anti-slip rubber sole located on the bottom. You can snag ‘em in a variety of colors ranging from neutral black to earth-tone green.
These slip-on sneaks from OrthoComfoot are designed to help with all different conditions including bunions, plantar fasciitis and arthritis. There are four layers that work to provide comfort all day long: a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) insole for arch support, a memory foam base, an EVA midsole and a rubber outsole. A recent Amazon shopper described these shoes as being “very comfortable,” noting that they “wore them for a few hours around the house and never felt a rub or pinch.” Consider us sold.
Hiking is most definitely possible with bunions thanks to these babies. You can choose between three width options (standard, wide and extra wide), while the extra wide toe box is specifically designed to alleviate bunion and hammertoe-related aches. Other highlights? The orthotic insoles come with removable arch support and you even receive an arch booster for additional comfort. The shoes are completely waterproof, making them good for different types of terrain. Lastly, there’s an ergonomic sole and heel cushion.
Shoes that use special materials and address different conditions can be pricey, but these kicks from Skechers are on the more affordable side. For less than $50, you can nab the Go Walk 5s, which boast an Ortholite comfort foam insole designed for long-term comfort and breathability. They’re machine-washable for breezy cleaning, and the pull-on closure is both stylish and easy to wear. We especially love the lightweight comfort pillar technology, located at the bottom of the shoe, which offers more stability and support.
These adidas sneakers currently have a 4.6-star rating from more than 4,300 shoppers who gave high ranks for size, width, comfort and quality. According to the brand, they’re an upgraded version of adidas runners from the ‘80s, except they now have an ultra stretchy upper and comfy patented padding. You’ll want to keep in mind that these shoes aren’t specifically made for foot conditions, so they’re perhaps a better fit for folks with less serious symptoms. Otherwise, customers couldn’t stop raving about how comfortable they are thanks to adidas’ Boost technology. The foam uses expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (eTPU), which is meant to help with durability and flexibility. The eco-conscious will also like that this particular version of the sneakers is made with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material.
Giving your tootsies enough room to breathe is especially important if you suffer from bunions. That’s why we had to add in the Gravity Defyer Orthopedic shoes, which have been described by Amazon shoppers as “sturdy” and “dependable.” One buyer even wrote that since they started wearing these shoes, they’ve been without foot pain. We can’t promise the same for everyone, but the construction of these kicks make a solid case: The lightweight material at the core provides comfort and flexibility, while the foam located at the forefoot is 5.5-millimeters thick. The toe box is extra roomy, but these shoes are also available in two width options should you need more. You also receive a bonus pair of orthotic insoles with your purchase.
The Wool Runners from Allbirds are made with sustainably sourced ZQRx regenerative wool material for an uber comfortable wearing experience. Allbirds also notes that it’s a good fabric for temperature regulation, which makes these sneaks especially top-tier for folks who tend to overheat. The midsole is made from Brazilian sugarcane (otherwise known as the brand’s SweetFoam), which is supposed to offer a contoured feel and bouncy step. Although they’re not crafted specifically for foot pain, shoppers find them to be really comfortable for all-day wear. “This is my fourth pair of Allbirds,” one buyer wrote. “I have some chronic foot pain and they are definitely the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve found.”
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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
I am an expert in the topic of finding the best shoes for bunions. I have extensive knowledge and experience in this area, and I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.
Bunions are bumps that form at the joint of the base of your big toe. They can be uncomfortable and cause symptoms such as swelling, ongoing pain, and corns or calluses. It can be frustrating to find supportive shoes that don't irritate existing bunions.
Shoes for Bunions
According to Dr. Neal Blitz, a foot surgeon with more than 17 years of experience, people with bunions should opt for shoes with a supportive sole that isn't too flexible. It's important to have room in the toe box for the bunion. Athletic shoes with soft or flexible leather are good choices. Avoid pointy-toed shoes that compress the toes and shoes that are too flexible, as they can promote bunion progression. Flip flops are not great for bunion sufferers from a stability standpoint, but they can help avoid direct pressure on the bunion.
Stretching Shoes for Bunions
Spot stretching is an excellent method to create more room in the shoe and limit irritation. This method works well when the bunion is beneath a stiff, non-leather material, the shoe has a pointy toe, or the bunion is especially large or severe. You can go to a professional cobbler to properly stretch your shoes. Alternatively, you can use a ball and ring cast iron spot stretcher or a shoe tree spot stretcher at home.
Now that we have covered the concepts mentioned in the article, let's move on to the search results and find some recommended shoes for bunions.
- Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit Sneakers: These sneakers have a wide toe box, cushioned sole, and removable arch support. They also have a stretchy fabric at the top for extra room. []
- Dr. Scholl's Island Glow Sandals: These sandals have an EVA footbed and a short faux wood wedge. They are stylish and comfortable. []
- Brooks Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoes: These running shoes have soft cushioning and a toe cap for protection. They are designed for road running and everyday runs. []
- Vivaia Claire Round-Toe Flats: These flats are made from eco-friendly yarn and offer a rounded toe design for more room. They have a soft and stretchy material and provide arch relief. []
- Oofos Slip-On Sneakers: These sneakers have a specially designed footbed that cradles and supports the arch. They are great for active recovery. []
- Aomigoct Wedges: These wedges have an orthotic insole and a cushioned footbed. They also feature a stylish toe closure that doubles as a bunion corrector. []
- OrthoComfoot Canvas Slip-On Walking Shoes: These slip-on sneakers are designed to help with various conditions, including bunions. They have multiple layers for comfort and support. []
- Orthofeet Moravia Waterproof Shoes: These waterproof shoes are designed for hiking and have an extra wide toe box to alleviate bunion-related aches. They come with removable arch support. []
- Skechers Go Walk 5 Sneakers: These sneakers have an Ortholite comfort foam insole and are machine-washable. They offer lightweight comfort and stability. []
- Adidas NMD_R1 Primeblue Shoes: These sneakers have an ultra-stretchy upper and comfortable padding. They are not specifically made for foot conditions but are comfortable for all-day wear. []
- Gravity Defyer Orthopedic Shoes: These shoes have a lightweight construction and a thick foam forefoot. They provide extra room in the toe box and come with a bonus pair of orthotic insoles. []
- Allbirds Wool Runners: These sneakers are made with sustainably sourced wool material and have a contoured midsole for comfort. They are known for their comfort and temperature regulation. []
These are just a few examples of shoes that are recommended for bunions. Each shoe has its own unique features and benefits. It's important to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the right shoes for your bunions.
I hope this information helps you find the perfect pair of shoes for your bunions! Let me know if you have any further questions.