The 5 Best Sandals For Bunions

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by Margeaux Baulch Klein
Originally Published: 

It's a good idea to be strategic about the type of sandals you wear when you have a bunion. Dr. Sophia Solomon, a foot and ankle surgeon, recommends that when shopping for the best shoes for bunions — sandals, in this case — you look for ample cushioning and an arch contour that matches your feet.

The Expert

Sophia Solomon, M.D., is a podiatrist and surgeon at Silverstone Podiatry. She attained a doctorate in podiatric medicine from New York College followed by a residency at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center for reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, where she became chief resident.

What To Look For In Sandals When You Have Bunions

Choosing sandals that are roomy and supportive can make a big difference in your overall comfort. Certain types of sandals, like thin rubber flip-flops, are especially terrible for your feet because they offer little support and the toe straps require you to over-grip with your toes to keep them in place.

Dr. Solomon tells Bustle, "The thick sole is for shock absorption while the arch contour will prevent probation and worsening of the bunion." In addition, you'll want to make sure that the sandals have secure straps that won't rub up against or irritate your bunion.

She adds, "It is important that the straps on the sandal prevent your foot from sliding around, something that can lead to a twisted ankle. Also, avoid sandals with straps that go directly over your bunion bump."

I've perused the options and gathered up some sandals that meet Dr. Solomon's recommendations. Gathered below are some of the best warm-weather shoes for bunions — including wedges and heels — you can buy.


A Thong Sandal With A Foam Footbed For Extra Comfort

You'd never know from looking at these stylish Vionic Kirra backstrap sandals that they boast an orthopedic design that received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. The T-strap is also especially great for people with bunions since it keeps the foot securely in place while avoiding contact with the bunion area. Plus, the microfiber-wrapped EVA foam footbed and leather upper make this sandal super comfortable. There's also more than a dozen colors to choose from and they're available in sizes that range from 5 to 12.

A helpful review: “My podiatrist told me that these cute sandals would offer my feet the necessary support they need after receiving my bunion diagnosis. Who am I to not follow doctor’s orders?! [...] They are really comfortable. My aching foot feels okay after walking on them for hours! And they are really stylish- I’ve received many compliments. Win-win!”

  • Available sizes: 5 — 12 (including wide sizes)
  • Available colors: 14


A Classic Heel That Won't Irritate Your Bunions

Although high heels are not usually the most comfortable of footwear options to wear when you have bunions, choosing a sandal with a low heel under 3 inches and a cushioned footbed is likely your best bet if you're determined to wear heels, provided the straps don't interfere with your bunion. These Naturalizer Taimi dress sandals have lightweight nylon straps and soft cushioning that make them comfortable to wear to work or for lengthy stretches of time. Plus, they're available in nine different color options and multiple widths to better accommodate bunions.

A helpful review: “Wanted something more than a ‘wedge’ or ‘block’ style heel, but definitely not a "high heel'. This was just what I needed. Fairly comfortable even with my bunions! (If it weren't for the bunions, I'd say they'd be very comfortable!) IMHO, true to size.”

  • Available sizes: 4 — 12 (including narrow and wide)
  • Available colors: 9


These Affordable Sandals That Offer Bunion Coverage

Not only are these Aerosoft bunion sandals very affordable, but they're built specifically for people with bunions in mind! The design of the shoe helps to hide and protect the bunion area, while showing off the rest of the foot. In addition, these sandals have a soft synthetic leather upper and a slip-resistant sole that prevents the foot from moving around too much when wearing them. They're available in two different designs within the listing, the daffodil design featured here that provides bunion coverage and an orthopedic flip flop.

A helpful review: “Having a bunion (medium severity) on one foot, I appreciate the design. It is comfortable overall. Specifically, I like the flexible sole with sufficient support...not of an orthopedic shoe level but adequate. Fits the size and width (mine is 9, medium) quite well. I wish the leather was natural (perhaps the company could make this optional for a price) but I like that the edges are not stitched , making them softer and flexible.”

  • Available sizes: 5 — 10
  • Available colors: 6


This Flatform Wedge With A Cork Footbed

Dressier than a flat shoe while offering better stability than a heel, the NAOT Kayla sandals are a great compromise for elevated daytime casual looks. Built from supple leather and suede, they feature a Velcro strap across the instep with anatomically contoured footbeds. Cork and EVA foam combine to create a shock-absorbing platform sole that cushions every step and customizes itself to your foot over time. Meanwhile, a flexible rubber sole prevents slipping without feeling hard underfoot.

A helpful review: “Living in NYC, comfort of shoes trumps style any day. These sandals are incredibly lightweight with its cork material, provides arch support and are overall very comfortable. As an added bonus, fellow ladies with bunions, these shoes were designed in a way that your bunions will peek out of the side straps.. no constriction! Oh, bliss.”

  • Available colors: 34
  • Available sizes: 4 — 13 (including select narrow and wide)


These Sporty Slides You Can Toss In The Wash

The Skechers Reggae Seize The Day sandals will go anywhere adventure takes you. Their contoured footbeds boast plenty of arch support and comfortable cushioning over a sturdy rubber outsole that features excellent traction. The quick-drying nylon uppers are lined with mesh for enhanced breathability, while a subtle Velcro strip lets you adjust their fit — and the ring-style toe post keeps them secure on your foot while maintaining all the ease of a slide. And, if you pick up a little dirt on your excursions, they’re easy to wash on a gentle machine cycle.

A helpful review: “I have very bad feet due to wearing no shoes for a year during COVID. My arches have fallen and I have the beginnings of a bunion on one foot. I wanted something with arch support for the summer. These are perfect if you like flip flops. Except that they have arch support. I totally live them. They are sized perfectly.”

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11 (including select wide)

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