Authored by Adam Sherman
Best Sandals for Bunions: Your Complete Survival Guide
Do you suffer from pain at the base of your big toe? Do you find it difficult to wear normal shoes, both because of pain and because of a large, bony obstruction on your foot?
If that’s the case, you may be suffering from a common condition known as bunions. These painful formations can put a serious dampener on your life. If you think you may be suffering from bunion pain, keep reading as, in this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this painful condition, including how it develops and how to treat bunions without surgery.
What Are Bunions?
Bunions are a painful condition affecting the bones near the base of the big toe. Often, bunions will cause deformation of the foot, with a bony knob forming on the side of the foot.
With that in mind, it’s quite easy to imagine how difficult it can become to walk with bunions —especially when wearing regular shoes. In fact, many people who have bunions find that their shoes no longer fit, or that they’re not able to walk comfortably in their usual footwear.
Unfortunately, bunions typically begin to appear after a person has already reached their twenties—meaning that it may be easier to develop one than you think. For this reason, those who have the tell-tale signs of a bunion should seek to take quick remedial action. In doing so, it may be possible to slow the development of the bunion, or even keep it from growing further.
The great news is that there are a lot of different treatment options for bunions currently available. We’ll go through some of the common forms of treatment you should be aware of later in this article, we’ll first take a closer look at the condition and explain how it develops.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions don’t just appear overnight. Instead, they’re usually caused by an accumulation of stress on the bone by the big toe. For most people, the big toe naturally curves inward and can, therefore, begin to press on the metatarsal bone behind it in some cases.
Over time, this can lead to serious problems for some individuals. As the big toe continues to press on the metatarsal, it will eventually knock it out of alignment, causing the bony protrusion known as a bunion.
Watch this informational video by the Mount Sinai Health Services for a thorough explanation:
Keep also in mind that bunions may develop from other factors as well. For instance, it has been shown that some people are more genetically predisposed to developing bunions than others.
Do you suspect you may be suffering from a bunion? To assist you, we’ve listed below some of the main symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
Symptoms of Bunions
Chances are, if you’re suffering from a bunion, you know it. If you’re suffering from unexplained big-toe pain, however, check to see if any of the following apply to you. If so, you may have a bunion:
Bump Near Your Big Toe
First and foremost, check to see if you have any large obtrusions near the base of your big toe. If so, you most likely have a bunion.
Keep in mind that these bumps can be both hard and soft, depending on how advanced they are. If your bunion is new, it will, most likely, still be soft to the touch. The worse it gets, however, the harder it will feel. These softer bumps are created by misplaced tissue, with the condition worsening over time to affect one’s bones and harden the lump.
Your Toe Hurts
Is it getting difficult to walk? Do you have shooting pain in your toe when you do so? Is your pain coming from the lump?
If any of the above applies to you, consider whether you may have a bunion. Depending on the severity of your bump, your condition may be quite painful. This proves especially true for those who are wearing tight-fitting or uncomfortable shoes, or for those who have to stand for long periods.
If you notice a painful bump at the base of your big toe, it’s time to look into it seriously as you may have a bunion.
In addition to the bump, you may notice painful swelling in the area. Your foot may also look red or inflamed. This inflamed area will likely be tender and warm to the touch.
If you notice swelling, it’s important that you take steps to prevent the condition from aggravating. Because inflamed areas may indicate infection, it’s important to speak to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
Finally, if you’ve had a bunion for some time, it will likely take on a sleek, shiny look. If you notice this characteristic sign of a bunion, it’s time to talk to your doctor about options that are available to treat it.
Prognosis for Bunions
Pain is the most common complication for people who have bunions. This pain can range from mild to severe, with some patients finding it extremely difficult to walk.
If you find that your mobility is limited, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. You’ll want to find the right treatment plan for you as soon as possible so that you can restore mobility and increase your quality of life. Besides, by staying on top of your bunion treatment, you can prevent the condition from worsening.
Left untreated, bunions will typically progress in three stages.
