Women definitely seem to suffer from bunions more than men.
My wife and mother-in-law both have quite large bunions and the jury is out on whether they are inherited or caused by bad footwear.
If you look at other cultures around the world, where people have never used tight fitting shoes or high heels, the bunion problem is never seen at all, leading me to think that bad footwear choice is the cause. Wearing the right sort of shoe for foot pain problems can make the world of difference to you.
To save you time, our best shoe for helping with bunion pain is the Olivia Propet Slip-On.
There is a review further down the page, or click here to buy our top choice on Amazon.
If you are one of the unlucky people who has one of these painful and annoying growths, either by your big toe (bunion) or little toe (bunionette) what are the best shoes for bunions?
Many people seem to think that the obvious choice would be to wear bunion friendly sandals all the time, or flip-flops. This does sound like a logical idea, but if you live in colder countries, then this is not really an option.
The fact that your bunion will not be squashed inside a shoe when wearing a sandal is a great way to stop it from hurting, but they are not always the practical choice for most women.
Crocs are also a style of shoe that women often go for as these are a good compromise between a shoe and sandal.
The main issue is that many women struggle to find shoes that look stylish and “young” that also allow for a little “give” in the area where your bunion is growing.
Bunion friendly shoes are pretty boring…
Unfortunately, there are not many brands that offer these types of shoes, so finding them can be a struggle sometimes. As they are quite specific and only suit a smaller market, they are unlikely to be stocked in most shoe shops and you might have to find them online at stores like Amazon.
Many of the shoes look like they are designed for older women and are not really that exciting.
It can be the case that you might be able to find some shoes that fit well, but over time, the skin around your bunion may become sore as it rubs against the inside of the shoe.
Any additional pressure on a bunion can also be very painful, which is best to be avoided. You can overcome this wearing issue by using pads or gel inserts, but these will often cause the shoe to fit more tightly, which is what you are trying to avoid, really.
What to look for when choosing shoes for bunion problems.
- Choose a shoe with a generous width.
- Shop for shoes made from a mesh or canvas material which has more flexibility.
- Buy a slightly larger shoe size.
- Avoid those expensive, cool looking pointed shoes.
Look for shoe widths.
One of the options to think about when choosing a new pair of shoes, is to find a style that comes in a wider style.
Often, shoes can be purchased in different widths, similar to how children’s shoes are sized, making it easy to get the length fitted correctly, but the gaps at the sides of your feet can be a little wider.
Unfortunately, the differences in widths are not massive and will not allow much more room around your bunion, but they will make a difference.
Mesh and canvas type shoes.
Shoes that are made from a mesh or canvas type material often have more “give” and “stretch” than other types. This will allow the material of your shoe to stretch out around the place where your bunion is, making it more comfortable.
You will often find that a pair of loose fitting trainers or running shoes might offer the best fit, although they do not look very modern and stylish if you are going out to dinner.
Try a larger shoe size.
This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer really, but going 1 size larger than normal can make a lot of difference to the fit around your bunion. You may need to add some insoles or orthotics to stop your shoe from slipping around inside, but the additional space in the “toe box” area, will help reduce the pressure on your toe joint.
You can also try to find a shoe that offers a higher space inside the toe area, allowing more movement of your toes. If your toes are not squashed in all the time, this will help reduce any pressure or stop causing pain to the toes.
Don’t buy pointed shoes.
They might look snappy and stylish, but pointy shoes are not the best shoes for bunions. The reduced room around your toes will cause them to be pushed together, causing the bunion to get worse and be more painful.
Remember – it’s wearing shoes like this in the first place that will have made your bunion worse. It’s time to try and forget tight fitting shoes, i’m afraid.
What are the best shoes for bunions?
I wanted to suggest a shoe that would be suitable for women who have bunions. However, I wanted to avoid sandals, crocs and flip-flops and try to recommend something that looks good and would be suitable for wearing at most occasions; to work, dinner or just on a daily basis.
Propet Olivia Slip-On
This shoe (also available in cream/tan) is unfortunately a velcro style fastener, but it also looks quite stylish and does not look obviously like a shoe designed for people with bunion or foot problems.
The material used on the top of the shoe and covering the toes is very stretchy and will accommodate quite a large bunion without causing any pain to the wearer.
The reviews on Amazon for this product are really positive and many buyers have reported that the Propet Olivia has worked very well for their bunion problems.
The Olivia is also ideal if you need to use orthotics or insoles too, as they have been designed for people with foot problems.
I thought that this shoe would fit most uses and does not look too unusual or like it was made for much older women. However, my taste may not be to your liking at all – I was only thinking of a practical shoe that would work for most ladies.
After all, I am a man, so what do I know about ladies shoes 🙂
What are the best shoes for Bunionettes?
Having a growth on the same side of your foot as your little toe is called a Bunionette or Tailor’s Bunion, but can be treated in exactly the same way.
They do not grow quite as large as a normal bunion, but can be just as painful and inconvenient when you are looking for new shoes.
Again, as above, you should be looking for shoes that can stretch and are made from a canvas type material which will reduce the pressure in that area when you are walking. You can also look for shoes that are laced up using velcro as these can be easier to adjust to give yourself more room where you need it.
If your callus growth next to your pinky toes is not too severe, you might be able to use a soft gel bunionette pad to help relieve the pressure in that area. Some people find these very helpful to manage their pain.
There are many more types of shoes available on Amazon that are suitable for people with bunions, so you might find that there is another style that looks better that my choice above.
The best shoes for bunions are also an individual choice – you might be looking for a style that simply does not work well with bunions and you may have to resort to opting for something else that would not appear on an episode of Sex And The City.
Don’t forget, there are other products available for treating bunions, such as splits or toe straighteners. So don’t think that you have to settle for wearing special shoes, there are other treatment options available to you.