Before considering bunion surgery, many people turn to over-the-counter solutions like bunion correctors. While they aren't a cure for bunions, using one may help ease some of the discomfort and pain that bunions cause. Depending on the type, bunion correctors work by either trying to gently stretch the toe back into a natural position and/or by cushioning your feet to prevent your shoes from rubbing against the bunion. According to Dr. Sophia Solomon, a foot and ankle surgeon at Manhattan Specialty Care, the best bunion correctors typically come in the form or a toe-spacer or a sleeve.
Dr. Solomon says, "If you are getting tightness or aching around the big toe, a toe-spacer will help relieve that pain and stretch the soft tissues surrounding the bunion. [Meanwhile,] bunions sleeves are great for shielding the boney bunion bump from skin irritation against the shoe. For someone with bunion pain primarily at the bump, the bunion sleeve is a great option."
She cautions that bunion correctors may not be a fit for everyone, adding: "If bunion correctors and wider shoes have failed to relieve your pain then it may be time to seek a surgical consultation with a foot surgeon."