Stages of Bunion Development
Take a look at the three stages of bunion progression. Keep in mind that the speed at which your bunion progresses depends on a number of different factors.
Secondary: Drifting—In the second stage of bunion development, you’ll find that the big toe begins to shift towards the toe beside it. To do so, it will take on a sharper curve and slowly gravitate that way. You’ll notice that the space between the toes is shortening, making it more difficult to wear some of the footwear you’ve worn before—especially open-toed shoes. You may also notice that pain and discomfort increase during this stage.
Tertiary: Contact—If you leave your bunion untreated long enough, the drifting of the big toe will continue. When this happens, the big toe will eventually make contact with the toe beside it, completely removing the space between the toes. What’s more, the bunion will begin to grow larger, as the bones in the big toe push outward. Pain and discomfort will continue to grow during this stage.
Quaternary: Crossing—Depending on whom you ask, you may find that some people consider there to be another stage of bunion progression. At this stage, the big toe will have passed underneath the toe beside it, making it difficult to move. By then, the bunion will be very large, and it will be painful for patients to walk normally.
The good news is that with prompt treatment, you can work to reverse or slow bunion progression. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly what to do in order to treat your bunion.
Read on as we dive into some of the treatment available for those suffering from bunions.
If you’re suffering from bunions, it’s important that you find the right treatment option as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t suffering from severe or even mild pain yet, you should take steps to keep your condition from worsening. When bunions are in the early stages of development, they’re much easier to treat and control. However, if you wait so long that more advanced treatment is required, you could find yourself going through complicated and costly procedures.
So what treatment options are available for bunions? The good news is that many of them are so cost-effective that they can almost fit everyone’s budget. Even better, depending on your stage of bunion progression, you may even be able to take simple actions at home to correct your condition before it gets worse. In fact, by taking the appropriate measures, it’s possible to allow your bunion to heal without invasive treatments.
To determine which treatment option is right for you, speak to a doctor who will be able to analyze and diagnose your situation. Only a trained medical professional can assist you in getting the diagnosis and the treatment plan that’s right for you.
Having said that, it’s important for you to know that there are a number of treatment options available. As mentioned before, the efficiency of these treatments could be directly related to the progression and stage of your bunion. For this reason, treatment options range from easy to mild to severe.
Interested in knowing more? Check out these common treatment below:
Investing in the Right Footwear for Bunions
The first line of defense to protecting your feet against bunions or help them heal is to wear shoes that fit. Remember when we said that women were more likely to get bunions than men?
This is true for a major—yet simple—reason. Unlike women, men don’t need to wear form-defying shoes (such as high heels). Women, however, may wear these shoes quite often and though they may look pretty, they can greatly damage a woman’s foot.
So, ladies (and gentlemen, too), be careful with your footwear. Keep in mind that if your toes are being bent into an uncomfortable point just to fit inside a pair of shoes, you’re likely damaging your foot. Prolonged use of such footwear can lead to lasting damage—such as bunions. The longer you continue to wear these shoes and ignore medical treatment, the worse you can expect your condition to get.
For this reason, it’s absolutely critical that you invest in the right footwear at the first sign of a bunion. In fact, you can start even earlier if you want to avoid getting bunions in the first place.
Generally speaking, this means that you’ll need to get shoes that actually fit—and not those that make your feet feel trapped. What’s more, you’ll want to make sure that you’re adding inserts and insoles as necessary to keep your feet comfortable. This proves especially true for those who stand on their feet for prolonged periods.
Because bunions are thought to be hereditary in some cases, make sure that you’re aware of your family history. If you know that they run in the family, take extra care to wear shoes that fit. The good news is that you’ll never have to sacrifice style for comfort as there are several sleek and fashionable bunion friendly shoes on the market.
Trust us, with these shoes on, nobody, not even your friends, will be able to tell that you’re wearing an orthotic shoe.
If you’re not sure where to begin in selecting the right shoe for your bunion, don’t worry. We’ll go over what you should look for in more detail below. Even better, we’ll even go over some of the best shoes currently on the market so that you can get a jumpstart in finding the right pair for you.
