What are Bunion Shoes?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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A bunion is a painful and noticeable protrusion of the bone at the bottom of the big toe, usually caused because the big toe has slanted toward the rest of the foot. This protrusion can get large and wearing certain types of shoes often aggravates it. Bunion shoes can serve two purposes. They can help place less pressure on the bunion, and may also prevent some bunions from forming.

There are many different commercial shoe types that might be considered bunion shoes, and they come in lots of styles, brands and prices. Most shoes have common features that might result in more comfortable feet. First, it’s also important to know what to avoid.

Bunion shoes should not have pointed toes. They also should not have a short or narrow toe box, which can press on the feet from above and below. Material in bunion shoes should not be stiff or unyielding, since this adds pressure on the sides of the foot. High heels are usually not a good idea because they will force the toes into a cramped and unnatural position. In fact, high heels and pointed toes especially are blamed for bunion formation in many cases.


Instead of purchasing shoes with these features, those looking for bunion shoes should look for a wider and higher toe box. Rounded toes tend to be a better choice too, as these keep the toes from being pushed together. Lots of materials are gentler on the feet and conform with greater ease to bunions, including stretchy cloth, leather and suede; materials like vinyl may not give enough.

The bunion shoe should fit properly. People may need a greater width for best comfort or to accommodate a very large bunion. Additionally, the shoe should be appropriate for specific activities. If people plan to be very active or participate in sports, they should find a good, supportive athletic shoe that meets the above qualities, and there are plenty that do.

Sometimes it is necessary to do a little more searching to find good bunion shoes, especially if an unusual width or length is needed. Fortunately there are many online stores that feature hard to find sizes and that offer free return shipping if a shoe doesn’t fit. Alternately, a number of stores can special order sizes.

Another place to go for advice on the best bunion shoe is to the podiatrist. They may have particular brands that they most favor. People may find to their relief that there are, in fact, a lot of different styles to wear that can still keep a shoe wardrobe fairly interesting. While that wardrobe may no longer contain tight pointed shoes or super high heels, it may have a great selection of bunion shoe styles in clogs, sandals, mules, running shoes, and many more.


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