If you have bunions, then you know how challenging it can be to find the perfect pair of boots. The best boots for bunions have wide toe boxes, soft and supportive soles, and flexible materials. According to Yolanda Ragland, DPM, an award-winning bunion and hammertoe surgeon, finding the right pair of boots for people with bunions really depends on your individual needs.
“The first step is to buy proper-fitting shoes,” Dr. Ragland advises. “It seems like measuring the foot’s length and width is an ancient practice with boot and shoe purchases, but realizing your correct shoe size will make a difference in comfort for those who have bunions.” According to Dr. Ragland, another thing to consider is that many people with bunions also have flat feet. “Purchasing shoes with arch support or inserting supportive arch orthotics can greatly reduce painful feet [for those with flat feet]. Using modifications [like] silicone bunion shields and toe spacers can help curtail foot pain.”
Dr. Ragland also recommends choosing boots that are made from flexible, breathable materials, like leather or high-quality synthetics. She also notes that, while a wider toe box is always a good place to start, it’s important to consider your foot shape when purchasing a pair of comfortable boots for bunions.
“If the front of your foot is broad or square, then a square-tipped boot or a round toe box is recommended to allow for space around the bunion,” Dr. Ragland notes. “If your feet are more narrow and pointed, then you can opt for a more streamlined pointy boot (but not too pointy) to support the forefoot of this foot type better.”
Dr. Ragland also notes that some people with bunions may prefer boots that have a zip closure, although she also recommends pull-on options like UGG boots, especially for post-surgical patients.
With all of this in mind, here are five of the best boots for bunions, for every kind of activity.
1. The Best Combat Boot
These comfortable combat boots from Ecco have a wide, square toe box that won’t rub against bunions. The uppers are made from soft, full-grain leather that’s bonded to the natural rubber sole using the brand’s proprietary Fluidform technology, which eliminates the need for stitching and leads to a lighter, more comfortable shoe. The polyurethane midsole provides excellent shock-absorption, and the insole is removable, so you can swap in your own set of orthopedic insoles for added comfort. These lace-up boots also have a convenient back zipper closure and two pull-tabs on the top that make it easy to get them on, even when wearing thick socks.
- Available colors: 4
- Available sizes: 4/4.5 — 11/11.5
2. The Best Budget Boot
These inexpensive hiking boots are just $40, but they’re still a high-quality pair that’s a great choice for people with bunions. The uppers are made from 100% suede with mesh inserts, which makes these boots both breathable and flexible. The rubber soles offer excellent traction on any terrain, and the toe caps and heel stabilizers offer extra protection and support. There’s also a removable EVA insole, and the entire boot is water-resistant.
“I like these work boots,” wrote one fan, “Wide toe box, works for bunion on right foot...just mentioning in case that info is helpful to someone out there who has the same issue.”
3. The Best Chelsea Boot
If you’re looking for a supportive Chelsea boot, Sorel’s Emelie boot is not only stylish and comfortable but also waterproof. The upper is made from seam-sealed full-grain leather, and the rubber sole provides solid shock-absorption. The removable footbed is made from die-cut memory foam for added comfort and arch support, and the wide, rounded toe box is a great feature for wearers with bunions. “I have bunions and my feet do not hurt after wearing all day...such a relief,” wrote one reviewer. These boots have a pull-on closure and are best for dry days or light rain rather than torrential downpour.
- Available colors: 8
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
4. The Best Soft Bootie
A pair of classic UGG boots is not only a great choice for those who’ve recently had foot surgery and those with bunions, but for anyone who wants to feel like they’re walking on a cloud. They’re made from sueded leather that’s been treated with a stain-repellant, and they’re fully lined with sheep fur for optimal warmth and cushioning. The outsole is made from the brand’s signature Treadlite material, which offers added stability without sacrificing comfort.
“These are the most comfortable boots ever,” wrote one reviewer, a sentiment that is echoed by many Amazon shoppers. Because these boots are super soft and flexible, they’re easy to pull on and take off, even without a zipper closure or pull tabs. They also have a wider toe box that will conform to the shape of your foot over time.
- Available colors: 8
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
5. The Best Hiking Boot
It can be hard to find hiking boots for bunions, but Columbia’s classic hiking boots are backed by an overall five-star rating on Amazon with over 8,400 ratings — including several from hikers with bunions. These boots feature a wide, rounded toe box that won’t squish bunions. The uppers are made from a blend of leather, suede, and breathable mesh with a waterproof treatment, and they have a lace-up closure that offers a secure, adjustable fit. The lightweight rubber outsole is designed to provide excellent traction even in rugged conditions, and the midsole is comfortable and shock-absorbent.
“They are well made and overall the best hikers I've ever had!” wrote one reviewer, “I have bunions on my feet so I went with the wide and they fit perfect. I would recommend these to anyone.”
- Available colors: 11
- Available sizes: 5 — 12, including wide sizes
6. The Best Rain Boot
These Sperry rain boots are perfect for muddy walks or torrential downpours. They feature a lace-up closure on the front and a side zipper, so they’re easy to put on and take off, and the wide, rounded toe box and fleece lining are super comfortable. The outsoles are made of non-marking rubber that’s designed to provide nonslip traction even in the slipperiest conditions, and the leather uppers become softer with every wear.
“[They] are quite comfortable even though they lack any real arch support [...] I ordered the wide to accommodate my bunions and I'm very pleased,” wrote one reviewer. Because these boots don’t have a super supportive insole, it’s a good idea to purchase a pair of orthopedic insoles to wear with them.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: 5 — 10, including wide sizes
Dr. Yolanda Ragland, SCA-certified strength and mobility coach