Bunions can be a pain — literally. It's tough to find a great pair of stylish shoes that give your feet enough space to breathe. Here's the good news: The best shoes for bunions protect your feet without compromising on style.
According to a board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Suzanne Fuchs of LuxePodiatry in Florida, "The best shoes for bunions are those that have a wider toe box. A shoe that is too narrow will put increased pressure on the big toe joint causing rubbing and friction on the bunion."
But how can you tell if a shoe has a wide toe box? The toe box is the front part of the shoe that houses the ball of your foot to your toes, and since this is where bunions tend to form, it's important to look for a shoe with extra space here. While pointed-toe heels are pretty much out, there are plenty of wide-toe wedges, flats, and sandals that won't irritate your bunions. The key here is to find a pair made in a soft flexible fabric or one that has built-in arch support.
Dr. Fuchs elaborates, "I recommend wearing softer fabrics with more give. Quilted stretch fabrics and soft leather are always a great choice. A shoe stretcher can come in handy and works on 100 percent genuine leather." (Here are a few shoe stretchers for bunions that we've reviewed.)
But enough talk, here are the best shoes for bunions so you can walk pain-free.
1. The Best Slip-Ons
These classic slip-on sneakers will keep your feet cushioned and cool when you're on the go The synthetic upper shell is perforated to allow in airflow, while the padded insole cradles your foot. Plus, with an overall wide fit, it's easy to slip these shoes on and off without any pain. Even better, they're available in over 40 colors, so you can pick the perfect style for your wardrobe.
What fans say: "These are cute and comfortable! I listened to the other reviews and sized down a half size and they fit perfectly! I was looking for some cute fashion sneakers and I'm so glad I got these! Would recommend."
2. The Best Flats
If you're looking for a slightly dressier option, these strappy ballet flats are the perfect addition to your wardrobe. Made from a soft synthetic material, this shoe stretches with your foot throughout the day. On top of that, the wide, rounded toe offers plenty of extra space so your bunion won't become irritated. And the criss-cross straps at the ankle keep the whole shoe firmly in place. If pink is the color for you, you can get them in one of the other 30 shades these flats come in.
What fans say: "Very cute shoes! Wore them all day at work, and unlike most shoes that cover the sides of my feet, my bunions didn't hurt at all. Got tons of compliments. Will probably buy another couple of pairs."
3. The Best Running Shoes
As a runner who struggles with foot pain, these padded running shoes have been a dream. They're constructed of lightweight foam and feature high-energy cushioning that gently cradles your foot without added pressure. The upper part of the shoe features flexible mesh, so it stretches with your feet as you run. They also feature the widest toe box I've been able to find, and so far, my feet have been completely pain-free, no matter how far I run. They're available in a range of sizes and 18 color options.
What fans say: "Been wearing these for a week. Couple few mile jogs and 12 hour night shifts. So far I really love these shoes! I have bunions and always size up half a size and go for wide width. The wide with is very wide with roomy toe box for any of you bunion sufferers out there!"
4. The Best Sandals
Not only are these flexible sandals comfortable, they're also completely waterproof. Made with hand-woven nylon cord, they allow for maximum airflow and breathability. Plus, the cords can be adjusted so they don't constrict your bunion at all. And the super soft insole cradles your foot as you walk — whether you're on the beach or in the water. These come in 18 different colors and patterns so you can choose based on your personal style.
What fans say: "The foam support is amazing and comfortable to walk around in for hours. The cute straps are not only trendy and cute, but also keep your foot secure in the shoe. The foam bottoms also have a bit of texture in them so that if your feet sweat a bit while you're out walking in the heat, your foot will still remain secure and not slip and slide as much as they would if the surface was completely flat."
5. The Best Wedges
These adorable wedge shoes are just as comfortable as they look. They're constructed of super soft synthetic fabrics that stretch as you move, and the padded insole adds extra comfort. On top of that, the 2.5-inch heel is low enough to prevent your feet from sliding too deeply into the front pocket of the wedge, but they still provide just enough lift to dress up your outfit.
What fans say: "Very comfy shoes! I normally don't wear heels unless I have to, so I was very hesitant to purchase these heels because heels hurt my feet within an hour of wearing them. Not these heels! I wore them for a good 6 hrs straight without having any pain. They were perfect! I do want to mention that they are wide, maybe that's why I was able to wear them for such a long time."
6. The Best Boots
With a wide fit and lots of stretch, you can wear these faux leather booties all day long. Even though the toe is slightly pointed, rest of the actual toe box is wide and extremely roomy so it won't constrict your feet. Plus, they're lose enough around the ankle to allow for breathability, and the 1-inch heel is low enough so it won't push your toes to the front of the bootie.
What fans say: "I LOVE THESE BOOTIES! I’m always skeptical about buying shoes online, but these cute booties are 100% worth it. These have become one of my daily shoe choices. They’re super comfortable, the color is good (I got them in grey) the soles so far have held up and the zipper is good quality."
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