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Bunions Got You Down? Try These 6 Adorable Shoe Styles That Won’t Kill Your Feet

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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, comfy shoes for bunions tend to, well, hard to find. And 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 shoes into your wardrobe, despite the bunions and without further damaging your precious tootsies, here are some ideas.

What are Bunions?

According to Bunion Center, the underlying problem is that tight shoes put pressure against the foot. That leads to 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 shoes that are too tight and too pointy.

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 Souls

6 Cute Shoes for Bunions

Now, onto the nitty-gritty. Here are six stylish shoes for bunions — they’re all styles that give your feet some room to avoid squeezing those painful bunions.

1. Elastic sandal

If you have bunions, elastic is your friend. Look for shoes that have elastic straps/tops that comfortably stretch over your foot.

2. Wedges

Wedge sandal with elastic green strap
Italian Shoemakers Nami Wedge Sandal, $44.99, DSW

The right pair of wedges are another option for you. They provide the height of heels but distribute weight equally. That reduces the amount of strain on the front of your foot.

3. Uggs: a bunion sufferer’s friend

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. See our post on where to find discounted Uggs.

4. The right flat

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. Flats that have all over stretchy material, as shown above, are best.

5. Lace fronts

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

6. Adjustable Sandals

Sandals with adjustable straps are great for those with “baby” bunions as they offer the option to adjust the width of the sandal. And, since Birkenstock has updated its line as of late, there’s no reason you can’t have a little fun with the style.

Also take a look at our list of the best wide shoe stores online.

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

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Zach Johnson

Saturday 24th of September 2016

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

Catherine Brock

Saturday 24th of September 2016

Zach, Thank you for sharing. What a great resource! ~Catherine


Saturday 2nd of July 2016

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.

Saturday 23rd of April 2016

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.

Saturday 23rd of April 2016

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.


Thursday 21st of April 2016

Ladies, once you have bunions, it is a sign of damage to the feet. Sadly, the only shoes for women with bunions are those ugly shoes prescribed by podiatrists. Also, even if you have bunion surgery, you can no longer wear "regular" shoes. Wearing wide shoes is not going to cut it either.

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