Let’s first take a look at a few more treatment options available for those with bunions.
Your doctor may recommend that you tape your feet. This will help provide the support that your feet need to help prevent your bunion from getting worse. This can also help ease the pain and discomfort that you may be feeling due to your condition.
Wear bunion splints or correctors
Some doctors recommend alternatives to surgery to treat bunions which are less invasive. The idea is to gradually and gently restore the original shape and full functionality of your foot. The best way to go about it is to follow these three simple steps:
Use bunion splints or toe spacers: These affordable splints or toe spacers are easily available on Amazon and will help relieve the pain by gradually realigning your foot joint to its natural position. By providing support to your foot, the splint will also reduce the pressure on the foot joint and prevent the bunion from getting worse.
Massages: Massaging the painful area and performing some motion exercises can also prove very effective in training your foot muscles to move your toes back to their original and intended direction.
Footwear: As mentioned below, combining these two alternatives with the use of comfortable and adequate footwear can help reverse the damage.
Make sure you wear the bunion splint or corrector every day, massage a few times a day and wear footwear that encourages natural movement and increases your mobility as much as possible. Be consistent and be patient. It took months or years for your bunion to form and it’ll also most likely take time for it to disappear.
As mentioned above, performing regular motion exercises can help retrain your muscles and eventually keep your feet free from surgery. We’ve listed for you some key exercises which have proven helpful for some:
Toe points and curls:
Sit on a surface with your feet 6 inches away from the floor and point and curl your toes slowly. Do 20 reps for 2 or 3 sets.
Place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot back and forth over the ball for up to 5 minutes.
Sit on the floor with your feet slightly elevated, grip your big toe and perform a figure eight rotation for 3 sets. Repeat with the other big toe for 3 sets. Repeat the exercise 10 times (5 times for each foot).
If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, dig your feet in the sand and walk for 30 minutes on the beach every day. This will help strengthen your muscles and the sand rubbing against your feet will massage painful areas.
Finally, if you have a serious case of bunions, your doctor may recommend that you have surgery. This surgery will help realign your bones and ligaments to remove your bunion. This will also help reduce your pain and help restore your mobility.
Though surgery may sound like a scary option, don’t worry. Unless your bunion has already progressed quite far, it’s unlikely that you’ll need surgery. By taking the steps outlined above and working to address your bunion early, you’ll likely be able to prevent your condition from progressing so far that surgery will be necessary.
With that in mind, let’s now explore some of the best shoe options that you can start wearing to help ease your bunion burden.
Finding Shoes for Feet with Bunions
As mentioned, the wrong choice of shoes can leave you in pain—and make your bunion worse. For this reason, it’s important to understand which shoes you should be wearing to manage your condition.
The good news is that there are several different styles of shoes on the market for those who have bunions. This means that you’re almost certain to find something that you love.
But if you’ve never been shopping for shoes for bunions before, it can be difficult knowing just what to look for. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on what you should look for in your bunion-friendly shoes.
What to Look for In Shoes for Bunions
Need help in finding the right shoes for your bunions? Consider the information below to find the shoes that are right for your feet.
Avoid Tight-Fitting Shoes
First and foremost, you’ll need to choose shoes that give you room to breathe. This means saying no to high-heels and other form-hugging shoes.
Ladies need to take special care in choosing their shoes. Because many women’s shoes, especially heels, come to a point or awkwardly elevate the foot, women are more likely to suffer from bunions. If they do not stop wearing these aggravating shoes, their condition is sure to worsen over time.
This means that you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing shoes with enough wiggle room for your feet to fit comfortably. You’re not going to want anything that’s pressing into your bunion, as this may cause pain. Most importantly, however, you really don’t want anything that constricts your toes or any that force your big toe further inward. This can exacerbate the situation and facilitate the progression of the condition.
Choosing comfortable shoes is part and parcel with finding the right pair of shoes for your bunion. Typically speaking, the more comfortable the shoes feel for you, the better they are for your feet. Keep this rule of thumb in mind as you look to find a pair of shoes suitable for you. Generally, you’ll note that shoes that you shouldn’t be wearing will cause you pain.
