Five Cute Shoes for Bunion Sufferers

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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 are some cute options for shoes for those with bunions.

1. Ladies’ Night Out

Gabriella Rocha Ellie Wedge SandalGabriella Rocha Ellie Wedge Sandal, $65, 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

uggs for bunion sufferers

Shop it: UGG Classic Short Croco, $175,

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

striped flats for bunion sufferers

Shop it: Yosi Samra Samara Flat, $95, 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 DayShop it: Gentle Souls Rupert Day, $129 (on sale),

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 SandalShop it: Topshop ‘Fang’ Platform Sandal, $80, 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.

How are you dealing with your bunions? Leave a comment with any recommendations you have!

(Editor’s note: this post was last updated 08/2016)

  • Not bad suggestions. I have a bunch of suggestion on this site:

    • Catherine Brock

      Thank you for sharing. What a great resource!

  • Amy

    Personally, almost any shoes by Merrell fit me and my bunions the best. Merrell has running shoes, hiking shoes, shoes for everyday wear, and some casual-nice shoes. A lot of their options are really stylish, while still having the comfy wide toe box and narrow heel.

  • Catherine A.

    Another cute shoe that has worked for me is Felicia, a ballet flat by Sam Edelman. It’s expensive, but very pretty and very comfortable. It has a very cushion-y sole, and the upper is a very soft leather that stretches out nicely. If you have arch problems it may not work for you, but for me the problem is primarily bunions, and I can wear these flats for quite a while before I have to have a break.

  • Catherine A.

    I have bunions and I disagree that the only shoes for me are ugly ones prescribed by a podiatrist. I’ve wasted a fair amount of money on shoes that did not work, but I have many that do, and my shoe stretcher was one of the best investments I ever made. Real leather shoes help, since they are much more amenable to stretching.

    I just got a nice pair of non-leather shoes from DSW for $30. They are called Fidelity by Mix No. 6, a cute pair of slip-on flats with a diagonal strap. Even though they have pointed toes they are comfy because the design is such that the shoe does not cover my bunions. The down side is that they do expose my bunions, so if you’re embarrassed by the look of them this is not ideal. But these shoes are very dressy-looking, enough to wear with a dress, and I was desperate for that. They are available in black or ivory croc or cobalt blue or blush pink smooth leather-look.

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