Back to Blog Back To Blog

How to Make Shoes More Comfortable with Bunions

Feb 22, 2022

Picking out shoes with bunions (hallux valgus) probably feels like a dreadful task, but it helps to know that you’re not alone in your suffering. Studies show that almost a quarter of people aged 18 to 65 suffer from these uncomfortable protrusions. Stepping into the wrong pair of shoes can worsen the pain and make getting dressed a challenge. But there are plenty of things you can do to keep the bunion blues at bay.

grace multicolor

How Shoes Affect Bunions

Contrary to popular belief, tight shoes aren’t the only cause of bunions. People who develop bunions are often genetically prone to the condition. Of course, uncomfortable, ill-fitting shoes can make a bunion larger and more painful. In other words, while our grandmothers probably had bunions, too, we made ours worse with platform boots and sky-high heels. Indeed, shoe choice matters.

You can’t do much about your genetic traits. But you can avoid shoes with the traits that hasten the onset of painful bunions. Avoid shoes with tall heels or no support, which put pressure on the toe joint. Similarly, skip any narrow shoes that crowd the toes and make bunions worse. Swap out your old pairs of stiff, confining shoes for breathable, flexible bunion friendly sandals and sneakers that ease the pain.

Shop Sandals for Women with Bunions

Get the Most Mileage Out of Your Current Shoes

Your current shoe collection is a beautiful thing. So let’s try to save as much of your fashionable footgear as possible with some simple tricks to make shoes comfortable with bunions. 

  • Stretch Them Out — Stretching isn’t just a great way to wake from a nap, it’s also a great way to make your shoes comfier. You can purchase a shoe-stretcher or you can use a DIY method of stretching shoes. Whether it be putting a tennis ball in your shoe or following DIY freezing methods, there are some safe ways to get more room from your shoes.
  • Loosen Up Your Laces — The way your shoes are laced may be putting undue pressure on the sensitive points of your foot. Loosen up the laces on your shoes or try alternate lacing methods that release some tension. When lacing your shoes, skip the eyelet that is nearest the bunion to relieve pressure and pain. 
  • Invest in Bunion Pads — The foot care aisle at the drug store is packed with solutions for those suffering from bunions and blisters. Sometimes, bunions need a gentle snuggle, and there are plenty of products that can provide pain relief. Toe guards cushion your bunion and prevent friction while wearing shoes. 

bare feet of a working woman


Choose Stylish, Comfortable Shoes for Bunions

Whether you’re in search of boots or a pair of sandals for women with bunions, there’s an option that’s just as comfy as it is fashionable. When your outfit calls for the following footwear, slip on these smart stand-ins instead.

  • Strappy Low Heels — Beware the stiletto. As chic as they may be, tall heels put more pressure on the joints of your toes. That pressure is made worse when the toes are squished together in pointed-toe shoes. You needn’t give up heels altogether. Instead, opt for a sexy low-heel shoe with elastic straps that give your feet room to breathe.
  • Comfortable Boots Made with Flexible Materials  Ditch the combat boots or any boot made of stiff, unforgiving material. Chances are, that rigid material is going to rub your bunion the wrong way. There’s no need to go to war with your feet. Instead, when you find something worth fighting for, wear a boot made with a flexible material, like stretchy suede, canvas or woven material.
  • Sandals with Proper Arch Support  Grab a pair of sandals that actually support your feet and ditch the unsupportive flip-flops. The lack of arch support in flip-flops puts the pressure on the problematic toe joint. And with only a flimsy thong preventing flip-flops from flying off your foot, your toes have to contort into an unnatural position, worsening the pain. The better choice? Pick fashionable sandals for bunions from Charleston Shoe Co.

Explore Cute Bunion Sandals


Explore Bunion-Friendly Shoe Options

Bunions give you grief if you go dancing with your friends. They demand attention when you want to be social. And they make you feel self-conscious about simple things like a pedicure. But you should never have to limit the shoes you wear or the activities you do because of your bunions. With the best selection of bunion-friendly shoes, Charleston Shoe Co. is here to help!