Don’t Forget Your Fashion
We know what you may be thinking. If you’re going to have to get orthotic shoes, you’re not going to be able to go anywhere in public—at least not anywhere your friends can see you.
In fact, your fear of wearing out-of-style orthotics may have been keeping you from getting your pair of much-needed shoes already. If this is the case, we’re here to tell you one thing.
It’s time to invest in yourself—and you don’t have to sacrifice your fashion to do it.
That’s right—the days of ugly orthotics are over. Though you may certainly find some on the market, the majority of shoe companies understand that in order for their shoes to sell, they need to have style and be fashionable. Growing consumer pressure and demand for great-looking orthotics have made these specially-designed shoes now virtually indistinguishable from others on the market.
You can even buy sexy pumps and heels for your special night out. Unlike traditional heels, however, these are designed so that you can enjoy maximum comfort.
Look at the Shape
Still need a bit of help eyeballing the perfect pair of shoes? Keep this trick in mind.
Instead of searching for shoes that offer a sexy, slender fit, find the ones that match up with your feet. This means that the widest part of your foot should be placed in the widest part of the shoe. This will allow you to have enough space for your toes to rest comfortably, preventing your bunion from worsening.
Make sure that when you go shoe shopping, you check that the size of the shoe corresponds with the size of your foot in both length and width. This is the only way to accurately judge if the shoe will be suitable for your needs.
Consider the Material
Finally, consider the material that the shoe is made from. If you’re suffering from bunions, you’re not going to want something that’s made from anything particularly hard or thick. This can further irritate your bunion and worsen the condition.
Instead, you’ll need to look for softer materials. These are easier on the foot and provide the flexibility and the comfort you need to restore mobility. It will also be less of a hassle, as the material is much less likely to push on your bunion or force your toes into dangerous, cramped positions.
In the long run, this will provide you with the comfort you need to move around while giving your foot time to heal. By investing in these shoes early, you can help preclude the possibility that your condition will worsen to the point that you’ll need to use invasive medical procedures.
Additionally, keep in mind that there are inserts available for those who need them. Though it’s best to buy a new bunion-friendly wardrobe, you may be able to get by with the right insert, depending on your shoe.
By keeping this information in mind, you can keep your bunion in check and benefit from one of the most effective treatments right from the comfort of your own home. Regardless, make sure you check with your doctor on the treatment plan that’s right for you.
With this in mind, let’s get to the part you’ve all been waiting for. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven shoes for people with bunions—and we’re sure you’ll love most of these great if not all!
Best Sandals for Bunions
Are you ready to finally find a pair of shoes that could quite literally change your life? If so, consider these great below. By selecting one of these amazing pairs of shoes, you can improve your quality of life, reduce foot pain, and restore your mobility.
Samara Walking Sandal
This is one of the most popular sandals from the Viakix range of shoes. This pair of sandals was designed to be comfortable, and stylish. This outdoor sandal has a thick comfortable EVA foam midsole, which provides even more cushioning and reduces stresses on the joints. The ergonomic outsole is fully equipped with a shank stabilizer, is durable and provides excellent traction for the more rigorous walker. A wonderful option if you’ve got little ones and are constantly on the go!
The front webbing is made out of elastic with a custom made to feel feature. This is the perfect sandal for those with bunions, as the straps adjust to your feet for that comfortable and stable feel. They also have a velcro strap so you can adjust accordingly to your true size and comfort.
Some other great features of these shoes are A rugged upper outsole that is extremely durable and supplies great traction, a shank stabilizer to provide arch support on any type of terrain, water-ready polyester webbing upper that is comfortable, durable, and dries quickly after getting wet and a cushioned EVA foam midsole that absorbs the impact where needed the most.
It’s an all-round great walking shoe that is both fab and multifunctional. These shoes will definitely give you the orthotic support that is needed to tackle those everyday activities on any surface.
The Cortona Sandal
Still not convinced that orthotics can be stylish? If not, check out this great option -- our Cortona sandal.
