When you have painful issues with your feet, finding decent footwear can be difficult — so it goes without saying that finding fashionable shoes for bunion sufferers is even harder. To make the process a little bit easier, Bustle reached out to podiatrists for sage advice on what to look for when shopping for comfortable yet stylist options. In short, the best shoes for people with bunions should be wide set, low to the ground, and made with soft, flexible material.
Bunions happen when your big toe shifts out of place, facing inward and creating an enlarged joint. Therefore, it's important to find a pair of comfortable shoes that won't aggravate the protruding bones.
Dr. Neyla Lobkova, a New York-based podiatrist who founded Step Up Footcare, tells Bustle that “shoes that have a wide toe box" are essential because they "accommodate the widening of the forefoot associated with a bunion and prevent pressure on the bunion which causes pain." She also recommends that those with bunions avoid “all heels over 3 inches high.”
Dr. Bruce Pinker, a New York-based podiatrist with Progressive Foot Care, stresses the importance of wide toe boxes, telling Bustle that "narrow toed or pointy toed footwear will exacerbate the bunion."
Aside from shoe width and height, finding shoes comprised with flexible fabric also adds a layer of comfort. With those things in mind, scroll on for shoes that help make walking around with a prominent toe joint more comfortable but still stylish.
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1. A Tapered Ballet Flat That Offers Maximum Stretch
With over 500 five-star reviews on Amazon, it's safe to say that these Skechers ballet flats are a fan favorite. Yes, the toe box is tapered (instead of round or square), but the shoes are made of 100% stretch-knit fabric that helps accommodate both width and length for comfort. The inner is crafted with soft memory foam for a cushioned step that will provide stability and coziness throughout the day, and the heel hight is seemingly under 1 inch. This shoe is offered in four great colors along with wide sizes. Plus, reviewers with bunions absolutely love them. One Amazon customer wrote, "These shoes are perfect if you have bunions."
According to fans: "I was amazed to at no blisters and no bunion pain! I also have wider feet so these shoes are stretchy and soft enough that they form to your foot without squeezing anything too tight."
- Available in sizes: 5-11 (with wide options)
2. These Round-Toe Flats That Come In Tons Of Colors
These faux-suede ballet flats from DailyShoes are big on style and comfort. They feature a contoured sole that offers cushioned support, along with a zip-up back and criss-cross straps around the ankle for added stability. While the heel is barely there. Plus, the wide, rounded toe box on these flats leaves a bit of wiggle room, providing a soft and cushiony area for delicate toes and feet. This particular pair is offered in a ton of vibrant colors — and it even comes in leopard print.
According to fans: "Great fit, and especially with bunions, they did not bother me at all!"
- Available sizes: 5-11
3. These Stylish Booties That Are Offered In Wide Sizes
This soft, water-resistant leather bootie by Vionic, another brand Dr. Lobkova recommends, is crafted with the brand's ultra-comfortable Vio-Motion support system that softly molds to the feet with every step you take. They're offered in wide options, and they feature a low-profile and comfortable heel of 1.75 inches. Complete with a fashionable side zipper, they're total must-haves for just about every season and occasion. Choose from two colors: black and mocha.
According to fans: "There's a sigh of relief when I put them on! These are a good quality leather with plenty of room in the toe box area."
- Available sizes: 5-12 (with wide options)
4. A Budget-Friendly Pump With A Wide Toe Box
If you're looking for something with more of a heel, these pumps by Dream Pairs may be just the thing you need. Made with a rounded front, latex-padded insole, and a 2.5-inch heel, they're both fashionable and comfortable. These have a naturally wide toe box while the thermoplastic rubber provides good grip to the floor or sidewalk. This style is offered in more than a dozen colors and will work great with pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, and more.
According to fans: "I have a bunion and can never ever find shoes that don’t aggravate this but these shoes did not! The toe box has room enough and is cut in such a way that it does cut right across the bunion like most shoes do. I will be wearing these shoes to a wedding in 3 weeks and am happy I have a comfortable pair of shoes."
- Available sizes: 5-12
5. The Best Open-Toe Sandals With A Slight Heel
NAOT's Verbena sandal is a hybrid of comfort and fashion. This style from a brand Dr. Lobkova recommends boasts a medium width with an open-toe front, along with a soft suede upper that comforts the feet. There's also an adjustable leather strap around the ankle. The shoe's removable cork footbed makes each and every step feel cushiony and supported, and the 1.5-inch heel isn't too high to be uncomfortable. This cutout style is available in nine different color combinations that are sure to complement many items your wardrobe, whether you're rocking jeans or a dress.
According to fans: "I love this shoe! It's very sophisticated and fashionable. But Naot has not left out any of the quality support I count on. So comfortable, padded ankle wrap, footbed and arch support. What more could you ask for? A slight heal? - Got it!!"
- Available sizes: 4-11
Dr. Neyla Lobkova, Certified Podiatrist at Step Up Footcare
Dr. Bruce Pinker, Certified Podiatrist at Progressive Foot Care