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Comfortable Shoes for Bunions

By Clarissa Vanner

Anyone who has bunions understands the pain they can cause. The wrong pair of shoes can cause even more pain and they can make the bunion grow larger too! This is why wearing the proper footwear is so essential. Thankfully, there are plenty of bunion-friendly shoes on the market to choose from.

Investing in the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in making daily activities like walking more comfortable. In this article, we uncover the top factors to consider when shoe shopping as well as some of the best shoes to wear with bunions.

The Importance of Proper Footwear

Bunions can be caused by a variety of factors such as a foot deformity or a medical condition like arthritis. But one of the most common causes of bunions is wearing improper footwear like tight, narrow shoes. This is why it’s essential to wear proper fitting shoes to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Wearing proper footwear is even more important once you have a bunion. This is because if you continue to wear the wrong shoes, your bunion can grow bigger and it can get more painful too. It can also lead to further complications like bursitis, hammer toe, and metatarsalgia.

How to Choose The Best Shoes for Bunions

Shopping for the right shoes can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, there are a few key tips you can take with you when you’re shopping. For starters, bunion sufferers should search for shoes that have a wide toe box (the section that surrounds the toes).

Next, you’ll want to look for footwear that is made from materials that offer support but also have a bit of stretch. This can be materials like canvas or leather. You should also search for shoes with adjustable laces or straps.

Additional Tips to Consider

Comfort is different for everyone. The best way to find the right shoes is to try them on and see how they feel. But what other factors should you consider?

You can also look for shoes with a seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). This tells you the shoes have been tested for foot problems like bunions.

Other factors you should consider are what will you be using the shoes for? Do you need them for walking, working out, for work, etc? All of these factors will play a role in narrowing your search.

Where to Find Shoes for Bunions

Before you start shopping for shoes, you should visit your primary care doctor or podiatrist. They will be able to examine your foot and bunion, to help recommend the best shoe for you.

Luckily, many brick and motor stores, as well as online stores, offer bunion-friendly shoes. Most companies offer wide and soft shoes that are suitable for bunion sufferers. That said, if your doctor recommends that you need custom-fitting shoes, they’ll likely refer you to a specialist like an orthotist.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what type of shoes to look for as well as where to buy them, let’s take a look at shoes you can consider.

Birkenstock Sandals

Birkenstocks are one of the best sandals for bunions. They’re also a great slip-on shoe for wearing around the house and running errands. They feature a supportive sole and are made of soft leather.

These sandals are also durable and will last you a long time. As a bonus, they are available in a variety of styles and colors — there is something for everyone!

Josh Forden /

Altra Runners

If you enjoy going for long walks or if you’re an avid runner, you might want to consider Altra’s shoes. This brand specializes in running shoes with an emphasis on comfort.

Their shoes are made from soft, breathable fabrics which are great for bunions. They also feature impact-resistant soles to ensure your feet are comfortable during exercise.

Rothy’s Ballet Flats

If you’re searching for a shoe that offers both support and style then Rothy’s Ballet Flats may be the perfect shoe for you. These ballet-inspired shoes are easy to slip on and feature a round toe and soft fabric.

Rothy’s offers many different styles and colors that make their shoes suitable for both casual and formal wear. While they may be a bit of an investment, your feet will thank you!


If you’re looking for the ultimate comfortable shoes for bunions, you should consider Orthofeet. They design their shoes for ultimate comfort and protection, especially for foot problems. This includes plantar fasciitis, diabetes complications, and of course, bunions too.

Better yet, Orthofeet offers plenty of styles to choose from. From running shoes to sandals, slip-on shoes, boots, and dress shoes, they have them all!

Shoes Bunion Sufferers Should Avoid

Now that we have a basic understanding of what shoes bunion sufferers should shop for, let’s take a look at shoes that should be avoided. In general, always avoid shoes that are too narrow or too small.

You should also avoid high heels especially if they’re higher than two inches. This is because they can put pressure on the bunion and in turn, cause pain. An improper fitting shoe will cause more irritation and can be a factor of what causes bunions in the first place.

Additional Foot Accessories You Should Consider

Along with properly fitting shoes, there are other foot accessories that can help improve your comfort. For starters, orthotics can help relieve pressure and make your foot more comfortable. You can buy these inserts at a local pharmacy or you can get a prescription from your podiatrist.

You should also consider bunion pads which are small pads that go over your bunion to act as a cushion. These can be found at your local drugstore. You can also try using toe spacers, and arch support. Toe spacers are silicone and fit between your big toe and second toe to ensure they’re in proper alignment. Further, bunion sufferers often have flat feet and arch supports can help correct this issue.

Finally, you should always wear thin, loose socks. This is because tight, thick socks can add pressure and cause more pain.

Junior Managing Editor

Clarissa is the Junior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat. She aspires to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating foods that nourish her body, but she isn't afraid to indulge in a little chocolate here and there! Clarissa loves cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing in her hammock or curled up on the couch reading a book.

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