The Cortona Sandal is one of best bunion-friendly options out there. This sleek sandal doesn’t offer much of a raise, but its design allows for incredible comfort. And they are good for those with bunions.
What’s more, its incredibly-soft cushioning straps gives your feet the rest they deserve. And because they’re Viakix, you never have to worry about being out-of-style.
The Sloane Sandal
The Viakix Sloane sandal is a great option for women with bunions, as it features a number of design elements that can help to alleviate pressure and discomfort on the feet. One key feature of the Sloane sandal is its soft straps, which are made from a stretchy, breathable material that conforms to the shape of the foot. This helps to ensure a comfortable, secure fit, without putting unnecessary pressure on the toes or bunions.
In addition to its soft straps, the Sloane sandal is also highly adjustable, which can be especially beneficial for women with bunions. The sandal has multiple straps that can be tightened or loosened as needed, allowing the wearer to customize the fit to their specific foot shape and size. This can help to reduce rubbing and chafing, and prevent discomfort and irritation.
Overall, the Sloane sandal is an excellent choice for women with bunions, giving you the comfort you need along with that great look you’ve always wanted.
This incredible option from Viakix gives you unprecedented comfort. These soft sport sandals have amazing insole cushions that will literally conform to the shape of your feet. Best of all, this sports sandal features three straps at the front that are very soft and stretchy!
This makes them the perfect option for those suffering from bunions. Gone are the days when you had to fight to get your foot to fit in your shoes. Gone are the times when you returned home limping, your bunion chafed raw after being forced into the side of your shoe.
With Viakix’s Napali sports sandals, your feet get the support they need and the perfect customized fit. Best of all, you’ll be pleased to find that you’ll never have to worry about your comfort again because these soles will conform to your foot, you’ll have a shoe that’s perfectly customized for you!
These athletic sandals are among the best shoes for those suffering from bunions. With this great shoe, you can always be sure that you’re getting the best quality from one of the most trusted brands in the industry.
Choose the shoe that fits you when purchasing these great sandals.
The Viakix Siena Sports Sandal
Are you planning to go camping with your friends soon? Do you enjoy outdoor activities like canyoning or water sports? Or perhaps you’re just an avid explorer who enjoys making the most of their day off and adventures in nearby towns, forests or mountains? Regardless of what your favorite activity is, our Siena Sports Sandals will be a great addition to your shoe collection for one significant reason; they’ll provide you with the support your feet need and help alleviate the pain due to bunions if you suffer from this common and painful condition.
Their adjustable and comfortable straps mean that you can easily adapt the shoe to your feet to accommodate for your bunions. No more forcing your feet into the shoes and no more pressure and rubbing against your skin. Adjustability is also key when walking or hiking as your feet will be well secured and won’t be sliding in your shoes anymore. This will help keep your hips and knee aligned and prevent back problems.
This range has also been designed with arch support in mind as it features an ergonomic EVA foam midsole to absorb high impacts and provide ultimate comfort for your feet.
The range comes in different colors to match any of your outfits; you’ll find that comfort and happy feet don’t have to come with a hefty tag.
The Bottom Line on Finding Shoes for Bunions
If you’re suffering from bunions, it’s time to make a change. Don’t let these small, painful bumps limit your mobility or your sense of fashion anymore.
Instead, start considering which treatment options are available to you. By determining this with your doctor, you’ll be ready to follow a comprehensive plan that can help reduce the size of and even eliminate your bunion.
No matter what your treatment plan includes, it’s always a good idea to start wearing bunion-friendly shoe options. But remember, try to not worry. As we’ve seen, there are several fashionable bunion shoe options on the market.
Our seven great above only showcase a tiny portion of the incredible amount of shoes available on the market these days. But remember to act fast! If you think you may be suffering from a bunion, it’s important that you quickly buy footwear that can better accommodate your condition. By doing so, you can prevent the condition from progressing and restore mobility to your feet.
By keeping these great in mind, you’ll be one step closer to saying goodbye to your bunion once and for all.