Updated: January 22, 2021
A bunion forms when the big toe gradually bends inwards towards the other toes on the foot, causing the toe joint to protrude. As the joint extends further out over time, the base of the toes widens. A bunion can be painful, especially when wearing shoes. Shoes that are tight in the toe box will constrict the bunion, causing stress and pain to the joint.
While surgery may be necessary in extreme cases, suitable shoes will go a long way to alleviate the pain caused by bunions. There are a few key features to keep in mind when searching for the best shoes for bunions.
First, look for shoes with a wide toe box which will give your foot ample room. Second, choose shoes made from materials that have some natural stretch, like fabric, mesh, or real leather. Third, choose a low heel. High heels put pressure on the ball of your foot–and by extension on your bunion. Lower heels will distribute your weight more evenly, taking pressure off your bunion.
There are orthotic shoes designed for bunions but carefully considering the different features of shoes at a regular shoe store will give you a wider–and more stylish–selection of shoes to choose from.