Five Cute Shoes for Bunion Suffers

Bunions are probably one of the most common foot problems that no one wants to talk about. Why? Because even your mani-pedi won’t make them magically disappear. Plus, what type of comfy shoes can you wear when one has bunions without sacrificing cuteness? (Because sometimes orthopedic flip flops scream “I didn’t try”).

I’ll put a disclaimer on this right now: If  you feel that you need to visit an orthopedic specialist, please do.  But if you are trying to fit cute pairs of shoes for bunions into your wardrobe without further damaging your precious tootsies, here are some ideas.

First of all.. What are Bunions?

According to Bunion Center, the underlying problem is that tight shoes put pressure against the foot which causes a painful swelling on the big toe. Although some experts think that bunions are  genetic, many believe that the  problem is exacerbated by ill-fitting shoes, specifically tightness and pointedness.

Quick Shoe Tips for Bunion Suffers

– Avoid “pleather” shoes that restrict your feet
– Look for shoes in breathable fabrics like cotton and linen
– Search for wedges which provide height, but distributes weight much better than regular heels
– Watch out for shoes with seams along the sides that may cut into your feet
– Find brands like Kork Ease, Clarks, and the new comfort line by Kenneth Cole called Gentle Sole

Five Cute Shoes for Bunions Suffers

Here’s some cute options for shoes for those with bunions

1. Ladies’ Night Out

Gabriella Rocha Ellie Wedge SandalGabriella Rocha Ellie Wedge Sandal, $65.00 from Zappos

If you have Bunions, elastic is your friend. Look for shoes that have elastic straps/tops that comfortably stretch over your foot. Also look for wedges, which provide the height of heels but distributes weight equally which reduces the amount of strain on the front of your foot.

2. Uggs: a Bunion’s Friend

UGG Classic Short Reptile Calf HairUGG Classic Short Reptile Calf Hair from Zappos

If you have bunions, you get a total “Ugg pass”. The boots offer comfort and trend for those looking for more options besides orthopedic shoes. Make sure your feet are dry when wearing the boots as moisture can lead to bacteria

3. The Right Flat

Yosi Samra Samantha Embossed Snake Leather Fold Up Flat with Cap ToeYosi Samra Samantha Embossed Snake Leather Fold Up Flat with Cap Toe, $84.00 from Zappos

While flats provide relief for high heels, they can be a nightmare for those with bunions if the shoe is cut wrong and/or a seam is placed right where your bunion is located. Look for flats that have all over stretchy material and/or combination material (elastic + leather) as shown above.

4.  Lace Fronts

Gentle Souls Rupert DayGentle Souls Rupert Day from Gentle Souls

Shoes that allow you to adjust laces to expand the box of the shoe is a must have for anyone with bunions. Just watch out for any seams that might cut into your foot.

5. Adjustable Sandals

Topshop 'Fang' Platform SandalTopshop ‘Fang’ Platform Sandal, $80.00 from Nordstrom

Sandals with adjustable straps are great for those with “baby” bunions as they offer the option to adjust the width of the sandal. There’s no reason why you can’t have a bit of fun with the style (as shown above). Also Birkenstock has updated their line of shoes to give it bit more “funky” style

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  1. Jen says

    I have to sort of disagree about the first three. having bunions (totally genetic in my case) any shoe that has a strap RIGHT at the bunion area is the worst kind… it’s just going to rub…

    • Bonnie says

      So what shoes can we buy that don’t rub across the bunion? I just bought keen sandals which are being returned. They hit the bad spot and created a huge irritation.

  2. says

    Hi Elbe and Jen– Thanks for your feedback on the story! Rest assured that the TBF staff is looking into updating the shoe choices asap.

  3. molly says

    For relief from bunions and hammer toe made worse by uncomfortable shoes, check out SmartToes Toe Stretchers.

  4. Clare says

    Whoever wrote the article clearly has no idea of the discomfort and sheer pain of bunions, or the medical advice never to wear high-heels if you have bunions. We need low heels, extra width and higher cut shoesso they don’t have edges or straps pressing on bunions. Please will some shoe designer focus on pretty attractive stylish shoes that have those qualities!

    • Sarah says

      I have to chime in. This article is absurd. Between the high heels, which will just put an extreme amount of pressure on the forefoot and painful bunion to the no-support-flats which will do the same, it’s clear this author doesn’t know what they’re talking about. At all.

  5. Lin says

    The best shoes I have found for bunion discomfort are the Go Walk line by Skechers. Not fancy sandals like these, but you’ll be able to actually walk and travel and participate in activities without being in pain. We need more shoe designers to design shoes with stretchy straps and good arch support.

  6. Natalie says

    I had to scroll down and view the comments on this article because I knew other ladies with bunions would agree that these (first 3 at least) shoes are the WORST and most painful shoes. All of us should get together and come up with the REAL top 5 shoes best for bunions.

  7. ownerofbunions says

    omgosh….anyone with a bunion would know you can NOT wear heels!! what a joke this is

  8. noelle says

    This is an old post, but the first shoe isn’t too bad if the bunion sits right behind that first strap. When I wear strappy heels, especially ones that criss cross at the toe box, my pesky little bunion has room to poke out from those straps. It’s never that obvious and with the right shoe, it’s awesome.

    I also like to stick to chunkier heels/wedges.

    • Catherine says

      Try flexible, cotton shoes or wedges. Mainly, you want to choose styles that don’t restrict your feet or force all of your weight to the front of your feet.

  9. Darlene says

    I had terrible feet, handed down from my Mom, bunions, hammer toes, toes going sideways, etc! By the time I found the right doctor, after 20 years of pain, I told him to cut them off at the knees, they hurt so bad. I was in my late 40’s then and he literally cut the toes off and reconfigured them, first foot, then the next foot 6 weeks later. Best thing I ever did. I’m in my 60’s and still no pain. As far as shoes the only thing I wear is Skechers Shape-Ups, and I was lucky to find a nice leather sandal Shape-Ups that works great. Haven’t been able to find those sandals again but I keep looking! I really don’t know how many other shoes I could wear today but I never want to have that foot pain again so I just stay with what works. I agree, I could of never worn any of the shoes that are shown on this site, dream on!

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